OÉ Gaillimh le haitheantas a thabhairt do Mhic Léinn a ghnóthaigh scoth na marca

OÉ Gaillimh le haitheantas a thabhairt do Mhic Léinn a ghnóthaigh scoth na marca-image

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Bronnfar scoláireachtaí ar fiú €119,000 ar an iomlán iad ar mhic léinn chéad bhliana in OÉ Gaillimh mar aitheantas ar na pointí arda a ghnóthaigh siad i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta. Mar chuid de shearmanas bliantúil na hOllscoile Scoláireachtaí Iontrála a bhronnadh, bronnfar scoláireachtaí ar fiú €1,700 iad mar aon le scrolla speisialta ar 70 mac léinn. Bronnfar na scoláireachtaí seo ag searmanas speisialta Déardaoin, an 16 Deireadh Fómhair 2008. Beidh idir mhúinteoirí agus thuismitheoirí i láthair ag an searmanas. Is é atá mar aidhm leis na Scoláireachtaí Iontrála mic léinn ar ardchaighdeán a mhealladh chuig OÉ Gaillimh agus aitheantas a thabhairt don éacht acadúil atá déanta acu. D'fhéadfaí go mbeadh scoláireachtaí nó deontais eile á mbronnadh ag an searmanas céanna, Scéim Scoláireachtaí Spóirt na hOllscoile san áireamh. I mbliana, bronnfar Scoláireachtaí Iontrála ar mhic léinn as 38 scoil ar fud na tíre. Tá scoláireachtaí le bronnadh ar mhic léinn as na contaetha seo a leanas – An Clár, Corcaigh, Dún na nGall, Gaillimh, Ciarraí, Laois, Luimneach, An Longfort, Maigh Eo, Uíbh Fhailí, Ros Comáin, Sligeach, Tiobraid Árann agus An Iarmhí. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr James J. Browne, a bhronnfaidh na seiceanna agus na scrollaí ag an imeacht: "Cúis áthais dúinn a bheith in ann aitheantas a thabhairt d'éachtaí acadúla an 70 mac léinn seo as gach cearn den tír. Déanann OÉ Gaillimh iarracht i gcónaí tacú le feabhas acadúil i ngach uile dhisciplín agus é a spreagadh. Deis é Searmanas Bronnta na Scoláireachtaí Iontrála le haitheantas a thabhairt dár mic léinn chéad bhliana a bhfuil a gcumas acadúil cruthaithe acu cheana féin bunaithe ar na torthaí a fuair siad i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta. Deis atá ann freisin le haitheantas a thabhairt don obair atá déanta ag a dtuimsitheoirí agus ag a múinteoirí. Cuirimid fáilte chroíúil rompu chuig OÉ Gaillimh agus táimid ag tnúth lena gcumas acadúil a fhorbairt amach anseo agus tacú lena n-iarrachtaí sna blianta amach romhainn". Bronntar Scoláireachtaí Iontrála gach bliain ar mhic léinn atá díreach tosaithe ag freastal ar OÉ Gaillimh agus a fuair 560 pointe, ar a laghad, i Scrúdú na hArdteistimérieachta (590 pointe do mhic léinn leighis). I mbliana d'éirigh le 18 mac léinn an t-uasmhéid 600 pointe a fháil. Chomh maith leis sin, bronnann OÉ Gaillimh 25 Sparánacht gach bliain. Is fiú €1,600 an ceann na sparánachtaí seo a bhfuil sé mar aidhm leo tacú le mic léinn a thugann faoi chéatadán suntasach dá gcúrsa staidéir trí mheán na Gaeilge. - críoch -

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The Politics of Peace and Conflict is Theme of Conference at NUI Galway

