Monday, 23 January 2006

An extensive study into life in rural Ireland, which covers a wide range of economic, environmental and social issues, has been launched by the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Mr Éamon Ó Cuív, at a special reception at NUI Galway. The Rural Living: An Analysis of 1,249 Households in the Republic of Ireland, survey was conducted by students of the Rural Development programme at the four NUI constituent universities; University College Dublin, University College Cork, NUI Galway and NUI Maynooth. Its findings offer a contribution to the debate on the future of life in rural Ireland whose population today faces the challenges associated with the decline in full-time farming as a way of life, the expansion of part-time farming, increased urbanization and the rise in commuter towns and villages. Commenting on the study, Minister Ó Cuív said the study was a valuable contribution to our understanding of the changes and pressures being experienced by rural communities in a time of radical change. "The academic directors and students on the programme, who have contributed to this body of research deserve our thanks," said Mr Ó Cuív. "It presents a comprehensive overview and analysis of the current status of rural households in Ireland while underlining the value and relevance of collaboration between universities in the area of rural research, programme design and delivery. Monday's launch was preceded by a seminar featuring addresses by academic experts in rural development from each of the four universities. Professor Michael Cuddy, Department of Economics, NUI Galway, delivered an overview of rural development in Ireland, which formed a key component of the study. "Ireland now has two rural societies which are very different in respect to the challenges they face," he said. "The first is urbanized and integrated into the global production and consumer society while the second is traditional and continues to face the challenges of migration and increasingly costly social services. The time of 'crying wolf' for all of rural Ireland has passed, there must be two different approaches to these distinctly different challenges." The original Rural Development programme, introduced at diploma level in 1996, was expanded in 2004 to include a Bachelor of Science Degree in Rural Development. The students benefit from the combined expertise of the four participating universities who offer the courses by distance education. The programmes for mature students contribute to the attainment of national policy objectives for higher education in expanding access to higher education and providing opportunities for lifelong learning.

Tuesday, 17 January 2006

The annual NUI Galway Alumni Awards will be presented at the University's seventh annual Gala Banquet, which will take place at the Radisson SAS Hotel on Saturday 4th March 2006. This year's Banquet will celebrate the inaugural year of the University's International Scholarship Programme which is part of NUI Galway's mission in international education. The event will focus on the University's role as an international force for change in improving educational opportunities for students from developing countries. The centrepiece of the Gala Banquet is the presentation of the Alumni Awards, which celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual excellence and achievements among the more than 50,000 graduates worldwide. Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "The achievements of the distinguished graduates which we honour each year through the Alumni Awards programme underscore the excellence of an NUI Galway education. This year, the high calibre of Award winners in each of the Award categories reflects the outstanding success of our graduates across many diverse spheres of public and professional life. These outstanding alumni serve as an inspiration for our current students and are excellent global ambassadors for their alma mater." Alumni Awards will be presented to the following: NUI Galway Award for Law, Public Service and Government: Judge Mary Faherty, BA 1982, LLB 1984 Circuit Court Judge Bank of Ireland Award for Business and Commerce: Maria Mahon, BComm, 1990 CEO of AIB Award for Literature, Communications and the Arts: Dr Patrick F Wallace, BA 1969 Director, National Museum of Ireland BA 1969, Director National Museum of Ireland, author Medtronic Vascular Award for Healthcare and Medical Science: Prof Donald McDonnell, BSc 1983 Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University Medical Centre Seavite Award for Natural Science: Prof Frank Gannon, BSc 1970 Director of European Molecular Biology Organisation Duais Hewlett-Packard don Ghaeilge (Hewlett-Packard Award for Irish): Máire Mhic Uidhir, BA 1969, ADO 1970 Former Press and Information Officer, NUI Galway TBD Award for Engineering, IT and Mathematics: Noel Fogarty, BE 1984, HDip in Eng 1989 Vice President of Operations with Boston Scientific Ireland Tickets for the Gala Banquet on the 5th March cost €150 each or a table of 10 for €1,500.

Thursday, 12 January 2006

An urgent need for reform of mental health legislation in Ireland is the focus of a lunchtime seminar at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway on Friday, 13th January 2006. John McCarthy, the subject of a recent RTE Would You Believe documentary, Diary of a Madman, which chronicled his personal experience of severe mental illness, will deliver a talk on Mental Health, Human Rights and the Law at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, Earl's Island at 12.30pm. The Corkman has drawn on his own experience of mental illness which led to suicidal tendencies, extreme loneliness and isolation over a three-year period that saw him admitted to several mental health institutions. Although his illness almost cost him his home, his livelihood and even his own life, McCarthy has recovered to become an ardent campaigner for the rights of the mentally ill. As part of PRO Cork Advocacy Network, McCarthy has been campaigning for a change in the law regarding the treatment of those with mental health problems, and a change in society which would give people the dignity they deserve. He believes that until the law is changed to end forced incarceration, forced medication and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in the treatment of mentally ill patients, society will not change its attitude towards the issue of mental health. McCarthy has been invited as a delegate to a forthcoming United Nations Ad hoc committee hearing on the rights of the disabled. He is a member of MindFreedom, an international organisation that campaigns for the human rights of the mentally ill and has written a book of poetry based on his experiences, Hope on a Rope.

Monday, 27 February 2006

The Department of Marketing at NUI Galway has announced the appointment of Senator Feargal Quinn to the position of Adjunct Professor of Marketing. Senator Quinn's first formal engagement in his new role will be held on Monday, 27th February at 5.00pm, at Áras Moyola, where he will deliver a lecture, 'Reflections on Business and the Senate'. Senator Quinn is an outstanding marketing practitioner who has set global customer service standards throughout a career that has spanned almost 40 years. He is a regular keynote speaker at leading business conferences internationally and is familiar to MBA and MBS students at NUI Galway who have spent time with him discussing the marketing strategy of Superquinn, the supermarket chain he founded in the late 1960s. Elected to the Seanad from the National University of Ireland panel in 1993, Senator Quinn has among his many roles, served as chairman of the Applied Leaving Certficate Oireachtas Committee. His first engagement as Adjunct Professor, which is an honorary three-year position, will see him reflect on his business and Seanad careers to date and his current thinking on marketing, customer service, public policy and business. The appointment will see the senator further strengthen his ties with NUI Galway where he already supports, and has personally met students of, both the Masters and PhD research programmes. As well as delivering up to three lectures throughout the academic year, Senator Quinn's association with the University as Adjunct Professor will offer opportunities to attract leading services marketing professionals to NUI Galway. Welcoming the appointment, Head of the Marketing Department Dr Aidan Daly said: "Over the years, Senator Feargal Quinn has had a close association with the Marketing Department at NUI Galway and been a great supporter of our programmes. In his business career, he has set and achieved world-class standards in marketing and customer service. Therefore, it is a source of great pride to us, and recognition of our standing, that a person of his immense reputation has accepted our invitation to become Adjunct Professor in our Department."

