Friday, 4 August 2006

Ireland's recently launched research centre on economic and social ageing, the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology (ICSG) at NUI Galway, has announced details of its first education initiative, the Diploma in Social Gerontology. The part-time, two year programme for mature students, commences in September 2006 and the closing date for applications is Friday 18 August. Classes and workshops will be held on Saturdays to accommodate the work and family commitments of prospective students. The diploma covers a broad range of economic, social and political theories relating to ageing and examines public policy for older people across a number of fields. It is designed to equip students with the professional and analytical skills necessary to understand age and ageing in an economic, social and policy context and to enhance and develop their careers in age-related fields. The course is aimed at those working with older people in health or social care settings, and governmental, non-governmental, or voluntary organisations. Members of active retirement groups, older volunteers, members of community groups and people with an interest in ageing issues would also be candidates for the course. Professor Eamon O'Shea, Director of the ICSG, commented, "This course is designed so that participants can bring their own life experiences to bear on the programme, enabling students to contribute to debate and discussion, which is an important part of the learning process". The Irish Centre for Social Gerontology is the first of its type in Ireland which will examine the economic and social aspects of Ireland's ageing population across multiple disciplines including: social gerontology, economics, sociology, psychology, law, nursing and medicine. According to Professor O'Shea, "The Centre aims to develop social gerontology as a subject at diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate levels, educating future policy makers, public servants and leaders of private industry on ageing issues. The new diploma for mature students is the first step in that process". Students on the Diploma course will attend classes at NUI Galway on six Saturdays in Semester 1 and six Saturdays in Semester 2 in each year. Classes run from 9.00am-12.00pm and from 2.00pm-5.00pm, with opportunities for lecturer consultation and library visits in between. The programme is offered on a two-year cyclical basis. Further information can be found at http://www.icsg.ie/education.html -ends –

Thursday, 28 September 2006

28 September 2006: NUI Galway today (Thursday) showcased Hazard IQ, a suite of software products for accurate, rapid identification and quantification of materials, including illegal narcotics, explosives and medicines. The technology can be used in many different practical applications such as airport security screening, poison testing at accident and emergency departments, and on-the-spot forensics analysis. The intelligent software has been developed at NUI Galway by Dr. Michael Madden, Department of Information Technology, and Dr. Alan Ryder, Department of Chemistry and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science. Hazard IQ was presented at the Enterprise Ireland Informatics Technology Showcase in Dublin, an event designed to connect Ireland's finest technology researchers with entrepreneurs, industrialists and companies who can participate in the commercialisation process for mutual commercial gain. Michael explained the technology, "If, for example, suspicious materials are discovered at an airport, they can be analysed where they are found and Hazard-IQ can identify the substance in a matter of seconds. This is much faster than dispatching samples to a central laboratory for standard testing, which can take several days. Likewise, in a hospital environment, the identification of hazardous materials ingested by patients can be made rapidly, speeding up diagnosis, and leading to faster treatment times." Hazard-IQ automatically learns to identify hazardous and illicit substances, by examining a wide variety of samples that have been prepared in a lab. Hazard-IQ has been 'trained' to recognise different categories of drugs, poisons, explosive and corrosive materials, and estimate their concentrations accurately. It can then recognize new samples within milliseconds. "The basis of the project is about using the Raman spectra of drugs as molecular fingerprints", explained Alan. "These molecular fingerprints are unique to different drugs and materials and so can be used for unambiguous identification. Portable Raman detection equipment is smaller than a shoebox and can test bulk samples of a variety of materials, including drugs, explosives and hazardous industrial chemicals." Hazard IQ identifies the components of mixtures and estimates their concentrations, by combining Raman Spectroscopy – which is a laser-based method for 'chemical fingerprinting' of materials – with Machine Learning, which is a family of analysis techniques that automatically improve with experience. Drs. Madden and Ryder developed the novel technologies and software with support from Enterprise Ireland as part of the Commercialisation Fund for Technology Development. -ends-

Monday, 25 September 2006

Innovation is to be the subject of a free public lecture at NUI Galway, for business and industry professionals, by a leading Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor. Dr. Richard Lester, Director of the Industrial Performance Centre at MIT, will deliver a lecture entitled 'Innovation – the Hidden Dimension', on Thursday 28th September, at 6.00pm. The venue will be room BS118, J.E. Cairnes Graduate School of Business & Public Policy, NUI Galway. The event is hosted by NUI Galway's Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC), where Director, Dr. William Golden, commented: "The prosperity of our economy hinges on the ability of businesses to continually introduce new products and services. This innovation can be difficult to sustain in the long term and a strategic approach must be adopted by companies and organisations. Professor Lester will be able to give insights to the local business community as to how best channel innovation within their organisations". Professor Lester will discuss two fundamental processes at the heart of every successful innovative organisation; rational problem-solving and interpretation (creative problem solving). These two processes are radically different from each other in almost every respect, and require vastly different managerial approaches, yet both are needed to sustain the creative output of both individual firms and entire economies. Drawing on research at the MIT Industrial Performance Centre into various sectors from mobile phones to medical devices to fashion, Professor Lester will show how innovative companies have managed to prevent vital interpretive processes from being crowded out by the insistent demands of problem solving. He will also provide examples of how the two processes have been successfully combined within the same organisation. Professor Lester's visit to Galway is part of the Queen's University, Belfast First Trust Bank Innovation Lecture Series, a unique initiative supported by First Trust Bank and Invest NI which brings international expertise in innovation to Queen's and the wider Northern Ireland Business Community. - ends -

Monday, 25 September 2006

NUI Galway is to be the venue for the 5th Annual Irish Universities Association Human Resources Conference, from 27-29 September. The conference, entitled An Bóthar Romhainn – The Road Ahead', will focus on a wide range of Human Resources (HR) issues facing Ireland's universities. Danuta Gray, CEO, O2 will deliver the keynote address on 'The challenges of leading in an ever changing and competitive environment'. Further input from eminent industrial relations and human resource management experts, trade unionists and policy makers will include presentations by: Brendan McGinty, Director of HR & Industrial Relations, IBEC Kieran Mulvey, Chief Executive of the Labour Relations Commission Tom Boland, Chief Executive, HEA Elspeth MacArthur, Director of HR, University of Edinburgh Jack O'Connor, General President, SIPTU Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway and the Irish Universities Association, who will give the welcome address at the conference commented, "There are seismic changes underway in our sector, the net results of which will benefit the entire nation as we support moves toward the progression of the knowledge economy. We value the input and expertise from the private business and industrial relations experts will bring to this event". The conference is being hosted by the Human Resources Department at NUI Galway, whose Director, Chris McNairney, commented, "The strategic importance of 4th level (post-graduate) skills to developing Ireland as a knowledge economy is widely accepted and is a challenge to which the university sector rises. HR professionals within the sector have a critical role to play in supporting this challenge and accommodating the changes 4th level brings. This conference is an opportunity for management and unions to explore and discuss the best way forward". More information about the event can be found at www.conference.ie - ends -

Tuesday, 19 September 2006

Nearly 40 community organisations will come together at NUI Galway on Wednesday the 27th of September for the annual Volunteering Fair, which promotes the voluntary sector, showcases community organisations and encourages volunteering opportunities. Launched by NUI Galway's Registrar Jim Browne and the Galway City Mayor Niall Ó Brolcháin at 1.30pm in Áras na Mac Léinn, the fair will be aimed at promoting partnerships with communities locally, nationally and internationally. The Volunteer Fair brings together students and community who in the past have taken this opportunity to successfully share experiences and engage. The Volunteer Fair is a joint initiative between the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI), the ALIVE programme and Student Services at NUI Galway, and will be an opportunity for students to share experiences and broaden their horizons beyond the sphere of academia. It addresses three areas, volunteering within the University, volunteering with local and national organisations, and volunteering with international organisations. Last year over one thousand students mingled with community organisations and this year even more are expected to attend. Attendees will receive a Volunteering Fair Booklet, which describes the organisations' aims and objectives and provides information to support volunteers and community organisations. The Volunteering Fair Booklet is a resource distributed by ALIVE, not only at the event but also throughout the year. Additionally, candy floss will be made and distributed to all attendees of the fair. ALIVE (A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience) was established by the CKI to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution that NUI Galway students make by volunteering. The Volunteering Fair is the highlight of the first semester for the ALIVE programme. "The Volunteering Fair provides a space for community and students to engage and an avenue for developing mutually beneficial experiences. These experiences not only enhance academic learning and motivation but also make a very positive impact on the University, local and national community," said Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator of ALIVE. "This is a great event for charging the student body with excitement for volunteering and meeting community partners." For further information, please contact Lorraine Tansey, ALIVE Student Volunteer Coordinator at 091 495346 or email lorraine.tansey@nuigalway.ie.

