Tuesday, 27 March 2012

A unique collaboration between the heart and stroke charity Croí and a fourth year medical student at NUI Galway has resulted in the novel use of mobile phone technology and medicine to bring heart health education literarily to our fingertips! Following on from the success of the charity’s Croí MyAction Programme, a cardiovascular disease prevention initiative, targeting individuals at increased risk of heart disease or stroke, Mike McNamara, from Ennis Co. Clare and a fourth year medical student at NUI Galway, has developed two new Apps which have just been launched on the App Store. Croí FoodWise is a user friendly app which uses a novel traffic light system to inform people on their food shopping choices. Users simply compare the information on the food label with the values assigned to the colours red (unhealthy choice), amber and green (healthy choice). Croí HeartWise empowers individuals as they attempt to make healthy lifestyle choices. The user can calculate their “Heart Age” by inputting simple information about themselves. They can track their dietary and alcohol consumption patterns and monitor their smoking habits, including how much money they would save if they quit. A detailed physical activity tracker ensures that the user meets the recommended weekly levels of exercise and they can also monitor their goals by observing their progress around a virtual running track. Announcing the launch of the two new Apps, project supervisor Dr Gerard Flaherty, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Medicine and Medical Education at NUI Galway and Director of the special study module in Preventive Cardiology which is delivered in conjunction with the Croí MyAction team, remarked: “With the widespread use of smartphones and iPads by people of all ages, mobile applications represent a highly effective means of delivering key health promotion messages to a wide audience with the aim of orienting individuals towards healthier lifestyle choices. These apps are a further example of the productive partnership which exists between NUI Galway and Croí as a community partner.” The Apps are free to download from the App store onto the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch devices and they will be updated regularly. Since their release, the Apps have been downloaded by users in over 25 countries and Croí HeartWise has already achieved a five star rating in the App store. Speaking at the launch, Croí CEO, Neil Johnson, indicated that the development of these Apps is directly in keeping with Croí’s aim to educate and motivate people to make heart healthy lifestyle choices. The Croí Foodwise App will help educate shoppers on the rationale for choosing foods with lower saturated fat, sugar and salt levels and the Croí HeartWise App will help highlight the importance of a healthy lifestyle.  “In developing these apps, we have once again worked with medical students at NUI Galway, thus strengthening our relationship with the medical faculty at NUI Galway and this is a further step in developing new educational initiatives in preventive cardiology” he said.  ENDS