Monday, 20 February 2006

The Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney, TD, today (20 February 2006) opened a new €22 million health sciences facility at NUI Galway which has the potential to revolutionise the training of health care professionals in Ireland. The new facility brings together a range of disciplines with a shared interest in health and in the broader social and policy factors that impact on healthcare in Ireland. Áras Moyola brings together the University's Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Studies, Department of Occupational Therapy, Department of Political Science and Sociology, and Department of Speech and Language Therapy under one roof. Speaking at the opening of Áras Moyola, Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney, TD said: "I am honoured to officially open this state-of-the-art facility which is further evidence of the government's commitment to training healthcare professionals to the highest international standards. Áras Moyola provides optimum teaching and clinical facilities to ensure that the next generation of health professionals are prepared in the best possible way to serve the Irish healthcare system." Áras Moyola was established with funding from the Department of Health and Children and the Higher Education Authority. It contains innovative skills laboratories and a public Speech & Language Therapy Clinic which provides evidence-based care for people with communication problems while facilitating excellent clinical experience for students. The Departments based in the new building provide a range of courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level including: a Bachelor of Nursing Science; Bachelor of Midwifery Science; BA in Sociological and Political Studies; a BSc in Occupational Therapy; a BSc in Speech and Language Therapy; an MA in Social Work; an MA in Family Support Studies; a Master of Health Sciences and a number of clinical Higher Diploma programmes. Many of these professional programmes are provided in partnership with the Health Service Executive, which has been fundamental to programme development and delivery. NUI Galway President Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh said: "The construction of Áras Moyola is a landmark development and a major addition to the NUI Galway campus infrastructure. This innovative facility has enabled the University to significantly expand the range of courses on offer in the area of Health Science and Therapies. It will also allow us in the University, through student placements and through the public Speech Therapy Clinic, to bring these skills to the wider community." Áras Moyola also has excellent research facilities and each department within it has an established programme of research. Recent research funding has been awarded to projects which focus on such issues as quality of life of older people; development of electronic devices to measure compliance with a programme of wearing hand splints; the well-being of children and families; community and local development; person-centred care; the lived experiences of people with disabilities; and clinical decision-making in the assessment and diagnosis of specific language impairment in children. Ends

Monday, 20 February 2006

Inniu an 20 Feabhra 2006, d'oscail an Tánaiste agus an tAire Sláinte agus Leanaí, Mary Harney, T.D., áis €22 milliún d'Eolaíochtaí Sláinte in OÉ Gaillimh a bhfuil sé de chumas inti tús a chur le ré nua in oiliúint lucht gairme an chúraim shláinte in Éirinn. Cruthaíonn an áis nua nasc idir réimse disciplíní ar spéis leo an tsláinte agus gnéithe níos leithne sóisialta agus beartais a imríonn tionchar ar an chúram sláinte in Éirinn. San aon fhoirgneamh amháin in Áras Moyola, tá Ionad na hOllscoile don Léinn Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais, an Roinn Teiripe Saothair, an Roinn Eolaíochta Polaitiúla agus Socheolaíochta, agus an Roinn Teiripe Urlabhra agus Teanga. Is é a dúirt an Tánaiste agus an tAire Sláinte agus Leanaí, Mary Harney, T.D., agus í ag labhairt ag oscailt Áras Moyola: "Is mór an onóir dom an áis nua-aoiseach seo a oscailt go hoifigiúil. Is léiriú eile í an áis seo ar thiomantas an rialtais d'oiliúint atá ar ardchaighdeán idirnáisiúnta a chur ar lucht gairme an chúraim shláinte. Tá na háiseanna teagaisc agus cliniciúla is fearr ar fáil in Áras Moyola chun a chinntiú go mbeidh an chéad ghlúin eile de lucht gairme na sláinte ullmhaithe chomh maith agus is féidir chun freastal a dhéanamh ar an gcóras cúraim shláinte in Éirinn." Bunaíodh Áras Moyola le maoiniú a fuarthas ón Roinn Sláinte agus Leanaí agus ón Údarás um Ardoideachas. San fhoirgneamh, tá saotharlanna do scileanna nuálaíochta agus Clinic phoiblí do Theiripe Urlabhara & Teanga, clinic ina gcuirtear cúram fianaisebhunaithe ar fáil do dhaoine a bhfuil fadhbanna cumarsáide acu agus ag an am céanna, clinic ina ndéantar eispéireas cliniciúil den scoth a éascú do mhic léinn. Cuireann na Ranna, atá bunaithe san fhoirgneamh nua, réimse cúrsaí ar fáil ag leibhéal fochéime agus iarchéime lena n-áirítear: Baitsiléir Eolaíochta Altranais; Baitsiléir Eolaíochta Cnáimhseachais; BA i Staidéar Socheolaíochta agus Polaitíochta; BSc sa Teiripe Saothair; BSc i dTeiripe Urlabhra agus Teanga; MA in Obair Shóisialta; MA i dTacaíocht Teaghaigh; Máistreacht sna hEolaíochtaí Sláinte agus roinnt clár Ard-Dioplóma i réimsí cliniciúla. Cuirtear go leor de na cláir ghairmiúla seo ar fáil i gcomhpháirtíocht le Feidhmeannas na Seirbhíse Sláinte, a raibh páirt fhíorthábhachtach aige i bhforbairt agus i soláthar clár. Is é a dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh: "Is ríthábhachtach an fhorbairt í gur tógadh Áras Moyola agus cuireann an foirgneamh leis an infrastruchtúr ar champas OÉ Gaillimh. Cuireann an áis nuálaíoch sin ar chumas na hOllscoile méadú mór a dhéanamh ar réimse na gclár a chuirtear ar fáil sna hEolaíochtaí Sláinte agus Teiripe. Tabharfaidh sé an deis dúinn san Ollscoil, trí thaithí oibre a shocrú do mhic léinn agus tríd an gClinic phoiblí do Theiripe Urlabhra, na scileanna seo a chur ar fáil don phobal trí chéile. Tá áiseanna taighde den scoth freisin in Áras Moyola agus bhunaigh gach roinn laistigh den fhoirgneamh clár taighde dá cuid féin. Bronnadh maoiniú taighde ar chúpla tionscadal le gairid, tioscadail a dhíríonn ar cheisteanna cosúil le caighdeán saoil daoine scothaosta; forbairt ar ghairis leictreonacha chun comhlíonadh cláir a bhaineann le caitheamh cléithíní láimhe a thomhas; leas páistí agus teaghlaigh; forbairt pobail agus áitiúil; cúram bunaithe ar an duine; eispéiris daoine atá faoi mhíchumas; an chinnteoireacht chliniciúil i measúnú agus diagnóisiú lagú sainiúil teanga i bpáistí. CRÍOCH

Saturday, 11 February 2006

Academic excellence among the entering class of 2005/6 at NUI Galway has been recognised with a special ceremony to honour the 59 recipients of Entrance Scholarships at the University. The students, from throughout the country, were honoured by the President, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, on Saturday, 11 February 2006, at the Aula Maxima, where they were presented with a cheque for €1,450 and a specially designed to mark their achievement. The wide geographical spread of the winners is notable. The winners are drawn from 11 counties from Donegal to Limerick and Mayo to Carlow, including 34 scholars from County Galway. The scholarships have been awarded to students from 39 individual schools highlighting the fact that top academic talent is to be found in a wide range of schools, large and small, throughout the country. The scholarships are guaranteed to all new entrants who reach 560 points (or 590 in Medicine and Health Sciences). Fourteen students of programmes in Arts, Comerce, Law, Engineering and Medicine & Health Sciences, achieved the maximum 600 points, while 32 students attained 590 points or more. The President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, welcomed these high achievers, saying "We in NUI Galway are delighted to recognise the academic talent of these 59 outstanding students from all over Ireland. I am delighted to welcome them to our campus and commend them for choosing to undertake their studies at this University. We look forward to nurturing their academic talent and supporting them throughout their years of study".