Monday, 18 September 2006

The Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway has launched a new website that enables students to register as volunteers, at the same time allowing community organisations to recruit student volunteers. The amalgamation of registration for both students and community organisations will make volunteering an effortless process with minimal hassle. The Online Volunteering Opportunities Database allows volunteers to easily browse through a variety of volunteering opportunities and lets community organisations post volunteering opportunities to be browsed through. At the click of a button, students can then easily register to volunteer with their chosen organisation and the organisation can recruit them. The new website also offers educational links for research in community, volunteering, civic engagement and service learning/community based learning. In addition, it highlights video and audio webcasts that have been produced with national and international experts in the field of university-community partnerships. The CKI is a project established in 2001 by NUI Galway in order to place communities at the centre of debate and educate students for their role as citizens in democratic society. The website aims to be an informational resource for students and staff at NUI Galway, as well as those in the wider community. "We created a site that offers students, academics and community a gateway into volunteering and the possibilities university-community collaboration poses in modern society; we envisage that the CKI site will enable students to volunteer and learn about their civic responsibility through community," said Lorraine McIlrath, CKI Project Coordinator. Contact: Lorraine McIlrath, Community Knowledge Initiative, NUI Galway, Phone: 091 495234 ENDS

Monday, 18 September 2006

Burns victims and cystic fibrosis sufferers could benefit from the latest research into hyper-resistant bacteria, often known as superbugs, at NUI Galway. The research, carried out by postgraduate Paul Mc Cay under the supervision of Dr Ger Fleming of NUI Galway's Microbiology Department, looked at the cross-resistance of a particular strain of bacteria to both antibiotics and disinfectant. The three-year study focused on Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic pathogen often associated with burn wound sepsis or sufferers of cystic fibrosis and is frequently connected with hospital acquired pneumonia. The University team developed a highly resistant strain of the bacteria and mixed it with the original strain, and a very low level of either antibiotic or disinfectant. The research found that when low levels of antibiotic or disinfectant were present, the ordinary strain of the bacteria was significantly disadvantaged and the superbugs became dominant. The superbugs were also found to be more readily resistant to other types of antibiotic or disinfectant when they were subsequently introduced. Furthermore, superbugs with antibiotic resistance also had resistance to disinfectant, even though the disinfectant had never been present, suggesting a strong link between the development of resistance to antibiotics and disinfectant. "This could have major implications for those administering antibiotics. Firstly, for burn victims and cystic fibrosis sufferers, infections can be long-term. While treatment with antibiotics is the obvious solution this approach is sometimes quite broad and if one antibiotic does not work, we switch to another. However, we may in fact be selecting for resistance and developing an even stronger pathogen. Secondly, disinfectant - tolerant bacteria are emerging more often and this may contribute to antibiotic cross resistance", commented Dr. Fleming. With funding from Research Frontiers Programme, administered by SFI, and the Embark initiative, Paul Mc Cay is one of only a few researchers in Ireland or Britain that utilises long-term selective chemostat cultures for investigations. Using a chemostat culture system, which mimics a natural environment, a highly resistant strain of the bacteria can be grown and in theory grow indefinitely. This better mimics how bacteria behave in the natural environment while allowing bacteria to mutate, evolve and "adapt" to selective agents such as antibiotics and disinfectants. Dr. Fleming and Mr. Paul Mc Cay presented their work at the Society for General Microbiology's 159th meeting, in York on Wednesday 13 September 2006. -ends-

Monday, 11 September 2006

11 September 2006: A postgraduate student from NUI Galway is the first university researcher in Ireland to receive payment for a 'brainwave' from Technology from Ideas Limited (TfI), the technology commercialisation company. Robert Healy, from the Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering Department, has a radical new idea in the field of renewable energy which potentially offers significant enhancement to existing technologies. Robert's initial idea was analysed by TfI looking at its market, technical and intellectual property merits. TfI expanded upon the idea turning it into a novel technology concept which would enhance current and proposed wave power generation devices. An added bonus of the technology is that it would also strengthen the structural integrity of a device allowing it to withstand more severe sea conditions. The technology involves the use of novel materials coupled with innovative structural modifications. The finer details regarding Robert Healy's idea remain top secret while under development; all he can reveal is that the idea came to him while "watching the surf in Galway". TfI will now commit time and resources to developing, demonstrating and protecting the idea, with the aim of selling or licencing a proven technology onto an end customer. The returns from future sales will be shared with both NUI Galway and Robert. In May of this year, NUI Galway signed a technology commercialisation agreement with Irish company TfI. Under the agreement, TfI will source certain categories of technology ideas from NUI Galway researchers for development and sale to industry. Dr Daniel O'Mahony, Director Technology Transfer Office, NUI Galway, said: "Robert's idea is an innovative solution to a problem he observed with current renewable energy devices. It is outside of his core area of expertise and requires further market-focused technology development before being ready for commercialisation – which is where TfI comes in. Our partnership with TfI offers NUI Galway a much needed alternative commercialisation route for our intellectual property and this idea is the first fruits of our relationship since signing our initial agreement with TfI". Commenting on today's announcement, Dan Richardson, TfI's Managing Director, said: "This award demonstrates our belief in the potential of this idea and in our ability to develop it into a valuable technology. This is the start of a potentially long commercialisation process for Robert's idea with the real returns for him and the University coming when there is a sale or licence deal. We expect further awards over the coming year as we take more ideas into our development pipeline." The agreement with TfI forms part of an ongoing strategic initiative for the Technology Transfer Office at NUI Galway in the development, commercial exploitation, industrial partnering and spin-out of technologies under development by a number of research teams at the University. - ends - Notes for editors Technology from Ideas (TfI) Technology from Ideas (TfI) is a new Irish technology commercialisation company partnered by key players in universities and industry. TfI locates unrealised ideas from university researchers, develops them into investment ready technologies, and sells them to customers worldwide for subsequent development into products. This is achieved through commercially focused development in our own laboratories and together with sales through established technology development company partners. For more information please visit www.technologyfromideas.com. Tel Dan Richardson, Managing Director on +353 86 172 4623. NUI Galway For more information please contact: NUI Galway, Dr. Daniel O'Mahony, Director Technology Transfer Office, 091 492147

Monday, 11 September 2006

Professor Gerard Quinn, of NUI Galway's Law Faculty, has been re-appointed by the Government to serve another five year term on the Irish Human Rights Commission. An expert in Disability Law, Prof Quinn is the only person based in the West of Ireland on the Commission, which has made its mark domestically and internationally - where it is a member of the European Coordinating Group of National Human Rights Institutions Professor Quinn took a leading role within the Commission over the past five years on the drafting of the new United Nations treaty on disability as well as in the general field of social justice. He led the delegation from the Human Rights Commission to the United Nations on the drafting of the disability treaty which was finally agreed in New York in August. Speaking of his re-appointment to the Human Rights Commission, Prof Quinn said, "This is a great honour for me and for my Faculty. I intend using my next term on the Commission to help co-ordinate human rights commissions worldwide in implementing the disability treaty in domestic law where it counts most. I will continue to build research alliances worldwide on the challenging issue of disability law reform". Professor Quinn also co-directs a major legal Research Network for the European Commission on EU discrimination law which provides the Commission with a wide range of research on issues such as disability as well as age and race. He recently stepped down as First Vice-President of the European Committee of Social Rights (Council of Europe, Strasbourg). The Irish Human Rights Commission, which was established by statute in accordance with the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, is an independent statutory body mandated to ensure that Irish law and practice are in line with highest standards as set out in the Constitution and in international human rights agreements to which Ireland is a party. - ends -

