Fictional Sport comes to Life in Galway

Fictional Sport comes to Life in Galway-image

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Quidditch, the magical game from Harry Potter, is coming to the city. Galway Quidditch Club will hold an open day at NUI Galway at 12pm on Saturday, 6 December, with events consisting of a training Quidditch session aimed at beginners followed by practise matches later in the afternoon. Quidditch has been growing in popularity as a real sport in many countries across the world. It started out as a fun filled game for Harry Potter fans when it was adapted into real life by students in the US in 2005, but Quidditch soon made the transition into a fast paced, full contact, mixed gender sport. Galway Quidditch Club is home to the local team, the Galway Grindylows, who have competed internationally and are currently ranked as one of the top Irish teams. The events are open to all participants over the age of 16 and people attending the event are advised to wear football boots or old runners. More details on the event can be found on the club’s Facebook page: Galway Grindylows. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Public Talk on The Future of the Smartphone

NUI Galway Public Talk on The Future of the Smartphone-image

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

It has taken only seven years for smartphones to become the dominant mobile device. A public talk at NUI Galway will investigate what the next seven years might hold in terms of smartphone technology. Hosted by NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics ‘The Future of the Smartphone’ will take place on Thursday, 4 December. Smartphone technology continues to evolve and develop at a rapid pace and ‘The Future of the Smartphone’ will examine how this technology will continue to develop. Recently a group of International experts from Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) met in Galway to discuss and create out a roadmap for Smart Advanced Mobile Power (SAMP) solutions for these mobile devices. Four separate aspects will be addressed during the public talk including: Tom Coughlin, Coughlin Associates and Lee Stogner, Vincula Group - Smart Advanced Mobile Power for our handheld devices. William Lumpkins, IEEE Radio Frequency Identification Technical Council – Near-Field Technologies turn your phone into a mobile wallet. Petronel Bigioi, FotoNation – Next Generation Imaging and Camera Technology for Smartphones. Dr Peter Corcoran, NUI Galway – Security, Privacy and Biometric Technology in Smartphones. The content of these talks is at a technical level suitable for members of the public with an interest in current and emerging technology. Dr Peter Corcoran, lecturer in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway said: “It was on 29 June, 2007 that the first generation iPhone was released by Apple Inc., a little over seven years ago. In that short time this ‘new’ consumer electronic device has come to symbolise the disruptive capabilities of consumer electronics, devices and gadgets that have come to define and mostly improve our daily lives.” The IEEE was formed in 1963 and is the world's largest association of technical professionals with more than 400,000 members in chapters around the world. Its objectives are the educational and technical advancement of electrical and electronic engineering, telecommunications, computer engineering and allied disciplines. Its underlying mission is the advancement of technology for humanity. ‘The Future of the Smartphone’ will take place from 6-8pm in room ENG-G018 in the Engineering Building at NUI Galway. The event sponsored by IE Consumer Electronics Society and IEEE Future Directions and hosted by NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics. For more information visit -Ends-

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Conference at NUI Galway Attracts Top Global Education Expert

Conference at NUI Galway Attracts Top Global Education Expert-image

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Professor Pasi Sahlberg, the Finnish Educator and now Visiting Professor in Harvard Graduate School of Education will deliver the keynote address 'Lessons from top education systems around the Globe' at the 'Reforming Learning: Driving Success' conference at NUI Galway on Friday, 5 December, 2014. Conference Chair, Senator Dr Fidelma Healy Eames: “There is a lot to be excited about with this conference which asks the fundamental question 'Is the education system at senior cycle in second level and as they transition into third level, preparing our young people adequately for their futures?' Emer Smyth's (ESRI) keynote would suggest that it is not, given that 50% of our young people are disappointed with their College choices by the time they reach the age of 21.” Policy makers, researchers and practitioners with experience of change and policy development within education and enterprise, both national and international, will share their knowledge and expertise in what promises to be an engaging conference. Former Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn will deliver the opening address; and various panel discussions will include John Lonergan, Former Governor, Mountjoy Prison; Helen Mortimer, National Parents Council. Dr Mary Fleming, Head of the School of Education at NUI Galway: "This conference will provide an opportunity for constructive dialogue and engagement with the important theme of quality student learning and engagement within the Irish Education System." Comprising two exciting keynotes and three robust panel discussions, this one-day conference will provide an opportunity for those interested in education and its future to engage in collaborative discourse and sharing of ideas. A primary focus of the conference will be the learner experience at upper second level, whether it enables smooth transition to third level, the learner experience in third level and their preparedness for the workplace. Senator Healy Eames added: “As educators and policy makers we must always be open to improvement. It is not to say that we are not good but rather to suggest that we can be much better. I'm particularly interested in seeing what key policy shifts we can make that will deliver better educational outcomes. A successful society needs a successful education system and it is in all our interests to know how we can better serve our children, our students, our changing nation.” Registration will take place at 8.45am in the Arts Millenium Building, NUI Galway. For further information and conference programme details please see ENDS