Saturday, 11 February 2006

Tá Scoláireachtaí Iontrála bronnta ar 59 mac léinn céadbhliana in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh. Ag searmanas speisialta inniú (Dé Sathairn) tabharfar aitheantas ó bhéal agus ón sparán don fheabhas acadúil i measc lucht chéadbhliana 2005 – 06. Cuid suntais é freisin gur ó aon chontae dhéag a tháinig na buaiteoirí – ó Thír Chonaill go Luimneach agus ó Mhaigh Eo go Ceatharlach – cé gur ó Cho. na Gaillimhe ceathrar agus tríocha díobh. Is fiú a lua go háirithe gur ó 39 scoil ar leith iad, rud a chruthaíonn arís, má bhí aon amhras ann, go bhfuil mic léinn den scoth le fáil in an-chuid scoileanna, idir bheag agus mhór, thart timpeall na tíre. Geallann an Ollscoil Scoláireacht €1,450 a bhronnadh ar gach mac léinn céadbhliana a fhaigheann 560 pointe (590 i gcás an Leighis agus Eolaíochtaí Sláinte) I mbliana, fuair 14 mac léinn na huasphointí (600) agus iad sin sna cláracha Dán, Tráchtála, Dlí, Innealtóireachta agus Leighis and Eolaíochtaí Sláinte, agus fuair 32 díobh 590 pointe nó os a chionn. "Toradh éachtach, gan aon agó" a thug Uachtarán Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, an Dr Iognáid ÓMuircheartaigh, ar na torthaí sin. Agus é ag déanamh comhghairdeachais leis na buaiteoirí, dúirt an tUachtarán Ó Muircheartaigh gurb aitheantas iad na Scoláireachtaí Iontrála, ní hamháin ar an gcumas acadúil a bhí léirithe acu, ach freisin gur spreagadh é dóibh leanacht leo leis an gcuma sin a fhorbarit an méid is féidir Croílár na hOllscolaíochta é cumas na mac léinn a fhorbairt, go hacadúil agus í dtéarmaí forbartha pearsanta. "Muide anseo in OÉ Gaillimh, arb é an feabhas acadúil an chéad chloch ar ár bpaidrín, cabhróimid libh an méid is féidir linn, ach ag deireadh an lae braitheann gach rud ar an díograis agus ar an ngearradh acadúil ionaibhse," a dúirt sé. Chomh maith le seic €1,450, bronnfar scrolla speisialta ar gach buaiteoir ag an Uachtarán lena bhfuil bainte amach acu a cheiliúradh.

Friday, 10 February 2006

NUI Galway warmly welcomes the passing of the University College Galway (Amendment) Bill through all stages of its consideration by Dáil Éireann. This Bill amends the University College Galway Act 1929, an act the provisions of which have applied to all appointments in NUI Galway since 1929. The University sought an amendment of the Act, as it felt that the restrictions which the Act placed on the recruitment of staff were not helpful in the modern competitive environment in which the University operates. It was also felt that a more positive legislative expression of support and re-enforcement for the University's commitment to Irish, focussing on actions rather than merely recruitment, was desirable. The Bill, approved by the Dáil on Thursday 9th February 2006, addresses both of these concerns. The Bill places a statutory obligation on the University to ensure that one of the principal aims contained in all future strategic plans of the University shall be the provision of education through the medium of the Irish language and further requires that the Governing Authority and the President of the University ensure that that aim is implemented. Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "The University welcomes the fact that the Government has recognised, in legislation, the special role and responsibility of NUI Galway in relation to the provision of third level education through Irish. It also embraces the statutory responsibility placed by the Bill on the University to ensure that it fulfils this role. "Yesterday's decision marked a truly historic day for the University, as it looks forward to expanding and developing its long tradition of provision of education through Irish both on the campus, and, latterly, in its Gaeltacht centres in An Ceathrú Rua, Carna, Gaoth Dobhair and (in the course of development) Baile an Fhirtéirigh."

Friday, 10 February 2006

Cuireann Ollscoil na hÉireann fáilte nach beag roimh theacht i bhfeidhm an Bhille Choláiste Phríomh-Scoile na Gaillimhe (Leasú) ag gach céim ar cuireadh san áireamh é ag Dáil Éireann. Is leasú an Bille seo ar an Acht Choláiste Phríomh-Scoile na Gaillimhe 1929. Bhí baint ag ailt san Acht seo le gach ceapachán a rinneadh in Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh ó 1929. Ba mhian leis an Ollscoil leasú ar an Acht a fháil ar an ábhar gur ceapadh nach raibh na srianta a chuir an Acht ar earcaíocht foirne cabhrach sa ré nua-aimseartha, iomaíochta ina mhairimid. Ceapadh go mbeadh dearcadh tacaíochta le béim ní amháin ar earcaíocht ach ar ghníomhartha inmhianaithe chun gealltanas na hOllscoile i dtaca leis an Ghaeilge a chur in iúl. Cuireann an Bille, a fuair cead ón Dáil 9 Feabhra 2006 an dá rud seo san áireamh. Mar thoradh ar an mBille seo beidh sé de dhualgas reachtúil na hOllscoile a chinntiú go mbeidh fáil ar oideachas trí mheán na Gaeilge mar phríomhaidhm i ngach plean stratéiseach as seo amach. Cinnteoidh an tÚdarás Rialaithe agus Uachtarán na hOllscoile go gcuirtear an aidhm seo i bhfeidhm. "Is cúis áthais don Ollscoil go dtugann an Rialtas aitheantas reachtaíochta don ról agus dualgas faoi leith atá ag Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh maidir le oideachas trí mheán na Gaeilge a chur ar fail. Chomh maith leis sin cuirtear fáilte roimh an dualgais reachtúil a chuireann an Bille ar an Ollscoil féin lena chinntiu go gcomhlíontar an ról seo", arsa an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Uachtarán Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh . "Ba mhó an cinneadh sin ón lá inné ó thaobh staire na hOllscoile de. Ní amháin go dtugann an Ollscoil aghaidh anois ar oideachas trí mheán na Gaeilge a chur ar fail ar an gcampas ach le déanaí sna hionaid Gaeltachta sa Cheathrú Rua, Carna, Gaoth Dobhair agus (i mbun forbartha) Baile an Fhirtéaraigh."

Monday, 6 February 2006

The renowned artist and sculptor John Coll will officially open Múscailt '06, NUI Galway's Spring Arts Festival which runs from 20th – 25th February 2006. For one whole week the campus will be alive with concerts, theatre, dance, exhibitions, readings, film and live performances. A fantasy parade by MacTeo travelling all over campus will herald the opening of the festival. Almost all events are free and everybody is welcome. 'Múscailt' means to awaken/inspire/celebrate. Highlights of this year's festival include an original dance piece by Tanya McCrory to music by Alec Roth performed by Con Tempo, Ensemble in residence; a talk by the renowned performance artist Nigel Rolfe; a two-day film festival in a mobile cinema; a concert by Emer Mayock, flautist and piper, with guests; a performance by sound artist, Danny McCarthy, 10 original one act plays and an abundance of new and exciting art on view indoors and outdoors. "This is the sixth annual arts festival on campus and Múscailt has grown stronger each year," says Arts Officer Fionnuala Gallagher. "Muscailt aims to provide a forum for established and emerging artists including our own artistic community on campus. The creative talents of the student societies have combined to produce a wide range of events; literary, drama, dance, art, photographic, the musical and film festival among others. Comic Art is a strong theme running throughout this year's programme with one of the highlight events being a performance of Neil Gaiman's Sandman by the FanSci society". "This year's festival features several participatory activities with extended visual arts programmes including Kathryn Crowley located by the yellow X, Pat Comer's photosin the Quad and Mary Dempsey's installation in the Archway. "We hope the people of Galway will join with us in this tremendous celebration of the arts." Two major intervarsity competitions will be held during the week with the Literary and Debating Society hosting the grand final of the prestigious Irish Times Debate, while an Cumman Dramaíochta present Féile na gColáisti - the Irish language student drama festival. Múscailt '06 kicks off on Monday February 20th at 1.15pm in front of Áras na Mac Léinn at John Coll Sculpture, Ceiluradh, with MacTeo drummers and refreshments. This year's musical, Little Shop of Horrors, will be staged in the Black Box Theatre until 11th Feb, showcasing the talents of the Galway Univeristy Musical Society (GUMS). Múscailt '06 presents the perfect opportunity to take part in the cultural life of NUI Galway. The festival is supported by Galway University Foundation, the Arts Council, AIB and the Arts Office.

