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Minister Wallace Publishes Mental Health and Social Well-being of the Irish Popu
Tuesday, 24 February 2009
Ms Mary Wallace, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for Health Promotion and Food Safety, today (24th February, 2009) published the results from the Mental Health and Social Well-being Report of the National Health and Lifestyle Survey (SLÁN 2007). This report, which was commissioned by the Department of Health and Children, is part of a series based on the main SLÁN 2007 survey which was carried out by a research consortium involving NUI Galway, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the Economic and Social Research Institute, and University College Cork. Involving face-to-face interviews with a nationally representative sample of 10,364 respondents, the study is the largest national survey to date on the extent of both positive and negative mental health and social well-being in the Irish adult population. "We are very pleased to launch this report, which provides important national level data to guide policy and service development in promoting mental health improvement at a population level. Promoting and protecting population mental health contributes to the functioning of individuals, communities and society and reduces the social and economic burden of mental disorders" said Minister Wallace. The research team from NUI Galway was led by Professor Margaret Barry, Director of the Health Promotion Research Centre, and included Mr Eric Van Lente and Dr Michal Molcho, also from the Health Promotion Research Centre. "This report provides the most comprehensive information to date on levels of positive mental health and mental health problems in the Irish adult population. The findings indicate that while the majority of people report reasonably high levels of positive mental health, respondents with low levels of education, low income, who are not in paid emploment and have lower levels of social support, all experience poorer mental health. The findings also indicate the importance of good mental health for our physical health and well-being and underscore the need to implement the recommendations of the national mental health policy Vision for Change", Professor Barry said on behalf of the team. The report is available on line at www.dohc.ie or www.slan07.ie ENDS
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Huston School Contributes to African Film Festival
Tuesday, 24 February 2009
Rod Stoneman and James Finlan of NUI Galway's Huston School of Film & Digital Media are in Western Africa for the continent's largest film festival, FESPACO. Held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the film festival first started 40 years ago and has evolved into an internationally renowned event. The team from NUI Galway will continue a long-standing collaboration with the Imagine Film School in Ouagadougou, by running a newsreel workshop for its students. The resulting newsreels will be shown on television and in cinemas throughout Ouagadougou as part of the festival, which runs from 28 February to 7 March. Founded by leading African film director Gaston Kabore in 2005, the Imagine Film School has set an example in stimulating creative filmmaking across the African continent. The Huston School previously collaborated with the Imagine Film School on a script workshop in 2005. All workshops at Imagine are supported by NUI Galway's Community Knowledge Initiative, which promotes the ethos of civic engagement among students, staff and the wider community. Commenting on the trip to Burkina Faso, James Finlan co-ordinator of the M.A. in Production and Direction says: "Our involvement with the Imagine Film School and FESPACO festival continues our association with the continent of Africa. Last year, two of our production/direction students travelled to Nigeria to shoot their award-winning film FGM – No Way Home, which looks at the controversial topic of female genital mutilation. A current Huston student on the Public Advocacy and Activism course, Stephen Stewart also recently picked up a Digital Media award for his film Appeal to the people of Africa". The Huston School of Film & Digital Media runs a number of M.A. courses including Production/Direction, Screenwriting, Film Studies, Arts Policy & Practice, Digital Media, and Public Advocacy & Activism. Further information is available from: www.filmschool.ie -ends-
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Recital by Acclaimed American Pianist at NUI Galway Announced
Monday, 23 February 2009