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Educate to Innovate

Educate to Innovate -image

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

NUI Galway calls on industry to strenghten partnerships in graduate education The College of Science at NUI Galway will host a workshop to meet the regional ecosystem of industries and jointly set the course for a new generation of highly-skilled graduate students, who will have the capacity to enter the job market where Ireland’s regional industry needs it most. The ‘Regional Innovation through Graduate Education’ workshop will take place on Monday, 1 December, starting at 1pm with a networking reception. Dr Gerard O'Connor, Vice-Dean for Graduate Studies with the College of Science at NUI Galway, said: “Industry-University partnerships in graduate education can address key barriers to innovation by providing access to research expertise, technological infrastructures and market insights. This approach is the foundation to a fuller realisation of the scientific, technological and commercial potential of Ireland.” The workshop will provide an opportunity for companies with interests in R&D collaboration to network with NUI Galway academics and discuss mechanisms of reciprocal engagement. The executives of smaller companies as well as representatives of the R&D and engineering departments of larger enterprises are invited to attend and share their expectations from joint postgraduate education experiences. Attendees will be particularly encouraged to explore the possibility of establishing enterprise-led graduate research projects and joint employment-based MSc and PhDs; as well as shorter-term feasibility studies at NUI Galway's laboratories; and research placements for students at industrial sites. The workshop will also provide an opportunity to learn from established collaborations between the University’s research centres and industries, such as Boston Scientific and Complete Laboratory Solutions Ltd. to mention just a few. Dr Ilaria Nardello, Industry Research Specialist with the College of Science at NUI Galway, said: “Industry-University parnerships in education can create a sustainable and durable mechanism to unlock the innovation potential of the west of Ireland.” The participation of public agencies, such as the Irish Research Council and the European Commision’s Smart Specialisation Platform, with a stake in the delivery respectively of postgraduate education and regional development, will provide guidance on existing and forthcoming opportunities. Registration for the event is available at: For more information: email or call 091 494135. The event will take place in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway. -Ends-

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Call for Submissions for ROPES Literary Journal

Call for Submissions for ROPES Literary Journal-image

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Students of NUI Galway’s Masters in Literature and Publishing programme are currently looking for submissions for this year’s ROPES (Review of Postgraduate English Studies) literary Journal. The theme is conversations that can be explored through poetry, prose, art work and photography. The journal will be launched at Cúirt International Festival of Literature in Spring 2015. ROPES is an annual literature and art review publishing original poetry, prose, photography, artwork, as well as excerpts from scripts and screenplays. ROPES is published in association with NUI Galway and this year all proceeds from the journal will go to ACT! for Meningitis. Please send your submissions to by Tuesday, 30 December. For more information follow Ropes 2015 on Facebook and Twitter @Ropes2015. -Ends-

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Archive launch and symposium to mark the legacy of Professor Kevin Boyle

