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Múscailt 01 – NUI Galway's new Spring Festival
Wednesday, 31 January 2001
Release date: 31 January, 2001 Múscailt 01 – NUI Galway's new Spring Festival NUI, Galway's first Spring Festival, Múscailt (meaning 'to inspire / awaken'), which will take place between 18 and 23 February, 2001, promises an exciting and comprehensive programme of music, dance, art and theatre. Myles Dungan, Presenter of RTÉ s Arts programme, Rattlebag , will officially open the Festival on Sunday 18th February. Dungan will also record a special programme on the Festival in the Galway studio. This new festival on Galway's cultural calendar, will be an annual event and with the imaginative and creative talent of the University s Cultural Societies supporting it, guarantees a programme that is fresh, innovative and thoroughly enjoyable.One of the highlights of the programme is the Peacock Theatre's acclaimed new production of Eden, which begins its national tour at the University's Bank of Ireland Theatre. Emily Cullen, NUI, Galway s Arts Officer and Festival Co-ordinator, is especially pleased that the world premiere of Seoirse Bodley's latest piano composition, News from Donaghbate, which was commissioned by RTÉ, will be performed during the Festival. "Our objective was to put together a high quality programme, catering for the University community and the wider Galway public", said Emily Cullen.NUI, Galway provides a Masters programme in Theatre Studies, directed by Adrian Frazier. Some of the new short plays from students of the programme will be performed during Múscailt 01, as well as drama as Gaeilge from members of An Cumann Drámaíochta. The wave of break-dancing, which swept the world a number of years ago, still lives on in the North of Ireland and the legendary Belfast City Breakers, will present one of their breath-taking performances, followed by a workshop. No Festival would be complete without a number of poetry readings. Emily Cullen has an impressive line-up of established poets and writers, including Tom Kilroy, Mary O'Malley, Louis de Paor, Vincent Woods, Julian Gough, Mike McCormack, Moya Cannon, Ken Bruen and Fred Johnston. The reigning Rose of Tralee, Róisín Egenton, is an accomplished violinist, who will perform in concert at the Festival, as will internationally renowned mezzo soprano, Aylish Kerrigan. On the lighter side of the musical scale, NUI, Galway s English and Music Societies will present Velvet Sessions, a blend of poetry and music. For those with stamina and sturdy ear drums, the Contemporary Bands Competition, Livestock is sure to attract large audiences! "Walter Macken has very close associations with Galway, having lived by Lough Corrib all his life and worked in the Taibhdhearc theatre here", says Emily Cullen. "We are delighted that his son, Fr. WaltervMacken will give a public lecture on the author s life and work, which will be followed by a rehearsed reading of Home is the Hero. "NUI, Galway has a considerable number of works of art, collected over the years and an inaugural public viewing of selected works from the collection, will be on view throughout the festival. "We are determined that Múscailt 01, will become an integral part of Galway s Springtime reawakening. We extend a warm welcome to all, to experience what promises to be a great event in the University s cultural life". Ends Further details from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer. Tel. 091 750418 Emily Cullen, Arts Officer. Tel. 091-512 062
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New Disability Law and Policy Research Unit established in NUI Galway
Monday, 29 January 2001
Release date: 29 January, 2001 New Disability Law and Policy Research Unit established in NUI Galway No less than 360,000 Irish citizens and 37 million European citizens are affected by disability. According to official United Nations estimates, 10% of any given population has a disability and the figure rises to about 30% if one takes into account the full range of persons affected by disability, e.g., carers of elderly parents with disability and mothers of children with disability. Over the past decade there has been a profound policy shift in the disability field. The old policy based on paternalism and welfare has given way to a new one based on equal rights and respect for difference. This is of equal significance in the physical and mental disability fields. The shift from welfare to rights, necessitates profound changes in the Irish legal system, in areas as diverse as education, employment, mental health law, transport, building regulations, access to the Information Society, incompetency law, biotechnology and the law. A new independent Research Unit just established in National University of Ireland, Galway will provide a forum and focus for disability related legal and policy research in Ireland. The Disability Law and Policy Research Unit, is the first such centre in the Republic of Ireland and one of the first in Europe. The new research unit is part of the Irish Centre for Human Rights which is based at NUI, Galway and affiliated to the University s Faculty of Law. The Disability Law and Policy Research Unit will investigate the adequacy of existing legislation and promote the drafting of a new Disabilities Bill. International expertise in the Centre will inform contributions in this area. "Ireland is already bound by a complex web of international legal instruments which bear either directly or indirectly on the disability issue", says Professor Gerard Quinn, Convenor of the new Centre. "International law provides a strong stimulus to the disability rights movement. Advances in European Union law are especially important in this context because they have a direct and potentially positive effect on Irish law and Policy. The Centre will therefore use international and comparative benchmarks to scrutinise the adequacy of the Irish law reform process in the field of disability. This has not been systematically done to date with the result that Irish policy has been deprived of the very best insights from similar systems of law", says Professor Quinn. Professor Quinn also emphasises the international role he envisages for the Disability Law and Policy Research Unit, pointing out that Ireland contributes positively to the elaboration of international law through its growing involvement in organisations such as the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the European Union. "It is vitally important that Irish policy makers should be kept as fully informed as possible about the role they can play in advancing the disability agenda at an international and regional level", he says. "The Centre will be proactive in the debate within the United Nations on the need for a UN Convention on the rights of people with disabilities, while also advocating immediate implementation of the Article 13 TEU (Treaty on European Union) Non- Discrimination Directive. The Disability Unit will use the best comparative insights from both the United States and from the EU and indeed the Council of Europe. At least two of its members have worked on disability law for the European Commission and Professor Quinn has done a considerable amount of work on US law and policy. The Centre will host a public lecture on Thursday, 15th March by Professor Carol Doherty-Rasnic, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA entitled, The Americans with Disabilities Act - an update on recent US Supreme Court Decisions . The Centre will also shortly initiate a major research project on comparative disability law with sister Units in universities in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Professor Quinn is available for interview on the work of the Research Centre and on Disability-related issues. Ends Further details from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091-750418 Professor Gerard Quinn. Tel 091-524411, Ext. 3014