Acclaimed American pianist Dr Orin Grossman will give a free lunchtime piano recital at NUI Galway's Aula Maxima Upper on Tuesday, 3 March at 1pm. The hour-long programme 'SWonderful – the Music of George Gershwin and Friends will feature the music of George Gershwin, ragtime musician Scott Joplin, and novelty piano composer Zez Confrey. The free, ticketless concert is open to the public and all are welcome. Since his successful New York Carnegie Recital Hall debut, Dr Grossman has pursued a long-standing interest in American jazz and popular music. His innovative combination of classical pieces with his transcriptions of jazz piano solos; and his extraordinary ability to move through different idioms, has led to a growing number of exciting and unusual recitals in New York and elsewhere around the world. In recent years, Dr. Grossman has been particularly associated with the music of George Gershwin, performing concerts of his song transcriptions and classical pieces to critical praise around the world. Recent concerts have been held in Cairo, New York, Florence, and St Petersburg, where he performed Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and gave the Russian premiere of Gershwin's Second Rhapsody with the St Petersburg Philharmonic. The Gershwin element of the recital will include Gershwin's three preludes, his first extended composition, Rhapsody in Blue, and six songs from The Gershwin Songbook to include: 'SWonderful; I am Just a Little Girl; The Man I Love; and Someone to Watch Over Me. According to Fionnuala Gallagher, Arts Officer, NUI Galway: "This is a rare and marvellous opportunity to hear the music of Gershwin from the heart of a true aficionado. Orin Grossman performs this one-hour lunchtime as a special gift to NUI Galway and all music lovers, and is not to be missed". Orin Grossman began piano and theory instruction at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA at the age of five. He went onto Harvard College, where he graduated Magna cum Laude in Music and won the prestigious Concerto Competition. He continued his studies at Yale University, earning a Ph.D. in Music. In 1971, he toured France with the Yale Orchestra, winning particular acclaim in concerts in Paris and Lyon. Dr Grossman joined Fairfield University in 1975 as an Assistant Professor of Fine Arts. In 1991 he was appointed Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He is currently the Academic Vice-President at Fairfield University, where he is also Professor of Visual and Performing Arts. For further information, contact Deirdre Lydon at the Arts & Theatre office, NUI Galway on 091 495098 or firstname.lastname@example.org -ends-
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Las Vegas Conference for NUI Galway Medical Student
Monday, 23 February 2009
Third-year NUI Galway medical student Kapil Sharma is in Las Vegas this week to present at the Orthopaedic Research Society s 55th meeting. His presentation 'Tracking Human Adult and Fetal Stem Cells during Segmental Bone Repair' resulted from research carried out at the Georgia Institute of Technology, during a UREKA International Exchange Programme. The UREKA International Exchange Programme is one of two summer undergraduate research fellowship programmes, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, at the National Centre for Biomedical Science, NUI Galway. The UREKA programme promotes active research participation by undergraduate students from science, engineering and medicine, in a challenging and enjoyable research environment. Kapil, who was born in Galway city but grew up in Ennis, Co. Clare, spent three months last summer working in the US on a project that is part of a longstanding research partnership between NUI Galway and Georgia Institute of Technology. Working with Professor Frank Barry of NUI Galway's Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and Professor Robert Guldberg of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Kapil's research encompassed orthopedic biomechanics, and bone and cartilage tissue engineering. Kapil is currently based in Sligo, where along with 16 other NUI Galway medical students, he is undertaking a year of clinical training at Sligo General Hospital. For him, the UREKA programme has been a very positive experience: "Participating in the UREKA International Exchange programme in Georgia Tech has been one of the most academic and professionally fulfilling experiences of my life. I am truly excited about travelling to Las Vegas, this is a remarkable opportunity for me to present the research I did over the summer as well as to represent REMEDI and NUI Galway". Professor Frank Barry, Scientific Director, REMEDI, also praised the UREKA programme: "This is a perfect example of the immense value of the UREKA programme in providing training for talented young scientists. The time spent at Georgia Tech, the chance to participate in this compelling research project, and the podium presentation at the Orthopaedic Research Society s meeting, all provide great opportunities for new research insights. I congratulate Kapil on his achievements and wish him great success in his future career". Kapil will attend the meeting in Las Vegas along with a number of REMEDI scientists who will also be making presentations. The NCBES at NUI Galway will welcome its fifth cohort of students to the UREKA Programme in 2009 and applications will be accepted from undergraduate students worldwide. -Ends-