Archive launch and symposium to mark the legacy of Professor Kevin Boyle-image

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The legacy of world-renowned human rights lawyer and scholar, the late Professor Kevin Boyle, endures at NUI Galway with the launch of his personal archive on Friday, 28 November by the Attorney General, Máire Whelan, S.C. The archive contains a wealth of material and unique insights into the field of human rights, legal research and scholarship. An international symposium, hosted by NUI Galway’s School of Law and the Irish Centre for Human Rights, will take place on the same day to celebrate Professor Boyle’s career, with Professor Sir Nigel Rodley, Chair of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, providing the keynote address. Professor Boyle, who came originally from Newry, began his career at Queen’s University Belfast where he was deeply engaged in the civil rights movement. In the late 1970s he joined NUI Galway where he co-founded the Irish Centre for Human Rights with Denny Driscoll in 1980. In the early 1980’s he was involved with Amnesty International, Ireland, which saw him compile research and observations on trips to countries like Gambia and South Africa - where Boyle compiled key reports on the effect on the 'pass law' system and of the wider apartheid regime. “The legacy which Kevin Boyle has left our University is one of which we are proud and which reverberates to this day”, said Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway. “Our internationally recognised expertise in international human rights law embeds NUI Galway in a global movement seeking to change the world for the better. This we owe in huge part to Kevin, who pioneered scholarship in this area, founded our centre for human rights and for over four decades pushed for change for human rights for all. His archive is a permanent reminder of this legacy and one with which we are delighted to be associated.” The last two decades of Professor Kevin Boyle’s life were spent at the University of Essex, where, for various periods, he directed its Human Rights Centre. In addition to his enormous academic contribution, Professor Boyle was active with important international NGOs such as Article 19, of which he was the founding director. He served as a special advisor to Mary Robinson when she was UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2001. Professor Boyle appeared frequently before the European Court of Human Rights, winning important cases that dealt with a broad range of issues, including freedom of expression, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and torture. Comprising of over one hundred boxes of manuscripts and printed books, the Boyle archive is a documented record of the varied and rich contribution made by the activist and scholar to international human rights. The archive, kindly donated by the Boyle family since Kevin’s untimely passing in 2010, has now been catalogued by the University’s James Hardiman Library, and represents a major resource for the study and teaching of human rights. The library at NUI Galway holds a unique collection of more than 350 literary, theatrical, political and historical archives, dating from 1485 to the present. John Cox, University Librarian, NUI Galway, explains the significance of the Boyle archive: “The sheer breadth of subject matter, as well as the vast amounts of personal correspondence, allow for new insights and understandings of Kevin Boyle’s contributions to the discipline of human rights and the practice of law. It is an honour for the Library to be entrusted with this archive, one which illustrates the far reaching effect Kevin Boyle’s work had on individual people’s lives. Now and into the future, the archive will serve as a valuable resource to researchers in the field.” The Human Rights Scholar-Activist or Activist-Scholar? The symposium, ‘The Human Rights Scholar-Activist or Activist-Scholar?’ runs from 10am to 4pm on Friday 28 November at NUI Galway. The event will explore issues and themes surrounding archives, human rights, law and memorialisation. Visiting speakers include Sir Nigel Rodley, University of Essex; Michael Farrell, Senior Solicitor, FLAC; Professor Francoise Hampson, University of Essex; Professor Tom Hadden, Queen’s University Belfast; Professor Brice Dickson, Queen’s University Belfast; Bernadette McAliskey, South Tyrone Empowerment Programme; and Kevin’s brother, Louis Boyle. NUI Galway participants will include, Dr Jim Browne, President, NUI Galway; Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head, School of Law; Professor Michael O’Flaherty, Director, Irish Centre for Human Rights; Mrs. Marie McGonagle, (retired); John Cox, University Librarian; Barry Houlihan, Archivist, James Hardiman Library; and Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, NUI Galway Registrar. Professor Michael O'Flaherty, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, described the upcoming symposium: “Human rights has evolved over the decades as a fundamental concept in terms of justice, and one which transcends every geographical boundary. Many of the academic foundation stones were laid by people such as Kevin Boyle, whose own interests were ignited by his early years in a conflict torn country. The symposium will explore these concepts and the interplay between the drivers of scholarship and the drivers of activism.” The seminar will also feature a video presentation by former President Mary Robinson. For full details of the symposium visit -ends- Seoladh Cartlainne agus Siompóisiam mar cheiliúradh ar Oidhreacht an Ollaimh Kevin Boyle Mairfidh oidhreacht an dlíodóra agus an scoláire ar chearta an duine, an tOllamh Kevin Boyle, in OÉ Gaillimh nuair a sheolfaidh an tArd-Aighne, Máire Whelan, S.C. a chartlann phearsanta Dé hAoine, an 28 Samhain. Tá ábhar agus léargas uathúil sa chartlann ar réimse chearta an duine, ar thaighde agus ar scoláireacht dhlíthiúil. Ar an lá céanna reáchtálfar siompóisiam idirnáisiúnta, faoi stiúir Scoil an Dlí agus Ionad na hÉireann do Chearta an Duine in OÉ Gaillimh, chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar shaol oibre an Ollaimh Boyle. Is é an tOllamh Sir Nigel Rodley, Cathaoirleach Choiste Chearta an Duine sna Náisiúin Aontaithe, a thabharfaidh an phríomhóráid. Ba as an Iúr é an tOllamh Boyle ó dhúchas, agus chuir sé tús lena shaol oibre in Ollscoil na Banríona, Béal Feirste áit a raibh baint ollmhór aige leis an ngluaiseacht cearta sibhialta. I ndeireadh na 1970idí tháinig sé chun oibre in OÉ Gaillimh áit ar chomhbhunaigh sé Ionad na hÉireann don Staidéar ar Chearta an Duine le Denny Driscoll. I dtús na 1980idí bhí baint aige le Amnesty International, Éire, agus chuir sé taighde agus breathnóireachtaí le chéile ar thurais go dtí tíortha cosúil leis an nGaimbia agus an Afraic Theas. Chuir Boyle príomhthuairiscí le chéile ar éifeacht chóras dhlí na bpasanna agus ar an réimeas cinedheighilte níos leithne. “Táimid bródúil faoin oidhreacht atá fágtha ag Kevin Boyle san Ollscoil agus atá fós le brath sa lá atá inniu ann”, a deir an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh. “Cuireann ár saineolas ar dhlí idirnáisiúnta chearta an duine atá aitheanta go hidirnáisiúnta OÉ Gaillimh ar ardán domhanda gníomhairí atá ag iarraidh an domhan a athrú chun feabhais. Tá buíochas ollmhór ag dul ina leith seo do Kevin, a bhí ar thús cadhnaíochta i gcúrsaí léinn sa réimse seo, agus a bhunaigh ár n-ionad do chearta an duine agus a chaith breis is daichead bliain ag obair i dtreo athrú do chearta an duine do chách. Is meabhrúchán buan é a chartlann ar a oidhreacht agus táimid thar a bheith sásta a bheith bainteach leis.” Chaith an tOllamh Kevin Boyle an scór bliain deiridh dá