Monday, 28 February 2005

Engineering students at NUI Galway have shown that there's more to the life of a student than passing exams and having a good time. As part of the new Engineering in Society module offered to third-year Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering students, participants developed devices for the physically impaired, provided assistance with mathematics to school children and helped out in voluntary organisations, including Oxfam, Amnesty International and Enable Ireland. A poster exhibition entitled Engineering in Society and Community Outreach, describing their work takes place this week in the Arts Millennium Building. The Engineering in Society module is an intrinsic part of the academic programme taken by all 60 students in the third-year Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering programme. It is designed to encourage students to commit some of their time and energy to the benefit of local communities and individuals outside the family. This module is also supported by Lorraine McIlrath, Staff Developer, Centre for Excellence in Learning and Training (CELT),who described the work undertaken by the Engineering students "as a massive achievement and a great inspiration to staff and students locally and nationally". "This is a wonderful opportunity for the students to put something back into their communities", said Professor Abhay Pandit, co-ordinator of the initiative. " 'Service Learning,' where students use their skills to improve the lives of others is commonplace in American universities but is a relatively new concept in Ireland. In our programme, students were asked to identify a need in their locality and volunteer twenty hours of assistance towards assisting with that need." The students used their engineering skills directly in two of the projects. In one, a simple can-opening device was designed for people suffering from severe arthritis, which made many every-day tasks including opening cans extremely difficult. "By making life a little easier for arthritis sufferers, we felt that we had put something back into the community by using our practical engineering skills," said student Rory Duggan. Niamh Mahony and Ciaran Costello designed a device to help people who suffer from arthritis or broken bones, to put on their shoes. "It's a simple device," said Niamh, "but it helps to relieve the pain of putting on a shoe and it also provides an element of independence the sufferer hitherto did not enjoy." Ends

Friday, 25 February 2005

-Stem cell treatments to be performed in Ireland in less than ten years- Researchers at NUI Galway have commenced research into adult stem cell therapies for heart disease, arthritis and spinal cord injury at a new €19 million Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Minister Micheál Martin, TD. REMEDI is the leading centre in Ireland doing stem cell research and one of a limited number of centres in Europe combining the technologies of stem cell and gene therapy to regenerate and repair tissue. Researchers at NUI Galway have said that stem cell therapy has enormous potential for the treatment of many incurable diseases including heart disease, arthritis and neurological disorders such as spinal cord, Parkinsons Disease and Alzheimer's. Early data suggests that delivery of stem cells to the heart following heart attack enables regeneration of the damaged tissue and some restoration of function. Dr. Frank Barry, REMEDI scientific director and stem cell expert explains, "Adult stem cell treatment is likely to have a dramatic effect on patient recovery and provides us with the potential of treating previously incurable diseases. We are very excited about early data which suggests that stem cell therapy will be potentially effective in repairing heart tissues. Other research into arthritis also underpins the case for stem cell therapy. Stem cell delivery into arthritic joints stimulates a significant amount of repair of damaged tissues and prevents the sort of degenerative changes that you see associated with arthritis. There is still a great deal of work to be done before these therapies become widely available but I believe that stem cell treatments will be performed in Ireland in less than ten years." REMEDI was established in 2004 through a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Centre for Science Engineering and Technology (CSET) award and industry funding totalling €19 million. REMEDI is supported by industry partners Medtronic and Charles River Laboratories. REMEDI is initially employing 36 researchers in the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science at NUI Galway, the only centre in the country that contains a state of the art facility for generation of products for human gene therapy research. Referring to the strong links NUI Galway has forged with industry, Minister Martin said: "Ireland remains at the forefront of the medical devices sector in Europe. This sector will continue to be a major employer and economic contributor in this country but it is a challenge for the Irish government, industry and other stakeholders to increase the level of research being carried out in both indigenous and multinational companies. We must continue to forge the links between academia and industry. NUI Galway has played an important role in forging these links in the West of Ireland and providing industry in this region with access to a pool of highly qualified graduates". A total of €4 million has been contributed to the research programme by REMEDI partners in particular Medtronic, the world's largest medical devices company and Charles River Laboratories. Commenting on the importance of academic links and the West of Ireland as a location, Gerry Kilcommins, Vice President of Operations & General Manager of the Medtronic Galway site, added, "Medical technology has become one of the country s largest industry sectors and Ireland is recognised as a global centre of excellence for the development and manufacture of medical devices. Medtronic s location in the West of Ireland, amongst a cluster of the world s leading medical technology companies, provides us with access to highly trained research and development experts and third level institutions, like NUI Galway, allowing Medtronic to increase our level of R&D activity with highly commendable results." Professor Tim O'Brien, Director of REMEDI, Professor of Medicine at NUI Galway and a clinician at University College Hospital Galway with expertise in gene therapy research, added: "What we are talking about here is translational research – bringing the discoveries made in the lab to the clinic and the patient. This is a complicated process in which the interest of patients and the public must always be central. Our research will lead to new methods of clinical practice in the future, less dependent on invasive procedures, with the potential of curing currently intractable diseases." In welcoming the opening of REMEDI, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said that continued funding of world-class research programmes was vital for Irish universities to remain internationally competitive and also central to sustaining Ireland's economic progress. He said that NUI Galway was committed to furthering its reputation as a research centre of excellence and that REMEDI, through its partnership involving scientists, clinicians and engineers working together in academic centres and industry, exemplified this commitment. Ends

Tuesday, 22 February 2005

Students from Presentation College, Galway will be the first secondary school pupils in the west of Ireland to receive courses in web design. These courses are taught as part of the DERI Science Research Online Education Programme. The Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) is based in NUI Galway. The students, with their science teacher Bernie Crawford, recently presented their interim report on Urban Foxes to Councillor Niall O Brolchain at City Hall recently where their project was used at the launch of the Inventory of Wildlife Habitats in Galway city . The research was carried out in conjunction with Dr. Colin Lawton of the Department of Zoology NUI Galway. Councilor O Brolcháin is Chairperson of the Galway City Development Board s Natural Environment & Waterways committee. Once the report is finalised, the students will undertake a web-design course with DERI staff in order to create their own website and tell the world about the urban environment of Galway. Two other schools will also undertake web design courses as part of this programme. They are Scoil Phobail Mhic Dara, Carna, Co. Galway and Galway Community College, Galway city. Scoil Phobail Mhic Dara s website will be on the Geology of Connemara, while Galway Community College will host a website on "Weaponry and Tactics 1805 - 1918. The students were assisted in their projects by Ronan Hennessey, Department of Geology, NUI Galway and Sgt. Brian Smyth, Defence Forces, Renmore Barracks, Galway. Students and their mentors were only allowed to communicate over the internet. All this activity is just one part of DERI s comprehensive education outreach programmes which are designed to encourage the next generation of scientists and technologists who will be key to Ireland s future economic well being. Ends

Wednesday, 16 March 2005

Today (16th March) the Royal Irish Academy elected Professor Jim Browne as a Member of the Royal Irish Academy. Election to membership of the Academy is the highest academic honour in Ireland. Those elected are entitled to use the designation MRIA (Member of the Royal Irish Academy) after their name. The Royal Irish Academy is an all-Ireland, independent, academic body that promotes study and excellence in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences. It is the principal learned society in Ireland and has approximately 412 Members elected in recognition of their academic achievement. Professor Jim Browne is Registrar and Deputy President of the National University of Ireland, Galway. A chartered engineer he holds Bachelor and Master s degrees from NUI Galway and Ph.D. and D.Sc. degrees from the University of Manchester. His research focuses on the modelling, analysis and design of advanced manufacturing systems. He has been particularly active on industrially based research, supported by the EU Framework Programme, national and industrial sources. He has published over 200 papers, 11 books, three in second editions, one translated into French, one into Chinese. He is a Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering. For further information, please contact Pauric Dempsey, RIA. 087-6386651 Ends