Thursday, 2 February 2006

The President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh has welcomed the Government's announcement of a range of new initiatives to support Medical Education and Training. A €200 million initiative for major reform of medical education and training from undergraduate level through to postgraduate specialist training was announced by the Tánaiste and Minister for Health & Children, Mary Harney, T.D. and the Minister for Education & Science, Mary Hanafin, T.D. in Dublin on Wednesday, 1st February 2006. The main reforms include increasing the number of medical places for Irish and EU students over a four year period from 305 to 725, as well as the introduction of a new graduate entry programme for medicine from 2007 as part of the overall expansion of places. Dr Ó Muircheartaigh welcomed the announcement and described the programme of reforms as "highly significant for the education and healthcare sector in Ireland." "On behalf of NUI Galway and the University's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, I wholeheartedly welcome these initiatives. We in NUI Galway look forward to engaging in this planned expansion with the two Government departments as soon as possible." The Dean of Medicine & Health Sciences at NUI Galway, Dr Philip A. Carney, praised the government for the initiative. "We in the Faculty greatly appreciate the work and commitment of both ministers and their departments to the reform of medical education. We look forward to the opportunity of launching our graduate entry programme for students and welcome the proposal that eight new Academic Clinician posts will be created nationally this year." ENDS

Friday, 31 March 2006

Minister for Agriculture and Food, Ms. Mary Coughlan T.D. has attended a special ceremony to mark the signing of a historic Agreement between NUI Galway and St. Angela s College, Sligo that sees the latter become the first independent educational institution to become a College of a Constituent University of the National University of Ireland. Ms. Coughlan, who is a past pupil of the Ursuline Convent in Sligo, was the guest of honour at the College s campus on the shores of Lough Gill, on Friday, 31st March 2006, where the occasion was marked with the Honorary Conferring of a Doctor of Laws on former President of St Angela s Sr. Marianne O Connor. Sr. Marianne presided over the College from 1983 – 2001, during which time she expanded the range of courses on offer to include additional elective subjects such as biology and religious education in the B.Ed degree in Home Economics. She also introduced undergraduate programmes in Nursing and Arts, postgraduate courses in Education and a wide range of Lifelong Learning and Continuing Professional Development programmes designed to meet the educational needs of the north west region. President of NUI Galway, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh congratulated Sr. Marianne on her conferring on what he said was a momentous day for education in the north west. "By honouring Sr. Marianne O Connor on the day we sign this historic Agreement, we are recognising the tradition of service which the Ursuline order have brought to third-level education in Ireland, and in a special way at St. Angela s College. "As we celebrate the long-standing partnership between NUI Galway and St Angela s over many years, we acknowledge that the Agreement we sign today will further strengthen this partnership and bring real educational and social benefits to the north-west and to the Border, Midlands & West region, as well as to the entire nation. " St. Angela s College President Anne Taheny said: "The Agreement is a further strengthening of the longstanding relationship between St Angela's and NUI Galway and such inter-institutional collaboration will further enhance the provision of and access to university education and research on a regional, national and international basis. The linkage will promote learning and will support and contribute to both regional and national economic and social development. " St. Angela s, which was founded in 1952 by the Irish Urusline Union as a training college for teachers of home economics, was designated in 2003 as the sole national centre for the training of Home Economics teachers. The College currently offers programmes at Bachelor, Master, Higher Diploma and Diploma levels in a range of courses from education to nursing. The College also provides an Access course for the socio-economically disadvantaged and co-operates in the delivery of NUI Galway s BA programme in Economic and Social Studies. Students of St. Angela s College are registered as students of NUI Galway and their degrees and other qualifications are awarded by the University. The existing governance structures of the College will remain in place under the Agreement and a joint body has been established to oversee its implementation, including reciprocal use of library, technology and other facilities at both institutions. Ends

Wednesday, 29 March 2006

NUI Galway is to host Ireland s first ever Service Learning Academy to examine civic engagement and service learning in higher education. The project, which is a collaborative effort involving NUI Maynooth, Dublin City University and Dublin Institute of Technology, will bring together academics from around Ireland to explore the link between universities and the wider community. The recent establishment of a Civic Taskforce in Ireland has encouraged higher education institutions to address ways to instil values related to citizenship in academic programmes and to encourage students to use their newly acquired skills to the benefit of the wider community. The Academy, which has been funded by the Higher Education Authority, takes place at the Hodson Bay Hotel in Athlone on the 30th and 31st March, 2006. Service Learning and Community Based Learning are teaching tools that help students take the skills they learn in class and use them in the community. Students assist a disadvantaged sector of society, incorporating theoretical knowledge into practical skills while receiving academic credit. The Academy hopes to establish a network of academics who are interested in embedding community-based learning into higher education. Service Learning has been a core mission for NUI Galway through the Community Knowledge Initiative, a project started in 2001 that hopes to realise the civic mission of higher education institutes. Funded by Atlantic Philanthropy, this project promotes civic engagement between students and community through teaching, research and volunteering. NUI Galway is viewed as a leader in Ireland in terms of offering these community-based learning opportunities to students and hopes to encourage other institutions to formally recognise these approaches to learning and teaching. A representative from the Taoiseach's office will be present at the Service Learning Academy to explore the civic dimension of higher education. ENDS

Wednesday, 22 March 2006

The South African Senior Science and Technology representative in Europe, Dr Mandi Mzimba, called on Irish researchers to develop linkages with their South African counterparts. She was speaking at a workshop in Dublin today hosted by the Irish Universities Association. The event was organised in partnership with ESASTAP – the European South African Science and Technology Advancement Programme. The workshop, supported by Enterprise Ireland and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, aims to make important research connections by availing of the European Commission's Framework Programmes. ESASTAP is a Specific Support Action, implemented by the South African Department of Science and Technology and funded by the European Commission under the Sixth Framework programme to facilitate networking between European and South African scientists. Welcoming the South African delegation in his opening address, Paraig Hennessy, Head of Science Policy and International Research Programmes in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment said that, "Irish Researchers have always been very successful participants in EU Framework Programmes. I have no doubt that once they are made aware of collaboration opportunities they could be relied on to use Framework funding to establish long lasting and fruitful linkages with researchers in South Africa." Presentations were made on the research landscapes in South Africa and Ireland with a focus on Food Safety and Quality, Biotechnology, IST and Energy which are national priorities for both countries. Irish researchers from a variety of academic institutions including TCD, UCD, UCC, NUIG, DIAS, RCSI and DIT also had the opportunity for one to one meetings with the South African NCP's to discuss specific collaborative ideas. The Irish Universities Association (IUA) provides a national support service for industry and academia in preparing and submitting proposals to the FP6 programme. Speaking at the event, Siobhan Harkin, Research Officer at IUA said, "There are great opportunities over the next seven years of FP7 for Irish and South African research to form strong links in areas of common interest. The IUA will work closely with ESASTAP to this end." Significant opportunities will exist for research organisations in the Marie Curie Programme in FP7 and the IUA will strongly support potential applicants in industry, universities and institutes of technology to build on the success of FP6. The IUA looks forward to working with South Africa to establish strong research links. Ends