Monday, 11 September 2006

Den chéad uair riamh tá cúrsa bunchéime á reáchtáil in ionad Gaeltachta de chuid Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh i mbliana. Tá an B.A. sa Chumarsáid ar siúl in Ionad Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Áras Mháirtín Uí Chadhain ar an gCeathrú Rua agus tá mic léinn an chúrsa tar éis triall ar an áit. Is cúrsa ceithre bliana atá ann agus cuirfear oiliúint ar mhic léinn san iriseoireacht, i léiriú teilifíse agus raidió agus sna hilmheáin chun iad a ullmhú don ré úr dhigiteach sna meáin. Chomh maith leis an gcúrsa B.A. tá mic léinn ar an gCeathrú Rua ar feadh na bliana ag freastal ar chúrsaí lánaimseartha eile an Acadaimh – an tArd-Dioplóma sa Chumarsáid Fheidhmeach, an Dioplóma Iarchéime/M.A. i Léann an Aistriúcháin, an Dioplóma i Scileanna Raidió agus an Cúrsa Scileanna Ríomhaireachta agus Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge. Tá urraíocht fhlaithiúil á fáil ó Údarás na Gaeltachta chun na cúrsaí seo a rith agus is borradh mór do cheantar na Ceathrún Rua é iad a bheith ar fáil agus an 70 mac léinn atá ag cur fúthu sa cheantar dá bharr. Bhí ócáid fáiltithe eagraithe ag foireann an Acadaimh ar an gCeathrú Rua Dé Céadaoin seo caite, an 6 Meán Fómhair chun fáilte a chur roimh na mic léinn ar fad. Orthu siúd a bhí ag caint leo bhí Peadar Mac an Iomaire, Príomhfheidhmeannach an Acadaimh agus Treasa Uí Lorcáin, Riarthóir Ionad an Acadaimh ar an gCeathrú Rua agus thug an t-iriseoir aitheanta Rónán Mac an Iomaire caint dar teideal "Saol an duine óig ar an gCeathrú Rua". Bhí eolas ar fáil freisin do na mic léinn faoi chlubanna sóisialta, spóirt agus na háiseanna eile atá ar fáil dóibh ar an gCeathrú Rua. Bhí ionadaithe ó Aontas na Mac Léinn ar an láthair freisin chun labhairt leis na mic léinn. Cuireadh críoch leis an lá le BBQ agus ceol. Is féidir tuilleadh eolais a fháil ach glaoch ar Chassie Ní Chathasaigh in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh, ag 091 869022 nó ríomhphost a sheoladh chuig aistriuchan@oegaillimh.ie -críoch-

Monday, 4 September 2006

The Irish Forum for Global Health is to host a two-day conference in conjunction with NUI Galway entitled "Equity Challenges in Global Health", on September 7th and 8th. The event, which is supported by Irish Aid, will bring together experts to debate the global challenges of addressing inequities in health and aims to identify ways in which Ireland can respond both globally and locally. The conference is an opportunity to connect individuals and organisations involved in relevant education, research and policy. Diarmuid O'Donovan, a Senior Lecturer in NUI Galway's Department of Health Promotion, and Chairperson of the Irish Forum for Global Health, commented, "Despite dramatic improvements in certain areas, on a global level, the gap between the rich and poor in terms of healthcare is widening. HIV, AIDS, TB and malaria are huge problems for developing countries. This is an opportunity to debate the issues surrounding these problems and identify practical ways in which Ireland can help". The conference, which is the Second Biennial Conference on this theme, will feature local and international presenters and include a series of workshops. The workshops will feature, among others, representatives from Ethiopia and South Africa, with the aim of establishing how individuals and organisations can work together more effectively to address healthcare issues. Speakers will include leading figures in global health policy, research and advocacy: Dr Irene Agua Agyapong (Alliance for Health Systems & Policy Research) Dr Odile Leroy (European Developing Country Clinical Trials Partnership) Andrew Chetley (Healthlink International) Dr Hani Serag (People's Health Movement) Dr Vincent O'Neill (Irish Aid) The aim of the Irish Forum for Global Health is to contribute to improvement in the health of individuals and populations globally by creating networks that will promote research and education and advocate for investment in global health. For more information on the conference please visit http://www.conference.ie/index/index.asp or telephone 086 3166388. -ends–

Friday, 1 September 2006

September 1, 2006: Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and the National University of Ireland, Galway have agreed a new strategic collaborative research partnership in the humanities and bioengineering. The TCD Provost, Dr John Hegarty, and NUI Galway's President, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, together signed the bilateral agreement this week, which will enable their respective institutions to build collaborative and complementary strengths. The primary focus of this initial collaboration concerns research in the arts, humanities and areas of social studies. It paves the way for the creation of an East-West Arts and Humanities Research Corridor in Ireland, linking Trinity's Long Room Hub initiative with the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies at NUI Galway. The other element of the agreement builds upon existing bioengineering partnerships between the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway and the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering. Speaking on behalf of NUI Galway, Dr Ó Muircheartaigh stated that: "At a time when significant investment has been made by the State in research, both universities agree that we should work together to maximise efficiency at fourth level to deliver added-value in these key research areas. Furthermore, I hope that that this initiative will serve as a platform with which relevant research clusters in other Irish universities will establish links." Commenting on the significance of the agreement, TCD's Provost, Dr John Hegarty said: "This is the second strategic agreement in a series of key bilateral collaborative partnerships which Trinity College is advancing with other institutions in Ireland. I am particularly pleased to see the balance between the humanities and the sciences in this agreement. The role of the humanities in our society cannot be overstated." In addition to collaboration in these specific research areas, Trinity College and NUI Galway will work to develop and implement further complementary research strategies and graduate school programmes. - ends -

Friday, 1 September 2006

Actor Martin Sheen has registered as an arts student at the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway, taking classes in English Literature, Philosophy and Oceanography. Star of the acclaimed TV series 'The West Wing', and of many memorable movies including Apocalypse Now and Badlands, Sheen will take a break from his illustrious acting career to immerse himself in campus life. Martin Sheen is amongst the first of 15,000 students who will register over the coming weeks at NUI Galway. Around 1,500 international students travel to Ireland each year to study at the University, with almost half of those hailing from North America. The rich multi-cultural ambience on campus provides a dynamic backdrop to the student-centred and research-intensive university. Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh President of NUI Galway warmly welcomed the actor, "We welcome Martin as a student at NUI Galway and the city extends to him a heartfelt Céad Míle Fáilte. Martin joins the thousands of students we welcome at this busy and exciting time of year on campus. We hope he will enjoy being part of our friendly, vibrant and diverse community and wish him well in his academic endeavours." Apart from the academic subjects he has chosen, Martin Sheen will find other areas of academic discipline in NUI Galway which fit in with his own particular interests such as the work of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, and the Irish Centre for Human Rights which will touch a chord with his own interest in social justice and civil liberties. Earlier this year, Martin Sheen was conferred with an honorary degree, by the National University of Ireland (NUI) in recognition of his acting talent and work as a champion of the poor and vulnerable in society. Throughout his life, his actions of non-violent civil disobedience and consistent opposition to war have been the cornerstone of his character. - ends - About NUI Galway Established in 1845, NUI Galway is one of Ireland's foremost centres of academic excellence. With over 15,000 students, it has a long established reputation for teaching and research excellence in each of its seven faculties – Arts, Science, Commerce, Engineering, Celtic Studies, Medicine & Health Sciences and Law. Firmly established in the top tier of research-intensive universities in Europe, NUI Galway attracts internationally-renowned academics, as well as researchers and students of the highest calibre. NUI Galway is situated in Galway City on the west coast of Ireland. The 250 acre river-side campus is in close proximity to the Connemara Gaeltacht, the largest Irish-speaking area in the country, which provides a unique dimension to the campus. The regular use of the Irish language is an established part of social and academic life, while the city and university reflect the rich cultural ambience of a bilingual, multi-cultural environment. About Martin Sheen The star of the popular show 'The West Wing', Martin Sheen was born Ramon Estévez, in 1940, in Dayton, Ohio to immigrant parents: Francisco Estevez from Spain and Mary Ann Phelan from Terryglass, Co Tipperary. Martin was the seventh of 12 children and still has relatives in Ireland. In 1961, as he began to enjoy the success of his burgeoning career, Martin met Janet Templeton, an Ohio art student studying in New York whom he later married. Together now for over 40 years, they have four children Emilio, Ramon and Renée Estévez and Charlie Sheen, all four of whom have followed in their father's acting footsteps. Martin Sheen has played more than two hundred screen roles including memorable performances in Badlands, Apocalypse Now, Gandhi, Wall Street, The Missiles of October, Dead Zone and The American President.