Monday, 14 March 2005

National University of Ireland Galway will celebrate the achievements of four outstanding individuals by conferring them with honorary degrees at a formal ceremony in Los Angeles on the 6 May 2005. It is the first time that the University has awarded honorary degrees at a ceremony held outside of Ireland. Degrees will be conferred on the following individuals: Anjelica Huston, for her contribution to cinematic arts, as an actress and director Ray Bradbury, for his outstanding achievements as a novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet Dolores Hope, as a philanthropist and humanitarian, who has devoted much of her life to the service of others Merv Griffin, for his contribution to American entertainment and popular culture The Honorary Degree ceremony will take place in the presence of Chancellor of the National University of Ireland and former Taoiseach, Dr Garrett Fitzgerald and President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh. The conferring ceremony will be followed by the Huston Gala at the Beverly Hilton hotel, Los Angeles. This will be the culmination of a programme of business, cultural and academic events during the first week of May 2005 to mark the continued growth and influence of the NUI Galway-based Huston School of Film & Digital Media. Dr Ó Muircheartaigh, NUI Galway President said: By hosting this unique Conferring Ceremony and Gala in Los Angeles, we are celebrating both the Huston Film School and the strong links between Ireland and Southern California. The four outstanding individuals who we will honour, all of whom enjoy strong Galway connections, have demonstrated exemplary standards of artistic creativity and humanitarian service and their influence is felt and admired across the world. Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media said: Since its launch in 2003, the Film School has been very successful and now attracts graduate students from Ireland and abroad to participate in a range of programmes in our screen writing, film studies and arts administration programmes. These graduates will play a significant role in the film and television industries in the future at regional, national and international levels. The Los Angeles events will bring together celebrities from the world of film and television along with leaders from business and political life and the many graduates of NUI Galway who are living in California. Proceeds from the Huston Gala, which will have a strong entertainment programme with a distinctive Celtic flavour, including a performance from ConTempo, Galway's ensemble-in-residence, will contribute toward the continued development of the Huston Film School. The Huston Film School is named after John Huston, one of the twentieth century's greatest film directors and celebrates the Huston family's links to the west of Ireland and St. Cleran's, the family home in Galway, which is now operated as an exclusive hotel. Ends

Tuesday, 8 March 2005

-first year of programme secures €250,000 in support from a range of Irish donors NUI Galway today (March 8th 2005) announced that it is to commence a new International Scholarship programme to forge links with developing countries across the globe. The programme, which is the first of its kind in an Irish university, will commence in September 2005 and will enable talented and deserving students from developing countries to pursue their graduate studies at NUI Galway. The announcement of funding for the new programme was made at the University's annual gala banquet at which Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of South Africa was guest of honour. The purpose of the programme is to realise NUI Galway's strategic objective of forging links with a range of the world's developing countries, thus increasing international participation at the University. To date, a total of €250,000 has been raised with support from a range of donors to enable the first 10 international students from South Africa and Sri Lanka, to undertake postgraduate degrees at NUI Galway. The University hopes that continued philanthropic support will sustain further development of the programme at this level over the next five years. As the programme progresses, it will be extended to other developing countries. The International Scholarships will be targeted to developing the capacity of outstanding individuals who can assume leadership roles in their fields of study and whose work will enhance the development of their own society. Announcing the scholarships, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh said: "It is my belief that in assisting talented students, whose limited resources might prevent them from fulfilling their educational potential, we will be helping to build the infrastructure and human capital of their own countries. During a time when we, as a University, compete for resources ourselves, we must realise that we are essentially a wealthy society, and that as an institution it behoves us to extend the benefits of a post-graduate education to those who might not otherwise have such an opportunity." Ms Anna Cunningham, Director of International Affairs, NUI Galway, whose office will manage the International Scholarship programme said: "NUI Galway has forged strong links with a number of developing countries and by assisting talented students from these countries, who will return to their native lands on completion of their studies at NUI Galway, we will be contributing in a very meaningful way to the development of those countries." The NUI Galway International Scholarships are being funded by philanthropic support secured by Galway University Foundation. Emphasis will be placed on selecting candidates from communities that lack access to higher education preventing them from reaching their full potential. Ends

Tuesday, 1 March 2005

Are you interested in networking with professionals from around Galway city and gaining valuable transferable skills in the process? Do you want to bridge the gap between your academic degree and the world of work? If so, the new NUI Galway Mentoring Programme, "Career Connect," could be of enormous assistance to you. The mentoring programme has many elements such as work shadowing, career talks, workshops, face-to-face and email mentoring. The first part of the programme is a pilot initiative between NUI Galway Careers Service, Alumni and Junior Chamber International (JCI) Galway. The aim is to provide students and experienced professionals from the city with an opportunity to meet, discuss career goals, network, have fun in a social setting and help students in enhancing their professional skills outside the lecture hall. "Communication with mentors can provide useful information about career options, employment conditions, job prospects and responsibilities," says John Hannon, Careers Advisor NUI Galway. "This kind of first-hand advice and support from those already established in their chosen field or profession will be invaluable to undergraduate and postgraduate students setting out on their own career paths. The mentors and their organisations will also benefit from participating in the programme as it will provide them with opportunities to have direct contact with students and potential employees as well as illustrating the mentor's ability to help others." The programme will be structured around a number of events, starting today (Tuesday) and running throughout March/April, to support the mentoring relationship. The events have been selected to provide students with a variety of business experiences outside the classroom including networking, a company job shadow day, training on leadership skills, team work and personal development. Interested? Whether a student or a graduate, find out more by contacting Una McDermott, NUI Galway Student Services, Tel. (091) 495282; Email: una.mcdermott@nuigalway.ie and request an application form. Places on this programme are limited, so sign up now! Ends

Friday, 29 April 2005

- New developments to enhance bilingual campus - NUI Galway today (Friday 29th April 2005,) announced that a new €35 million Irish language institute Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge is to be developed on campus at the University and at a number of Gaeltacht centres. The national institute was launched by the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cúiv. The institute will pioneer the provision of third level education through the medium of Irish and will provide a range of courses through Irish including many of the disciplines provided in the Arts and Science Faculties. The launch of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge is central to NUI Galway's strategy of creating an exemplary bilingual campus at the University and is in line with the priorities outlined in the University's Strategic Plan (2003-2008). The creation of the institute reconfirms NUI Galway's commitment to the promotion of the Irish language. Funding to support this initiative will be raised through a range of sources. The national institute, the first of its kind in Ireland, will provide university programmes, engage in research, provide consultancy and be a centre of excellence for Irish language research and planning, in co-operation with other institutions. In addition to its centre on campus at NUI Galway, the University will further develop its three outreach Gaeltacht centres, two in the Galway Gaeltacht (Carna and An Cheathrú Rua) and one in Donegal (Gaoth Dobhair). Commenting on the initiative, the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht affairs, Éamon Ó Cúiv TD. said, "NUI Galway is to be congratulated for its strategic and innovative approach to the provision of third-level education through the medium of Irish. The creation of the Institute is vital for the continued promotion of the Irish language in Ireland. Equally, NUI Galway has played a key role in bringing Irish to the regions, through its outreach centres in Gaeltacht areas, it is bringing the University to the people and empowering those communities in a sustainable and meaningful way." Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway added: "This University has a long and proud tradition of supporting Gaeltacht and Irish language communities and the Acadamh will strengthen and invigorate our commitment to provide sustainable development of the Irish language. The creation of an exemplary bilingual campus ensures our ongoing commitment to the Irish language over the longer term. Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge will contribute to the social, economic, cultural and linguistic life of the communities in which it is based at a local level while broadening and enriching education provision at National and International levels. As it expands, the range of courses developed into areas such as information technology, communications, education and translation studies, will be extended." At present, an tAcadamh provides Masters and Higher Diploma programmes in Translation Studies and Applied Communications, as well as part-time and full-time courses in information technology, radio and television skills. An tAcadamh provides a Diploma in Irish in 22 centres throughout the country, attended by more than 850 students this year. Peadar Mac an Iomaire, Príomhfheidhmeannach (CEO) of an tAcadamh announced that a range of new programmes would be developed over the coming years and that over 1,500 students are expected to participate in courses at the Institute. He thanked Minister Ó Cuív for the financial backing received by the University from the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs for the promotion of university education through Irish as well as the maintenance of Irish in Gaeltacht areas. He also paid tribute to Údarás na Gaeltachta and FÁS for their assistance in the work of the University's Gaeltacht Centres over the years. -Ends

