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NUI Galway honours seven outstanding individuals with Honorary Degrees
Monday, 27 June 2005
- Honorary Doctorates conferred on Marian Finucane, Cyril Ramaphosa, Fr Alex Reid, Prof Alim-Louis Benabid, George Clare, Bernard McNicholas and Sean Purcell National University of Ireland Galway recognises the achievements of seven outstanding individuals at an honorary conferring ceremony today (Friday). The calibre of each of the individuals to be conferred reflects NUI Galway's commitment to the study and promotion of human rights and global humanitarian law. Each honouree was chosen for his or her outstanding contribution to society through social work, philanthropy, medicine, arts or culture. The conferring ceremony further underpins NUI Galway's work in enhancing the lives of Irish communities while fostering strong relationships with organisations and individuals worldwide. The Honorary Conferring Ceremony will take place in the presence of Chancellor of the National University of Ireland and former Taoiseach, Dr Garret Fitzgerald and President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh. Dr Ó Muircheartaigh said, "It is a particular honour for me to welcome these seven individuals to NUI Galway to be conferred with honorary degrees. Each has given so much of their personal and professional lives to advance human rights, enrich minds and capture the spirit and imagination of millions worldwide. I am proud that these individuals will now be associated with NUI Galway, as they have had such a profound effect on communities worldwide." Marian Finucane is one of Ireland's best known broadcasters. In a career spanning four decades she has been a transforming influence in the lives of Irish people, highlighting social injustices and encouraging social change. She is a Board Member of the Irish Hospice Foundation, which has led her to raise funds in support of the construction of an AIDS hospice and orphanage in the Khayelitsha township of Cape Town, South Africa. As part of this effort, Marian and her partner have established a Charity, Friends in Ireland, to extend their philanthropic work in South Africa. Cyril Ramaphosa has dedicated his life to improving the lives of the people of South Africa. He is renowned for his work with the trade union movement but is also recognised internationally for the key role he has played in bringing about a peaceful end to apartheid. He steered South Africa towards its first democratic elections in 1994, when he was elected chair of the new Constitutional Assembly and became a Member of Parliament. He is currently active in the private sector as chairman of Millennium Consolidated Investments. Fr Alex Reid has been acclaimed nationally and internationally for the crucial role that he has played in the Northern Ireland peace process. He was the key person in ensuring that dialogue was initiated between various parties at critical stages in the development of the peace process, and provided compelling moral arguments for the cessation of violence. It has been said that the peace process would not have been as successful without his involvement. Professor Alim-Louis Benabid, chairman of neurosurgery at the Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, is considered a pioneer in the field of neurosurgery. He is leading a team of neurologists developing revolutionary new methods to fight neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease and epilepsy. The method, Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), involves high-frequency electrical stimulation of the brain. Following the operation, the main symptoms practically disappear, and most patients can stop taking medication. George Clare, journalist and author, was born in Vienna, Austria in 1920. In the aftermath of Hitler's Annexation of Austria, virulent anti-Semitism erupted and drove many Jews into exile. George's best-selling memoir, Last Waltz in Vienna (1981) was translated into seven languages and won the W.H. Smith Literary Award. The memoir tells, among other things, of how George and his mother Stella travelled to Galway for George to help set up a ribbon factory. Bernard McNicholas is a native of Bohola, Co. Mayo. In the early 1960s he succeeded his father as head of McNicholas Engineering Ltd. Under Bernard's leadership the company has developed into one of the most professionally managed, multi-disciplinary companies in its field today. In 1993 the AIB in Britain named him Irish Businessman of the Year, as much for his philanthropy as for his business acumen. He has been a mentor and a leading figure in the Irish community in London. Among the charities he supports are Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin and the John Durkan Leukemia Trust. Sean Purcell, from Tuam, County Galway, is widely regarded as one of the best exponents of the skills of Gaelic football. An extremely versatile player, he is generally held to be one of the game's greatest ever centre-half forwards and was elected in that position on the GAA/An Post 'Team of the Millennium'. He won an All-Ireland colleges medal with St Jarlath's, Tuam in 1946, and in his career with the Tuam Stars Club, he won ten County Championship titles. He won one All-Ireland senior football medal with Galway and three Railway Cup medals with Connacht, in 1951, 1957 and in 1958, when he was captain. - ENDS -
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International Conference on Civic Engagement and Service Learning
Monday, 20 June 2005