shaol in Ollscoil Essex, áit a raibh sé ina stiúrthóir ar Ionad Chearta an Duine ar feadh tréimhsí éagsúla. Chomh maith leis an obair ollmhór acadúil a rinne sé, bhí an tOllamh Boyle gníomhach le gníomhaireachtaí neamhrialtais tábhachtacha cosúil le Article 19, a bhunaigh sé. Bhí sé ina chomhairleoir speisialta do Mháire Mhic Róibín nuair a bhí sí mar Ard-Choimisinéir na Náisiún Aontaithe le haghaidh Chearta an Duine ón mbliain 2001. Ba mhinic leis an Ollamh Boyle a bheith os comhair na Cúirte Eorpaí um Chearta an Duine, ag buachan cásanna a dhéileáil le réimse leathan ceisteanna, lena n-áirítear saoirse tuairimíochta, leithcheal mar gheall ar chlaonadh gnéis, agus céas. Tá os cionn céad bosca lámhscríbhinní agus leabhar clóite sa bhailiúchán, agus is léiriú é ar an obair mhór agus éagsúil a rinne an gníomhaí agus an scoláire ar mhaithe le cearta an duine go hidirnáisiúnta. Bhronn teaghlach Boyle an chartlann ar an Ollscoil tar éis gur cailleadh Kevin gan choinne sa bhliain 2010, agus tá sí anois sa chatalóg i Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Argadáin san Ollscoil, agus tá sí mar acmhainn ollmhór do staidéar agus do theagasc chearta an duine. Tá bailiúchán uathúil i leabharlann OÉ Gaillimh ina bhfuil níos mó ná 350 cartlann liteartha, amharclannaíochta, polaitíochta agus stairiúil, ón mbliain 1485 go dtí an lá inniu. Labhraíonn John Cox, Leabharlannaí na hOllscoile, OÉ Gaillimh faoin tábhacht a bhaineann le cartlann Boyle: “Tugann fairsinge an ábhair, mar aon leis an méid ollmhór comhfhreagrais phearsanta, deis dúinn léargais agus tuiscint a fháil ar an obair a rinne Kevin Boyle ar mhaithe le disciplín chearta an duine agus le cleachtadh an dlí. Is onóir é don Leabharlann an chartlann seo a bheith bronnta uirthi, cartlann a léiríonn tionchar forleathan shaothar Kevin Boyle ar shaol daoine aonair. Anois agus amach anseo, freastalóidh an chartlann mar acmhainn luachmhar do thaighdeoirí sa réimse.” The Human Rights Scholar-Activist or Activist-Scholar? Beidh an siompóisiam, ‘The Human Rights Scholar-Activist or Activist-Scholar?’ ar siúl ó 10am go 4pm Dé hAoine, an 28Samhain in OÉ Gaillimh. Le linn na hócáide breathnófar ar cheisteanna agus ar théamaí a bhaineann le cartlanna, cearta an duine, dlí agus cuimhneachán. I measc na gcainteoirí beidh Sir Nigel Rodley, Ollscoil Essex; Michael Farrell, Aturnae Sinsearach, FLAC; an tOllamh Francoise Hampson, Ollscoil Essex; an tOllamh Tom Hadden, Ollscoil na Banríona, Béal Feirste; an tOllamh Brice Dickson, Ollscoil na Banríona, Béal Feirste; Bernadette McAliskey, Clár Cumasúcháin Thír Eoghain Theas; agus deartháir Kevin, Louis Boyle. I measc rannpháirtithe OÉ Gaillimh beidh anDr Jim Browne, Uachtarán, OÉ Gaillimh; an tOllamh Donncha O’Connell, Ceann Scoil an Dlí; an tOllamh Michael O’Flaherty, Stiúrthóir, Ionad na hÉireann do Chearta an Duine; Marie McGonagle, (ar scor); John Cox, Leabharlannaí na hOllscoile; Barry Houlihan, Cartlannaí, Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Argadáin; agus an tOllamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Meabhránaí. Labhair an tOllamh Michael O’Flaherty, Stiúrthóir Ionad na hÉireann do Chearta an Duine, faoin siompóisiam a rá: “Tá athrú tagtha ar chearta an duine in imeacht na mblianta mar choincheap bunúsach i dtéarmaí ceartais, agus mar choincheap a thrasnaíonn gach teorainn thíreolaíoch. Leag leithéidí Kevin Boyle go leor de na bunchlocha acadúla, fear ar spreagadh a spéis féin mar gheall ar na blianta a chaith sé ina óige i dtír lán le coimhlint. Breathnóidh an siompóisiam ar na coincheapa seo agus ar an idiroibriú idir daoine a chuireann léann chun cinn agus iad siúd a chuireann gníomhaíochas chun cinn.” Beidh láithreoireacht físe ón iar-Uachtarán Máire Mhic Róibín le feiceáil chomh maith mar chuid den seimineár. Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoin siompóisiam féach ar -críoch-