Friday, 29 April 2005

- Forbairtí nua chun campas dátheangach OÉ, Gaillimh a láidriú - D'fhógair OÉ, Gaillimh inniu (Dé hAoine an 29 Aibreán 2005) go bhfuil institiúid nua teanga ar chostas €35 milliún, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, le forbairt ar champas na hOllscoile agus i roinnt ionad sa Ghaeltacht. Ba é Éamon Ó Cuív TD, an tAire Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta a sheol an institiúid náisiúnta. Glacfaidh an institiúid nua ceannródaíocht maidir le soláthar an oideachais tríú leibhéal trí Ghaeilge agus cuirfidh sí raon cúrsaí ar fáil trí Ghaeilge lena n-áirítear go leor de na disciplíní a chuimsítear i nDámha na nDán agus na hEolaíochta. Tá seoladh Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge i gcroílár straitéis OÉ, Gaillimh maidir le campas eiseamláireach dátheangach a chruthú san Ollscoil agus tagann sé leis na tosaíochtaí a leagtar amach i bPlean Straitéiseach na hOllscoile (2003-2008). Dearbhaíonn cruthú na hinstitiúide arís eile díocas OÉ, Gaillimh i dtaobh chothú na Gaeilge. Déanfar maoiniú chun tacú leis an tionscnamh seo a fháil ó fhoinsí éagsúla. Cuirfidh an institiúid náisiúnta, an chéad institiúid dá sórt in Éirinn, cláir ollscoile ar fáil, rachaidh sí i mbun taighde, cuirfidh sí comhairleoireacht ar fáil agus beidh sí ina hionad ardchaighdeáin don taighde agus don phleanáil Ghaeilge, i gcomhar le hinstitiúidí eile. I dteannta an ionaid ar champas OÉ, Gaillimh, déanfaidh an Ollscoil tuilleadh forbartha ar na trí ionad sheachtracha atá aici sa Ghaeltacht; tá dhá ionad acu sin suite i nGaeltacht na Gaillimhe (Carna agus an Cheathrú Rua) agus ionad eile suite i nDún na nGall (Gaoth Dobhair). Ag labhairt faoin tionscnamh seo dó, is é a dúirt an tAire Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta, Éamon Ó Cúiv TD., "Ní mór ardaitheantas a thabhairt do OÉ, Gaillimh as an gcur chuige straitéiseach agus nuálaíoch atá glactha aici i leith sholáthar an oideachais tríú leibhéal trí Ghaeilge. Tá bunú na hinstitiúide seo ríthábhachtach do chothú leanúnach na Gaeilge in Éirinn. Bhí ról lárnach ag OÉ, Gaillimh freisin maidir leis an nGaeilge a thabhairt i measc na réigiún trí na hionaid sheachtracha atá aici sna ceantair Ghaeltachta; tá an ollscolaíocht á tabhairt i measc na ndaoine aici agus tá na pobail sin á gcumasú ar bhealach inmharthana a mbaineann idir bhrí agus tábhacht leis." Dúirt an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Uachtarán OÉ, Gaillimh, an méid seo: "Tá sé de thraidisiún ag an Ollscoil le fada an lá tacaíocht a thabhairt do phobal na Gaeltachta agus na Gaeilge agus déanfaidh an tAcadamh an díocas atá againn maidir le forbairt inmharthana na Gaeilge a threisiú agus a bheochan. Ach campas eiseamláireach dátheangach a chruthú, léireofar cúram na hOllscoile seo i leith na Gaeilge san fhadtréimhse. Cuirfidh Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge le saol sóisialta, eacnamaíoch, cultúir agus teanga na bpobal ina bhfuil sé lonnaithe ag leibhéal áitiúil agus ag an am céanna déanfaidh sé soláthar an oideachais ag leibhéil Náisiúnta agus Idirnáisiúnta a shaibhriú agus a leathnú. De réir mar atá sé ag fás, táthar ag forbairt raon na gcúrsaí i réimsí cosúil le teicneolaíocht faisnéise, cumarsáid, oideachas agus staidéar an aistriúcháin." Faoi láthair, cuireann an tAcadamh cláir Mháistreachta agus Ard-Dioplóma ar fáil i Staidéar an Aistriúcháin agus i gCumarsáid Fheidhmeach, mar aon le cúrsaí páirtaimseartha agus lánaimseartha i scileanna ríomhaireachta, raidió agus teilifíse. Cuireann an tAcadamh Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge ar fáil in 22 ionad ar fud na tíre, agus d'fhreastail os cionn 850 mac léinn ar an gcúrsa sin i mbliana. D'fhógair Peadar Mac an Iomaire, Príomhfheidhmeannach an Acadaimh, go ndéanfar raon clár nua a fhorbairt i rith na mblianta amach romhainn agus go bhfuiltear ag súil leis go mbeidh os cionn 1,500 mac léinn rannpháirteach i gcúrsaí na hInstitiúide. Ghlac sé buíochas leis an Aire Ó Cuív as an tacaíocht atá tugtha ag a roinn don ollscolaíocht trí Ghaeilge go dtí seo. Ghlac sé buíochas chomh maith le hÚdarás na Gaeltachta agus le FÁS as a dtacaíocht ag páirt mhaoiniú cuid de chúrsaí an Acadaimh sna hIonaid Ghaeltachta. - Críoch -

Monday, 18 April 2005

NUI Galway International Conference: "Edna O Brien: A Reappraisal" Edna O Brien s writing has always provoked controversy, from her earliest The Country Girls trilogy to her more recent works of faction , In the Forest and Down by the River. Critical responses have been divided between those who see her writing as populist and stereotypical, and those who admire her flouting of taboo and experiments with style and language. Existing criticism has tended, however, to regard O Brien primarily in the light of feminist and Irish nationalist and religious discourses, leaving unexplored a great deal of what makes her a complex figure. A major International Conference, "Edna O Brien: A Reappraisal", will take place on Saturday 23rd April in NUI Galway (9.00am, Centre for the Study of Human Settlement and Historical Change). Co-hosted by the University s Department of English and the Centre for Women s Studies, delegates from Finland, France, Italy, the US, England and Ireland are due to attend. "The conference will seek to broaden the critical framework for O Brien studies, reconsidering, for example, the reception of her work both in Ireland and elsewhere and her place in the canon, the way in which her work interacts with contemporary fiction, literary influences on her work and more," says Dr Rebecca Pelan, director of the Women s Studies Centre, NUI Galway, who has published extensively on the subject of Irish women s writing and Edna O Brien s fiction and who will address the conference. Established scholars as well as newer voices will contribute on the day towards creating fresh critical perspectives on the writing of Edna O Brien. Other speakers include Amanda Greenwood (Andrew Marvell School, UK) who is the author of the most recent monograph on Edna O Brien and Heather Ingman (TCD) who has published several books and articles on women s writing, including work on Irish women s writing and that of Edna O Brien. Conference programme available at: www.nuigalway.ie/english/eob/index.html Ends

Monday, 18 April 2005

History will be made today (Monday), when the first conferral of the degree of Master of Fine Arts in this State will take place in the Burren College of Art (BCA) at Newtown Castle, Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare. The degrees will be conferred by National University of Ireland, Galway on seven students from USA, Canada, Africa and Ireland, at a ceremony attended by the Presidents and senior Faculty members of the BCA and NUI Galway. The Master of Fine Arts is a joint NUI Galway-Burren College of Art two-year fulltime postgraduate degree programme, based in the Burren College of Art. The programme is offered in association with two of the world's leading art schools – the Royal College of Art, London and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "Over the years the Burren College of Art has established itself as a vibrant, global, artistic educational centre with international affiliations and accreditations and NUI Galway is very pleased to be a partner with the College in this joint initiative, drawing on our long-standing strengths in preserving and developing our cultural heritage and fostering artistic creativity and imagination. We at the University see our involvement with the Burren College of Art through this programme as an integral part of our strategic aims to support educational development and training in the west region." Mary Hawkes-Greene, President of the Burren College of Art said: "Organically integrated into its local community and space, Burren College of Art is already well known across the USA and increasingly across Europe as one of the most distinctive independent art colleges in the world. It is also one of the smallest, catering for only 60 students. With the completion of its magnificent state of the art studios, the opening of which coincided with the first Masters' degree show, the Burren College provides what successful artists thrive on and what emerging artists need – the time represented by a high level of individual tuition from top class resident and visiting artists, the space afforded by 200 sq. ft. studio space for each graduate student with 24 hr. access, 7 days a week and finally, the inspiration which can be drawn in abundance from the spectacular Burren landscape, free from urban distraction." Ends