NUI Galway is the first Irish university to host a conference centred on the civic mission of higher education, which will address issues related to the introduction of 'Service Learning' to the higher education curriculum. Service Learning, a new concept in Ireland, encourages third-level students to explore issues vital to society through active participation or service in communities, non-governmental organisations and other similar organisations. The international conference on Civic Engagement and Service Learning – Universities, Students and Community, will take place on campus on the 23rd and 24th June 2005. The Conference is timely as the Irish Government's Department of Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs actively encourages the expansion of service learning to all third level colleges in Ireland. The conference has emerged from the university's commitment to civic engagement and to a body of work embedded in the Academic and Strategic Plans, entitled the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI). A number of keynote speakers will participate from the US, South Africa and the UK including representatives of organisations such as the Ford Foundation, Campus Compact and development agencies. Amongst the keynote speakers from NUI Galway is Lorraine McIlrath, Academic Staff Developer in Service Learning at the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) and conference organiser. Commenting on the importance of Service Learning, she said, "We are entering into a phase of development in third level university life where we are encouraging and urging students to consider their civic responsibilities and to explore issues vital to society by participating in community work and non-governmental organisations. We support the Taoiseach's recent announcement of his intention to establish a task force on active citizenship, which will advise on how to maintain and develop a culture of active citizenship. As Irish society continues its obsession with material well being, we believe that civic engagement at third level is vital to ensure and foster a sense of social responsibility for the future." Already, a number of Service Learning pilot projects are underway at NUI Galway, with both the students and academic leaders reporting a high satisfaction rate. Postgraduate IT students have worked with Macnas, the Galway-based street theatre group, to assist in the development of a website, create a performance database, network the organisation's computers and connect Macnas to broadband. Students learned about the community sector and resource constraints of working in community in Ireland. Nursing Studies introduced a module on International Nursing, which saw students travel to under-developed countries, including Zambia and Belize, where they worked with Aids patients and as care assistants in orphanages and community hospitals. Through this module the students examine cultural and political factors underpinning the health care system, reflected on the experience through a "Trans-Cultural Diary" and presented their experiences at a series of seminars. Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering students have engaged with Goal and the Niall Mellon Township Challenge to better understand their sense of civic and social responsibility and how their engineering skills can positively contribute towards society. Development of a new BA programme entitled 'Humanities and Society' which enable students prepare for work within the non-governmental agency community, nationally and internationally. The Faculty of Law will soon offer Clinical Education Placement experiences in the legal and community agencies to enable the integration of theory to practice, in some cases offering pro bono legal advice to disadvantaged groups. Service Learning was devised by academics in the United States in the early 1970s and since then has been strategically implemented in over 950 universities and colleges, largely supported through a national organisation, Campus Compact, which NUI Galway has joined as the first non-US based institution. Lorraine McIlrath says this conference "marks the departure of a very exciting journey of international significance and one which we hope will strengthen the academic, civic and personal experience of students, staff and community within all higher education institutions in Ireland and beyond." Ends
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Fógraíonn Banc na hÉireann €2.5 milliún mar thacaíocht d'fhorbairt inmharthana i
Thursday, 16 June 2005
Inniu (16 Meitheamh 2005), d'fhógair Banc na hÉireann go dtabharfaí €2.5 milliún chun geilleagar teangalárnach eolasbhunaithe a fhorbairt i gceantair Ghaeltachta. Ba é Des Crowley, Príomhfheidhmeannach – Seirbhísí Airgeadais Miondíola a d'fhógair an maoiniú ag fáiltiú in Ionad Ealaíon Bhanc na hÉireann. Tabharfar an maoiniú d'Fhondúireacht na hOllscoile mar chuid dá feachtas €50m Daoine & Áit. Tabharfaidh an €2.5m tacaíocht don obair atá déanta ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, a seoladh le gairid in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, institiúid náisiúnta €35 milliún atá tiomanta do cheannródaíocht in oideachas tríú leibhéal a chur ar fáil trí Ghaeilge. I dteannta na gclár ar an gcampas, déanfaidh an institiúid forbairt ar thrí ionad sheachtracha sa Ghaeltacht; tá dhá ionad acu sin i nGaeltacht na Gaillimhe (Carna agus an Cheathrú Rua) agus ionad eile i nDún na nGall (Gaoth Dobhair). Tabharfaidh an t-airgead ó Bhanc na hÉireann tacaíocht do chláir acadúla a chur ar fáil sna hionaid seo chun a chur ar chumas na bpobal áitiúil scileanna a fhoghlaim ar mhaithe le geilleagar eolasbhunaithe a fhorbairt. Díreoidh cláir ollscoile sna hionaid seo ar fhostaíocht inmharthana a chruthú, a thabharfaidh deis do chéimithe fanacht ina n-áit dúchais agus cur le hinfrastruchtúr teangeolaíoch agus teicneolaíoch an cheantair. Agus an tacaíocht á fógairt is é a dúirt Des Crowley, Príomhfheidhmeannach - Seirbhísí Airgeadais Miondíola Bhanc na hÉireann: "Tugann Banc na hÉireann tacaíocht láidir do gheilleagar teangalárnach, eolasbhunaithe a fhorbairt i gceantair Ghaeltachta. Feicimid Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge mar thionscnamh ceannródaíoch