Tuesday, 31 October 2006

31 October 2006: The Dean of Engineering at NUI Galway, Professor Pádraic O Donoghue, has predicted very high demand for engineering graduates in the coming years. However, he cautioned that there will be major problems ahead for the Irish economy if there is a shortage of graduates to support the vital high technology industrial sector. Professor O'Donoghue made his comments during a week in which NUI Galway conferred accredited engineering degrees on 240 graduates. In addition, a further 40 postgraduates were also conferred. He pointed to the attractiveness of engineering as a career given the exciting technical challenges that now exist in addition to the fact that remuneration has increased significantly in recent years. The Professor commented, "A report published by Forfás earlier this year indicated that starting salaries for engineering graduates are already amongst the highest of all professions. Engineering and Information Technology students who graduate in the next few years can expect to be in very high demand and consequently will receive very attractive salary packages." According to statistics recently published by Engineers Ireland, engineering salaries in some disciplines have climbed by almost a third in just two years and that the starting salaries are currently on par with those for dentists and doctors. NUI Galway has been very proactive in delivering the good news message on engineering directly to second level students. The Faculty of Engineering has an extensive school visit programme and places strong emphasis in engaging with these students. The Faculty feels that this is a very important activity and the faculty members will be on the road again over the next few weeks to make these connections. Schools are invited to contact the Faculty at 091 492101 to arrange such a visit. -ends-

Tuesday, 31 October 2006

31 October 2006: Building on the success of last month's Volunteering Fair, the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway has organised a series of discussions entitled 'Conversations with Community' in order to continue to foster communication and partnership with community organisations. Kick starting this discussion series will be a seminar discussing the experience of asylum seekers in Galway on Wednesday the 8th of November from 3.00pm – 5.00pm at NUI Galway. Hosted by the CKI, this first discussion will take place with Brendan Smith, of the University's Digital Enterprise Research Institute and members of the Eglington Centre who will talk about their experiences working with asylum seekers in Galway and what asylum seekers experience here. This seminar is part of a series of informal discussions and talks with community organisations and is organised by the CKI in order to generate more discussion and communication with community. The CKI will also host: Linda Keane, Galway Association and Kathy Heffernan, NAD on Wednesday the 10th of January, 3.00pm – 5.00pm - Barriers & Opportunities facing the disabled in Ireland. Sean Regan, Community Worker Wednesday on the 7th of February, 3.00pm - 5.00pm - Community work in Ireland - managing poverty and injustice or working for social change? Colin McIlrath, Irish Wheelchair Association and John Hannon, Careers Services, NUI Galway on Wednesday the 7th of March, 3.00pm - 5.00pm - Careers in the Community Sector - Insights from Professionals . The Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) is a project at NUI Galway that promotes partnership with communities and endeavours to enhance social commitment within communities. Funded by philanthropic donations, the CKI hopes to reinvigorate the civic mission of higher education in Ireland, putting communities at the centre of debate. For further information, please contact Lorraine McIlrath, CKI Project Coordinator at 091 495234 or email lorraine.mcilrath@nuigalway.ie. Information from Christina McDonald Legg, christina.legg@nuigalway.ie - ends -

Friday, 27 October 2006

27 October 2006: A full week of conferring ceremonies concludes today at NUI Galway with President Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh awarding degrees, diplomas and certificates to over 4,770 graduates, in the largest ever conferring ceremony held at the campus. From the Arts Faculty, the largest faculty in the University, with over 6000 students, a total of 2059 students graduated. From the Faculty of Commerce 639 students graduated, with 570 from the Faculty of Science, 280 from the Faculty of Engineering and 427 from the Law Faculty. Further conferring ceremonies will take place on 28 November from the Medical and Health Sciences Faculty. Among those conferred were 795 adult learners, reflecting the University's commitment to life-long learning opportunities. There were also a number of graduates who had come through the Access and Foundation courses for both school leavers and mature learners, especially for less advantaged students. The international nature of the campus was reflected by the many graduates from around the world, including Brazil, Kenya, Moldova, Nigeria and Russia. Commenting on the graduation, NUI Galway President Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, said: "It is always a proud moment to witness students who have spent some of their formative years here with us at NUI Galway being honoured with such high accolades. I wish them every success in their future careers and am confident that they will be proud to call NUI Galway their alma mater and will remain instrumental in supporting and celebrating the continued success of our University." Among the highlights of the week was the conferring of eight academic staff with Postgraduate Certificates in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, which highlights the importance to the University of continually improving the quality of teaching and the student learning experience. Dr. Ó Muircheartaigh added: "NUI Galway aims for excellence in teaching, the promotion of world-class research, commitment to and engagement with our region, support for third level education through Irish, and above all ensuring the University places the student at the centre of all its activities." During the week, a Master of Arts (honoris causa) was conferred on John Cunningham, Editor, Connacht Tribune Newspapers and a Master of Literature (honoris causa) on Dónall Ó Luanaigh, former keeper of Collections at the National Library of Ireland. - ends -

Friday, 27 October 2006

Tháinig deireadh le seachtain iomlán de shearmanais bhronnta céime in OÉ Gaillimh inniu, seachtain inar bhronn Uachtarán na hOllscoile, an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh céimeanna, dioplómaí agus teastais ar bhreis is 4,770 mac léinn – an líon is mó mac leinn riamh a bhain dindiúirí amach le chéile. Is í Dámh na nDán an dámh is mó san Ollscoil, a bhfuil 6000 mac léinn cláraithe léi, agus bronnadh cáilíochtaí ar 2059 mac léinn díobh sin. Bronnadh céim ar 639 mac léinn as Dámh na Tráchtála, ar 570 mac léinn as Dámh na hEolaíochta, ar 280 mac léinn as Dámh na hInnealtóireachta agus ar 427 mac léinn as Dámh an Dlí. Reáchtálfar searmanais eile bronnta cáilíochtaí an 28 Samhain a bhainfidh le Dámh an Leighis agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte. As na mic léinn sin ar fad ar bronnadh céim orthu, b fhoghlaimeoirí fásta 795 duine díobh, rud a léiríonn a mheáite is atá an Ollscoil ar dheiseanna foghlama ar feadh an tsaoil a chur ar fáil do dhaoine. Bhí roinnt mac léinn ina measc freisin a raibh cúrsaí Rochtana agus Fondúireachta do lucht fágála scoile agus d'fhoghlaimeoirí fásta déanta acu, go háirithe cúrsaí do mhic léinn atá faoi mhíbhuntáiste. Chonacthas a idirnáisiúnta is atá an campas le líon na gcéimithe ó áiteanna i gcéin, lena n-áirítear an Bhraisíl, an Chéinia, an Mholdóiv, an Nigéir agus an Rúis. Agus é ag trácht ar bhronnadh na gcéimeanna, is é a bhí le rá ag an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh: "Is cúis bróid i gcónaí é mic léinn a chaith laethanta múnlaithe a saoil anseo linn in OÉ Gaillimh agus céimeanna den scoth á mbaint amach acu le bród agus le mórtas. Gúim gach rath orthu le pé gairm a roghnóidh siad amach anseo agus táim cinnte gur cúis bhróid dóibh alma mater a thabhairt ar OÉ Gaillimh agus go mbeidh siad páirteach linn i gcónaí ag tacú agus ag ceiliúradh rath leanúnach na hOllscoile seo." I measc bhuaicphointí na seachtaine bhí bronnadh Teastas Iarchéime i dTeagasc agus i bhFoghlaim an Ard-Oideachais ar ocht mball foirne acadúil, rud a léiríonn an tábhacht a chuireann an Ollscoil le feabhsú leanúnach chaighdeáin an teagaisc agus na foghlama don mhac léinn. Dúirt an An Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, freisin: "Tá OÉ Gaillimh meáite ar scoth an teagaisc a bhaint amach, ar thaighde ar chaighdeán domhanda a chothú, ar a cion a dhéanamh don réigiún agus páirt a ghlacadh ann, ar thacú leis an oideachas tríú leibhéal trí Ghaeilge, agus, thar aon ní eile, ar dheimhin a dhéanamh de go mbíonn an mac léinn i lár gach gníomhaíochta de chuid na hOllscoile." I rith na seachtaine, bronnadh Máistreacht sna Dána (honoris causa) ar John Cunningham, An tEagarthóir, Connacht Tribune Newspapers agus Máistreacht sa Litríocht (honoris causa) ar Dhónall Ó Luanaigh, iarchoimeádaí na mBailiúchán le Leabharlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann. - críoch -

