UN Professors Launch Joint Programme on Children and Young People in Ireland

UN Professors Launch Joint Programme on Children and Young People in Ireland-image

Friday, 21 October 2011

Ireland’s two UNESCO Chair holders came together today to launch an innovative and exciting programme dedicated to improving the rights and well being of children and young people across Ireland. The Children and Youth Programme is an independent academic collaboration between Professor Alan Smith at the University of Ulster and Professor Pat Dolan from NUI Galway. In the coming months the Programme will initiate a debate on two key points – the value of a rights-based approach to the planning and provision of children’s services in both parts of the island, and the need for both governments to incorporate a stronger commitment to children’s rights in legislation.  Speaking today on United Nations Day, Professor Alan Smith, UNESCO Chair in Education for Pluralism, Human Rights and Democracy at the University of Ulster stated: “As the two UNESCO Chairs on the island of Ireland we believe that the academic programme we are launching today will help to reinforce the notion that a strong commitment to children’s rights will have better outcomes for children and families across the island. As we see on a daily basis the most difficult part of any economic downturn is the fact that it is the poorest and the vulnerable who are usually most affected by financial cut backs. Consequently it is the children of those hardest hit by job losses and cutbacks to children and family services who suffer most. We only need to look at the stark predictions being made by those who work in the front line services to see that this is the case. For example,  the impact of welfare and budget cuts on increased poverty levels in Northern Ireland or the fact that today in Ireland, 18.6% of children now live in risk of poverty, and 8.7% already live in consistent poverty. A rights based approach provides stability and certainty of resource allocation and protection for the most vulnerable in times of financial constraint and cutback. As a constant it also requires that all government decisions take account of the rights of children, ensuring that no one falls through the gaps in monitoring processes or becomes a victim of shifting political priorities.” Professor Dolan is Director of the Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, and holds the UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement: “We believe that there are clear signals the administrations on both sides of the border can send, not only to the international community, but to the next generation on this island, that they will be protected and nurtured, with certainty in policy making and reliability in service provision. The Northern Ireland Assembly has the power to pass legislation which will require every government department to take account of children’s rights in all policy decisions, as the Welsh Assembly has already done. Incorporating the UN Convention and the Rights of the Child and developing a rights-based approach to policy development could be one of the greatest single legislative acts undertaken by the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive since its formation. Likewise, the prospect of a referendum in Ireland to include a clear and binding commitment to children’s rights in the constitution is a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity. Common sense concern for children and families should encourage everyone to support such a referendum.” Professor Dolan added: “Over the next year we want to initiate a debate on how services for children and young people can be provided on the basis of rights.  We hope to show that it is an approach underpinned by clear and consistent obligations that will cherish all children equally.” -ends-

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NUI Galway Honour Leaving Certificate Excellence with Special Ceremony

NUI Galway Honour Leaving Certificate Excellence with Special Ceremony-image

Friday, 21 October 2011

NUI Galway recently celebrated the success of a select group of first-year students who received a total €102,000 in recognition of the high points they achieved in the recent Leaving Certificate Examination. As part of the University's annual Entrance Scholarships, 60 students received €1,700 each, along with a specially designed NUI Galway scroll. The presentations were made at a special ceremony which included teachers and parents on Thursday, 20 October, 2011. Entrance Scholarships are given annually to new entrants at NUI Galway who reached a minimum of 560 points in their Leaving Certificate examination, except in Medicine. In Medicine 10 Scholarships were awarded, based on the combined results in the Leaving Certificate and the new Admissions Test (H-PAT Ireland). Designed to attract the best students to NUI Galway and reward their academic excellence, the awards may be held with any other scholarships or grants, including the University's extensive Sports Scholarship Scheme. Speaking at the award ceremony, NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne, who presented the cheques to each individual winner, said: “I am delighted to present the scholarships to these outstanding 60 individuals in recognition of their academic talent. NUI Galway strives constantly to support and promote academic excellence across all disciplines. The purpose of these awards is to encourage each student to develop his/her academic potential to the fullest, by setting a realistic threshold of excellence and rewarding every student who attains that level. It is also a chance to give due credit to their parents and teachers for their contribution to such success.” This year Entrance Scholarships were awarded to students from 38 individual schools throughout Ireland. The winners represented 16 counties including Carlow, Clare, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Limerick, Longford, Mayo, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary and Westmeath. -ENDS-

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Autumn Conferring Week Begin at NUI Galway