Wednesday, 22 March 2006

Tabharfar onóir do dhaltaí ó bhunscoileanna ar leith i gCathair na Gaillimhe a bhí rannpháirteach i gclár 'Sport for Success' OÉ Gaillimh, clár a ceapadh le daltaí i gceantair faoi mhíbhuntáiste a spreagadh le cloí lena gcuid oideachais go dtí an tríú leibhéal. Déardaoin, 23 Márta 2006, ag searmanas speisialta i dTéatar Uí Fhlaitheartaigh, Foirgneamh na nDán/na hEolaíochta ag 7.30pm bronnfaidh John O'Donoghue, TD, an tAire Ealaíon, Spóirt agus Turasóireachta, teastais ar dhaltaí as Scoil Bhuachaillí Naomh Micheál, Muirbheach, as Scoil Chailíní na Tríonóide Naofa, Muirbheach agus as Scoil Bhríde, Seantalamh, atá i ndiaidh an cúrsa a chríochnú. Is tionscnamh ina nasctar an spórt agus obair bhaile é 'Sport for Success,' atá ina chuid de Chlár Rochtana OÉ Gaillimh ó 2002, agus cuireann sé an t-oideachas tríú leibhéal agus luach an oideachais ann féin chun cinn, mar aon le teicnící agus scileanna spóirt a fheabhsú. Tagann daltaí ó rang 4, 5 agus 6 isteach san Ollscoil tráthnóna amháin sa tseachtain i rith théarma an earraigh agus cuireann mic léinn Rochtana agus fochéimithe Rochtana na hollscoile cuidiú agus treoir ar fáil dóibh lena gcuid obair bhaile. Nuair a bhíonn an tasc sin críochnaithe acu bíonn na daltaí ábalta sult a bhaint as uair an chloig de na cluichí a bhfuil an-tóir orthu ar nós an tsacair agus na cispheile. Foghlaimíonn siad spóirt nua ar nós haca, dreapadh sa tobar dreapadóireachta, Tai-Bo, casadh agus lámhchleasaíocht. Dar le hImelda Byrne, Oifigeach Rochtana OÉ Gaillimh: Tacaíonn an clár 'Sport for Success' le Misean Rochtana ginearálta an choláiste arb é is cuspóir dó comhionannas deiseanna níos fearr a chothú do mhic léinn ó chúlraí faoi mhíbhuntáiste. Is deis iontach é le taithí a thabhairt do pháistí, dá dtuismitheoirí agus don phobal go ginearálta, rud atá an-tábhachtach, ar an Ollscoil atá tiomanta do sheans a thabhairt do rannpháirtithe tús a chur lena dturas mar fhoghlaimeoirí fadsaoil." Críoch

Wednesday, 22 March 2006

Pupils from a number of selected Galway City primary schools are to be honoured for their participation in the '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. Mr John O'Donoghue, TD, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, will present certificates to pupils from St. Michael's Boys School, Mervue; Holy Trinity Girls School, Mervue; and Scoil Bhríde, Shantalla, who have completed the programme, during a special ceremony at the Ó Flaherty Theatre, Arts/Science Building on Thursday, 23rd March, 2006, at 7.30pm. '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 from 4th, 5th and 6th class 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 'Sport for Success' programme contributes to the overall Access Mission of the University which is to support greater equality of opportunity for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is an excellent opportunity to introduce children and also, very importantly, their parents and the wider community to the University, which is committed to offering participants a chance to spread their wings in their journey as life-long learners." Professor Ger Hurley, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs said: "The University has demonstrated its commitment to advancing the educational, social, economic and cultural needs of the Western region through outreach initiatives such as "Sports for Success". The children are learning the importance of links between health and fitness, of teamwork through sport, and of the importance of good nutritional practices. Most importantly, the children are making connections to the University and are gaining the motivation to continue these activities and their education into adult life."

Tuesday, 21 March 2006

NUI Galway is pleased to announce that Mr Michael D. Higgins, TD, Labour Party President and Galway West TD, has been appointed as Adjunct Professor at the Irish Centre for Human Rights. Announcing the appointment, NUI Galway President Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh said Mr Higgins' impressive record in defense of human rights made his new role at the centre one which would further enhance his long association with the University. Professor William Schabas, Director of the IRCH, welcomed the appointment: "We are thrilled that such an important and influential personality in the area of human rights within Ireland will be working with us so closely", he said. Throughout his career, Deputy Higgins has campaigned for human rights and written extensively about conflicts in many parts of the world, including such areas as Turkey, Western Sahara, Nicaragua, Chile, Gaza, The West Bank, Peru, El Salvador, Iraq and Somalia. His human rights campaigning work was recognized internationally when he became the first recipient of the Seán MacBride Peace Prize of the International Peace Bureau in Helsinki in 1992. A graduate of National University of Ireland Galway, Michael D. Higgins received the University's AIB Alumni Award for Literature, Communications and the Arts and continues to play an active role in campus life. ENDS