Thursday, 26 October 2006

26 October 2006: Following a competitive process administered by the Higher Education Authority, the Minister for Education and Science has announced the award of 14 projects, across the third-level sector, to a total value of over €42m. NUI Galway has been awarded one of the largest individual amounts, a significant €7.3m, and is an active partner in eight of the other successful projects. Minister Hanafin's announcement is part of the Government's new €300m Strategic Innovation Fund aimed at supporting restructuring and reform in the Irish Third Level Sector in order to enhance the quality of higher education teaching and research. The funds awarded to NUI Galway are earmarked to enhance the quality of teaching and learning in the University; to enhance the infrastructure underlying post-graduate education and research; to support the restructuring of academic units underway in the University; to enhance the successful access programmes; and to further develop innovative service learning and student volunteering activities. Speaking following the announcement by the Minister, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway, said, "I am delighted to welcome the announcement by Minister Mary Hanafin. NUI Galway's success in this competition reflects well, and indeed vindicates, the approach this University has taken to reform and restructuring at both third level and fourth level. Our ability to work effectively as a team inside the University and to develop strong, enduring and effective collaborations with partner institutions in the University and Institute of Technology sectors has been rewarded with our success in this programme. In particular, we welcome the success of our partnership with the Institutes of Technology in the BMW region, which will greatly expand our already successful and innovative access programme." -ends-

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

Galway, 24 October 2006 – A series of high profile keynote speakers will address issues that are facing Ireland's communities today during a keynote seminar series at NUI Galway. Set to occur between November 2006 and September 2007, this keynote series will focus on themes related to civic engagement and active citizenship. Organised and sponsored by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway, this keynote series is a response to the increased alienation and declining social commitment that is common in today's communities and will host high profile people who are knowledgeable in these areas. Members of the public are invited to attend the free seminars and tickets will be available from CKI. KEYNOTE SEMINAR SERIES SCHEDULE: Dr Garret Fitzgerald, Ret. Leader and Chancellor of the NUI, Tuesday, November 14th, 3.00pm - 4.00pm. Speaking on Civic Republicanism and Public Morality Mr. Alan Kerins, Alan Kerins African Projects, Thursday, 25th January 2007, 3.00pm - 4.00pm. Speaking on his work with the Cheshire House, volunteering and how important it is today. Mrs. Mary Davis, Chair of the Taskforce on Active Citizenship, Thursday, 22nd February 2007, 3.00pm - 4.00pm. Speaking on her work with the Taskforce on Active Citizenship, the Special Olympics and active citizenship in Ireland today Mr. Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the Guardian, Friday, 9th March 2007, 3.00pm - 4.00pm. Speaking on his work with the Guardian, as well as Journalism, New Media and Democracy. Mr. Maurice Mullard, University of Hull, Reader in Social Policy, Thursday, 19th April 2007, 3.00pm - 4.00pm. Speaking on his work with the University of Hull, citizenship, social policy and the war on terror. Ms. Caroline Casey, The Aisling Foundation, Thursday, 27th September 2007, 3.00pm - 4.00pm. Speaking on her work with the Aisling Foundation and active citizenship, as well as the role that volunteering plays in community. The Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) was launched at NUI Galway in June 2001 as a project to promote partnership with communities and to enhance social commitment within communities. Funded by philanthropic donations, the CKI hopes to reinvigorate the civic mission of higher education in Ireland, putting communities at the centre of debate. "We very much hope that this keynote seminar series will serve as a means of reinvigorating the civic mission of universities as well as promote the concept of civic responsibility and service within higher education," said Lorraine McIlrath, CKI Project Coordinator. For further information, please contact Lorraine McIlrath, CKI Project Coordinator at 091 495234 or email lorraine.mcilrath@nuigalway.ie. Information from Christina McDonald Legg, christina.legg@nuigalway.ie - ends -

Monday, 23 October 2006

23 October 2006: NUI Galway will confer Honorary MA degrees this week on John Cunningham, editor of the Connacht Tribune, and Dónall Ó Luanaigh, former Keeper of Collections at the National Library of Ireland. The ceremonies will take place Monday 23 October and Tuesday 24 October 2006, in conjunction with the Autumn Conferring Ceremonies which will see the graduation of over 4,750 students. John Cunningham will be recognised for his contribution to civic society through regional and national journalism and for his role as a lecturer of journalism. Since joining the Connacht Tribune as a reporter in the sixties, and as Editor since 1984, John Cunningham has been a consistent and steady presence in Irish journalism. He has also contributed to broadcast journalism as a commentator on RTE current affairs programmes. For the last 18 years, John has been a lecturer on the MA in Journalism programme at the University, recently adding a module on Government and Politics. According to Bernadette O'Sullivan, Department of Journalism, NUI Galway, "There aren't many who can compete with John Cunningham, and his particular brand of journalism teaching excellence. John is a passionate and gifted media practitioner. He is also a passionate and gifted teacher. Few have that dual talent: the talent for doing the job, and in equal measure, the talent for teaching the profession of journalism." Dónall Ó Luanaigh will be honoured for his immense contribution to research and scholarship in his role as Keeper of Collections at the National Library of Ireland (NLI). Born and educated in Galway, where he graduated with a Masters in French, Dónall went on to join the staff of the NLI in 1968, until his retirement this year, following 43 years of service. He was the acknowledged expert on the library's collections, and will be particularly remembered for his work on the 'Union list of current periodicals and serials in Irish libraries', and his editorial work on the three-volume 'Supplement to Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilization', published in 1979. Marie Reddan, Librarian, James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway said, "Dónall has a particular interest in Franco-Irish relations and has published widely on the topic. His attachment to his native city has never waned and he has contributed many articles of Galway interest, in Galway Roots and other publications. He has always been supportive and generous to the James Hardiman Library with his time and specialist knowledge of archives and special collections." - ends -

Monday, 23 October 2006

Cartographers and publishers, Tim and Máiréad Robinson, have bequeathed their house on the sea wall at Roundstone, Co. Galway, to the National University of Ireland, Galway. According to Tim's new book Connemara: Listening to the Wind (Penguin, Ireland 2006) the Robinsons wish the house to be used "as a small conference venue, as accommodation for writers, thinkers and researchers on sabbatical or residencies … When we tell anyone of this plan, the response is always, "How generous!" - but as we will not be here to make any sacrifice in the matter, generosity does not come into it. However, this exchange serves to remind us that neither will be here to share in the delight and fun of other people's discovery of the place; and so we have begun to anticipate that future by opening up the house to such events … We feel relieved of the burden of ownership, as if we were now just the temporary caretakers of the house, and we revel in the freshening wind of futurity blowing through it, wafting away the spiderwebs of anxiety." The Robinsons continue to reside in the house, Folding Landscapes. At the same time the house will become a venue for the University to engage with the local community and to share the resources and knowledge of the institution's many visitors, academics and practitioners. The Robinsons have a long-standing relationship with NUI Galway. Tim received an Honorary Degree in 1997 from the University. Best know for his book Stones of Aran, he has published a range of maps, essays and books on the western region. 'We are honoured and grateful for the thoughtfulness of the Robinsons. The University will put every effort into creating at Folding Landscapes new connections with the cultural life of the region, while also contributing to the social and economic fabric of the village. Our shared plan is to exchange reflections and informed judgements about what is important in knowledge at this time", said Professor Kevin Barry, Dean of Arts at NUI Galway. NUI Galway has launched a Colloquium Series under the title Unfolding Ideas. The series provides a forum for scholars, educators, and artists to engage in a series of public talks, group discussion and workshops, to be held at the Robinson home and in Roundstone's Community Hall. At the launch, Tim Robinson read from his latest publication Connemara: Listening to the Wind. Unfolding Ideas will be an annual series of events. The events in the house Folding Landscapes are by invitation. The events in the Community Hall are open to the public. - ends - The programme is organised by the Faculty of Arts and Galway University Foundation. For further information contact Aileen Shaw 091-493879 or Aileen.Shaw@nuigalway.ie