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Three Mitchell Scholars for NUI Galway

Three Mitchell Scholars for NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

NUI Galway is to receive three Mitchell Scholarship Awards for 2015/16. George J. Mitchell Scholarships are highly competitive prizes awarded by the US-Ireland Alliance, and are aimed at supporting distinguished US graduate students to attend Irish universities for one year. With three awards, this places NUI Galway as a leading university of choice for these highly distinguished young people, having attracted 30% of the scholarships awarded in the Republic of Ireland. Overall, the twelve scholarships awarded across the island of Ireland, were made on the basis of a nationwide US competition which attracted 270 applicants. The three NUI Galway Mitchell Scholars each have distinguished academic and civic careers to date. GAVIN LANDGRAF is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College, where he majored in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. As Student Body President, he worked with college administration to develop a $100 million initiative to finance scholarships for low-income students, and to lead high-profile initiatives to address sexual assault on college campuses. He has completed internships at the Rose Institute of State and Local Government, the Washington constitutional law firm Cooper & Kirk, and at Morgan Stanley’s Public Finance Group in San Francisco. At NUI Galway, Gavin will study Natural Resource Economics and Policy. JULIANNE NORTON is currently completing her Bachelor degree at the University of Connecticut, where she studies International Relations, Cross-Cultural Relations, and Studio Art. A celebrated artist, she co-founded an interdisciplinary university arts organisation that provides outreach to schools with underfunded arts programmes. She has completed a series of oil paintings on cultural trauma and has received grant funding to develop a graphic novel from these works. She also serves as a facilitator and counsellor for current and prospective students facing disadvantage. At NUI Galway, Julianne will study Writing. TARA TORABI is currently completing her Bachelor degree at Brown University, where she studies Neuroscience. Her primary interest is in Alzheimer’s disease. She is Co-President of Brown’s Alzheimer’s Activists, and participates in political activism with the Rhode Island chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. She also works as a hospice volunteer and a researcher in the Pathology Department at Rhode Island Hospital. Tara founded the Brown University Brain Bee, a major outreach programme aimed at making neuroscience accessible to high school students and, as an Americorps Access Scholar, she worked with under-represented youth applying to college. At NUI Galway, Tara will study Neuropharmacology. NUI Galway's Dean of International Affairs, Professor Brian Hughes, welcomed the announcement: "We are delighted that such precocious young people saw fit to choose NUI Galway as the venue for their graduate studies, and we are pleased to host these distinguished scholars. We are very conscious of the prestige attached to the George J. Mitchell Scholarship programme and are proud to feature so strongly. This reflects our strong portfolio of academic strengths, as well as the supportive and welcoming environment we provide to students from all over the world." NUI Galway currently hosts over 3,000 international students from 113 countries around the world, comprising 18% of our student population. ENDS

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NUI Galway Student Wins International Undergraduate Award

NUI Galway Student Wins International Undergraduate Award-image

Thursday, 27 November 2014

NUI Galway student, Louisa Brophy Browne was presented with the George Berkeley Gold Medal by the international awarding body The Undergraduate Awards at a special ceremony in Dublin recently. A further ten NUI Galway students were highly commended. Louisa, from Knocknacarra, Galway City, was awarded for her winning paper Discuss and Evaluate the Main Points of the Debate on the Ethics of Archaeological Work in War Zones and Occupied Territories Using Case Studies in the Classical Studies and Archaeology Category. Winners were awarded the George Berkeley Gold Medal for their leading-edge research and course work. The world’s only pan-discipline academic awards programme, the Undergraduate Awards (UA) recognises and rewards innovative young thinkers across 25 disciplines from business and engineering to visual arts and midwifery. Each year, the top performing students – winners and highly commended entrants – are invited to the UA Global Summit. The 2014 UA Global Summit welcomed 120 future leaders from around the world to Dublin, Ireland to spark cutting-edge ideas, forge lasting collaborations, and encourage responsible leadership. The 120 attendees are the top performing entrants out of 4,792 submissions UA received this year from 209 universities across 27 countries. As such, the attendees came from America, Austria, Australia, Bangledesh, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Nigeria, Netherlands, Singapore, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Congratulating Louise and the other highly-commended NUI Galway students, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said: “Louisa's success highlights the high quality of study which our undergraduate students are engaged in. Such success in these Awards will undoubtedly add lustre to the academic development of our students as well as underscore NUI Galway’s increasing profile as a centre of world-class research and teaching.”  The Undergraduate Awards also welcomed an inspiring array of thought leaders to speak during the UA Global Summit. This year’s speakers included Oscar-winning film producer Lord David Puttnam; Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Maguire; former Legal Counsel and Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs at the United Nations and Irish barrister, Patricia O’Brien; Mars One candidate Professor Joeseph Roche, and critically acclaimed choreographer and MacArthur Genius Kyle Abraham, among others. The Undergraduate Awards Programme 2015 is now open for submissions and registrations. To find out more about The Undergraduate Awards visit . The Undergraduate Awards were founded in partnership with Google, Digicel, the Higher Education Authority and the Department for Employment and Learning. -Ends-

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Human rights symposium at NUI Galway celebrates the late Professor Kevin Boyle

Human rights symposium at NUI Galway celebrates the late Professor Kevin Boyle-image