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Historic University building gets facelift
Thursday, 25 January 2001
Release date: 25 January, 2001 Historic University building gets facelift One of Galway's oldest and most attractive buildings, the Gate Lodge at the main entrance to NUI, Galway has been closed for a number of months so that major refurbishment could be carried out. Dating from the early 1800s, this unique building initially accommodated a gatekeeper and his family. Originally the University entrance featured large gates, flanked by pedestrian side-gates, all of which were all locked at night. Following the removal of the gates in 1968, the University's security staff were located in the building. The Gate Lodge has now got a new lease of life as a result of the refurbishment work and will accommodate Galway University Foundation and the Alumni Office staff. The purpose of Galway University Foundation, which has just launched its first Annual Report, is to advance the strategic priorities and academic objectives of NUI, Galway. Under the direction of an international independent Board, the Foundation's primary function is to generate financial support for the University's programmes and activities. The Annual Report shows the Foundation's success in attracting funding - more than £7 million was secured in the year ending 30th June 2000. "We are very pleased with the results to date", says Joe McKenna, Director of Development. "However, as the University is about to commence the second phase of capital development, the work of the Foundation will be intensified in the coming months to support that development. "A broad programme of outreach to graduates is continuing, led by Betsy Kilkenny, Alumni Co-ordinator. The latest edition of 'Cois Coiribe' has just been published and mailed to 40,000 graduates worldwide. The magazine's editor, Liz McConnell says that the magazine is a very special way for NUI, Galway graduates to keep in touch with their alma mater and be informed of the many exciting development taking place on campus." Ends Further details from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418
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NUI Galway and BioResearch Ireland contribute to new publication on Diagnostics
Thursday, 18 January 2001
Release date: 18 January, 2001 NUI Galway and BioResearch Ireland contribute to new publication on Diagnostics A new textbook entitled Immunoassays: A Practical Approach, published by Oxford University Press and edited by Professor Jim Gosling, Department of Biochemistry, NUI Galway, was launched in the University today (18 January). Immunoassays are (indirectly) mentioned in the news nearly every day. Headlines such as Older cattle must be tested for BSE before their meat can be consumed ; The number of people infected with HIV is rising: Women given anti-D will be tested for hepatitis-C , are commonplace. All these tests are immunoassays and they involve the use of specific antibodies to detect the proteins being measured. Pregnancy tests and a huge variety of tests used in hospital laboratories to detect heart attacks, to monitor cancer treatments and to diagnose disease, are also immunoassays. NUI Galway and the National Diagnostic Centre of Bioresearch Ireland, have been leaders in the development and application of immunoassays for the last 25 years. The publication of this book, which has many chapters authored or co-authored by staff from the NDC, is an important milestone. Galway contributors include Dr. Marian Kane, Mr Tony Forde, Mr Peter O'Fegan and Dr. Wajdi Abdul-Ahad. Immunoassays is the first practical manual designed to help any biologist develop an immunoassay in any common format for any suitable analyte. It is highly recommended both for researchers new to immunoassays and those who are seeking an updated source guide. The mix of background information, step by step protocols, and strong practical advice for achieving success, will prove invaluable to any life scientist who chooses to use immunoassays in either a research environment or for routine testing. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418
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NUI Galway scientist honoured for his work in Atmospheric Science
Tuesday, 9 January 2001
Release date: 9 January, 2001 NUI Galway scientist honoured for his work in Atmospheric Science Professor S. Gerard Jennings was conferred recently with the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa (Honorary Doctorate) by the University of G" teborg, Sweden. This honorary degree was awarded in recognition of the world-recognised research achievements of Professor Jennings in the field of Atmospheric Science, which embraces aerosol and cloud physics; and climate and environmental change. At the ceremony, an honorary degree was also conferred on Dr. Arvid Carlsson, the winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2000. Professor S. Gerard Jennings directs the Atmospheric Research Group, in the Department of Physics at NUI, Galway. He, in collaboration with departmental colleagues has been instrumental in establishing and operating the world renowned Atmospheric Research Station at Mace Head, near Carna, Co. Galway. The station s location on the west coast provides an ideal platform for the study of properties of atmospheric aerosol particles. It is now recognised that aerosols (microscopic airborne particles) can give rise to cooling and thus counteract warming of the earth's surface due to increasing concentration of greenhouse gases. Aerosol particles vary considerably, both spatially and temporally and in the context of understanding changes in climate, the study of aerosol particles is assuming new and critical importance. Professor Jennings is also involved in research with the recently-established Environmental Change Institute at NUI, Galway. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418
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