NUI Galway Professor appointed to Sierre Leone's Truth and Reconciliation Commis

Monday, 20 May 2002

Release date: 20 May, 2002 NUI Galway Professor appointed to Sierre Leone's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Professor William A. Schabas, director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland, Galway, has been appointed by the President of Sierra Leone, Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, as a member of the country s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Commission, which will begin its fifteen-month mandate on 1 June 2002, is to create an impartial historical record of Sierra Leone s brutal civil war during the 1990s. The Commission is modelled on similar efforts in South Africa and Guatemala. It is also required to address the needs of victims and to promote reconciliation in the country. "Sierra Leone s Truth Commission is somewhat unique, in that it will operate in parallel with criminal prosecutions of the most serious offenders by the newly created Special Court", Professor Schabas explained. The Special Court was established in January by an agreement between Sierra Leone and the United Nations. "Truth commissions are increasingly recognised as useful and effective mechanisms to promote peace and reconciliation in societies emerging from conflict, and to combat impunity", said Professor Schabas. "They can ensure accountability where the more traditional approach of criminal prosecution is not possible. They are particularly effective in providing a voice for victims and in establishing what really took place." The Sierra Leone Truth Commission is made up of seven commissioners, four of them nationals of Sierra Leone, and three of them non-nationals who were nominated by Mary Robinson, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. In addition to Professor Schabas, the other non-nationals are Yasmin Louise Sooka, a former member of the South African Truth Commission, and Satang Ajaaraton Jow, former Gambian Minister of Education. During 2002 and 2003, Professor Schabas will travel regularly to Sierra Leone in order to carry out his functions as a commissioner. William Schabas is an internationally recognised specialist in international human rights law, with a particular expertise in the area of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. A prolific author, he has published twelve books on human rights subjects of which the most recent, An Introduction to the International Criminal Court, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2001. His work as a human rights monitor and investigator has taken him to such countries as Rwanda, Cambodia, Kosovo, Chechnya, the Sudan and El Salvador. A national of Canada, Professor Schabas has lived in Ireland since January 2000, when he took up the chair in human rights law at the National University of Ireland, Galway. For more information on the Truth Commission, see: http://www.sierra-leone.org/trc.html. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press & Information Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

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Minister identifies new Fish Species suitable for Commercial Farming while launc