Monday, 18 April 2005

NUI Galway has appointed Dr Chris Coughlan as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Management. Dr Coughlan is a senior manager at Hewlett-Packard who has contributed personally over many years to both the teaching and research programmes of the University. His appointment to this part-time honorary position was welcomed by the Dean of Commerce and head of the Department of Management, Professor Roy Green. "Dr Coughlan is an outstanding individual who has done much to build strong relationships between NUI Galway and regional business, especially in the high tech sector," said Professor Green. "We are delighted to formalise his role in the University with this appointment." Ends

Monday, 11 April 2005

Pupils from 4th, 5th and 6th classes in a number of selected Galway City schools will tonight (Monday 11th April) celebrate the completion of a 'Sport for Success' programme in NUI Galway, designed to encourage pupils in disadvantaged areas to continue their education right up to and including third level. Packie Bonner, former Republic of Ireland soccer star, will present certificates at 7.00pm (Ó hEocha Theatre, Arts Millennium Building), to pupils from St. Michael's Boys School, Mervue, Holy Trinity Girls School, Mervue and Scoil Bhríde, Shantalla, who have completed the programme. 'Sport for Success,' part of NUI Galway's Access programme since 2002, is a combined sport and homework initiative that promotes third level education and the value of education itself, as well as improving sporting techniques and skills. On one afternoon each week over the spring term, pupils come into the University where Access students and Access university under-graduates provide help and guidance with homework. On completion of that task, the pupils can then enjoy an hour of popular sports such as soccer and basketball. They learn new sports such as uni-hockey, climbing on the climbing well, Tai-Bo, spinning and juggling. According to Imelda Byrne, NUI Galway's Access Officer: "The children really benefit from the 'Sport for Success' programme. It helps students develop personally by building their self esteem, confidence, communication skills and social behaviour through team games and sport activities in addition to their educational attainment, especially improvement in numeracy and literacy skills." Professor Ger Hurley, Vice-President for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs, NUI Galway said: "The very fact that ten, eleven and twelve year olds are participating in a university-run programme is a powerful positive action which will no doubt focus these young minds on future achievement and educational attainment." Ends

Tuesday, 5 April 2005

The Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway has announced the appointment of the distinguished poet Máire Mhac an tSaoi to the position of Adjunct Professor of Irish Studies. Máire Mhac an tSaoi is one of a handful of major poets who transformed poetry in Irish in the period during and after the Second World War. Her work is particularly significant in that it anticipates the emergence of women's voices at the forefront of Irish poetry in both Irish and English during the 1970s and 80s. A generation before the groundbreaking achievements of Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Eavan Boland and others, and in more daunting circumstances, Máire Mhac an tSaoi's poetry speaks to and from the intimate experience of women at a time when women's voices were marginalized both in literature and in Irish society. Her most famous poem 'Ceathrúintí Mháire Ní Ógáin', is a powerful challenge to the orthodox morality of Ireland in the 1940s and subsequent decades: Beagbheann ar amhras daoine, Beagbheann ar chros na sagart, Ar gach ní ach a bheith sínte Idir tú agus falla- I care little for people's suspicions, I care little for priests' prohibitions, For anything save to lie stretched Between you and the wall- The intellectual integrity and emotional independence that characterise her poetry is evident again in Máire Mhac an tSaoi's public life. In reviewing her autobiography The Same Age as the State¸ Seamus Heaney says 'there is truth to experience here, a forthrightness about passion and transgression that is thrilling and exemplary'. Throughout the book, she speaks frankly of her own experience as a civil servant and career diplomat during a period of dramatic change and political turbulence in Ireland, Europe, and the developing world. During her time in the Department of External Affairs, she was, in her own words, the 'token woman' on Ireland's first delegation to the United Nations. As chargé d'affaires at the Irish Embassy in Madrid, she was invited to the Palacio del Oriente, where she met with General Franco, an experience she describes as 'both baroque and absurd'. She also spent time with her husband Conor Cruise O'Brien in the Congo, Ghana, and elsewhere in dramatic times and dangerous circumstances. One of the most powerful passages in The Same Age as the State recounts a violent incident in Katanga and an apparent attempt to assassinate Dr O'Brien. Ms Mac an tSaoi's appointment is a timely one, according to Dr Louis de Paor, Director of the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. "While she is highly regarded by other poets and by critics, the full extent of Máire Mhac an tSaoi's contribution to twentieth-century Irish literature and politics has yet to be fully appreciated and acknowledged. In recognition of her achievement, as a groundbreaking poet and as a public figure who participated significantly in some of the key moments of recent Irish, European, and world history, it is entirely appropriate that she be appointed to this honorary position." ENDS

Tuesday, 24 May 2005

Six researchers at NUI Galway were recently successful in winning funding under the Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund. The projects are supported under the Proof of Concept Phase 1, which aims to support academic researchers to establish the commercial potential of a scientific concept which is seen to address a viable market. The novel projects are across strategic commercial areas such as biomedical sensors, implantable medical devices, controls for waste water treatment plants, software development, optics and biomaterials. The six researchers are Professors Chris Dainty and Gerry Lyons, Drs Desmond Chambers, Vincent O'Flaherty, Dimitrious Apatsidis, Yury Rochev. Successful projects under this programme will bring the research to a stage where a robust prototype will be developed. The proposed projects cover a wide range of potential applications and the funding was won against strong competition involving all the third level colleges in Ireland. Séamus Bree, Director West Region, Enterprise Ireland said that innovation was the key to the future of Irish industry. "It is vitally important that we build and maintain a momentum in the development of intellectual property through the Third Level colleges. The commercialisation of technology from our strengthening research base is a key priority so that more growth-oriented companies will emerge in cutting edge sectors. I look forward to research initiatives such as these funded under the commercialisation fund in NUI Galway, resulting in either new campus companies or licensed technology into SMEs." Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "We are delighted to receive this substantial award aimed at developing applied research which is critically important to the future economic growth of Ireland as we move from a manufacturing base to product design and intellectual property creation. Because of its strong research base, NUI Galway is ideally placed to support the Government's enterprise strategy of developing a knowledge-based society." Ends

Monday, 23 May 2005

In 1996 the James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway acquired the Ritchie-Pickow Photographic Archive, along with tapes of sound recordings. The photographs were taken and the recordings made by the US husband and wife team, George Pickow and Jean Ritchie on visits to Ireland in 1952 and 1953. On Monday 30th May 2005, the James Hardiman Library will launch a resource, housed on the library's web-pages, which will allow access to the 1,887 images which make up the Ritchie-Pickow photographic collection. It provides researchers world-wide with the facility to search for and view the images, as well as giving background information on each image. The resource will be launched by Dr Hugh Maguire of the Heritage Council who supported the provision of an archivist to preserve and make accessible this collection in digital format. Professor Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, lecturer in the History Department, NUI Galway and a grandson of Elizabeth Cronin, one of the vocalists recorded by Jean Ritchie, will also speak at the launch. It was under his auspices that the collection found its way into the Library Archives. Jean Ritchie, singer, folklorist and dulcimer player was born on 8 December 1922 in Viper, Kentucky. She was the youngest of a family of 14 children, known as 'The Singing Ritchies'. Jean graduated from the University of Kentucky and in 1952 she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to enable her to research the origins of her family's songs in Great Britain and Ireland. Ritchie's husband George Pickow, a photographer, accompanied her and they spent approximately eighteen months recording folk songs and traditional musicians and taking photographs. The photographs include images of many well known uileann pipe players, such as Seamus Ennis, the McPeake trio, Leo Rowsome; vocalists, including Elizabeth Croinin and Sarah Makem and story tellers, such as Paitsín Faherty from the Aran Islands. As well as assisting his wife in her research George Pickow also did features on aspects of Irish life – Christmas celebrations with straw boys and wren boys, life on the Aran Islands, Dublin scenes, the American Ambassador and his family in Ireland, the development of Dublin Airport, operations of the Garda Síochána at Dublin Castle, and Irish sporting activities, such as road bowling, hurling, coursing, hunting and racing. Photographs were also taken of traditional Irish crafts, including spinning, weaving, thatching and crios and sliotar making. Ends