The Politics of Peace and Conflict is Theme of Conference at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The politics of peace and conflict will be the theme of a Political Studies Association of Ireland conference at NUI Galway from 17-19 October. The event will feature discussions on the Irish peace process, peacekeeping, Latin American politics and Iraq. Other topical subjects at the conference, which is being organised by the University's School of Political Science and Sociology, will include the Lisbon Treaty and the Irish political party system. Speakers at the conference include Brendan Duddy who acted as an intermediary between the IRA leadership and the British government between 1973 and 1993. The existence of this channel of communication was a closely-guarded secret, causing major public controversy when it was finally revealed. The Secret Peacemaker, a documentary about Brendan's significant role through those turbulent times, will be screened and followed by a questions and answers session . The event will also feature Nuala O'Loan, who played a prominent and important role in the Northern peace process in recent years as Northern Ireland's first police ombudsman. She was at the centre of intense public debate and controversy, carrying out investigations into the Omagh bomb inquiry, and police collusion with paramilitaries. A UK House of Commons Committee report in 2005 praised her role and recommended that she be given wider powers, and she was appointed by the Irish government in February 2008 to serve as their special envoy in Timor-Leste (east Timor). Conference organiser and lecturer in Politics at NUI Galway, Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh, said: "The persistence of war and political violence is one of the most important global political issues. Understanding the dynamics of violent conflict, and the approaches that can contribute to building and maintaining peace, is one of the most urgent tasks for academic research on politics. Violent conflicts are often much more embedded and complex than they appear to outside observers, but the experience of the peace process in Ireland demonstrates that negotiation and dialogue can contribute to narrowing the gap between parties that seem to be irreconcilable". Dr Ó Dochartaigh added: "Given Ireland's long history of contributing to United Nation's peacekeeping missions, and the Irish experience of the Troubles in recent decades, there are many people in Ireland with direct experience of these issues. One of the highlights of the conference for me will be the roundtable discussion on peacekeeping and the protection of civilians in peace support operations". An expert on Iraq who has also written extensively about conflict in Northern Ireland, Professor Brendan O Leary of the University of Pennsylvania, USA, will also speak at the event. His academic work played a significant role in shaping the new government and policing arrangements in Northern Ireland. Professor O'Leary is currently an international advisor to the Kurdistan National Assembly, responsible for advising on the constitutional reconstruction of Iraq and Kurdistan. Michael D. Higgins T.D., and Adjunct Professor with the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, will deliver an after-dinner speech at the conference dinner, entitled 'From Political Studies to Political Practice'. Further information on the conference and a full programme is available at www.psai.ie. -ends-

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NUI Galway to Host Major US Presidential Election Debate

NUI Galway to Host Major US Presidential Election Debate-image

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Republican Grant Lally to go head-to-head with Democrat Bruce Morrison Washington, DC comes to NUI Galway on Thursday, 30 October, when the University hosts a US Presidential Election Debate featuring senior representatives of the Democratic and Republican parties. Just days before the closely contested election, Grant Lally, national co-chairman of the Irish-American Republicans, will go head-to-head in a debate with Bruce Morrison, a former US Congressman from Connecticut and author of the Morrison Visa Program. The event, which is open to the public, will be hosted jointly by NUI Galway's Law Society and Literary and Debating Society and takes place in the University's Áras na Mac Léinn at 8pm. Grant Lally is former president of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform and McCain Delegate to the 2008 Republican National Convention. Recently he wrote that John McCain: "Is a responsible, experienced and respected leader who will strengthen America's relations with the world, raise the level of engagement with Ireland to cement the Irish peace process, and work more closely with America's friends and allies in Europe to build a more stable, prosperous and peaceful world". Bruce Morrison, described by the New York Times as a man of "intellect, compassion and vigour", has pledged his allegiance to Barack Obama's ambitions of ending the war in Iraq, increasing energy independence and providing universal health care. The moderator for the debate will be Larry Donnelly, a Boston native and NUI Galway Law Lecturer. According to Mr. Donnelly: "Over the past few months, we have seen the campaigns of the two main candidates evolve through the lens of unprecedented media interest in a US Presidential election. The 2008 election is set to be of major significance for Irish-American relations. McCain has an established history of personal involvement in the Irish peace process and Obama has recently appointed a "dream team" of high-profile Irish-American political advisors". One of the students organising the event is Peter Mannion, who is studying Law at NUI Galway and spent his summer working as an intern in the Washington, DC office of the Obama campaign. He is anticipating an exiting evening: "If the recently televised debates between the candidates themselves are anything to go by, there is no doubt that Lally and Morrison will succeed in replicating if not surpassing their controversial intensity". Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday, 15 October and will be available from Zhivago's on Shop Street, Galway, and from the NUI Galway Societies Box Office in Áras na Mac Léinn. Student tickets are €2 (valid student ID required) and non-student tickets are €10. For further information on the event please contact Louise Hamilton, Public Relations Officer of the Law Society, on 0860734033 or email nuiglawsociety@gmail.com -ends-