agus nuálaíoch agus tá an-áthas orainn tacú le Feachtas Daoine & Áit OÉ, Gaillimh. Tá riar maith dár ngnó in Iarthar na hÉireann agus tá beagnach 1,000 duine fostaithe againn ann – mar sin, ar bhealaí éagsúla, táimidne ag iarraidh tacú le daoine, le pobail agus leis an saol san Iarthar." Dúirt an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Uachtarán OÉ, Gaillimh, an méid seo: "Cuirimid fáilte mhór roimh an tacaíocht ghnaíúil seo ó Bhanc na hÉireann a láidreoidh an obair nuálaíoch atá déanta ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. Tá tiomantas na hOllscoile don Ghaeilge le feiceáil inár straitéis an seomra ranga agus an tsaotharlann taighde a thabhairt chuig an nGaeltacht agus tacú leis na pobail sin féinspleáchas eacnamaíoch agus teangalárnach a bhaint amach. Cuirimid fáilte roimh chinneadh Bhanc na hÉireann páirt a ghlacadh san fheachtas Daoine & Áit trí thacú le ceann de na cláir thosaíochta. Ghlac Peadar Mac an Iomaire, Príomhfheidhmeannach an Acadaimh, buíochas le Banc na hÉireann as a thacaíocht airgid agus dheimhnigh sé go méadófaí réimse clár acadúil a bhí á gcur ar fáil cheana féin ag an Acadamh, lena n-áirítear cúrsaí i staidéar an aistriúcháin, sa chumarsáid, sa teicneolaíocht faisnéise, i raidió agus teilifís, de réir mar a thiocfaidh forbairt ar an institiúid. Críoch
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Bank of Ireland announces €2.5 million towards support of sustainable developmen
Thursday, 16 June 2005
Bank of Ireland today (16 June, 2005) announced a commitment of €2.5 million towards the strategy of developing a language-centred, knowledge-based economy in Gaeltacht areas. The funding, which will be channelled through the Galway University Foundation at NUI Galway as part of its €50m People & Place campaign, was announced by Des Crowley, Chief Executive - Retail Financial Services at a reception in the Bank of Ireland Arts Centre. The €2.5m contribution will underpin the work of NUI Galway's recently launched Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, a national €35 million institute dedicated to pioneering third-level education through the medium of Irish. In addition to its campus programmes the institute will develop three outreach Gaeltacht centres, two in the Galway Gaeltacht (Carna and An Cheathrú Rua) and one in Donegal (Gaoth Dobhair). The Bank of Ireland contribution will support the provision of academic programmes in these centres designed to empower local communities to engage in, and benefit from skills and learning that are key to the development of a knowledge-based economy. University programmes delivered at these centres will focus on the creation of sustainable employment, providing graduates with the opportunity of remaining in their native place and further strengthen the linguistic and technological infrastructure of the area. Speaking at the announcement, Des Crowley, Chief Executive - Retail Financial Services at Bank of Ireland said: "Bank of Ireland strongly supports the development of a language centred, knowledge based economy in Gaeltacht areas. We see Acadamh na hOllscolaiochta Gaeilge as a ground breaking and innovative initiative and are delighted to support the NUI Galway People & Place Campaign. A major proportion of our business is in the West of Ireland and we employ almost 1,000 people along the Western seaboard – so, in different ways, we actively seek to support people and communities and life in the West." Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "We warmly acknowledge this generous support from Bank of Ireland which will copper-fasten the innovative work undertaken by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. The University's commitment to the Irish language is exemplified in our strategy of bringing the classroom and the research lab to the Gaeltacht and by supporting those communities to achieve language-centred, economic self-reliance. We salute Bank of Ireland in its decision to participate in the People & Place campaign by directing its support toward one of our priority programmes. Peadar Mac an Iomaire, Príomhfheidhmeannach (CEO) of an tAcadamh, thanked Bank of Ireland for its financial support and confirmed that the range of academic programmes already provided by an tAcadamh, including those in translation studies, communications, information technology, radio and television skills, will be extended as the institute develops. Ends
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Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Summer Meeting at the NCBES
Tuesday, 14 June 2005
The National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science will host the Summer Meeting of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (Biomedical Sciences section) on Thursday and Friday, 16th and 17th June. On Thursday, researchers from all over Ireland will compete for the Donegan Medal, which is awarded for the best oral research presentation. The Donegan Medal Competition is open to postgraduate students presenting their research for the first time at a scientific meeting. A Research Symposium entitled "Regulation of smooth muscle function" will be held on Friday. The symposium, sponsored by Boston Scientific, will focus on research into smooth muscle tissue lining the uterus (of interest to scientists studying disorders of pregnancy)and smooth muscle tissue lining blood vessels, which is a critical factor in blockages of arteries leading to heart attack. The Plenary Speaker at the Symposium is Cardiologist Dr. Bradford Berk, a world leader in Cardiovascular Research, Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Director of the Centre for Cardiovascular Research at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Professor Terry Smith, NCBES Director and NUI Galway RAMI Council representative, is local organiser of the symposium. Ends
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