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Pictured this week in China where NUI Galway announced collaborations with both Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) and the Fourth Medical Military University Hospital in Xi’an as part of the Trade and Investment Mission to Shanghai and Beijing by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister Richard Bruton TD (back row, l-r):  President Wei Cai SJTU; An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD;  Minister Richard Bruton TD;  Professor Sanbing Shen, REMEDI, NUI Galway;  Frank Ryan, Enterprise Ireland. Front:  Dr Jim Browne, President NUI Galway and Professor Lin He, Director of Bio-X Institutes, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Pictured this week in China where NUI Galway announced collaborations with both Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Fourth Medical Military University Hospital in Xi’an as part of the Trade and Investment Mission to Shanghai and Beijing by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister Richard Bruton TD (back row, l-r): Professor Lin He, Director of Bio-X Institutes; An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD; Minister Richard Bruton TD; Professor Sanbing Shen, REMEDI, NUI Galway; Frank Ryan, Enterprise Ireland. Front: Dr Jim Browne, President NUI Galway and President Wei Cai, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.   NUI Galway is delighted to announce collaborations with both Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Fourth Medical Military University Hospital in Xi’an as part of the Trade and Investment Mission to Shanghai and Beijing this week by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister Richard Bruton TD. The Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) based at NUI Galway has signed collaborative agreements with the Shanghai Institute for Pediatric Research, Bio-X Institutes and the Tangdu Neurosurgery & Neurology Hospital, research institutes based in two leading Chinese Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an. Funded by Science Foundation Ireland, REMEDI is Ireland’s leading research institute in the area of regenerative medicine and stem cell research. The agreement will see REMEDI work closely with both Chinese partners in a number of research areas and will facilitate student and researcher exchange between Galway and China.  At the signing were NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne and Professor Sanbing Shen, who recently moved to Galway and REMEDI as Professor of Stem Cell Biology. Through Professor Sanbing Shen and Professor Tim O’Brien, REMEDI Director, NUI Galway is developing formal partnerships in the area of regenerative medicine and life sciences with research Institutes at the Shanghai Jiaotong University which has over 10 affiliated hospitals in Shanghai, and with Fourth Medical Military University Hospitals in Xi’an, which is considered to be one of the top three medical universities in China and has pioneered neurosurgery and transplant procedures in China. One of the first joint projects will involve Professor Shen, who is developing cutting edge induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS) technology at REMEDI.  iPS technology involves generating “embryonic-like” stem cells from adult cells and has been hailed as one of the top scientific breakthroughs in the last number of years.  REMEDI will also work with both Chinese institutes to develop joint clinical trial programmes in the area of regenerative medicine. Professor Tim O’Brien, Director of REMEDI at NUI Galway: “REMEDI's commitment to clinical trials of treatment using adult stem cells will be greatly enhanced by these collaborations as both institutions have similar scientific and clinical interests as NUI Galway. This will provide for much more extensive patient involvement in clinical trials, as well as the sharing of expertise in the design of the trials and the analysis of the resulting data.” Speaking at the singing of the Memoranda of Understanding in both Shanghai and Beijing, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: “These partnerships will see NUI Galway and these two significant Chinese universities develop joint research programmes which will encourage the exchange of faculty, researchers, and graduate students with the objective of fostering academic cooperation and collaboration between both parties.  NUI Galway has a range of excellent relationships with Chinese higher education institutions in areas from marine science to engineering to human rights.  These new agreements in the area of regenerative medicine with our Chinese partners will bring new and positive developments to our activities in the biosciences.”   In addition to signing these agreements President Browne hosted a reception for Chinese-based alumni of NUI Galway.  Almost 90 Galway graduates are based in China and the event attracted almost a third of these to a reception in central Beijing. Among those alumni and friends in attendance were Tsingua University academic, Professor Yu Ming and his wife Betty Liao and Mr Zhou Ji, former Minister of Education in China. For further information on REMEDI see http://www.nuigalway.ie/our-research/listings/regenerative-medicine.html).  ENDS

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Researchers at NUI Galway were recently awarded a Wounds UK Award for a new Electronic medical technique which aims to assist in the restoration of sensory function lost, due to aging and disease, particularly due to diabetes. The Wounds UK awards recognise the outstanding achievements of those in who are improving standards in wound prevention and management, through research, clinical audit and practice development. The NUI Galway team, who presented at the 2010 Annual Wounds UK Conference, observed that lost sensation in the feet, which is known to lead to loss of balance, foot ulceration and ultimately to amputation, may be partially restored by applying low voltage electrical noise to the affected nerves, through the skin, via electrodes. The new technique relies on the principle that the nervous system is in fact an electrically noisy transmission system. The team found that applying a noisy electrical signal to the affected nerves, resulted in the enhancement of the associated nerve signals and their transmission. If the transmission characteristics of nerve signals can be enhanced through the use of a wearable electrical device, then there is the potential to treat a wide range of medical conditions. Currently there is no treatment available to restore neural function lost due to aging and diabetes. With the current dramatic rise in both of these populations, the need for such treatments is greater than ever. This work, funded by the Health Research Board, brings together a multidisciplinary research team including: Dr Paul Breen and Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, NUI Galway; Dr Caroline McIntosh, Podiatry, NUI Galway; Dr Sean Dinneen, Diabetes and Endocrinology, University Hospital Galway and the School of Medicine, NUI Galway; Dr Leo Quinlan, Physiology, NUI Galway; and Professor Jorge Serrador, Department of Veterans Affairs, New Jersey and Neurology, Harvard Medical School. The researchers believe this may only be the starting point for this research. According to Dr Paul Breen, Electrical and Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway: “What is really exciting is that, while we have shown this to have an effect on the lower limb, theoretically it should work on any nerve. Potentially we could build a whole range of devices for a variety of neural problems.” Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, NUI Galway, said: “This work which is funded by the HRB and which was facilitated by an SFI Walton Fellowship, shows the potential for producing highly innovative, medical solutions, when a team of researchers from such diverse disciplines as Engineering, Medicine, Podiatry and Physiology, pool their expertise to solve complex medical problems.” -ENDS-