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NUI Galway Celebrates Leaving Cert Excellence

NUI Galway Celebrates Leaving Cert Excellence-image

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

A select group of first-year students at NUI Galway will receive a total €119,000 in recognition of the high points they achieved in the recent Leaving Certificate. As part of the University's annual Entrance Scholarships, 70 students will receive €1,700 each, along with a specially designed scroll. The awards will be made at a special ceremony, to include teachers and parents, on Thursday, 16 October, 2008. The Entrance Scholarships are 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. This year, the Entrance Scholarships will be awarded to students from 38 individual schools throughout the country. The winners represent 14 counties including, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Laois, Limerick, Longford, Mayo, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary and Westmeath. NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne, who will present the cheques and a specially designed scroll at the event, said: "We are delighted to recognise the academic talent of these 70 outstanding individuals from all over Ireland. NUI Galway strives constantly to support and promote academic excellence across all disciplines. The Entrance Scholarships ceremony is an opportunity to give special recognition to our first year students who have already proved academic prowess through their Leaving Certificate results. It is also a chance to give due credit to their parents and teachers for their contribution to such success. We welcome them to NUI Galway and look forward to nurturing their academic talent and supporting them throughout their years of study". Entrance Scholarships are given annually to all NUI Galway new entrants who reached a minimum of 560 points in their Leaving Certificate examination (590 in Medicine). This year 18 of the winners reached the maximum 600 points. NUI Galway also awards 25 Bursaries annually, each worth €1,600, to support students who take a significant proportion of their course through Irish. -ends-

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NUI Galway Lecturer to Feature at Marconi Celebrations

NUI Galway Lecturer to Feature at Marconi Celebrations-image

Monday, 13 October 2008

The Marconi Weekend, which takes place in Clifden, Co. Galway, from 17-19 October, will feature a lecture by Dr Edward Jones of NUI Galway's Electronic Engineering Department. The weekend festival commemorates the first commercial wireless transatlantic broadcast by Guglielmo Marconi in 1907, and Dr Jones will speak about how Marconi's legacy is influencing new ways of providing healthcare. Most people associate Marconi with inventing 'the wireless', and he is most often credited with enabling wireless communication as we know it today. While this has clearly had a huge impact on how people interact with each other, most tangibly these days through mobile phones, his work has also enabled the development of many other applications in the world of healthcare. Electronic and wireless technology is starting to enable new ways for patients with various conditions to be remotely monitored by their doctor. Systems are being developed which involve sensors attached to the patient monitoring vital signs like blood sugar level or heart rate, and using wireless technology to allow information about the patient's state to be relayed to their GP, e.g. through text messaging. According to Dr Jones, whose lecture will be entitled 'More than just The Wireless': Marconi's Contribution to Healthcare': "These new systems will, for example, enable ongoing post-operative monitoring, thus reducing the need for patients to visit their doctor or hospital for post-operative check-ups. Another possibility is that these systems can aid in detecting problems in at-risk groups, such as elderly patients living alone, and can assist groups like diabetics in managing their own treatment". A second use of the technology is in the area of medical imaging, as an alternative to traditional imaging methods such as x-rays. Dr Jones, along with Dr Martin Glavin and a group of electronic engineering researchers, is working on new wireless imaging technology for breast cancer detection that could form an effective alternative to traditional x-ray mammography. The technology is a form of radar that forms an image of the tissue, where tumours may be easier to detect. Dr Jones points out that this research is in the first stages: "It's early days yet, and the group is currently trying to get some idea of how effective this technology would be in practice. Discussions have already been held with clinicians as to how useful something like this might be in a clinical setting, and what practical patient-related issues really need to be considered, and it will be a number of years before the technology could be used in a trial with real patients". This technology could provide another useful tool for clinicians to add to the range of techniques they use in cancer detection. Furthermore, this application illustrates how fundamental discoveries like Marconi's from one hundred years ago, can be fused with sophisticated modern electronic engineering techniques (such as digital signal processing and digital computers), to address significant problems in healthcare. Dr Jones will speak at 5pm on Saturday 18 October at the Marconi Weekend in Clifden, for further information visit http://www.clifdenchamber.ie/events.aspx?id=87 -ends-