Friday, 6 May 2005

-Anjelica Huston, Merv Griffin, Ray Bradbury receive Honorary Degrees from NUI Galway at LA Gala event- Los Angeles — NUI Galway has raised more than $1.2 million towards the further development of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media. The fundraising culminates in the Huston Gala, a black-tie event to be held today (Friday) at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. The Gala follows a conferring ceremony at which honorary degrees will be conferred upon actress, Anjelica Huston, broadcaster, Merv Griffin and author Ray Bradbury, all of whom have strong west of Ireland connections. This event marks the first time that NUI Galway has held an honorary degree conferment outside of Ireland. The Honorary Conferring and the Huston Gala are the centrepiece of a programme of business, cultural and academic events during the first week of May to mark the continued growth and influence of the Huston School. The honorary degrees will be conferred by the Chancellor of the NUI, Dr Garret FitzGerald. The honorary graduates chosen all have strong Irish roots and are renowned for their significant contribution to social, cultural and artistic development of both Ireland and the U.S. Celebrities from the world of stage and screen will attend the Honorary Conferring ceremony and Huston Gala. Gráinne Seoige, Sky News Ireland and NUI Galway graduate, will present the Gala programme. The Huston School of Film & Digital Media, launched in Los Angeles in 2003, is the first dedicated school of film and digital media to be located on campus at an Irish university. NUI Galway will use the recently raised funds, which have been secured through private donors, to further develop the ongoing programmes at the School including an ambitious programme of invited residencies. These would bring students into direct contact with a stimulating range of Irish and international film artists. NUI Galway President, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh said, "We are very proud to honour these individuals who have made significant artistic and humanitarian contributions, and who have achieved fame the world over. With this honour, we pay tribute to the great tradition of the creative arts at the heart of Los Angeles. And we share in that heritage by awarding them the highest honour that the University can bestow, thereby associating their names forever with National University of Ireland, Galway and the Huston School. "We are fortunate at NUI Galway to have created a haven where we can nurture and develop the talents of individuals interested in pursing a career in film. The Huston School represents a bold and unprecedented move forward for Irish filmmakers and cinematic traditions, for all those who dream of telling their stories in fresh and compelling ways." Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media Rod Stoneman says, "The Huston School of Film and Digital Media is developing a new breed of Irish film makers. We are giving these individuals the opportunity to develop their raw talent in order to pursue a career in the film industry. We hope that the School can help filmmakers react critically and constructively to the changes which are taking place in film. It offers a wide-ranging exposition of the full range of international filmmaking and allows course participants to develop their own distinctive voices. With new courses coming on stream, we hope to continue to challenge and develop talented students in the future." Among the courses provided in the Huston School are a Masters programme in Screenwriting and a Masters in Film Studies, now in their second year, along with a Higher Diploma in Arts Policy and Practice. The School plans to start an innovative Masters in Public Advocacy and Activism in 2006. This will be an advanced course for people working in international and local advocacy, including the fields of community and environmental rights, among others. Also in 2006 the School will add a Masters in Production and Direction to its portfolio, with teams from these two courses working together to produce short films on social issues. Funds raised through the Gala from donors throughout Ireland and the US will be spread out over the next five years, providing considerable capital and revenue funding for the School as it initiates new courses in production and direction. The LA programme of events includes an illustrated lecture on 'James Joyce's "The Dead" and Cinema', by Professor Kevin Barry, Department of English, NUI Galway; and a screening of 'The Abyss' (1910) with original score performed live by ConTempo, NUI Galway's Ensemble in Residence. To further support its significant numbers of alumni located in North America, NUI Galway will also host an alumni brunch, the day following the Gala. For further information on the NUI Galway Huston Gala visit www.hustongala.com. ENDS

Tuesday, 28 June 2005

- NUI Galway Researcher wins Donegan Medal - A postgraduate researcher at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) NUI Galway, has identified a molecule which could be used in the future as a novel drug in cancer treatment. Ailish O'Connell was awarded the Donegan Medal for her research presentation at the Royal Academy of Medicine (RAMI) summer meeting in Galway organised by NCBES Director, Professor Terry Smith. Ailish's research is in an area called apoptosis, which is a natural process whereby cells in the body die when they are damaged, are not functioning or no longer needed. A common factor in cancers like leukaemia is an upset in the balance between cell growth and cell death by apoptosis. If the natural process of cell death does not occur, cancerous cells survive for longer than they should, and acquire further mutations. Ailish, whose research is supervised by Dr. Catherine Stenson-Cox at the NCBES, has studied the process of cell death by treating leukaemic cells with chemotherapeutic agents (similar to chemicals used in chemotherapy for cancer patients). By studying the pathway by which human leukaemic cells die following this treatment, Ailish has identified a novel pathway (part of the cell death process) that hasn't been known before and has found a specific type of molecule, a serine protease, which Ailish and her team believe is critical in this cell death pathway. Serine proteases (SPs) are a family of enzymes with many functions, but their role in cell death is only now being uncovered. "Very few with apopotic function have been isolated to date, but modulation of some family members have already been used in therapies for emphysema and some are in clinical trials for solid cancerous tumour treatment," says Ailish. "They have huge therapeutic potential and there is a lot of commercial interest in this area of research." The serine protease discovered in Ailish's research was tracked in the cell through the process of cell death using a fluorescent tag provided through collaboration with the US Company Immunochemistry Technology Inc., based in Minnesota. All indications point to this SP being instrumental in the novel apoptosis pathway discovered by Ailish. The SP Ailish is looking at chops up proteins in cancerous cells causing cell degradation and the cell is then digested by the body's immune response. The aim now is to characterise and re-introduce the serine protease molecule into leukaemic, and other cancerous cells to selectively activate cell death which could lead to novel anti-cancer therapies. The research is funded through an SFI basic Research Grant, administered through the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) awarded to Dr. Catherine Stenson-Cox in 2004. *Professor Donegan was a former Professor of Physiology at NUI Galway. The competition for the medal is a national one open to all PhD students who haven't presented to a learned Society previously. Ends