Autumn Conferring Week Begin at NUI Galway-image

Friday, 21 October 2011

Over 3,600 students will graduate from NUI Galway during the Autumn Conferring Ceremonies which take place from 21-28 October. NUI Galway will also confer five Honorary Masters Degrees during the ceremonies on Peadar O’Dowd, Stan Shields, William Henry, Kathleen Villiers Tuthill and Martin Ward. Peadar O’Dowd - Honorary Masters of Arts honoris causa: Local historian, author, contributor to local media and tour guide of Galway city, Peadar, a graduate of NUI Galway, is a retired lecturer in Business Studies from GMIT. He has worked tirelessly for the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society and a range of other voluntary and community organisations. Stan Shields - Honorary Masters of Arts honoris causa: Retired staff photographer for the Connacht Tribune, Stan is a chronicler in photographers of Galway city and county life through the decades to the present day, including the 1963 visit of US President John F. Kennedy to Galway when Stan famously climbed into the presidential car to get the best images. William Henry - Honorary Masters of Arts honoris causa: Prolific author and columnist with local newspapers on Galway’s civic traditions and its military heritage. William is also a committee member of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society. Kathleen Villiers-Tuthill - Honorary Masters of Arts honoris causa: A native of Clifden, Co. Galway, Kathleen has published five books on the history of Connemara, West Galway and Alexander Nimmo. Her historical work and assistance in voluntary and community organisations has been recognised by Galway County Council, who presented her with Heritage Awards on two occasions. Martin Ward - Honorary Masters in Rural Development honoris causa: A leader in community development in Glinsk, Co. Galway for the last 40 years, Martin has been involved in the establishment of a Community Council and Centre, and a Heritage Group and Centre. Martin is also the Principal of the local primary school. Commenting on the conferring of this year's graduands, Dr James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history. This week we are proud to honour Peadar O'Dowd, Stan Shields, William Henry, Kathleen Villiers-Tuthill and Martin Ward.  Each of these honorees share a passion for the West of Ireland and its heritage.  Their diverse contributions in chronicling and recording the past have fostered a respect for the local history and heritage of our region and its development. They are particularly worthy individuals and NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise their exceptional talents and achievements.” The annual Autumn Conferring Ceremonies will begin with the Adult and Continuing Education ceremonies, where awards will be conferred on over 1,000 students who completed their certificate, diploma and degree courses at many locations across the country. ENDS

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University Eateries Shortlisted for Caterers Award

University Eateries Shortlisted for Caterers Award-image

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Two NUI Galway campus restaurants, An Bhialann and Moffetts have been shortlisted for the Institutional Caterers Award at the upcoming Hotel and Catering Review Gold Medal Awards ceremony. Organised by Hotel and Catering Review, the Gold Medal Awards recognise excellence within the hospitality industry, rewarding food service operations that have been outstanding.  Applicants are judged across a wide range of criteria including excellence in food standards, customer service, culinary creativity and innovation. Catering in An Bhialann is provided by ARAMARK Ireland’s Food Services division who have provided catering services there since 1992. In 2010, a €3.5m investment resulted in a complete redesign of this 800 seat restaurant which now boasts a modern interior, new entrances and extended seating. An Bhialann also houses a brand new kitchen which incorporates the latest in equipment and services, all designed to deliver a wide choice of top quality and  value for money  dishes. Global coffee house Starbucks and the popular sandwich chain Subway are also located in An Bhialann which caters for over 16,000 customers on a weekly basis. Moffetts the 120 seat staff restaurant, operated by Masterchefs is nominated for the second year in a row.  Moffetts is beautifully situated overlooking the River Corrib and provides an extensive range of self–service and table service meals and is also available for private bookings.  Masterchefs has an excellent reputation in the hospitality business having catered for numerous high profile prestigious events both on campus at NUI Galway and elsewhere. Conference and Catering Manager at NUI Galway, Ann Duggan said: “We are delighted that our restaurants have been nominated for these prestigious hospitality awards and it is a fitting recognition of the excellent standards within the University catering sector.” -Ends-

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Tulca Festival of Visual Arts Events in association with NUI Galway

Tulca Festival of Visual Arts Events in association with NUI Galway-image

Thursday, 20 October 2011

The 2011 Tulca Festival of Visual Arts opens on Friday, 4 November, in galleries and other spaces across Galway. This year’s festival, entitled ‘After the Fall’, will take place from 4 to 20 November. Curated by Megs Morley, a number of events will be held in association with NUI Galway. Highlights for the festival will include renowned Romanian artist Lia Perjovschi’s creation of an installation in the foyer of The James Hardiman Library in NUI Galway. One of Romania’s leading artists, Lia’s work focuses on the activities of collecting, archiving, structuring, distributing and mediating a variety of knowledge about society, politics and art which had been inaccessible to Romania until after 1989. Perjovschi has exhibited all over the world, and her life under the Ceausescu dictatorship has greatly influenced her work and mode of artistic expression, which always includes some political relevance. The James Hardiman Library will be open to the public for the duration of the festival. On Saturday, 5 November, Perjovschi will present a talk on her practice in the James Hardiman Library Browsing Room at 3pm. On Saturday, November 12, ‘Fugitive Papers’, an artistic research project examining art and art-writing as a public and critical activity will take place in The View, Áras na Mac Léinn,  NUI Galway at 3pm. It will be presented by Michaele Cutaya, James Merrigan and Fiona Woods. On Thursday, 17 November, a collaborative NUI Galway and GMIT presentation and workshop by Frances Whitehead ‘The Embedded Artist Project: Strategies for Civic Engagement. What do Artists Know?’ will be held in the Huston School of Film and Digital Media at the University. The session will discuss the strategy of ‘embedding’ practising artists at local government level, bridging policy and practice in order to bring new perspectives and innovative approaches to addressing the challenges in planning the city’s future. The event is free to attend but spaces must be booked in advance through Dee Quinn in the NUI Galway Huston School of Film and Digital Media at dee.quinn@nuigalway.ie. Ann Lyons of the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway, said: “This connection to the visual arts through Tulca is a valuable aspect of NUI Galway’s commitment to the arts in Galway. Its participation in Tulca also provides an opportunity for collaboration between NUI Galway and GMIT, developing stronger links between the two third-level institutions in the city. We are very pleased to be associated with Tulca and welcome everyone to the University to experience this exciting festival of visual art.” Tulca Festival of Visual Arts includes a further programme of workshops, talks and events and brings the work of a range of international and Irish artists to Galway. Full programme details are available at www.tulca.ie. -ENDS-

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