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Éagothroime Sláinte go Forleathan i Measc Leanaí ag Aois Scoile in Éirinn

Éagothroime Sláinte go Forleathan i Measc Leanaí ag Aois Scoile in Éirinn-image

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Tugtar léiriú ar an éagothroime sláinte i measc leanaí in Éirinn i dtuarascáil a d'fhoilsigh an tIonad Taighde um Chothú Sláinte, OÉ Gaillimh inniu. Seo an dara tuarascáil náisiúnta ón Suirbhé ar Iompraíocht Sláinte i Leanaí ag Aois Scoile (HBSC) "Éagothroime Sláinte i measc Leanaí ag Aois Scoile in Éirinn". Den chéad uair tá scrúdú déanta ar phatrúin sláinte, ar iompraíocht sláinte agus ar fholláine i measc leanaí ón Lucht Siúil, leanaí inimirceacha, leanaí a bhfuil míchumas agus tinneas ainsealach orthu agus leanaí i scoileanna faoi mhíbhuntáiste, agus tá comparáid déanta idir iad agus leanaí eile. I measc phríomhthorthaí an tsuirbhé tá rátaí arda úsáidte alcóil i measc cailíní agus buachaillí ón Lucht Siúil, agus rátaí ísle meisce i measc buachaillí inimirceacha; thuairiscigh leanaí ó scoileanna faoi mhíbhuntáiste nach raibh aiste bia chomh scamhardach sin acu agus fuarthas amach go bhfuil leibhéil arda leatroma bulaíochta i measc cailíní ón Lucht Siúil, inimircigh agus leanaí a bhfuil míchumas nó tinneas ainsealach orthu. Is lú seans go mothódh daltaí ón Lucht Siúil, ó theaghlaigh inimirceacha agus daltaí a bhfuil míchumas nó tinneas ainsealach orthu go nglacann daltaí eile leo agus is lú seans go mbeadh triúr cairde nó níos mó ná sin ag cailíní sna grúpaí daltaí sin, go háirithe. Ba spéisiúil an rud é gur beag difríocht a aithníodh idir na grúpaí ó thaobh a gcaidrimh lena dtuismitheoirí. Dúirt an Dr Saoirse Nic Gabhainn ó Ionad Taighde um Chothú Sláinte OÉ Gaillimh: "Is tuarascáil cheannródaíoch í seo a thugann dúshlán na tuairime atá againn maidir le héagothroime agus le héagsúlacht in Éirinn. Bhí a fhios againn go raibh éagothroime sláinte ann i measc daoine fásta ach ceapadh go raibh níos mó comhionannais ann idir leanaí – ach ní hamhlaidh atá ar chor ar bith. Tá deacrachtaí níos mó ag grúpaí áirithe leanaí ná mar atá ag grúpaí eile, agus baineann an fhadhb seo linn uile". Díríodh ar leanaí scoile ó rang 5 go dtí an 5ú bliain, agus ba é an chéad uair é ar cuireadh na difríochtaí agus na cosúlachtaí maidir le sláinte ghinearálta agus folláine, úsáid substaintí, iompraíocht cothaithe agus bia, gníomhaíocht fhisiciúil, foréigean agus gortuithe, dearcadh i leith na scoile agus an caidreamh le tuismitheoirí agus le cairde ar taifead go córasach. Ag fáiltiú di roimh an tuarascáil, dúirt Mary Wallace T.D., An tAire Stáit sa Roinn Sláinte agus Leanaí a bhfuil freagracht ar leith uirthi maidir le Cothú Sláinte agus Sábháilteacht Bia: "Tá sé tábhachtach taifead a choinneáil ar an gcaoi a bhfuil ár gcuid leanaí. Cabhróidh sin linn tuiscint níos fearr a fháil ar na réimsí ar cheart dúinn ár n-iarrachtaí a bheith dírithe orthu. Táimid tiomanta d'fhianaise taighde a úsáid chun cur lenár gcur chuige i leith an chuimsithe shóisialta". Tá an suirbhé de chuid HBSC Éireann lonnaithe san Ionad Taighde um Chothú Sláinte, OÉ Gaillimh ó 1994 agus is féidir gach tuarascáil agus gach alt a íoslódáil ó www.nuigalway.ie/hbsc - críoch -