Monday, 27 June 2005

- Honorary Doctorates conferred on Marian Finucane, Cyril Ramaphosa, Fr Alex Reid, Prof Alim-Louis Benabid, George Clare, Bernard McNicholas and Sean Purcell National University of Ireland Galway recognises the achievements of seven outstanding individuals at an honorary conferring ceremony today (Friday). The calibre of each of the individuals to be conferred reflects NUI Galway's commitment to the study and promotion of human rights and global humanitarian law. Each honouree was chosen for his or her outstanding contribution to society through social work, philanthropy, medicine, arts or culture. The conferring ceremony further underpins NUI Galway's work in enhancing the lives of Irish communities while fostering strong relationships with organisations and individuals worldwide. The Honorary Conferring Ceremony will take place in the presence of Chancellor of the National University of Ireland and former Taoiseach, Dr Garret Fitzgerald and President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh. Dr Ó Muircheartaigh said, "It is a particular honour for me to welcome these seven individuals to NUI Galway to be conferred with honorary degrees. Each has given so much of their personal and professional lives to advance human rights, enrich minds and capture the spirit and imagination of millions worldwide. I am proud that these individuals will now be associated with NUI Galway, as they have had such a profound effect on communities worldwide." Marian Finucane is one of Ireland's best known broadcasters. In a career spanning four decades she has been a transforming influence in the lives of Irish people, highlighting social injustices and encouraging social change. She is a Board Member of the Irish Hospice Foundation, which has led her to raise funds in support of the construction of an AIDS hospice and orphanage in the Khayelitsha township of Cape Town, South Africa. As part of this effort, Marian and her partner have established a Charity, Friends in Ireland, to extend their philanthropic work in South Africa. Cyril Ramaphosa has dedicated his life to improving the lives of the people of South Africa. He is renowned for his work with the trade union movement but is also recognised internationally for the key role he has played in bringing about a peaceful end to apartheid. He steered South Africa towards its first democratic elections in 1994, when he was elected chair of the new Constitutional Assembly and became a Member of Parliament. He is currently active in the private sector as chairman of Millennium Consolidated Investments. Fr Alex Reid has been acclaimed nationally and internationally for the crucial role that he has played in the Northern Ireland peace process. He was the key person in ensuring that dialogue was initiated between various parties at critical stages in the development of the peace process, and provided compelling moral arguments for the cessation of violence. It has been said that the peace process would not have been as successful without his involvement. Professor Alim-Louis Benabid, chairman of neurosurgery at the Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, is considered a pioneer in the field of neurosurgery. He is leading a team of neurologists developing revolutionary new methods to fight neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease and epilepsy. The method, Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), involves high-frequency electrical stimulation of the brain. Following the operation, the main symptoms practically disappear, and most patients can stop taking medication. George Clare, journalist and author, was born in Vienna, Austria in 1920. In the aftermath of Hitler's Annexation of Austria, virulent anti-Semitism erupted and drove many Jews into exile. George's best-selling memoir, Last Waltz in Vienna (1981) was translated into seven languages and won the W.H. Smith Literary Award. The memoir tells, among other things, of how George and his mother Stella travelled to Galway for George to help set up a ribbon factory. Bernard McNicholas is a native of Bohola, Co. Mayo. In the early 1960s he succeeded his father as head of McNicholas Engineering Ltd. Under Bernard's leadership the company has developed into one of the most professionally managed, multi-disciplinary companies in its field today. In 1993 the AIB in Britain named him Irish Businessman of the Year, as much for his philanthropy as for his business acumen. He has been a mentor and a leading figure in the Irish community in London. Among the charities he supports are Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin and the John Durkan Leukemia Trust. Sean Purcell, from Tuam, County Galway, is widely regarded as one of the best exponents of the skills of Gaelic football. An extremely versatile player, he is generally held to be one of the game's greatest ever centre-half forwards and was elected in that position on the GAA/An Post 'Team of the Millennium'. He won an All-Ireland colleges medal with St Jarlath's, Tuam in 1946, and in his career with the Tuam Stars Club, he won ten County Championship titles. He won one All-Ireland senior football medal with Galway and three Railway Cup medals with Connacht, in 1951, 1957 and in 1958, when he was captain. - ENDS -

Monday, 20 June 2005

NUI Galway is the first Irish university to host a conference centred on the civic mission of higher education, which will address issues related to the introduction of 'Service Learning' to the higher education curriculum. Service Learning, a new concept in Ireland, encourages third-level students to explore issues vital to society through active participation or service in communities, non-governmental organisations and other similar organisations. The international conference on Civic Engagement and Service Learning – Universities, Students and Community, will take place on campus on the 23rd and 24th June 2005. The Conference is timely as the Irish Government's Department of Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs actively encourages the expansion of service learning to all third level colleges in Ireland. The conference has emerged from the university's commitment to civic engagement and to a body of work embedded in the Academic and Strategic Plans, entitled the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI). A number of keynote speakers will participate from the US, South Africa and the UK including representatives of organisations such as the Ford Foundation, Campus Compact and development agencies. Amongst the keynote speakers from NUI Galway is Lorraine McIlrath, Academic Staff Developer in Service Learning at the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) and conference organiser. Commenting on the importance of Service Learning, she said, "We are entering into a phase of development in third level university life where we are encouraging and urging students to consider their civic responsibilities and to explore issues vital to society by participating in community work and non-governmental organisations. We support the Taoiseach's recent announcement of his intention to establish a task force on active citizenship, which will advise on how to maintain and develop a culture of active citizenship. As Irish society continues its obsession with material well being, we believe that civic engagement at third level is vital to ensure and foster a sense of social responsibility for the future." Already, a number of Service Learning pilot projects are underway at NUI Galway, with both the students and academic leaders reporting a high satisfaction rate. Postgraduate IT students have worked with Macnas, the Galway-based street theatre group, to assist in the development of a website, create a performance database, network the organisation's computers and connect Macnas to broadband. Students learned about the community sector and resource constraints of working in community in Ireland. Nursing Studies introduced a module on International Nursing, which saw students travel to under-developed countries, including Zambia and Belize, where they worked with Aids patients and as care assistants in orphanages and community hospitals. Through this module the students examine cultural and political factors underpinning the health care system, reflected on the experience through a "Trans-Cultural Diary" and presented their experiences at a series of seminars. Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering students have engaged with Goal and the Niall Mellon Township Challenge to better understand their sense of civic and social responsibility and how their engineering skills can positively contribute towards society. Development of a new BA programme entitled 'Humanities and Society' which enable students prepare for work within the non-governmental agency community, nationally and internationally. The Faculty of Law will soon offer Clinical Education Placement experiences in the legal and community agencies to enable the integration of theory to practice, in some cases offering pro bono legal advice to disadvantaged groups. Service Learning was devised by academics in the United States in the early 1970s and since then has been strategically implemented in over 950 universities and colleges, largely supported through a national organisation, Campus Compact, which NUI Galway has joined as the first non-US based institution. Lorraine McIlrath says this conference "marks the departure of a very exciting journey of international significance and one which we hope will strengthen the academic, civic and personal experience of students, staff and community within all higher education institutions in Ireland and beyond." Ends

Thursday, 16 June 2005

Inniu (16 Meitheamh 2005), d'fhógair Banc na hÉireann go dtabharfaí €2.5 milliún chun geilleagar teangalárnach eolasbhunaithe a fhorbairt i gceantair Ghaeltachta. Ba é Des Crowley, Príomhfheidhmeannach – Seirbhísí Airgeadais Miondíola a d'fhógair an maoiniú ag fáiltiú in Ionad Ealaíon Bhanc na hÉireann. Tabharfar an maoiniú d'Fhondúireacht na hOllscoile mar chuid dá feachtas €50m Daoine & Áit. Tabharfaidh an €2.5m tacaíocht don obair atá déanta ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, a seoladh le gairid in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, institiúid náisiúnta €35 milliún atá tiomanta do cheannródaíocht in oideachas tríú leibhéal a chur ar fáil trí Ghaeilge. I dteannta na gclár ar an gcampas, déanfaidh an institiúid forbairt ar thrí ionad sheachtracha sa Ghaeltacht; tá dhá ionad acu sin i nGaeltacht na Gaillimhe (Carna agus an Cheathrú Rua) agus ionad eile i nDún na nGall (Gaoth Dobhair). Tabharfaidh an t-airgead ó Bhanc na hÉireann tacaíocht do chláir acadúla a chur ar fáil sna hionaid seo chun a chur ar chumas na bpobal áitiúil scileanna a fhoghlaim ar mhaithe le geilleagar eolasbhunaithe a fhorbairt. Díreoidh cláir ollscoile sna hionaid seo ar fhostaíocht inmharthana a chruthú, a thabharfaidh deis do chéimithe fanacht ina n-áit dúchais agus cur le hinfrastruchtúr teangeolaíoch agus teicneolaíoch an cheantair. Agus an tacaíocht á fógairt is é a dúirt Des Crowley, Príomhfheidhmeannach - Seirbhísí Airgeadais Miondíola Bhanc na hÉireann: "Tugann Banc na hÉireann tacaíocht láidir do gheilleagar teangalárnach, eolasbhunaithe a fhorbairt i gceantair Ghaeltachta. Feicimid Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge mar thionscnamh ceannródaíoch agus nuálaíoch agus tá an-áthas orainn tacú le Feachtas Daoine & Áit OÉ, Gaillimh. Tá riar maith dár ngnó in Iarthar na hÉireann agus tá beagnach 1,000 duine fostaithe againn ann – mar sin, ar bhealaí éagsúla, táimidne ag iarraidh tacú le daoine, le pobail agus leis an saol san Iarthar." Dúirt an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Uachtarán OÉ, Gaillimh, an méid seo: "Cuirimid fáilte mhór roimh an tacaíocht ghnaíúil seo ó Bhanc na hÉireann a láidreoidh an obair nuálaíoch atá déanta ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. Tá tiomantas na hOllscoile don Ghaeilge le feiceáil inár straitéis an seomra ranga agus an tsaotharlann taighde a thabhairt chuig an nGaeltacht agus tacú leis na pobail sin féinspleáchas eacnamaíoch agus teangalárnach a bhaint amach. Cuirimid fáilte roimh chinneadh Bhanc na hÉireann páirt a ghlacadh san fheachtas Daoine & Áit trí thacú le ceann de na cláir thosaíochta. Ghlac Peadar Mac an Iomaire, Príomhfheidhmeannach an Acadaimh, buíochas le Banc na hÉireann as a thacaíocht airgid agus dheimhnigh sé go méadófaí réimse clár acadúil a bhí á gcur ar fáil cheana féin ag an Acadamh, lena n-áirítear cúrsaí i staidéar an aistriúcháin, sa chumarsáid, sa teicneolaíocht faisnéise, i raidió agus teilifís, de réir mar a thiocfaidh forbairt ar an institiúid. Críoch