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Fulbright Scholar to Speak at NUI Galway's Water Seminar
Monday, 23 February 2009
The EU's Water Framework Directive is the subject of an upcoming workshop at NUI Galway on 5 March, from 2.30-4.30pm. Speakers will include the Fulbright Scholar Dr Jon MacDonagh-Dumler of the Institute for Water Research at Michigan State University. Ireland has similar water management problems to the Great Lakes region, and Dr MacDonagh-Dumler is currently based at NUI Galway researching the workings of the Water Framework Directive and factors that influence its management and implementation in Ireland. The Water Framework Directive (WFD) brings together, in one management scheme, the regulations of 11 existing major EU directives, to which Member States must comply. Following public consultation, Ireland and other EU countries will implement the first water management plan at the end of 2009. According to Dr MacDonagh-Dumler: "I have observed that the WFD management plan is designed to coordinate and improve existing management programmes that impact water resources, thus making the whole effort more efficient and effective. It also introduces novel opportunities for collaboration among many different stakeholders, including the public". Dr MacDonagh-Dumler's research project is being hosted by Dr Brendan Flynn of the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, who comments: "Ireland has much to gain from the four decade long American experience of clean water policy, but in my view that story is not really much understood by key policy actors or academics in Ireland. An authoritative American voice on these matters would add considerably to the Irish debate on clean water policies". Other perspectives at the seminar on 5 March, which is entitled 'The EU Water Framework Directive: Irish, European and American Perspectives' will come from speakers Francis Jacobs, Head of European Parliament Representations, and Sinead O'Brien, Chair of SWAN (Sustainable Water Network Ireland). The event is aimed at environmental researchers with a broad interest in water policy, and the general public with an interest in water quality and sustainability issues. According to Dr Martina Prendergast, Development Manager of the Environmental Change Institute at NUI Galway, which is supporting the event: "Dr MacDonagh-Dumler will be able to give us insights into the excellent 'state of the art' methodologies and academic traditions from the USA. Sinead O'Brien of SWAN will speak about the crucial question of public participation. This event offers a vital and timely contribution towards an issue of pressing concern in Ireland - our growing environmental problems". Registration for the event is free, for further information email email@example.com -ends-
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New Research on Drugs is 'Important Milestone' According to NUI Galway Expert
Friday, 20 February 2009
Three new research reports are released today by the Western Region Drugs Task Force addressing tranquillser and sedative misuse; drug use in the Traveller community; and drugs issues in new communities. The new data target key gaps in knowledge on drugs issues in the West of Ireland. Launching the three reports in Galway, John Curran Minister of State with special responsibility for Drugs Strategy and Community Affairs at the Department of Community, Rural, and Gaeltacht Affairs said: "I am delighted to be here today to launch these three research reports for the Western Regional Drugs Task Force. In our role as policymakers it is vital that we establish reliable information concerning the nature and extent of drug misuse among all groups in society and also emerging trends of drugs misuse. I know that this research will be used to inform the work of the Task Force and will help to provide a better response to the needs of the communities covered by the Task Force". Dr Saoirse Nic Gabhainn of NUI Galway's Health Promotion Research Centre, said: "This is an important milestone in the work of