Thursday, 16 March 2006

Bhronn an Ghníomhaireacht um Chaomhnú Comhshaoil (EPA) breis is €1 mhilliún ar an Institiúid um Athrú Comhshaoil, OÉ, Gaillimh ar mhaithe le mórthionscadal taighde a scrúdóidh caighdeán uisce agus an bhaint a bhíonn aige le sláinte an duine. 'Sláinte an Duine a fheabhsú trí Chaighdeán níos fearr Uisce' is teideal don chlár taighde idirdhisciplíneach a thugann le chéile eolaithe, dochtúirí agus innealtóirí ó OÉ, Gaillimh; ó Choláiste an hOllscoile, Baile Átha Cliath; agus ón Roinn Sláinte Poiblí, Feidhmeannacht na Seirbhísí Sláinte - An tIarthar. Ag 10.30am Déardaoin, 16 Márta 2006, san Institiúid um Athrú Comhshaoil (ECI) a sheolfar an clár. Scrúdóidh an clár taighde, arb é atá ann ná sraith tionscadail idirnasctha, an bhaint atá ag soláthar an uisce óil agus infhabhtú Cripteaspóiridiam in Iarthar na hÉireann, agus tionchar cúinsí séasúracha agus comhshaoil ar chaighdeán an uisce talún. Scrúdóidh ceann amháin de na tionscadail modhanna a thabharfaidh le fios an dramhaíl ón duine nó ó ainmhithe is cúis leis an truailliú, agus tiocfaidh sé ar mhodhanna a dhéanfaidh amach cén uair is dóichí a tharlóidh truailliú i soláthairtí uisce. Scrúdóidh an clár, leis, uisce óil, uisce snámha agus uisce dramhaíola, féachaint an bhfuil iarmhair antaibheathach agus baictéir atá frithsheasmhach i gcoinne antaibheathach iontu. Dúirt an tOllamh Martin Cormican, ó Roinn na Baictéareolaíochta i Scoil Leighis OÉ, Gaillimh agus an príomhthaighdeoir, gur deis mhór é an staidéar le cur lenár dtuiscint ar an gceangal idir an úsáid, nó an mí-úsáid ar uairibh, a bhainimid as uisce agus ár sláinte. "Braithimid ar uisce sna tithe againn, sa tionsclaíocht agus san fheirmeoireacht chun nithe a ghlanadh agus dramhaíl a sciobadh leis agus d'fhéadfadh sé sin dul isteach sa chomhshaol. Ar an láimh eile, le go mbeadh saol fada sócmhar againn, ní mór dúinn tarraingt ar an uisce glan atá sábháilte le hól ón gcomhshaol céanna sin. Má táimid chun an dá thrá a fhreastal, ní mór dúinn córais a chur i bhfeidhm a chinnteoidh nach n-ólfaimid amárach an ní a chaithaimid amach inniu." Agus é ag labhairt ag an seoladh, is é a dúirt Leas-Ardstiúrthóir an EPA, an Dr Pádraic Larkin: "Is tionscadal taighde ríthábhachtach don EPA é an tionscadal seo a thugann le chéile grúpa ilghnéitheach taighdeoirí den scoth ó na heolaíochtaí comhshaoil agus sláinte le hoibriú ar an gceist fhíorthábhachtach seo d'Éirinn. Táim ag súil go mbainfear leas as torthaí an tionscadail seo amach anseo chun an caighdeán is airde uisce is féidir a chur ar fáil in Éirinn." Is é a dúirt an tOllamh Emer Colleran, Stiúrthóir an ECI: "Tá an-áthas ar an ECI gur éirigh leis an maoiniú nach beag taighde seo a fháil ón EPA – gníomhaireacht a aithníonn an buntáiste a bhaineann le saineolaithe a thabhairt le chéile ó réimsí an taighde comhshaoil agus sláinte. Tá gá le cur chuige ildisciplíneach i leith an taighde chun ár n-acmhainn uisce a chosaint agus chun soláthairtí uisce a chur ar fáil. Tabharfaidh an tionscadal seo taighdeoirí le chéile ó dhisciplíní éagsúla i dtionscadal faoi leith a bheidh dírithe ar chaighdeán an uisce in Éirinn a fheabhsú." Ó bunaíodh an ECI, d'éirigh leis an bhfoireann acadúil a bhfuil baint acu leis an taighde maoiniú os cionn €30 milliún a fháil ó fhoinsí náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta. I dteannta bheith ag tacú go fadtréimhseach le taighde comhshaoil in OÉ, Gaillimh, tá an ECI ag tabhairt tacaíochta do chúrsaí comhshaoil atá seanbhunaithe agus ag cuidiú le cúrsaí nua fochéime agus iarchéime a chur le chéile. CRÍOCH

Thursday, 16 March 2006

The Environmental Change Institute, NUI Galway, has been awarded over €1 million in funding by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a major research project to investigate water quality and its relationship to human health. 'Enhancing Human Health through Improved Water Quality' is an interdisciplinary research programme that brings together scientists, doctors and engineers from NUI Galway, University College Dublin and the Department of Public Health, Health Services Executive-West. It will be launched by the EPA at 10.30am on Thursday 16th March 2006 at the Environmental Change Institute (ECI). The programme of research, which is a series of linked projects, will examine the relationship between drinking water supply and the occurrence of Cryptosporidium infection in the West of Ireland, and the effect of seasonal and environmental factors on ground water quality. One of the projects will investigate methods to show if contamination of water comes from human or animal waste, and determine methods to predict when contamination of water supplies is most likely to happen. The programme will also examine drinking water, bathing water and waste water for antibiotic residues and antibiotic resistant bacteria. Professor Martin Cormican, from the Department of Bacteriology at NUI Galway's Medical School and lead researcher, said the study represented a major opportunity to improve our understanding of the link between our use, or sometimes misuse, of water and our health. "We depend on water in our homes, in industry and in farming to clean and flush away waste which may end up in our environment. On the other hand, to live long and to live well, we need to draw from that same environment water that is clean and safe to drink. If we want to do both of these things with water, we need to put in place systems to make sure that we do not drink tomorrow what we flush away today." Speaking at the launch, Deputy Director General of the EPA Dr Padraic Larkin said: "This is a key research project for the EPA which brings together a diverse group of leading researchers from environment and health sciences to work on this critical issue for Ireland. I look forward to the results of this project being utilised in the future to deliver the highest possible quality of water in Ireland". Professor Emer Colleran, Director of the ECI said: "The ECI is delighted with its success in attracting this significant research funding from the EPA who recognise the benefit of bringing together experts in the fields of environmental and health research. Protection of our water bodies and provision of water supplies require a multidisciplinary research approach. The project will link together researchers from different disciplines in a unique project focused on the improvement of water quality in Ireland." Since the establishment of the ECI, academic staff associated with the research programme has attracted over €30m in additional funding from both national and international sources. In addition to the long-term support of environmental research at NUI Galway, the ECI is continuing to support existing environmental courses and is contributing to the development of new undergraduate and postgraduate courses. ENDS

Tuesday, 7 March 2006

NUI Galway's Alumni Association has announced a memorial arts award in honour of the late Jerome Hynes, one of the University's most distinguished graduates who passed away last year. The Jerome Hynes Award for Best One Act Play recognises the outstanding contribution Jerome Hynes (BA 1980, HDip in Ed 1981, LLB 1988) made to the Arts both nationally and internationally as Chief Executive of Wexford Festival Opera for 17 years and as a member of An Chomhairle Ealaion/The Arts Council. The award is presented during the University's Springtime Arts Festival, Múscailt. The inaugural Jerome Hynes Award for Best One Act Play, sponsored by the University's Alumni Association, was presented by Alma Hynes, Jerome s widow, to the cast and crew of Basin of Myself, an original play written, directed and performed entirely by NUI Galway students. The play was one of 10 performed as part of this year's Múscailt Festival. The presentation piece was created by the renowned sculptor John Coll, a former winner of the NUI Galway Alumni Award for Literature, Communication and the Arts. The University has also commissioned a larger piece by John Coll in memory of Jerome, which will be unveiled in the Bank of Ireland Theatre later this year.

Monday, 6 March 2006

Signed works by Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, Edna O'Brien and Galway writer Ken Bruen are among the many books on sale at the inaugural NUI Galway 'Buy-a-Book Day' which takes place on Thursday 9th March, 2006,from 10.30am to 7.00pm. The general public are invited to the sale in the Aula Maxima, where an exciting and diverse range of books will be available. Other notable authors to contribute to this charitable event include Gerald Dawe, Moya Cannon, Ré Ó Laighléis and Joan McBreen. The proceeds from the event will be donated to international, national and local charities through the University's United Charities Group (UCG), with a portion of the total amount raised being used to purchase an item of interest for the Special Collections department at the James Hardiman Library. Formed in 2004, UCG consolidates the efforts of the three University based charitable committees: the Third World Appeal Committee, the IFUT Charitable Committee and Medicus Mundi. The event is one of the more novel ideas to emanate from the University's Staff Suggestion Scheme – Ursmaointe – and has been generously supported by several businesses throughout Galway. Vice President Mary O'Riordan said: "This is a wonderful initiative, coming from the staff of the University, which allows the University community to respond to the needs of the charities who will benefit." An end-of-day bargain sale will be held on the day to ensure that all stock is cleared, with any remaining stock being donated to local charity shops.