Thursday, 16 June 2005

Bank of Ireland today (16 June, 2005) announced a commitment of €2.5 million towards the strategy of developing a language-centred, knowledge-based economy in Gaeltacht areas. The funding, which will be channelled through the Galway University Foundation at NUI Galway as part of its €50m People & Place campaign, was announced by Des Crowley, Chief Executive - Retail Financial Services at a reception in the Bank of Ireland Arts Centre. The €2.5m contribution will underpin the work of NUI Galway's recently launched Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, a national €35 million institute dedicated to pioneering third-level education through the medium of Irish. In addition to its campus programmes the institute will develop three outreach Gaeltacht centres, two in the Galway Gaeltacht (Carna and An Cheathrú Rua) and one in Donegal (Gaoth Dobhair). The Bank of Ireland contribution will support the provision of academic programmes in these centres designed to empower local communities to engage in, and benefit from skills and learning that are key to the development of a knowledge-based economy. University programmes delivered at these centres will focus on the creation of sustainable employment, providing graduates with the opportunity of remaining in their native place and further strengthen the linguistic and technological infrastructure of the area. Speaking at the announcement, Des Crowley, Chief Executive - Retail Financial Services at Bank of Ireland said: "Bank of Ireland strongly supports the development of a language centred, knowledge based economy in Gaeltacht areas. We see Acadamh na hOllscolaiochta Gaeilge as a ground breaking and innovative initiative and are delighted to support the NUI Galway People & Place Campaign. A major proportion of our business is in the West of Ireland and we employ almost 1,000 people along the Western seaboard – so, in different ways, we actively seek to support people and communities and life in the West." Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "We warmly acknowledge this generous support from Bank of Ireland which will copper-fasten the innovative work undertaken by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. The University's commitment to the Irish language is exemplified in our strategy of bringing the classroom and the research lab to the Gaeltacht and by supporting those communities to achieve language-centred, economic self-reliance. We salute Bank of Ireland in its decision to participate in the People & Place campaign by directing its support toward one of our priority programmes. Peadar Mac an Iomaire, Príomhfheidhmeannach (CEO) of an tAcadamh, thanked Bank of Ireland for its financial support and confirmed that the range of academic programmes already provided by an tAcadamh, including those in translation studies, communications, information technology, radio and television skills, will be extended as the institute develops. Ends

Tuesday, 14 June 2005

The National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science will host the Summer Meeting of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (Biomedical Sciences section) on Thursday and Friday, 16th and 17th June. On Thursday, researchers from all over Ireland will compete for the Donegan Medal, which is awarded for the best oral research presentation. The Donegan Medal Competition is open to postgraduate students presenting their research for the first time at a scientific meeting. A Research Symposium entitled "Regulation of smooth muscle function" will be held on Friday. The symposium, sponsored by Boston Scientific, will focus on research into smooth muscle tissue lining the uterus (of interest to scientists studying disorders of pregnancy)and smooth muscle tissue lining blood vessels, which is a critical factor in blockages of arteries leading to heart attack. The Plenary Speaker at the Symposium is Cardiologist Dr. Bradford Berk, a world leader in Cardiovascular Research, Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Director of the Centre for Cardiovascular Research at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Professor Terry Smith, NCBES Director and NUI Galway RAMI Council representative, is local organiser of the symposium. Ends

Monday, 13 June 2005

An important collection of primary, unpublished documents, with other material, relating to the discussions between Irish Republican leaders and representatives of the British Government, during 1974/1975, on the subject of a settlement of the Northern Ireland problem and of Anglo-Irish relations, was presented to the James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway today (3.00pm, Monday). The Papers were presented by Mr Ruairí Ó Brádaigh and following normal archival preparation, will be available for research by scholars, under normal academic and library conditions. The Papers will be a unique source for researchers intent on exploring the intentions, perspectives and political strategy of the Republican leadership at this particularly crucial interlude in the mid-1970s. Professor Robert W. White, Department of Sociology, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, who has had access to the Papers, and who is writing a study of Mr. Ó Brádaigh and the Irish Revolutionary tradition, was also present at the presentation. Ends

Monday, 13 June 2005

The Law Faculty at NUI Galway, which has been closely involved in the debate concerning the legal rights of persons with disabilities in Ireland and abroad, will host the first ever European Summer School on Disability Discrimination Law from the 4th to the 15th July 2005. The Summer School has attracted major financial backing from the European Commission as part of its general campaign against disability discrimination. It will explore a new EU Directive that offers substantially enhanced legal protection for disabled Europeans who number at least 45 million. The Summer School is open to all members of the public as well as their legal advisers interested in finding out more about the new Directive as well as its potential uses for and on behalf of persons with disabilities. NUI Galway's Law Faculty includes many staff members who have had direct litigation experience before courts such as the US Supreme Court, the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. Highlights of the Summer School include a series of talks by Professor Peter Blanck who is a leading disability rights litigator before the US Courts and by Professor Christopher McCrudden of Oxford University. The main aim is to equip the participants with the practical skills needed to begin making use of the EU anti-discrimination law in the disability context. The Director of the Summer School, NUI Galway's Professor Gerard Quinn said: We are proud of our research track record at NUI Galway in the area of Disability Law and view this Summer School as a logical development in the area. The Summer School is designed to provide persons with disabilities from all over Europe with a unique learning opportunity to find out more about their rights at a European level and to begin exercising them more forcefully. We expect a diverse range of disabled participants from throughout Europe which will provide a huge learning opportunity in itself. The knowledge provided to the disability groups and their legal advisers should enable them to craft better legal strategies at both the European and Irish levels. A dedicated website has been set up for the Summer School and can be accessed through the Faculty of Law at NUI Galway: http://www.nuigalway.ie/law/Disability_summer_school/index.html Ends

Tuesday, 7 June 2005

Award-winning Galway writer, Ken Bruen is among a number of internationally acclaimed authors who will contribute to a conference on Memory in the Crime Genre, which will take place in the Information Technology Building, NUI Galway on 10th and 11th June, 2005. Ken Bruen, whose novels include The White Trilogy, 'Vixen', 'The Guards' and 'The Magdalen Martyrs', will give a public talk on his work at 6.00pm on Saturday 11 June in Room 125. Bruen, has published 11 books since leaving a career in teaching that brought him to South America, South East Asia, Africa and Japan. Crime Writer, Peter Tremayne will give a public lecture entitled "Sister Fidelma s World: Crime and Punishment in 7th Century Ireland," at 6.00pm on Friday 10th June again in Room 125. Sister Fidelma first appeared in short stories in 1993 and has gone on to enjoy critical acclaim. A Celtic scholar of note, Tremayne's other works include 'The Druids' and 'Dictionary of Celtic Mythology.' Dr Eamonn O Ciardha from the Keough Institute for Irish Studies, Notre Dame University, will open the conference with a keynote address on "The Irish Outlaw". The conference, hosted by NUI Galway's departments of French and Spanish, in association with the Centre for Irish Studies, has attracted delegates from Latin America, the USA, Australia and New Zealand, in addition to those from Britain and Ireland. Ends Information from: Kate Quinn, Dept of Spanish, NUI Galway on 091 492702 Phil Dine Dept of French, NUI Galway on 091 492391