the Western Region Task Force, it emphasises the comittment working from the evidence and reinforces how important it is to work with communities and community groups to help address old and emerging problems". The three reports are: 1 Minor Tranquillsers and Sedatives: Use and Misuse in the West of Ireland, by Kealan Flynn of iWrite Consulting This report illustrates the huge pull on the public purse of inappropriately prescribed minor tranquillisers and sedatives. Between 2000 and 2007, national exchequer spending on these drugs was €168.9 million, of this €90 million was for drug costs and €79 million for professional fees. In this period almost 90,000 people received 1.5 million prescriptions in the western region – most of them older, female and medical card holders. This report clearly identifies how the national prescribing guidelines are not being followed - and recommends that this be addressed as a matter of urgency. 2. Substance Misuse in the Traveller Community: A Regional Needs Assessment, by Marie-Claire Van Hout of Waterford Institute of Technology This report highlights how changes within the Traveller community – including fragmentation of their traditional culture, poverty and experiences of marginalisation in Irish society - places them at increased risk of substance misuse. Although the evidence suggests that fewer Travellers use drugs than settled people, Traveller groups identified that illegal drug taking was most prevalent among young men in their community with very low levels being used by Traveller women. However, Traveller groups reported women most commonly abusing minor tranquillisers and sedatives. The report states that drug education and prevention for Travellers needs more attention, and recommends a community development approach to working with Travellers. 3. Substance Use in New Communities: A way forward, by Colette Kelly, Cliona Fitzpatrick and Saoirse Nic Gabhainn of the Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway. This report describes how migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees are often cut off from supports – especially those who are isolated from their families and have poor English language skills. Immigrants generally come from countries with lower levels of drug use than in Ireland, and are often forced to alter their cultural values and behaviours to adapt to the lifesytle of the Irish population. The report recommends that barriers to effective service utilisation must be tackled and minimised; requiring supports for new communities, service providers and communication between the two. All three reports will be available for download from: www.wrdtf.ie -ends-
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Archbishop Tutu Praises NUI Galway's ALIVE Volunteering Programme
Friday, 20 February 2009
(Leagan Gaeilge) Following a lengthy standing ovation, Archbishop Desmond Tutu addressed a packed audience of over 1000 people at NUI Galway's Literary and Debating Society event on Sunday, 15 February. The Noble Peace Prize winner called for a sense of 'togetherness' in order that humanity might combat the challenges of climate change and economic meltdown. Archbishop Tutu, who led South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, was critical of the vast sums spent on military budgets, when so many lacked clean water, education and basic healthcare. Referring to the 'so-called war on terror', he said there was no way to win 'as long as there are conditions in the world that make people desperate'. The Archbishop was introduced by Sir Bob Geldof, who told the packed auditorium 'how privileged we are to be in the same room as an historic giant'. Sir Bob was making his first visit to NUI Galway in over 30 years, since he gigged in the college bar with the Boomtown Rats. Speaking about the spirit of volunteering at NUI Galway, the Archbishop praised the University's ALIVE volunteering programme which encourages civic engagement, describing it to media as 'fantastic'. He also reminded the audience that every human was family, and said 'you know you all come from Africa'. Dan Colley, Auditor of the Literary and Debating Society at NUI Galway, described the Archbishop's address and 'enlightening and lightening', referring to the South Africans humour. At the end of proceedings, Sir Bob Geldof presented the Literary & Debating Society's highest accolade, the President's Medal, to Archbishop Tutu. The medal has previously been awarded to such notable figures as philosopher and linguist Noam Chomsky, US Senator Mike Gravel, Congressman Bruce Morrison, and former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. Proceeds from the event have been pledged to two charities