Thursday, 29 March 2012

NUI Galway’s Italian Studies and School of Education, and St Joseph’s Patrician College (The Bish) have initiated a collaboration which, if successful, will see the establishment of Italian language and culture course in secondary level schools in Galway. As part of this unique project entitled Andiamo, NUI Galway lecturer, Dr Laura McLoughlin and postgraduate student Dr Francesca Magnoni, have designed, and are currently teaching, an eight-week pilot intensive course in Italian with first year students at The Bish. To date 26 students have enrolled in the course. Professor Paolo Bartoloni, Head of Italian at NUI Galway, said: “This initiative has the potential to make a strong contribution to the language proficiency and diversity of Galway and its region, provide continuity and the necessary link between primary, secondary and tertiary level, foster cross-cultural awareness, enhance exchanges between cultures, and strengthen business synergies between Italy and Ireland. Italian at NUI Galway is committed to offer innovative curricula, employing multimedia technologies and related skills developed during years of training and experience in the teaching of Italian as a second language. It is also looking forward to sharing this knowledge with the post primary school sector, establishing effective and productive collaboration between the University and schools in Galway.”  At present, there is no Galway school offering Italian as a subject, despite of the growing presence of a vibrant Italian community in the city, and a growing interest in Italian Studies at NUI Galway. Currently Italian is present in primary schools through Community Based Learning, which is coordinated by NUI Galway, and is offered in undergraduate and postgraduate courses and lifelong learning courses with the evening Diploma in Italian at the University. An online Diploma in Italian is also currently being developed at NUI Galway. Andiamo embraces the core elements of best practice and design currently in use in the intergenerational curricular model of Living Scenes* developed by NUI Galway’s Dr Mary Surlis. In this instance the focus will be on the intercultural element of the programme, promoting the sharing of language, culture and heritage and tradition through a structured eight-week pilot programme. The President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, and the Ambassador of Italy, Dr Maurizio Zanini, will award certificates of attendance to the students on Friday, 11 May at a ceremony in Galway. -ENDS-