Monday, 24 April 2006

Guidelines to improve the organisation and effectiveness of Student Support Services in all Irish universities have been published by the Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB) and launched today (Monday 24th April) by the Board's Chair, the Honourable Mrs. Justice Catherine McGuinness. With the increase in the number and diversity of students entering third level education, the role of Student Support Services has become more complex and important as it contributes to the academic, social, financial and personal well-being of students. The booklet – 'National Guidelines of Good Practice in the Organisation of Student Support Services in Irish Universities' - aimed to establish current practice, identify good practice and prepare a national code of good practice, and was the result of inter-university projects conducted by the IUQB in collaboration with the universities. It is intended that each university will take the booklet's agreed statements of good practice into consideration when planning improvements to its own relevant systems. One of a series of booklets from the IUQB, it was funded by the HEA Quality Assurance Programme under the National Development Plan 2000-2006. The IUQB was established in 2002 and was incorporated earlier this year as a non-profit making limited company, with its Board of Directors representative of all stakeholders in Irish universities, in addition to nominees from the European and North American university systems. Based at 10 Lower Mount Street, its mission is to play a leading role in developing and fostering a coherent culture of quality in all activities of the Irish universities in line with the highest international standards. Ends

Wednesday, 19 April 2006

NUI Galway Societies came out on top with three major wins at this year s Board of Irish College Societies (BICS) national society awards. Best Society went to The NUI Galway Juggling Society who had an exceptional year under the leadership of auditor Brian McGinley (Phd in Engineering). Best New Society went to the Business Society who in their first year have run a number of events and have made a significant contribution to campus life under the auditorship of David Keane (final year corporate law). Best Society Individual went to Donna Cummins (second year medical student), incoming auditor of the Literary and Debating society who had a very successful year which included hosting the Irish Times final. Donna was also instrumental in forming the new Sláinte Society which ran the Teddy Bear Hospital which saw students of medicine interact with local children. Other winners on the night are as follows. Best Event: Teddy Bear Hospital; Best Improved: GIG(Gay in Galway) Society: Best Fresher: Andrew Murphy, Young Greens Society; Best Poster: Art Soc; Best Website: Juggling Society. Riona Hughes, NUI Galway Societies Officer and Vice-chairperson of BICS described the Universities victory as "a recognition of the high standard of the societies in NUI Galway and the commitment of their very talented and generous members who add immeasurably to the life of the campus and to Galway city." Special guest for the evening was Mr. Pat Cox, former President of the European Parliament, who presented the nine awards to the winners. During his opening speech, Mr. Cox praised the members of third level societies and expressed the opinion that everyone present was a winner by virtue of engagement and that societies offered their members the opportunity to turn the knowledge they have internalsied into good for their communities. The BICS (Board of Irish College Societies) National Awards, was hosted by Cork Institute of Technology on April 13th in the Rochestown Park Hotel. Choral Society Success at International Choral Competition in Riva del Garda, Italy The NUI Galway Choral received a gold certificate for coming second in the Youth Choir section at the International Choral Festival in Riva del Garda, Italy. This entitles them to enter the Choral Olympics - 4th WORLD CHOIR GAMES 2006 Xiamen / China, which will be held in July. The winning choir was from Singapore. The NUI galway beat stiff competition from choirs from Wales, Italy, USA, Germany, Croatia and Cork. Well done to Peter Mannion (Director) and all the singers who made the trip. End

Wednesday, 12 April 2006

NUI Galway students whose performance at their pre-degree examinations in 2004-05 was outstanding were honoured at a special ceremony today (Wednesday) at 11.00 in Áras na Mac Léinn. The President, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, conferred the title 'University Scholar', together with a cheque for €250 and a specially designed scroll, on 391 students to mark their achievement in reaching First-class Honours standard at their examinations. The occasion also marked the award of 155 other Prizes across all Faculties, including 27 NUI Scholarships and Prizes won by NUI Galway students. Dr. Ó Muircheartaigh said that the ceremony highlighted for students the remarkable number and range of opportunities provided by this University for recognition of academic performance – a total of some 546 individual awards in 2004-05. "As an institution dedicated to academic excellence", he said, "the University is happy to mark today in this way the dedication of each of you students to developing your academic potential. The public recognition accorded you by this title of University Scholar will, I hope, encourage you further in that direction without neglecting the many other opportunities for personal development offered you by the University in the social and sporting arenas." He added that they were obviously, also well capable of going on in due course to do postgraduate research here and, for that purpose, to avail of the major research funding won by NUI Galway in recent years in all Faculties. Speaking of the Prizes, he said that the number and variety of these awards were a striking testimony of the support enjoyed by the University from industry and companies and private donors, all of whom he thanked for their generosity. Ends

Wednesday, 12 April 2006

Rinneadh ceiliúradh inniu (Dé Ceadaoin) ag 11.00 in Áras na Mac Léinn ar na torthaí den scoth a bhain mic léinn Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh amach ina scrúduithe réamhchéime in 2004-05. Bronn an tUachtarán, an Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, an teideal 'Scoláire Ollscoile', seic de €250 agus scrolla speisialta ar 391 mac léinn a bhain Céadonóracha amach ina scrúduithe. Chomh maith leis sin, rinneadh ceiliúradh ar 155 Duaiseanna eile a gnóthaíodh sna Dámha éagsúla, ina measc 27 Scoláireachtaí agus Duaiseanna de chuid Ollscoil na hÉireann a bhain mic léinn na Gaillimhe amach. Dúirt an Dr. Ó Muircheartaigh gur léirigh Lá na nGradam do mhic léinn go gcuireann an Ollscoil iliomad deiseanna ar fáil le haitheantas a thabhairt dóibh siúd a léiríonn a gcumas acadúil: i mbliana, mar shampla, iomlán de 546 Scoláireachtaí/Duaiseanna i leith 2004-05. "Mar institiúid arb í an feabhas acadúil an chéad chloch ar a paidrín", dúirt sé, "tá áthas ar an Ollscoil aitheantas a thabhairt inniu don díograis atá léirithe agaibhse go léir, a mhic léinn, i leith bhur gcumas acadúil a fhorbairt. Tá súil agam gur spreagadh díbhse iad an teideal seo Scoláire Ollscoile a bheith bronnta oraibh agus an t-aitheantas poiblí seo le coinneáil libh ar an mbóthar sin, ach ar ndóigh go dtapóidh sibh freisin na deiseanna go leor eile a thugann an Ollscoil seo díbh chun forbairt phearsanta a dhéanamh oraibh féin sna réimsí sóisialta agus spóirt." Dúirt sé freisin gur léir go raibh an cumas iontu go léir dul i mbun an taighde iarchéime amach anseo agus, chuige sin, teacht i dtír ar na deontais mhóra taighde atá bainte amach ag OÉ Gaillimh le blianta beaga anuas i ngach Dámh. Ag trácht dó ar na Duaiseanna, dúirt sé gur rí-léir ó líon agus éagsúlacht na nduaiseanna sin leibhéal na tacaíochta a tharraingíonn an Ollscoil chuici féin ón tionscal, ó chomhlachtaí agus ó dheontóirí príobháideacha, agus ghlac sé buíochas leo sin uile as a bhflaithiúlacht. Críoch