of Archbishop Tutu's choice, Tygerberg Children's Hospital and Philani Child Health and Nutrition project in South Africa. Ardmholadh Tugtha ag an Ardeaspag Tutu do Scéim Dheonach ALIVE in OÉ Gaillimh (View in English) I ndiaidh don slua seasamh agus bualadh bos fada a thabhairt dó, labhair an tArdeaspag Desmond Tutu leis an mbreis is 1000 duine a bhí sa lucht éisteachta ag ócáid Chumann Liteartha agus Díospóireachta OÉ Gaillimh, Dé Domhanigh, 15 Feabhra. D'iarr buaiteoir Dhuais Síochána Nobel go mbeadh 'aontacht' ann sa chaoi go mbeidh an cine daonna in ann aghaidh a thabhairt ar na dúshláin a bhaineann leis an athrú aeráide agus leis an ngéarchéim sa gheilleagar. Rinne an tArdeaspag Tutu, a bhí i gceannas ar Choimisiún Fírinne agus Athmhuintearais na hAfraice Theas, cáineadh ar na suimeanna ollmhóra airgid a chaitear ar bhuiséid mhíleata, nuair atá a oiread sin daoine gan uisce glan, gan oideachas ná cúram bunúsach sláinte. Ag tagairt dó don 'chogadh in aghaidh na sceimhlitheoireachta', mar a thugtar air, dúirt sé nach bhféadfaí an cogadh sin a bhaint 'fad atá cúrsaí ar domhan ag cur éadóchais ar dhaoine'. Chuir Bob Geldof an tArdeaspag Tutu i láthair, agus dúirt sé leis an slua 'gur phribhléid é bheith sa seomra céanna le fathach de chuid na staire'. Ba í céadchuairt Bob Geldof ar OÉ Gaillimh í le 30 bliain, ó bhí sé ag seinm i mbeár an choláiste leis na Boomtown Rats. Ag labhairt dó faoina thógtha atá OÉ Gaillimh le hobair dheonach, mhol an tArdeaspag Tutu scéim dheonach ALIVE a chuireann an comhpháirteachas poiblí chun cinn, agus dúirt sé leis na meáin go bhfuil an scéim seo 'thar barr'. Chuir sé i gcuimhne don lucht éisteachta gur gaol gach duine lena chéile, agus dúirt 'tá a fhios agaibh gurb as an Afraic sibh ar fad'. Dúirt Dan Colley, Reachtaire Chumann Liteartha agus Díospóireachta OÉ Gaillimh, go raibh aitheasc an Ardeaspaig 'lán eolais agus lán de chroí', ag tagairt dó d'acmhainn ghrinn fhear na hAfraice Theas. Bhronn Bob Geldof Bonn an Uachtaráin, buaicghradam an Chumainn Liteartha agus Díospóireachta, ar an Ardeaspag Tutu i ndiaidh na léachta. I measc na ndaoine ar bronnadh an gradam seo orthu go dtí seo bhí an fealsamh agus an teangeolaí Noam Chomsky, an Seanadóir Meiriceánach Mike Gravel, an Feisire Meiriceánach Bruce Morrisson, agus an t-iar-Thaoiseach Bertie Ahern. Bronnadh luach na dticéad ar dhá charthanas a roghnaigh an tArdeaspag Tutu, Ospidéal Leanaí Tygerberg agus tionscadal Sláinte agus Cothaithe Leanaí Philani san Afraic Theas. -Críoch-
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NUI Galway Student Wins Digital Media Award
Thursday, 19 February 2009
NUI Galway student Stephen Stewart, from Rathcoole, County Dublin, has won the Connect-World Student Digital Story telling Award for his short film Appeal to the People of Africa at Digital Media Awards 2009. The film gives an insight into some the fortitude and dignity that Irish children could learn from their peers in Africa. This is the second year Stephen has won this award. Students of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway, accounted for two out of three nominations in the student category at the awards. Richard Walsh from Ballybunion, County Kerry, and Julian Ulrichs from Galway City, were also nominated for their short documentary F.G.M. - No Way Home. The film deals with the issue of female genital mutilation and focuses on the story of Pamela Izevbekhai, a Nigerian woman living in Ireland, and her daughters. Last year, the documentary was awarded the Radharc Award for best short documentary. The Digital Media award for students is sponsored by Connect-World, the Irish organisation which promotes coverage of international development issues in the media. Entries were open to all third-level and higher education students, with the brief to tell a story of global development. Commenting on the award, Andrea Breslin of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway, said: "We are thrilled that one of our students has won this prestigious award, for the second time, for such an original and engaging piece. The subject matter is directly related to the masters in Public Advocacy & Activism which he is currently studying at the Huston Film School. The Digital Media Awards are held in such high regard it's an honour for the school to have been represented this year, and to have the work of the students recognised in this way". Launched in 2003, The Digital Media Awards were engineered to raise awareness of the emerging digital media sector in Ireland and more importantly to act as a showcase for the varied dynamic works being created by companies and third-level institutions across a broad spectrum of categories in digital media. The Huston School of Film & Digital Media runs a number of M.A. courses including Production/Direction, Screenwriting, Film Studies, Arts Policy & Practice, Digital Media, and Public Advocacy & Activism. Further information available from: www.filmschool.ie -ends-