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Widespread Health Inequality Among School Children in Ireland

Widespread Health Inequality Among School Children in Ireland-image

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The extent of health inequalities among children in Ireland has been revealed by a report released today by the Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway. This is the second national report from the Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) Study "Inequalities in Health among School-aged Children in Ireland". For the first time, patterns in health, health behaviour and wellbeing among - children from the Travelling Community, immigrant children, children with disabilities and chronic illnesses, and children in disadvantaged schools - have been studied in comparison to other children. Key findings include elevated rates of alcohol use among girls and boys from the Travelling Community, and low rates of drunkenness among immigrant boys; children from disadvantaged schools reporting poorer diets and higher levels of bully victimisation among Traveller girls, immigrants and children with a disability or chronic illness. Students from the Travelling Community, from immigrant families and with a disability or chronic illness are less likely to feel accepted by other students and girls in particular are less likely to have three or more friends. Interestingly, very few differences are identified between groups in terms of their relationships with parents. Dr Saoirse Nic Gabhainn of NUI Galway's Health Promotion Research Centre, said: "This is a landmark report which challenges our assumptions in relation to inequality and diversity in Ireland. We knew there were inequalities in health among adults but it was thought that children were more equal - this is simply not the case. Some groups of children are having a more difficult time than others, and this is an issue for all of us". Focusing on children from 5th class to 5th year, all of whom are in school, this is the first time that differences and similarities in general health and well-being, substance use, diet and food behaviour, physical activity, violence and injuries, perceptions of school and relationships with parents and friends have been systematically documented. Welcoming the report, Ms Mary Wallace T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for Health Promotion and Food Safety, said: "It is important to document how our children are doing. This will help us better understand where our efforts need to be focussed. We are committed to using research evidence to inform our approach to social inclusion". The HBSC Ireland study has been based at the Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway since 1994 and all reports and articles are available for download from www.nuigalway.ie/hbsc -ends-

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New Research into Use of Stem Cell Therapy to Fight Blindness