Thursday, 9 May 2002

Release date: 9 May, 2002 Minister identifies new Fish Species suitable for Commercial Farming while launching new Marine Research Programme The award of a massive €13 million to the Martin Ryan Institute at NUI, Galway by the Higher Education Authority has lead to a further €6 million being raised in what is a true example of a Public Private Partnership. Atlantic Philanthropies Ltd., based in the United States, has come on board to support an ambitious marine research programme that will build both scientific capability and the physical resources required to support it. The unique partnership continues a strong tradition of PPP at NUI Galway. Tony Ryan (of Ryan Air), led the trend when he funded the establishment of the MRI in 1992. Aquaculture research is one of the many areas of marine research in which the Martin Ryan Institute is involved. Aquaculture is one of the world's major growth industries and accounts for 25% of all fish landings. In Ireland, the sector has grown in output value from €51 million in 1994, to €97 million in 2000 and now employs 2,200 on a full and part-time basis. Salmon, mussels and oysters, have been successfully farmed since the 1970s. Now a new report identifies turbot, halibut and cod, as species with the best prospects for development in the immediate future. The report of the New Species Development Group will be launched by Mr. Frank Fahey, T.D., Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources, today (Thursday, 9 May at 2.00 p.m.) in the Martin Ryan Institute, in NUI, Galway. Established by the Minister in December 2001, the Group was charged with drawing up an integrated plan of action designed to facilitate and accelerate the commercial cultivation of new species in the short term. To support the diversification by the aquaculture sector into the cultivation of new marine finfish species, the New Species Development Group has devised a Six Point Integrated Strategy which includes the following: Facilities Support the development of dedicated hatchery and juvenile management in Irish R&D facilities under the NDP, 2000-2006. Skills Build the Irish Human resource capacity, expertise and key skills in areas such as genetics, hatchery technology and management, fish health broodstock management and feed research Species State agencies to prioritise and fast-track the three main species –turbot, halibut and cod – in the hatchery, juvenile and growout phases, in partnership with private entrepreneurs. Partnership/Investment Build international alliances and promote international investment in new species Promotion/Marketing State agencies to promote the public image and market perception of Ireland as a location for Fish Health and Licencing Department of Marine & Natural Resources to adopt a proactive Fish Health and Licence strategy for management of new species. Mr. Declan Clarke of NUI, Galway's Martin Ryan Institute, who is Chairman of the New Species Development Group, says the report's recommendations present both a challenge and an opportunity to fast-track the development of aquaculture in Ireland. "Compared to countries such as Norway, Canada and France who have been to the forefront of new species diversification over the past decade, Ireland's aquaculture industry is relatively underdeveloped and we now have an opportunity to avail of the advances in new technologies, as well as consumer demand for continuity of supply and product consistency". One of the first major steps in building this required capacity in marine finfish R&D will be the establishment of Ireland's first cod hatchery at the MRI Carna Laboratories. As an initiative which is funded by the Údarás na Gaeltachta and the Marine Institute and is supported by Trouw Ireland Ltd and BIM, the collaborative nature of the project ensures a multidisciplinary input, both from a research and most importantly a commercial viewpoint. The major capital development programme being undertaken at the MRI Carna Laboratories, will facilitate just this type of collaborative research, both in the basic marine science fields and also on the more applied sector. Ends Information from:Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091-750418; Mobile 087-2986582 Note for Editors: The term 'new species' in the Report refers to those species that are being considered for commercialisation, that are not in mainstream production and have the potential to sustainably contribute to the Irish economy within the coming decade, specifically they refer to marine finfish such as turbot, halibut and cod. In the context of new species covered in this report the financial investment required is estimated at €500,000 to €3 million. In evaluating the economic aspects of new species the following criteria apply: Reliability and cost of juvenile supply Detailed knowledge of costs of production and markets Growth rates achievable in ambient - Fish health and local environmental parameters The availability of local expertise Adequate information to devise a specification for a commercial plant New Fish Species prioritised for commercialisation: Turbot, Halibut and Cod. Turbot: The commercial farming of turbot is well established in Spain, France and Chile. Early turbot production trials in Ireland and Europe showed encouraging results and a commercial turbot farm is now established in Connemara. Halibut is a cold-water species, which is a high priced fish with an established market. Most research has been undertaken in Norway, Scotland and Iceland. Cod: Economic models draw parallels with salmon farming which is similar in terms of methodology and requirements. Studies undertaken in Norway indicate that costs must be significantly reduced to make the industry competitive with salmon farming. In addition to Turbot, Halibut and Cod, other finfish species considered to have potential for aquaculture include Haddock, Sea Bass and Hake The Irish domestic market for seafood is worth €110 million and Irish seafood exports were valued at €330 million in the year 2000. --------------------

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NUI Galway to address Market Efficiencies in the Road Freight Sector

Tuesday, 7 May 2002

Release date: 7 May, 2002 NUI Galway to address Market Efficiencies in the Road Freight Sector A team of researchers at the Department of Information Technology at NUI, Galway is currently investigating a unique approach to the improvement of efficiency in the haulage industry. The latest statistics* from the CSO show that the total vehicle kilometres travelled by Irish goods vehicles was 1,023 million, of which approximately 62% were on loaded journeys with the remaining 38% on empty journeys. Total activity in terms of tonnes-kilometres was 7,016 million, from which an estimate of 12.9 million was loaded journeys. The problem of 'empty running' and full utilisation of truck capacity is one that faces all hauliers with the average lading factor (capacity utilisation) at only 60%. The team at NUI, Galway is seeking to develop software that will enable the fleet manager to optimise route planning, fleet capacity and cost effectiveness. The proposed V-LAB (or Virtual Logistics Multi-Agent Broker) integrates the capabilities of mobile intelligent agents, AI-based optimisation, GPS positioning and time-stamping and distributed object technology. A prototype system is planned for the real time brokerage and co-ordination of 'on-the-move' road freight carriers. Over one billion tonne-kilometres of road freight transport is generated in the EU and in this market alone a 10% effective increase in capacity would mean a reduction of about 100 million tonne-kilometre journeys and significant reductions in CO2 emissions. "The research programme investigates the usage of innovative technology through the convergence of computing, communications and satellite-based positioning technologies to address the apparent inefficiency in the operation of road freight haulage" said Dr. Michael Madden of the Department of Information Technology, NUI, Galway. "A solution to this problem would mean very large and quantifiable benefits for fleet operators and indeed the economy as a whole." The product will serve as a broker between the fleet management agent and the manufacturers and shippers and will, through analysis of route planning, capacity, special requirements for haulage such as refrigeration, ensure that fleets are maximising capacity usage and increasing efficiency. Funding for the project of €500,000 was received from Enterprise Ireland. --ENDS— For further information: Maire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091-750418 *CSO Road Freight Transport Survey 1999