Monday, 11 July 2005

Severe brain injury is the most serious outcome of many road traffic accidents. Having received medical treatment, it is vital for the patient to undergo an effective rehabilitation programme to ensure maximum recovery. However, as there is just one specialist rehabilitation centre in Ireland which is based in Dublin, most people have no option but to return home where they are dependent on their families for the rest of their lives. Professor Agnes Shiel of NUI Galway's Department of Occupational Therapy says that treatment facilities and a proper rehabilitation service should be available in Galway. She was speaking in advance of the Neuropsychological Rehabilitation Conference 2005 at NUI Galway (11th and 12th July), where international delegates addressed issues including neuropsychological or memory rehabilitation, cognitive rehabilitation and socio-emotional functioning. Professor Shiel said: "In Ireland, specialist rehabilitation of problems such as serious brain injury is wholly inadequate. There is only one specialist rehabilitation unit and this is based in Dublin. A successful rehabilitation programme needs to be accessible both in terms of starting as soon as possible after the injury is incurred and also in terms of location – that is - it needs to be regionally based so that the person's return to their community can be facilitated. A city the size of Galway should have a dedicated brain injury rehabilitation facility. " According to Professor Shiel, the average head injury survivor is male and aged between 15 and 25 years. While the numbers with physical difficulties are small (about 10% of the total), the vast majority have ongoing problems with memory, concentration, planning and paying attention. These difficulties mean that they may be unable to lead independent lives, work in open employment and resume their lives as before. Many return home and are dependent on their families for the rest of their lives. These problems are also experienced by people who incur brain injury from other causes, such as stroke, brain haemorrhage and tumours. This is creating a significant population of people living with ongoing severe difficulties. While people with brain injury may access local Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Physiotherapy and Neuropsychology services, these services are already stretched to capacity. It is estimated that there are approximately 150 people per 100,000 in the UK who have ongoing difficulties as a result of brain injury. Professor Shiel says that accurate figures for the Irish population are not available but are possibly higher because of the higher number of road traffic accidents. However, survival rates after head injury are increasing she says. This is mainly due to car safety features such as airbags, improvement in acute and intensive care and advances in pharmacological treatment of secondary complications. "However, the increased survival rates mean that there is an ever-increasing population of people who survive with significant and debilitating problems. Many survivors of head injury never access a rehabilitation programme and cope as best they can with the help of family and friends." Among those addressing the Neuropsychological Rehabilitation Conference in NUI Galway was Professor Barbara Wilson OBE from Cambridge who helped establish one of the first centres in the UK for memory rehabilitation. Professor Skye McDonald from Sydney discussed emotional difficulties experienced by people suffering from brain injury who are unable to respond to non-verbal communication, while Professor Nadina Lincoln from the University of Nottingham compared different types of rehabilitation pointing out the most effective. Ends

Monday, 11 July 2005

Nicholas Canny, Professor of History and Academic Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Settlement and Historical Change at NUI Galway, has been accorded the exceptional accolade of being elected as a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy at the annual meeting of the Academy on 7 July 2005. According to the Academy, this is the 'highest honour that the Academy is able to confer in recognition of scholarly distinction'. It is awarded each year to only seven scholars from all subjects in the humanities who may be chosen from any country in the world except the United Kingdom. Professor Canny is only the second living scholar resident in the Republic of Ireland who has been honoured in this way. In the citation recommending Professor Canny for election, reference was made first to his consistent record of scholarly publications spanning thirty years and including two prize winning books, the most recent Making Ireland British, 1580-1650 (Oxford University Press, 2001); and The Elizabethan Conquest of Ireland, (Harvester Press, 1976); then to his outstanding career as a teacher of History at undergraduate and post-graduate levels; and finally to his leadership role in promoting multi-disciplinary research in the Humanities in Ireland and abroad. Particular mention was made of his leadership role at NUI Galway that led to the establishment of the Centre for the Study of Human Settlement and Historical Change. This Centre, created by the Higher Education Authority under its Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions has recently completed its first major research programme to the highest international standard. The Centre facilitates multi-disciplinary and co-operative research on topics related to the histories of human migration, settlement and cultural change. The Centre has forged strong collaborative links with other national and international institutions, including Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies Zagreb, Croatia and the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, Uppsala. Congratulating Professor Canny on his success, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "This is a great honour for an outstanding historian. Through his own research and the leadership he has shown in the Centre for the Study of Human Settlement and Historical Change, Professor Canny has demonstrated the highest standards of scholarship and academic excellence we are so proud to have at NUI Galway." Ends

Friday, 8 July 2005

This year two NUI Galway crews made the final of Henley Royal Regatta. The crew of John Forde, Marc Stevens, Paul Giblin and Dave Mannion raced in the Visitors Challenge Cup. They easily qualified for the quarter final, but encountered stiff opposition from Molsey Rowing Club in the semi-final. Having defeated Molsey, NUI Galway progressed to the final against a strong Oxford Brookes crew stroked by an Irish man, Derek Holland. The final took place on Sunday in front of a packed stadium. NUI Galway stormed into a strong lead which they maintained throughout the race, winning the coveted Visitors Challenge Cup. A very young and inexperienced crew of James Wall, Steve Keyes, Paul Murray and Evin Donelly raced in the Student Coxed Fours Challenge Cup. They were led by Ruadhan Cooke who coxed several Henley and Irish Championship winning crews. The most exciting race of the event and arguably the regatta was their semi final against tipped favourites, Imperial College London and Goldsmith College. The Imperial crew had a very strong first half, taking up a length lead. The NUI Galway students fought back and in a sprint for the line won by an official verdict of one foot. However, in the final, the Galway crew was pipped at the line by Durham University, who on the way to winning the event, broke all the course records. Ends

Friday, 1 July 2005

An international conference on Feminisms Within and Without,' organised by the Women's Studies Centre at NUI Galway, will take place from Thursday 7th to Saturday 9th July 2005 in the Arts Millennium Building. Many of the papers to be presented reflect debates central to contemporary feminist politics and Women's Studies, such as the distinction between education and activism, and theory and practice, as well as the many and varied feminist frameworks within which women's work – paid and unpaid – can be analysed. Delegates from Ireland, Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will present papers on many different areas of the social, political, academic and creative aspects of Women's, Feminist and Gender Studies. The conference provides an opportunity to bring together experts in these fields, as well as from related disciplines, to exchange ideas and information. The international thrust of the conference is reflected in the extensive range of papers being presented, which include "The evolution of Spanish Feminism", "A Critical Look at New Zealand's Gender-based Art Environment," and "The Sufism of Ibn' Arabi." The Irish dimension includes papers on "Republican Women TDs in Early Twentieth Century Ireland," and "Fetal Imaging and the Creation of Knowledge." There are also papers on topics such as ethics in medicine/nursing, feminist child-rearing, and masculinity studies. An opening plenary panel, made up of Ailbhe Smyth (Ireland), Katharine Side (Canada) and Sandra Krajewski (USA) will address various aspects of feminist politics in Ireland and beyond. Guest speaker for the conference is film director, Mystelle Barbée, whose film 'Highway Courtesans' will be shown as part of the conference, in conjunction with the Galway Film Fleadh. The conference will also include a sean-nós performance workshop, and a feminist writing for performance workshop. Sessional fees are available for half- or full-day attendance. Details of the programme and conference events are available on www.conference.ie Ends