New Research into Use of Stem Cell Therapy to Fight Blindness-image

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

A new collaboration between the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway and Dr David Kent, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Aut Even Private Hospital, Kilkenny, aims to investigate the therapeutic potential of adult stem cells in combating the loss of vision in diseases such as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). "AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in the over 50s. It is estimated the condition affects over 60,000 adults here in Ireland. The WHO has stated that the instances of AMD will triple in the next 25 years as our population ages, however there is currently no cure for the condition and awareness remains low", said Avril Daly, Head of Public Affairs at Fighting Blindness. She added: "Irish researchers are making great inroads in discovering the causes and potential treatments for AMD and we at Fighting Blindness strongly support Dr Kent and REMEDI in this important project and wish them every success". Amy Lynch, a Ph.D. student in REMEDI, NUI Galway, will investigate the therapeutic potential of stem cells to regenerate retinal cells in the macula area of the eye. Amy's project will be based around the determination of efficacy in an in vivo model of macular degeneration, where she will avail of the in-house expertise in stem cells and delivery in REMEDI and will be supported with strong clinical and scientific guidance from both Dr Kent and Professor Frank Barry, Scientific Director, REMEDI. Des Kenny, CEO of the National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI) said: "We are very excited about the contribution this project will make to supporting people with sight loss in this country. We were delighted many years ago to have been able to support David Kent's choice of specialisation into this very important aspect of significant sight loss". According to Professor Barry, "REMEDI is very focused on developing novel strategies for treating human disease using the stem cell and gene therapy technologies we have developed at NUI Galway. This project is very important to us because of the high incidence of this condition in Ireland and worldwide. We are delighted to initiate the project in collaboration with Dr Kent and will benefit greatly from his clinical and research expertise in AMD. We also welcome the input from Fighting Blindness and the NCBI, both of whom have done a great deal to promote the research effort in Ireland in diseases of the eye". Further details of AMD can be found at www.amd.ie. REMEDI is an SFI funded research institute at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science located at NUI Galway www.remedi.ie. -ends-

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NUI Galway Opens its Doors for Open Day 2008

NUI Galway Opens its Doors for Open Day 2008 -image

Monday, 6 October 2008

The NUI Galway Open Day will take place from 9am to 3pm on Thursday, 9 October, 2008. Thousands of secondary school students from all over Ireland are expected to attend, along with their parents and teachers. Caroline Loughnane, NUI Galway's Director of Marketing and Communications and one of the organisers of the Open Day, says: "This is an excellent opportunity for anyone considering applying to NUI Galway to talk to staff and students, find out more about the course you are interested in, explore the campus and decide whether the University is right for you". "The Open Day also gives students the opportunity to experience university life first hand" she added. "Visitors can see our full range of subject specific exhibition stands in Áras na Mac Léinn, our student centre, and check out our programme of interactive taster sessions on a wide range of subjects that run throughout the day". Some of the newer programmes on offer at NUI Galway include: BEng/MEng in Engineering Innovation - Electronic. This programme aims to provide graduates with specialised multi-disciplinary skills to start their own business, centred on the development of innovative, niche, market-led, electronic products. BE (Hons) and MEngSc in Sports and Exercise Engineering. The first of its kind in Ireland, this programme will provide graduates with the skills and expertise to design systems and devices for the evaluation and execution of sport performance across a broad range of sports. BSC (Hons) in Podiatry. This course consists of the study and treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle, knee, leg and hip, the only such course available in the Republic of Ireland. The majority of study will be undertaken in the state of the art podiatry clinic which is to be developed by the HSE at the Merlin Park Hospital site. BA CONNECT Programme. With a radical departure from traditional Arts degrees, the BA CONNECT Programme offers seven four-year degrees designed to increase the employability of graduates by developing distinctive skills and creating connections with life beyond the campus. The degrees are: BA with Children's Studies; BA with Creative Writing; BA with Film Studies; BA with Human Rights; BA with Irish Studies; BA with Theatre and Performance; and BA with Women's Studies. Tours of the campus will give an insight in to university life, and the top class facilities offered at NUI Galway including the brand new €22 million Sports Complex located by the Quincentennial Bridge. The 6,500 sq.m. eco-friendly sports and leisure complex includes a 25 metre 6-lane swimming pool with moveable floor, squash and racquetball courts, a three-court basketball hall, multipurpose studios, a substantial gym and a high-tech climbing wall. Operators, the Kingfisher Fitness Group, who already run six successful leisure centres across the country, are offering NUI Galway students significant discounts for this state-of-the-art facility. Joe Cosgrove, Managing Director of Kingfisher Fitness Club, says: "Whether it's signing up for a year's gym membership, or popping by for a 'Splash and Dash', we have offers to suit everyone's sporting and fitness needs". With over 40 clubs and 85 societies at NUI Galway, there is something to suit all interests. Representatives from all clubs and societies will be available on the day in order for visitors to find out more. Representatives will also be at hand from the ALIVE Volunteering Programme, which aims to support and promote volunteering on campus, to talk about the wide range of volunteer opportunities available for students. Visitors can book a place at the Open Day and receive a programme in advance by logging on to www.nuigalway.ie/openday or you can just turn up on the day. For further information contact the Schools Liaison Office on 091 492814, email mary.coyle@nuigalway.ie or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/openday/ -Ends-