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

18th October 2006: Library staff, mail-room personnel, gardeners and administrators at NUI Galway received a boost in numbers today (Wednesday) when nine senior managers went 'Back-to-the-Floor' for an initiative aimed at increasing mutual understanding between staff at all levels in the rapidly expanding university. Each of the nine senior managers, including President of NUI Galway, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, assumed the role of a front-line administrative or service worker at the University, taking on the full range of their tasks for the day and working alongside their colleagues to gain an insight into the issues facing them on a daily basis. NUI Galway is one of the largest employers in Galway city, employing over 1,800 people. In the last five years, staff numbers have risen by almost 40%, to support the growing number of students and education programmes. NUI Galway management is intent on ensuring the lines of communication between management and staff remain open and that the University's inclusive and cohesive atmosphere is retained. Having sorted post in the mailroom and answered student queries at the Students Union front desk, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, was very enthusiastic about the initiative, "This was a great opportunity for me to really appreciate the fantastic work carried out at ground level in this University. It allowed me to have a real feel for the issues confronting staff and students daily on the front line. It's very important to ensure the lines of communication stay open between all levels at our university and it's part of our culture to promote openness and inclusion, building a positive working environment for our staff, resulting in a better learning environment for our students." The 'Back-to-the-Floor' initiative was originally the brainchild of a staff member at NUI Galway, submitted through the University's staff suggestion scheme, and employees were asked to vote on positions for senior management, contributing €2 per ballot to charitable causes. - ends - Note to Editors: Roles undertaken by NUI Galway senior managers on Back to the Floor Day: 1. Dr. Iggy Ó Muircheartaigh, President: University Mail Centre and Students Union 2. Prof. Jim Browne, Deputy President and Registrar: Admissions Office Reception Desk 3. Ms Mary Dooley, Bursar: Accounts Payable Office 4. Dr Séamus Mac Mathúna, Rúnaí: Exams Office Reception desk 5. Mary O'Riordan, Vice-President for Student Services & Human Resources: Students Services Information Desk 6. Marie Reddan, James Hardiman Librarian: Library stewarding 7. Mr. John Gibney, Director of Physical Resources: Gardening and Grounds 8. Dr. Kieran Loftus, Director of Computer Services: User Support 9. Chris McNairney: Director of Human Resources: HR Reception Desk

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

18 October 2006: Tomorrow, (Thursday), nearly 7,000 students in 200 secondary schools across the country are taking up a maths challenge from NUI Galway. The inaugural PRoblem-solving for Irish Second level Mathematicians (PRISM) contest is the brainchild of NUI Galway mathematicians Dr. James Cruickshank and Dr. Rachel Quinlan, and aims to encourage students to take an interest in problem-solving from an early age. Each participating school will hold separate hour-long contests for pre-Junior Certificate and post-Junior Certificate students. The contests will feature a series of twenty problems, in multiple-choice format, to challenge the problem-solving dexterity of participants. Marking of answer sheets will be carried out at NUI Galway and other universities. "We are amazed by the huge interest in and positive response to the contest, commented Dr. James Cruickshank of NUI Galway's Maths Department. "One of the key skills in mathematics is the ability to solve problems. It is also one of the most enjoyable aspects of mathematics - anyone who enjoys a sudoku, or who has solved Rubik's cube can attest to the satisfaction of solving a hard mathematical problem. Mathematical contests, such as PRISM, are a good way to introduce young people to the challenges and rewards of solving interesting mathematical puzzles and problems. We hope that at least some of the PRISM contestants will be inspired by the contest to further develop their problem solving skills". Another aim of the contest is to identify interested and talented students who might enjoy and benefit from participating in a mathematical enrichment programme at NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, UCC, UCD or UL. Successful participation in one of these programmes will entail regular attendance at lectures and problem-solving sessions at one of these centres, as well as extensive independent practice at problem solving, supported by correspondence with mentors. Participants in the enrichment programmes usually expect to compete in the Irish Mathematical Olympiad, which takes place in May 2007. "There has been much talk lately of declining standards in second level mathematics. Amid this negativity, it is often forgotten that there are still many excellent teachers and talented students who are interested in mathematics. These people deserve recognition and encouragement from their colleagues in third level institutions. We hope that initiatives like PRISM will help us to develop links with our post primary counterparts, so that students can be encouraged to develop their mathematical skills outside the school curriculum", commented Dr. Rachel Quinlan, NUI Galway's Maths Department. PRISM is being co-organised by Dr Mark Dukes, School of Mathematical Sciences, UCD, Gordon Lessells, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, UL and Dr Richard Watson, Department of Mathematics, NUI Maynooth. A list of participating schools can be found on http://www.maths.nuigalway.ie/PRISM/ - ends -

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

Over 75 national and multinational companies will feature at NUI Galway's Graduate Recruitment Fair, which takes place in Áras na Mac Léinn/Student Centre from 12.00pm to 4.00pm, on Tuesday 31 October 2006. The annual event is an ideal opportunity for current students, graduates and post-graduates to meet prospective employers and find out what's on offer in the job market. Organisations from across a wide range of sectors will attend, including Accenture, IBM, Intel, Kerry Group, KPMG, Medtronic, Quinn Group, SAP, Johnson & Johnson, The Marine Institute, Kingspan, Engineers Ireland, Pfizer, Ulster Bank, Masterfoods and Hewlett Packard. The Public Appointments Service, which recruits for all government departments will also be in attendance and interested in meeting graduates from all disciplines. The Graduate Recruitment Fair is very timely for those who intend getting a foothold on the career ladder as this year it follows one week after some 4,000 students will graduate from NUI Galway. A special service provided at the Fair is a 'CV Clinic', where the NUI Galway Careers Service will review CVs and provide advice and recommendations on how this key document may be improved. Peter Keane of NUI Galway Careers Office, advises those wishing to attend to bring their CVs and take advantage of the opportunity of having so many prospective employers present in the one place, ready to recruit staff. He comments, "Every year, this event goes from strength to strength. The prospective employers will be recruiting for scientists, engineers, administrators, business analysts, language specialists – the list goes on. NUI Galway graduates have an excellent reputation for being highly motivated, used to working in project groups and often with valuable work experience, having participated in our Professional Employment Programme (PEP). It is not surprising that there is almost 100% employment among our graduates every year." The event is co-ordinated by the Careers Service at NUI Galway in association with the Bank of Ireland. Tom Forde, Manager, Bank of Ireland, University Branch, said that he was pleased to continue the bank's involvement in this important and successful event. Individuals and companies interested in participating should contact the Careers Service Coordinator, Deirdre Sheridan, on 091 493 169 or by e-mail at careers@nuigalway.ie.

Monday, 16 October 2006

16 October 2006: An international conference at NUI Galway is to examine the meanings people attach to their lives as they grow older, including religious and spiritual values, and the ways in which society values – or fails to value - people as they age. The conference 'Values and Norms in Ageing', 20-22 October, has been organised by Dr. Ricca Edmondson, of the Department of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, and Hans-Joachim von Kondratowitz at the German Centre for Gerontology in Berlin. The conference will also address the question of wisdom, which was traditionally expected of older people in times gone by. Reviving and appreciating the idea of wisdom, which provides the individual with a set of critical and constructive skills based on experience, could help transform the role of older people in society – encouraging society to take seriously what people learn from life and to put it to good use. Speakers will also discuss the differing welfare-state provisions across Europe and how they might reflect prejudices about the contributions older people make to society. Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway, Professor Eamon O'Shea, commented, "A crucial aspect of our lives which is often neglected is the part played by values. Huge demographic changes are ahead, in Ireland we can expect one in four people will be over the age of 65 by 2050, compared to the current figure of around one in ten. With such a growing proportion of older people, we urgently need to know more about the values they have and how we can use the wisdom of older people to transform economic, social and cultural life". Main speakers and topics of 'Values and Norms in Ageing' include: Prof. Peter Coleman, University of Southampton, UK Faithful unto death? Late-life questions about religious belief Prof. Michele Dillon from the University of New Hampshire; US Religion, spirituality and positive ageing Prof. Haim Hazan, University of Tel Aviv, Israel Beyond Dialogue - Entering the Fourth Space in Old Age Prof. Monika Wohlrab-Sahr, University of Leipzig, Germany Atheist convictions or keeping things open ? The event is the 36th international symposium of the European Behavioural and Social Science Research Section of the IAG (International Association of Gerontology), which is being held in co-operation with the Research Network on Ageing in Europe of the ESA (European Sociological Association) and the Galway Wisdom Project. -ends-