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NUI Galway in Sigerson Cup Finals
Thursday, 19 February 2009
NUI Galway 2-10 UUJ 1-8 NUI Galway kept their best till last to leave University of Ulster Jordanstown (UUJ) reeling and out of the race to land this year's Sigerson Cup after a robust quarter-final at Kingspan/Breffni Park, Cavan. The semi-final line up for this year s Sigerson Cup was decided yesterday and NUI Galway will now face Cork IT on Friday 27, February. Although they won most of the battles, the NUI Galway students looked like losing the war until an unanswered 1-4 tally in the final 18 minutes ousted long-time leaders UUJ. The sides were level on just two occasions over the hour but NUI Galway's physical superiority, greater experience and Paul Broderick's 56th-minute penalty, following a foul on inter-county star Seán Armstrong, eventually wore the northerners down. Mark Gottsche's goal, after a terrific run by centre back Gareth Bradshaw, was just one of many features of a first half that finished 1-7 to 1-5 in favour of UUJ. Tony Regan, Head of Sport, NUI Galway, commented: "Considering we had such a poor start conceding 1-3 in the first five minutes, great credit must go to the team for holding their nerve and battling through to gain a merited five point win. To qualify for the semi-final in Cork IT next weekend gives a tremendous boost to Gaelic Games as a whole in the University and with yesterday's convincing win we are optimistic of our chances". UCD also overcame Garda College yesterday and will now face Dublin rivals DIT in the opposite semi-final. NUI Galway: L Grant; C McDonald, G Cafferkey, D Finnegan; N Ewing, P Domican, G Begley, G Bradshaw, K Conroy; C Kenny (0-2, one free), M Gottsche (1-0), S Armstrong (0-1), J Connellan (0-3); P Broderick (1-3, pen, two frees), C Healy. Subs: Conor Delaney for M Gottsche (58 mines); E Hoare (0-1) for C Healy (58 mines). UUJ: G Kelly; D McDermott, A Girvan, D Morgan (0-1); K Nolan, D Hughes, D Bate son; J Colgan, P Downey; C Donnelly (0-3, two frees), T McCann (0-3), R Muldrow (0-1); C Kavanagh (1-0), S Forcer, D Mulholland. Subs: P Hughes for D Mullholland (49 mins); C Murray for S Forker (51 mins). Referee: P Fox (Westmeath).
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Chernobyl Children's Project Founder Adi Roche to Speak at NUI Galway
Wednesday, 18 February 2009
Adi Roche, Founder and CEO of Chernobyl Children's Project International, will deliver a seminar at NUI Galway on Thursday, 26 February at 1pm. Her presentation will focus on volunteerism in the context of her work with Chernobyl Children's Project International (CCPI). The event is being organised by NUI Galway's Community Knowledge Initiative, which runs the University's volunteering programme ALIVE. Adi Roche has spent decades campaigning for issues relating to the environment, peace and justice. While working full-time as a volunteer for the Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, she devised a Peace Education Programme and delivered it in over fifty schools throughout Ireland. In 1991 Adi Roche established the Chernobyl Children's Project International. CCPI has offices in Ireland, Minsk and the USA. Since then, the organisation has delivered over €76 million in direct and indirect humanitarian and medical aid to thousands of children and their families in the Chernobyl-affected regions. Lorraine McIlrath heads up the Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway: "We are delighted to welcome Adi Roche to Galway and the University. Adi has been a national and international role model as an agent of social change, who has in a very short time focused national and international attention and action on the social consequences of Chernobyl. We know that her visit will do much to inspire and give confidence to our students and broader community to take local action on social injustice issues". The event, supported by Camp Claddagh, the Galway Based Outreach Group of Chernobyl Children's Project International, NUI Galway's Huston School of Film & Digital Media, and the University's J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics. The event will be held in the Siobhán McKenna Theatre, in the Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway. To book a place please contact the Community Knowledge Initiative office on 091 493823 or email firstname.lastname@example.org -ends-
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