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NUI Galway to Honour Individuals for their Outstanding Contribution

Tuesday, 18 June 2002

release date: 18 June, 2002 NUI Galway to Honour Individuals for their Outstanding Contribution to Society One of the most successful Irish-American politicians of his generation and a man who has close links with Galway, will be among six people who will be conferred with Honorary Degrees at NUI, Galway on Friday, 28 June, 2002. William (Bill) Bulger was President of the Massachusetts Senate from 1978 to 1996, making him the longest-serving holder of that office in the history of the State. During his long and illustrious career as Senate President, William Bulger oversaw the introduction of legislation for improved education and healthcare services in Massachusetts, paying special attention to the needs of the poor and disadvantaged. In 1996, he became the twenty-fourth President of the University of Massachusetts. Under his leadership, the University has made significant progress, in terms of academic activity, research funding and private support. William Bulger grew up in South Boston, which had one of the strongest Irish communities in the US. He married Mary Foley, whose mother Sarah came from Carna, Co Galway and they have nine children. The Senator and his wife retain strong links with the west of Ireland, which they have visited on a number of occasions. Another person who has made an extraordinary contribution to her community and who will be conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree is Sister Helen Prejean. About twenty years ago, Sr. Helen began ministering to persons sentenced to death in Louisiana penitentiaries. She wrote about her experiences in her best-selling book, Dead Man Walking, which was adapted and turned into the Oscar-winning film of the same name, starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. Sr. Helen is a member of an inner-city religious community in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her encounters with Louisiana's death row soon focussed her phenomenal energies and charismatic persona onto the more general issue of capital punishment. She is currently one of the leading activists in the United States and internationally for the abolition of the death penalty. Ali Hewson and Adi Roche, of the Chernobyl Children's Project, are household names in Ireland for their tireless efforts in alleviating the suffering of the victims of one of the world's most famous nuclear accidents. Ali Hewson is the Chernobyl Children's Project active and working patron and is deeply involved, with Adi Roche, in every aspect of the project. Adi Roche is the founder of the Chernobyl Children's Project. Under her leadership, the Project has initiated sixteen aid programmes, delivered medical aid valued at over $25m to the areas affected by the nuclear accident and brought over 8,500 children to Ireland for rest and recuperation. Over 60 children have been brought to Ireland for life-saving operations and treatment. In 1998, Adi Roche received Belarus' s highest national honour, the Frantsysk Skrayna Order for her outstanding contribution to the life of the Belarussian people. More recently, Ali Hewson has spearheaded a postcard campaign to persuade the British Government to close the nuclear power plant at Sellafield. An Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws will be conferred on both women. Dr Rosa Gonzalez-Casademont, is Professor of English at the University of Barcelona. She will be conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Literature Degree. Dr Gonzalez-Casademont is well known in Spain for her work in promoting the study and appreciation of Irish literature and film and was responsible for the setting up of the Spanish Association of Irish Studies in 2001. Professor Salvatore Rionero is Professor of Rational Mechanics at the University of Naples. Since 1980, he has been Director of the annual International Summer School in Mathematical Physics at Ravello, at which scientists from NUI Galway and UCD have given courses. Professor Rionero is Author/Co-author of over one hundred papers and numerous books and has made many distinguished research contributions in the areas of non-linear stability of viscous fluids and qualitative estimates for partial differential equations. He will be conferred with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science. Ends Information from:Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway.Tel. 091 750418