Monday, 16 October 2006

NUI Galway will be this year's venue for the bi-annual Alumni Officers Network of Ireland (AONI) Conference. Alumni professionals from Ireland and Northern Ireland's universities and third-level colleges will attend this two-day event on October 19-20. The conference will focus on a wide range of issues facing Ireland's alumni functions in the context of an increasing focus on alumni support and partnership in educational institutions. The event is being hosted by the Alumni Office at NUI Galway, where Director, JB Terrins, commented, "The strategic importance of fostering relationships and contact between alumni and their alma mater, is well practiced in North America, and is being increasingly recognised in Ireland, and indeed across Europe. This growth in awareness is welcomed by the sector here and brings with it challenges in terms of benchmarking, measuring performance and further professionalising of operations. This conference has been a feature of the sector's annual calendar for some years and continues to provide knowledge-sharing and networking opportunities for alumni practitioners". The NUI Galway Alumni Office creates and maintains a vital connection with the University's 60,000 graduates worldwide. Working in conjunction with the Alumni Association, the office keeps graduates informed of University developments, helping to sustain that vital link with their alma mater. The Alumni Office maintains alumni records, manages alumni events and produces the alumni publications Cois Coiribe, the Alumni Newsletter, the Cumann Caoga Bliain Souvenir Journal and a monthly e-Newsletter, Alumni Links. The Alumni Office is always interested in hearing from graduates and welcomes their ideas and comments. For further information visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/alumni. - ends -

Friday, 13 October 2006

………..supporting sustainable knowledge-based Gaeltacht economies……………. 13 October 2006: Éamon Ó Cuív, T.D., Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs today (Friday), at the official opening of the newly refurbished NUI Galway's centre in An Cheathrú Rua, commended NUI Galway's commitment to addressing the demand for highly-skilled, Irish speaking professionals through its educational programmes. The University has developed a network of Gaeltacht-based centres which are run by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway's national institute pioneering third-level education through the Irish language. NUI Galway's commitment and focus on the development and provision of third level courses in Gaeltacht areas will contribute in a positive manner to the social, economic, cultural and linguistic life of these regions. The University's centres provide programmes from undergraduate to postgraduate levels in areas such as; applied language skills, translation studies, information technology, communication studies, teaching methodology, drama studies and language planning. In addition, NUI Galway now offers Ireland's first B.A. in Communications, as Gaeilge, at its centre in An Cheathrú Rua, Co. Galway. These innovative and flexible programmes help nurture enterprise initiatives as well as promoting businesses which are related to the Gaeltacht regions' uniqueness in knowledge intensive fields such as eco- and cultural tourism, music, arts, education and multimedia. Increased demand for highly qualified professionals working through Irish has been triggered by official status being granted by the EU to the Irish language. The implementation of the Irish Language Act has also increased the use of Irish in government institutions which in turn creates a demand for professional translators and interpreters. NUI Galway is demonstrating leadership in ensuring that there is a constant supply of highly skilled graduates in translation, interpretation and applied language skills to meet this demand. Minister Ó Cuív stated, "There is a requirement for highly-skilled graduates who are competent to work through Irish in a range of disciplines. I congratulate NUI Galway for implementing innovative Irish-medium programmes and research activities in Gaeltacht centres, in partnership with the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and Údarás na Gaeltachta, which boasts the latest educational technology and facilities. This is working towards the Government's strategic aim of developing a sustainable knowledge-based economy". Over 170 undergraduate and post-graduate students throughout the country have come to study in An Cheathrú Rua this academic year. An Cheathrú Rua is one of Ireland's strongest Gaeltacht areas with over 85% of its population speaking Irish daily, which in addition attracts hundreds of students to the centre annually to attend short term and specialised Irish courses and classes. The 2,500 square metre centre combines facilities at Áras Mháirtín Uí Chadhain and the former Coláiste Columba. This centre generates more than €5 million annually to the local economy and supports the University's strategic community outreach initiatives. Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway, said, "Our outreach centres around the country are part of the University's policy of bringing education to the community. Essential to this vision is the development of a third level education model that can be emulated by other minority language communities as a vehicle for their sustainable development". The President thanked Minister Ó Cuív and his Department for the support in the form of current and capital finance given to An tAcadamh for the development of an Irish language University in Gaeltacht centres. He also thanked Údarás na Gaeltachta for the help they have given An tAcadamh and its students in the Gaeltacht over the years. It is obvious that the education being delivered in the Gaeltacht centres is an integral part of the Gaeltacht's infrastructure. An Cheathrú Rua outreach campus is part of a network of Gaeltacht centres, including Gaoth Dobhair, Co. Donegal and Carna, Co. Galway. Plans are underway for the establishment of a fourth centre in Baile an Fheirtéaraigh, Co. Kerry. -ends-

Friday, 13 October 2006

………..ag tacú le geilleagar eolasbhunaithe inmharthana na Gaeltachta……………. 13 Deireadh Fómhair 2006: Rinne Éamon Ó Cuív, T.D., An tAire Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta, OÉ Gaillimh a mholadh go hard as tabhairt faoin éileamh ar Ghaeilgeoirí gairmiúla oilte a sholáthar trína cláir oideachais, ag oscailt oifigiúil ionad nua OÉ Gaillimh ar an gCeathrú Rua. Tá líonra d'ionaid Ghaeltachta curtha le chéile ag an Ollscoil agus iad rite ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, institiúid náisiúnta cheannródaíoch OÉ Gaillimh atá tiomanta d'oideachas tríú leibhéal a chur ar fáil trí Ghaeilge. Cuirfidh tiomantas agus béim OÉ Gaillimh ar chúrsaí tríú leibhéal a fhorbairt agus a chur ar fáil sa Ghaeltacht go mór leis an saol sóisialta, eacnamaíoch, cultúrtha agus teanga sna réigiúin seo. Cuireann ionaid na hOllscoile cláir fochéime agus iarchéime ar fáil i réimsí cosúil leo seo a leanas; scileanna teanga feidhmí, léann an aistriúcháin, an teicneolaíocht faisnéise, staidéar na cumarsáide, modheolaíocht teagaisc, staidéar na drámaíochta agus pleanáil teanga. Chomh maith leis sin, tá OÉ Gaillimh ag cur an chéad B.A. sa Chumarsáid, as Gaeilge, ar fáil san ionad ar an gCeathrú Rua, Co. na Gaillimhe. Cuireann na cláir nuálacha sholúbtha seo tionscnaimh fiontraíochta chun cinn chomh maith le gnónna a bhaineann le huathúlacht na Gaeltachta i réimsí dianeolais cosúil le héiceathurasóireacht agus turasóireacht chultúir, ceol, ealaíon, oideachas agus na hilmheáin. Tá éileamh anois ar dhaoine gairmiúla ag oibriú trí Ghaeilge mar gheall ar an stádas oifigiúil a thug an tAontas Eorpach don Ghaeilge. Le cur i bhfeidhm Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla tá méadú tagtha ar úsáid na Gaeilge in institiúidí rialtais agus ciallaíonn sé sin go bhfuil éileamh ar aistritheoirí agus ar theangairí gairmiúla. Tá OÉ Gaillimh ag léiriú ceannaireachta trína chinntiú go bhfuil soláthar seasta céimithe oilte san aistriúchán, sa teangaireacht agus sna scileanna teanga feidhmí chun an t-éileamh seo a shásamh. Dúirt an tAire Ó Cuív, "Tá gá le céimithe oilte atá in ann oibriú trí Ghaeilge i réimsí éagsúla. Comhghairdeas le hOllscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh as cláir nuálacha agus gníomhaíochtaí taighde trí mheán na Gaeilge a chur chun cinn in ionaid Ghaeltachta, i gcomhar leis an Roinn Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta agus Údarás na Gaeltachta, ina bhfuil na háiseanna agus an teicneolaíocht oideachais is fearr amuigh. Tá sé seo ag teacht le haidhm straitéiseach an Rialtais maidir le geilleagar eolasbhunaithe inmharthana a fhorbairt". I mbliana, tá breis agus 170 fochéimí agus iarchéimí ó cheann ceann na tíre tagtha le staidéar ar an gCeathrú Rua. Tá an Cheathrú Rua ar cheann de na ceantair Ghaeltachta is láidre ó thaobh na Gaeilge de. Labhraíonn os cionn 85% de mhuintir na háite an Ghaeilge ar bhonn laethúil, rud a mheallann na céadta scoláire chuig an ionad le dianchúrsaí gearra agus ranganna Gaeilge a dhéanamh gach bliain. Tá 2,500 méadar cearnach san ionad ina iomláine agus teacht ar áiseanna in Áras Mháirtín Uí Chadhain agus san áit ina mbíodh Coláiste Cholumba. Cuireann an tIonad seo breis agus €5 mhilliún gach bliain isteach sa gheilleagar áitiúil agus tacaíonn sé le tionscnaimh for-rochtana straitéiseacha na hOllscoile. Dúirt an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, "Tá na hionaid for-rochtana ar fud na tíre ina gcuid lárnach de pholasaí na hOllscoile oideachas a thabhairt chomh fada leis an bpobal. Tá forbairt ar mhúnla oideachais tríú leibhéal ríthábhachtach don fhís seo, múnla ar féidir le pobail eile a labhraíonn mionteanga aithris a dhéanamh air mar uirlis dá bhforbairt inmharthana féin. Ghlac an tUachtarán buíochas ó chroí leis an Aire Ó Cuív agus lena Roinn as an tacaíocht in airgead caipitil agus reatha atá tugtha don Acadamh ar mhaithe le forbairt na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in Ionaid Ghaeltachta. Ghlac sé buíochas chomh maith le hÚdarás na Gaeltachta as an gcúnamh atá faighte ag an Acadamh agus ag mic léinn an Acadaimh sa Ghaeltacht ón Údarás in imeacht na mblianta. Is léir go dtuigtear go soiléir anois gur cuid lárnach de bhonneagar na Gaeltachta an t-oideachas atáthar a sholáthar sna hIonaid Ghaeltachta. Is cuid de líonra ionad Gaeltachta an campas for-rochtana ar an gCeathrú Rua, lena n-áirítear Gaoth Dobhair, Co. Dhún na nGall agus Carna, Co. na Gaillimhe. Tá pleananna á gcur i dtoll a chéile don cheathrú ionad i mBaile an Fheirtéaraigh, Co. Chiarraí. - críoch -