Friday, 28 November 2014

Former President Mary Robinson today welcomed the fact that the archive of the late Professor Kevin Boyle will be housed at NUI Galway. In a video presentation at a symposium taking place at the University today, celebrating the career of Kevin Boyle, she said: “I’m glad that his papers will enrich scholarship and activism from Galway for the betterment of the world in future.” The world-renowned human rights lawyer and scholar, Professor Kevin Boyle, served as a special advisor to Mary Robinson from September 2001, when she was UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. His personal archive, comprising of over one hundred boxes of manuscripts and printed books, is a record of the varied and rich contribution made by the activist and scholar to international human rights. Also speaking at the international symposium, ‘The Human Rights Scholar-Activist or Activist-Scholar?’ hosted by NUI Galway’s School of Law and the Irish Centre for Human Rights, was Professor Sir Nigel Rodley, Chair of the United Nations Human Rights Committee. In his keynote address he said of Kevin Boyle: “His involvement in resisting discrimination on grounds of religion during the early part of the troubles must have been the defining period of his life….He was scholar and activist and advocate; the dimensions were intricately connected.” The archive, kindly donated by the Boyle family since Kevin’s untimely passing in 2010, has now been catalogued by the University’s James Hardiman Library, and represents a major resource for the study and teaching of human rights. It will be formally launched later today by the Attorney General, Máire Whelan, S.C. The archive includes: Letters between Boyle and various others involved in the Northern Ireland civil rights movement. It offers a new and engaging insight into emotions, tensions and experiences in Northern Ireland from the late 1960s and onwards through the 1970s. Key research and legal arguments on a wealth of areas from Kurdish rights, to Egyptian constitutional and legal reform, to conditions in India, China, Japan, South Africa to the UK, Ireland and Northern Ireland, offering insights into a life lived in defence of others for over five decades. Paperwork from major cases, such as ‘Jersild Vs. Denmark, where a documentary film-maker was accused of inciting hatred owing to a film work he had made focusing on a right-wing group known as ‘The Green Jackets’, in Denmark. “The Kevin Boyle archive bears witness to a life lived greatly in the pursuit of justice by a charismatic man whose indefatigable optimism influenced so many others to continue his good work throughout the world”, said Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of School of Law, NUI Galway. In the late 1970s Kevin Boyle joined NUI Galway where he co-founded the Irish Centre for Human Rights with Denny Driscoll in 1980. Professor Michael O’Flaherty is now the Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights: “I was one of thousands of those who were first introduced to human rights by Kevin Boyle. He had a transformative impact on our lives. As his successors in university centres such as the Irish Centre for Human Rights we seek to respect his legacy and pass on his passion for justice to new generations of students.” For more information on the archive visit -ends-

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October 2014

Social Equality and Poverty Focus of NUI Galway Public Lecture

Social Equality and Poverty Focus of NUI Galway Public Lecture-image

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

As part of the President of Ireland's Ethics Initiative, NUI Galway’s discipline of Philosophy will host a public lecture by Professor Jonathan Wolff. The lecture, 'Social Equality and Poverty' will take place on Friday, 10 October at 4pm in the lower Aula Maxima on campus. Jonathan Wolff is Professor of Philosophy and Dean of Arts and Humanities at University College London. He is the author of several books on political philosophy, including Disadvantage (with Avner de-Shalit), Ethics and Public Policy, and The Human Right to Health. He has been a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, the Gambling Review Body, and the Board of Science of the British Medical Association. Professor Wolff also writes a regular column on higher education for The Guardian. A society of equals is a society that avoids a range of destructive asymmetrical social relations, including domination, exploitation, snobbery, servility and social exclusion. But how, in the highly unequal societies in which we live, can we begin to make progress on eliminating social inequality? During his lecture Professor Wolff will explore how thinking about relative poverty can help illuminate one highly important aspect of social inequality: social exclusion. At the same time reflecting on relative poverty, and the steps people take to overcome it, can help to understand some of the considerable structural obstacles that stand in the way of achieving a society of equals. The President of Ireland’s Ethics initiative is organised in collaboration with Ireland’s third-level universities and seeks to explore throughout all aspects of society the topic of ethics and the challenge and invitation of living ethically. Richard Hull, Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and a Director of the Centre of Bioethical Research and Analysis (COBRA) at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to welcome Professor Wolff to the University. He is one of the most influential contemporary political philosophers, and he will add a distinguished voice to the President of Ireland’s Ethics Initiative.” For further information contact Ann O’Higgins in the discipline of Philosophy at 091 492382 or email More information on the lecture is available at -Ends-

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