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New High Speed Broadband for Gaeltacht

New High Speed Broadband for Gaeltacht -image

Monday, 6 October 2008

- NUI Galway Extends Knowledge-Economy in Gaeltacht - A new high speed telecommunications network, which will result in high speed broadband services, is being brought to the Galway Gaeltacht as a result of a joint initiative undertaken by NUI Galway, HEAnet and Údarás na Gaeltachta. The new network, which will be operated by AirSpeed Telecom, will support in excess of 300Mb and will be made available at seven of NUI Galway's Gaeltacht centres* and available for business users within the Galway Gaeltacht region. These services, to be launched today (Monday, 6 October, 2008) by Minister Éamon Ó Cuív T.D., will strengthen the University and its academic partners in delivering their core teaching and research mission. The work of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway's Irish language arm, will be facilitated, as the new services help it to 'collapse distance' and integrate its various units. Kieran Loftus, Director of Computer Services, NUI Galway, said: "High Speed Networking has featured in NUI Galway campus life for several years, but our presence also extends along the Western seaboard. Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge has centres in locations throughout the Gaeltacht. The marine science research activities of the Martin Ryan Institute at its Carna location will benefit as will those of the Environmental Change Institute at Mace Head in Connemara and Carron in the Burren, Co. Clare. NUI Galway's knowledge region partner GMIT will also benefit from provision at its sites in Castlebar and Letterfrack". Kieran Loftus added: "It is not just NUI Galway that will benefit from these new services. Our academic partners, in both teaching and research, will be able to access our resources. We hope that our presence will stimulate new and advanced activities in these communities. HEAnet services are being provided in a way which will make it easier to provide services locally, perhaps acting as a catalyst and an enabler for the provision of good broadband services to these rural communities". The new communications network should make a significant difference to companies and organisations operating in the Galway Gaeltacht region, according to Pádraig Ó hAoláin, CEO of Údarás na Gaeltachta, which part-funded the service. "Broadband is like air and water to any modern business nowadays. It is simply essential. Having high speed access available in these Gaeltacht areas can only help retain businesses, encourage growth and attract others to the region. This project was also a joint venture with NUI Galway, who needed high speed network to their Gaeltacht outreach campuses. The provision of third-level accredited courses in the Gaeltacht is central to the Údarás' strategy and part of the bigger picture to help enterprise promotion for the area. This new network also addresses the lack of broadband connectivity in the southwest Connemara area and this investment by an tÚdarás and HEAnet now means that a high speed service is available to businesses in the area", he said. John Boland, CEO, HEAnet, said in advance of the launch: "HEAnet is bringing the power of the national and international research networks to these remote but important sites. This opens up a very fast and very powerful two-way communication channel and globally connects these valuable resources, linking the Irish sites seamlessly to the other 3,000 research institutions across Europe". Liam O'Kelly, Managing Director, AirSpeed Telecom, says: "AirSpeed Telecom is delighted to extend its network infrastructure in the Galway, Mayo and Clare region. Our licensed radio network is ideally suited to solving the geographic and cost challenges of providing high bandwidth telecommunications services in the region". ENDS

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