Tuesday, 10 October 2006

(English version below) Reachtálfar Comhdháil: Litríocht agus Cultúr na Gaeilge in Áras na Gaeilge, OÉ, Gaillimh, Dé hAoine agus Dé Sathairn seo chugainn, 13-14 Deireadh Fómhair. Tá comhdháil na bliana seo tiomanta do Mháirtín Ó Cadhain agus beidh na haoichainteorí ag díriú ar ghnéithe éagsúla dá shaol agus dá shaothar: Alan Titley (iriseoireacht an Chadhnaigh), Brian Ó Conchubhair (úrscéalta an Chadhnaigh) agus Joe Steve Ó Neachtain (rútaí an Chadhnaigh). Ina theannta sin beidh cúigear den 19 cainteoir eile ag plé leis an gCadhnach, ms, Nollaig Ó Gadhra ag trácht ar an gCadhnach agus Óglaigh na hÉireann, agus Pádraigín Ní Cheallaigh ag caint ar an gCadhnach mar ollamh ollscoile. Seolfaidh Seán Ó Cadhain Cré na Cille, dlúthdhioscaí an leagain dhrámatúil le Johnny Chóil Mhaidhc Ó Coisdealbha (RTÉ, Raidió na Gaeltachta agus Cló Iar-Chonnachta) ar a sé a chlog Dé hAoine, agus léireoidh Aisteoirí Bulfin An Eochair, leagan drámatúil de ghearrscéal cáiliúil an Chadhnaigh, i dTéatar Chearbhalláin ar a hocht oíche Dé Sathairn. Ina theannta sin bronnfaidh Joe Steve Ó Neachtain cóip de bhunscríbhinn Baile an Droichid ar Mharie Reddan, Leabharlannai na hOllscoile, tar éis a léachta féin tráthnóna Dé Sathairn. Osclóidh an Dr Caitriona Clear, Leas-Déan Dhámh na nDán, an chomhdháil tráthnóna Dé hAoine ag 3.15. Tuilleadh faisnéise ó Rúnaí Scoil na Gaeilge: fiona.depaor@oegaillimh.ie ----------------------------------------------------------- A conference entitled Litríocht agus Cultúr na Gaeilge (Irish Language Literature and Culture) will be held in Áras na Gaeilge, NUI Galway on Friday and Saturday, 13-14th of October. This year's conference is dedicated to Máirtín Ó Cadhain and the guest speakers will focus on different aspects of his life and work: Alan Titley (Ó Cadhain's journalism), Brian Ó Conchubhair (Ó Cadhain's novels) and Joe Steve Ó Neachtain (Ó Cadhain's background). Five of the other nineteen speakers will also discuss Ó Cadhain, e.g., Nollaig Ó Gadhra will speak of Ó Cadhain and the IRA, and Pádraigín Ní Cheallaigh will talk about Ó Cadhain as a university professor. Seán Ó Cadhain will launch Cré na Cille, CD recordings of Johnny Chóil Mhaidhc Ó Coisdealbha's dramatisation of the novel (RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta and Cló Iar-Chonnachta) at six o'clock on Friday, and Aisteoirí Bulfin will be on stage with their version of An Eochair, a dramatised version of Ó Cadhain's well-known short story, in Téatar Chearbhalláin, Áras na Gaeilge, at eight o'clock on Saturday night. Joe Steve Ó Neachtain will present Marie Reddan, the University Librarian, with a copy of Baile an Droichid's original manuscript, after his own lecture on Saturday afternoon. Dr Caitríona Clear, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Arts, will launch the conference on Friday afternoon at 3.15pm. Further information from the Scoil na Gaeilge secretary: fiona.depaor@oegaillimh.ie - ends -

Monday, 9 October 2006

NUI Galway will host a workshop entitled, 'Building a Biodiverse Galway: Practical, Social, and Environmental Considerations', on Wednesday 18 October, from 9am – 1pm. Five experts will discuss the planning and building aspects, and the human and environmental importance, of sustainable living and maintaining biodiversity in Galway City. The morning promises to be lively and informative, admission is free and open to all, but participants need to register in advance by emailing sarah.knight@nuigalway.ie. The event will take place at the Environmental Change Institute (ECI), The Orbsen Building, NUI Galway. Sarah Knight, Communications and Outreach Officer, ECI, NUI Galway commented: "Galway is growing rapidly, but we must ask whether we are creating a city we will want to live in. Recent years have seen a rapid rate of change from rural to urban land use in Galway city, but at the expense of our natural landscape. The social and environmental benefits of preserving some of the amazing biodiversity in Galway city are often overshadowed in the push to build to meet population demand". 'Building a Biodiverse Galway: Practical, Social, and Environmental Considerations'will feature the following speakers and topics: 'The social consequences of not considering a whole system approach to waste management', with Dr. Niamh Clune, Social Entrepreneur. 'How planners can incorporate natural landscapes', with Hendrik W. van der Kamp, Town Planner & President of the Irish Planning Institute. 'Building a green home in Ireland: design and materials', with Doug Johnson, Advocate of Alternative and Sustainable Technologies. 'Construction activities and their impact on the environment and communities', with Gerry Carty, Director, RPS Consulting Engineers, Galway. 'Community-derived green mapping in Galway city', with Dr. Frances Fahy, Department of Geography, NUI Galway. For members of Engineers Ireland, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points for participation in this workshop are available. The workshop takes place during the annual Biodiversity Week for Galway City, 'Go Wild in the City!', which has been initiated to further the awareness of the wealth of biodiversity in the city, by the Habitats Sub-Group of the Galway City Development Board's Natural Environment and Waterways Mechanism. As well as the general promotion of public awareness of environmental issues in the city, the second main objective of this week is to provide a platform for informative interactions between city council staff, planners, developers, environmental researchers and campaigners, and interested members of the public, on the subjects of sustainable development and biodiversity in the city. - ends -