Tuesday, 11 April 2006

John Baldessari is one of the best known conceptual artists in the world and has been credited as having invented a new form of photography. The influence of his work on younger artists is far reaching and longstanding and his work may be seen in major art museums across the world. He has been a member of the Advisory Council of Burren College of Art since it opened in 1994 and has visited the college on four occasions since then. On Tuesday April 18th he will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Art from the National University of Ireland, as part of the Burren College of Art/NUI Galway MFA Graduation ceremony. Professor Timothy Emlyn Jones, Dean of Burren College of Art said, "It is both an honour and a pleasure to have John Baldessari involved with the Burren College of Art. It is an honour because he is one of the most distinguished artists currently working anywhere in the world, and it is a pleasure since his work connects so well with the ideas-led, enquiry based education at Burren College of Art. He is not only an important artist but also an inspirational teacher who is warmly remembered by those of our students and teachers who have been fortunate enough to have met him. We are delighted that the National University of Ireland, Galway accepted our nomination for the award of an honorary doctorate to honour and celebrate this important artist." John Baldessari was born in National City in 1931. He attended San Diego State University and did post-graduate work at Otis Art Institute and Chouinard Art Institute and U.C. Berkeley. He taught at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia until 1990 and is currently teaching at UCLA. He has been a major influence on several generations of artists. His art has been featured in more than 120 solo exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe and in over 300 group exhibitions. His projects include artist books, videos, films, billboards and public works. His awards include the Governors Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts in California, the Oscar Kokoschka Prize from Austria and the Spectrum-International Award for Photography of the Foundation of Lower Saxony, Germany. Current projects include; solo shows in New York and Europe, books, films, an upcoming project at the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin, and retrospectives at Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Vienna, Austria and the Kunsthaus, Graz, Austria, and at the Musee d Art Contemporain de Nimes, France. He has been made an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts by Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design of the New School of Social Research, and by San Diego State University and the California State University. END

Tuesday, 11 April 2006

1st Annual Conference on Community Responses The CESI Conference brought together contributors from the fields of science, sociology and politics with campaign advocates to discuss issues of environmentalism and secularisation, in the context of the patterns of social change which impact upon people's lives in an age of accelerated risk or shifting values. The conference included contributions from Professor Emer Colleran of the Environmental Change Institute who called for greater dialogue between the disciplines engaged with environmental research. Drawing from her experiences during the Mullaghmore dispute, Prof. Colleran emphasised the need for increased cooperation between the sometimes competing layers of the environmental lobby. Dr. Liam Leonard, NUI Galway, Chairman of the CESI, discussed the significance of environmental advocates in relation to the maintenance of a pluralistic civil society. Brendan Flynn NUI Galway presented an analysis of environmental complaints and responses amongst EU member states, while Brendan Smith looked at the issue of community engagement with local moves towards community empowerment through increased involvement in green issues such as tree planting and river bank cleanups. The second stream of the conference examined secularisation in both the Irish and international contexts. Vesna Malesevic NUI Galway presented an analysis of the linkages between religious belief and spatial location or demographic age groupings. A study of local mobilisation around secular issues in Galway in the 1970s was presented by Dr. John Cunningham NUI Galway, who included local accounts of student debates from the then UCG as part of his study. The third stream of the conference welcomed our visiting speakers, who returned to environmental themes. The writer Robert Allen gave us an insight into his latest work Ireland Unbound, where he examines themes of an environmental nature. Dr. Mark Garavan of the GMIT, Castlebar discussed the underlying themes of community and risk in relation to the Shell to Sea campaign, which he is spokesman of. Both visiting speakers allowed the conference to consider certain themes surrounding the issue of community responses to perceived intrusion due to infrastructural projects as Ireland continues on a path of accelerated growth. Ultimately, the debates around issues of community responses to change and risk are at the heart of much of what is occurring in an Ireland moving from traditional to post-modernity. The CESI conference brought together competing voices for a day, allowing for an extension of these debates which can move from contest to dialogue when minds are focused. The CESI would like to thank all who took part and contributed as speakers or within the subsequent debates. We look forward to next year's event with renewed confidence that this form of academic dialogue which is interdisciplinary while also reaching out to the wider community of activists and writers is a significant step towards a better understanding of community and environmental issues in a changing context, both nationally and globally. Ends

Monday, 3 April 2006

The President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid ÓMuircheartaigh today expressed his sadness at the death of John McGahern. Mr McGahern had a very close association with the University during his lifetime. Dr ÓMuircheartaigh extended his sympathy to Mr McGahern's family making the following statement: "The entire University community at National University of Ireland, Galway is deeply saddened to learn of the death of John McGahern. On behalf of the campus community, I express our sincere sympathy to his wife, Madeline; his sisters and his extended family. For over 30 years NUI Galway is proud to have had a close association and friendship with John and Madeline McGahern. From his involvement with the University s Writing Programme in the 1970s to his appointment at Adjunct Professor in the Centre for Irish Studies in 2001, faculty and students of this University have been privileged to gain insight into the literary mind and creative process of John McGahern - a writer who is foremost among the great Irish novelists. It is a source of deep pride that John chose the University to be the repository of his literary archive and papers. In holding this valuable archive in the West of Ireland, the University holds in trust a treasure for the world of literary scholarship and for the Irish nation. On the sad occasion of his death we reflect on John McGahern s literary legacy which may be summarised as a deep understanding of the human condition tempered with a genuine care for the world of the imagination and the world of the word." ENDS

Monday, 3 April 2006

A range of postgrad courses will be offered this autumn by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway's Irish language college, as part of its continuing development of third-level education through Irish both on the main university campus and in its centres in the Connemara Gaeltacht. The courses include a new M.Sc. research scholarship programme in information technology; an M.A. in language teaching methodologies which is aimed primarily at Irish teachers and primary teachers; an M.A. in translation studies; and Higher Diplomas in information technology, drama, and applied communications. The M.Sc. trí Thaighde sa Teicneolaíocht Faisnéise is offered by the Acadamh in conjunction with NUI Galway's IT department, and is based in Carna. This new research initiative is supported by Údarás na Gaeltachta and aims to develop a new R+D culture in IT in the Gaeltacht, in areas such as information retrieval and filtering, artificial intelligence and machine learning, multimedia, information technology and society, networks and wireless technologies, E-learning, E-commerce, and computational linguistics. The M.A. i Modheolaíochtaí do Theagasc Teangacha (An Ghaeilge) draws on the significant advances in language teaching methodologies in recent years in an effort to promote best-practice teaching of Irish. The course is offered on a fulltime basis over one year or part-time over two years and is based in An Cheathrú Rua. The M.A. i Léann an Aistriúcháin is a fulltime course over two years and is also based in An Cheathrú Rua. It is designed to capitalise on the rapid growth in the demand for translation services in the public sector following the enactment of the Official Languages Act and aims to prepare students for a career as translators or interpreters with Irish as a target language. The Ard-Dioplóma i gCumarsáid Fheidhmeach is a wide-ranging course in broadcasting and radio and television journalism with a strong emphasis on practical skills and work experience. It is a one-year fulltime course based in An Cheathrú Rua. Subjects covered during the Ard-Dioplóma sa Drámaíocht include writing for theatre, acting, criticism, puppet work and theatre-in-education. This one-year fulltime course in offered in conjuction with NUI Galway's Scoil na Gaeilge and is based in Seanscoil Sailearna in Indreabhán. The Ard-Dioplóma sna Dána (Teicneolaíocht Faisnéise) is a fulltime course over one year and covers a range of issues in information technology including software programming and design. It is a fulltime course over one year and is based in Carna. For more information contact Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway at 091 492428. Ends