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Germaine Greer to lead International Line-up at Centre for Irish Studies Confere

Tuesday, 11 June 2002

Release date: 10 June, 2002 Germaine Greer to lead International Line-up at Centre for Irish Studies Conference in NUI Galway 'Ned Kelly and the Irish Inheritance' is the provocative title of a talk to be delivered by Germaine Greer at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI, Galway on Wednesday 19 June. Professor Greer will deliver the keynote address at the Twelfth Irish Australian Conference, 'From Youghal Harbour to Moreton Bay: Remembered Nations, Imagined Republics', 19-22 June, which brings together many of the most eminent scholars in Irish Australian studies from Ireland, Australia, Britain, South Africa and New Zealand. With more than fifty papers scheduled for presentation, the Galway conference is set to be the largest to date with papers presented on a broad range of issues including migration, ethnic identities, multiculturalism, health and gender, Irish-aboriginal relations, industrial relations, republicanism, language, literature and the efforts of Irish missionaries in Australia. 'We are particularly pleased with the diversity of the material which will have considerable appeal to a general audience and will greatly extend considerably the scope of future research in Irish-Australian studies,' says Louis de Paor, Director of the Centre for Irish Studies. 'The timing of the conference is also auspicious given the recent and unprecedented development in of Irish Studies in the antipodes which has seen the establishment of centres for Irish Studies at some of Australia's most prestigious universities in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and elsewhere. It also confirms our commitment to a more outward looking inclusive definition of Irish Studies.' Among the more intriguing titles in the conference programme are Ann McVeigh's talk on child migration which has been the subject of recent television documentaries such as 'The Leaving of Liverpool' and 'The Lost Children'; Rosemary Sheehan's comparison of the treatment of women prisoners in Mountjoy and Melbourne jails; and Chris Eipper's 'Virgin Worship, Desire, Sex and Gender' which is part of a work in progress provisionally titled Virgin Mothers, Bad Girls and Murdered Babies. Chris Whittington's study of Haemochromatosis, a hereditary condition, involving iron deficiency, which has its highest incidence among Irish people and their descendants, will provide interesting insights into this little-known condition. 'Free Women on a Savage Frontier' is a title of Pat Jacobs' talk, which looks at the work of a group of Irish nuns among Aboriginal and Asian people in Broome, Beagle Bay and Lombadina, one of the most violent frontiers in Australia, when the pearling industry was at its height. Other highlights include a reading on Thursday, 20 June, by John McGahern from his acclaimed new novel, That They May Face the Rising Sun, which has just been awarded the Irish Fiction Award at Listowel Writers Festival and on Friday, 21 June, there will be an evening of songs, poems and ballads from Irish-Australia with Seán Tyrell, Shane Howard and Vincent Woods. A new collection of Australian Landscape Studies by Connemara artist, Mary Donnelly, will be exhibited throughout the four days of the conference. Everyone is welcome to attend the conference and a daily registration fee includes access to all events as well as lunch and coffee. All the conference proceedings will take place in the Ó Tnúthail Theatre, AM150, Arts Millennium Building, NUI, Galway. The evening events will commence at 8.00 p.m. in AM250, Arts Millennium Building. Admission to the evening presentations by Germaine Greer, John McGahern, Evelyn Conlon, Seán Tyrell, Vincent Woods and Shane Howard, is by ticket only and is free of charge. Tickets are available in advance from Áras Fáilte, the University's Information Centre. (Tel. 091 750418). Full details of the conference programme are available on the Centre for Irish Studies website at www.irishstudies.ie or from Conference Director Dr Louis de Paor, Centre for Irish Studies, NUI, Galway. Tel: 353+91+512198 Email: louis.depaor@nuigalway.ie Ends Information from:Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway.Tel. 091 750418

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