Thursday, 29 March 2012

                                Guest of Honour Brent Pope to Present Student AwardsNUI Galway has announced the recipients of the 2012 Sports Awards which will be presented by Brent Pope, rugby analyst with RTÉ, at a special ceremony in the Aula Maxima in NUI Galway on Thursday (tonight), 29 March at 6pm. This event is the highpoint of the University sporting year, and celebrates the achievements of NUI Galway sporting heroes during the past year.The awards recognise sporting performance and participation as well as acknowledging students who have excelled in the leadership and co-ordination of their sports clubs.The broad range and level of success of sports at NUI Galway is reflected through this year’s award winners. Sligo’s Des Leonard won a silver medal this year at the World Kickboxing Championships held in Dublin, while Jennifer Byrne was part of the successful Irish U19 Women’s Soccer team at their World Cup in Trinidad. Adam Caulfield led the NUI Galway Water polo team to Victory in the IUSWA national competition.Kathy Hynes, Development Officer, Sport Clubs and Participation: “NUI Galway recognises the outstanding contribution of student athletes across many diverse sporting disciplines for their achievements in sport. Included in the awards ceremony is the recognition of the skills of self motivation, commitment and direction of a particular goal with the tenacity to maintain a consistent application of both behaviour and mind to further the clubs goals. The contribution of student clubs to campus life and the importance of participation in sport and exercise is rightfully recognised and celebrated through this award ceremony.”This year the awards will also remember one of the great contributors to university life over the past 30 years, and the Tom Tuohy Memorial Award will be presented for achievement in rowing.   Tom Tuohy was one of the country’s greatest ever rowing coaches, whose association with NUI Galway crews led them to remarkable victories over the years and to numerous national championship titles, International caps and Olympians. Tom had a profound influence on a huge number of people and for the first time this year the inaugural award recipients are the Men’s and Women’s novice crews who enjoyed much success at the National Championships in 2011.Speaking of the special award, Gary Ryan, Development Officer for Elite Sports at NUI Galway, said: “Tom was a great coach, a great leader and a huge influence on rowing in this country and NUI Galway was extremely lucky to have benefitted from his expertise. It is only fitting that we remember his contribution and thank him and his family for all he did for the University and its students and staff over a long period of time.”The NUI Galway Spots Awards also recognise the huge contribution students make to the running and development of their clubs and the opportunities for participation they give to others.The recipient of Club Captain’s Award this year is Louise Riordan from the Ladies Hockey Club recognising the enormous contribution of an individual student to the successful running of sports clubs. As Intervarsity co-ordinator Louise was praised by President of the Irish Hockey Association as the best intervarsity she had ever attended. Louise’s leadership and project management skills have ensured that NUIG Hockey club is firmly on the map nationally.This year’s Committee Person of the Year Award went to Christine Quinn from the Sub Aqua Club. Christine was awarded this inaugural award for her dedication to diving and improving the profile of the club through regional, national and international rankings.The Archery Club took the honours for The Sport Leadership Award which is a partnership between University sports clubs, ALIVE, the University Alumni Office and Student Services. This award recognises the leadership qualities of students participating in sports clubs and the vital role it plays in developing and promoting sport in NUI Galway.The awards have been in existence since 1983, and have proven to be hugely significant to the student body, past winners includ such leading names as Paul Hession and Olive Loughnane (Athletics) Eadoin Ní Challarain (kayaking) Alan Martin, Cormac Folan and James Wall (rowing) and former Irish Rugby captain Ciaran Fitzgerald. 2012 Sports Award Winners: Archery: Darren Wallace from Co. Laois Ladies Soccer: Jennifer Byrne from Athlone, Co Westmeath Boxing: David Martin from Castlebar, Mayo Gaelic Football: Deirdre Brennan from Claregalway, Co. Galway Swimming, Kevin McGlade from Knocknacarra, Galway Hurling: David Kenny from Belmont, Co Offaly Rugby: Carol Staunton from Westport, Co Mayo Waterpolo: Adam Caulfield from Taylors Hill, Galway Gaelic Football: Robbie Kiely from Bandon, Co. Cork Judo: Enda O' Connor from Grattan Road, Galway Mens Soccer: Ger Cheevers from Oranmore, Co Galway Kickboxing: Des Leonard from Riverstown, Co Sligo Team Winners     Team Award: Pool & Snooker ‘A’ team - Stephen Dempsey (Capt.), Seamus Keane, Stephen O’Sullivan, Neil Hennelly and Liam Cannon                                                           Tom Tuohy Award for Achievement in Rowing: Men’s Novice and Women’s Novice Rowing Teams                                       Club Captains Award: Hockey Club Captain Louise Riordan, Blackrock, Cork City.                 Committee Member Award: Christina Quinn, Sub Aqua Club from Tuam Road, Galway Most Improved Club: Squash Club, Captain Shane Touhy, Galway                                          Special Achievement Award: Judo Club, Captain Jake Walsh and Vice Captain Sarah Dillon, Coach Colm O' Riordan                  Participation Award : Athletics Club Dee O' Dwyer and Oisin O'Carroll                                      Recreation Award: Futsal winners "Darren & the B" A group of Arts, Science and Business students               Alumni Leadership Award: Archery Club Alive Volunteering Award: Swim, Waterpolo and Lifesaving Club                        ENDS   Fógraíonn OÉ Gaillimh Buaiteoirí Dhuaiseanna Spóirt 2012  Bhronn an tAoi Speisialta, Brent Pope, na Duaiseanna ar na Mic Léinn Tá Duaiseanna Spóirt 2012 fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh. Bhronn Brent Pope, anailísí rugbaí le RTÉ na duaiseanna ag searmanas speisialta san Aula Maxima in OÉ Gaillimh aréir. Is iad na duaiseanna seo na buaicphointe na Bliana Spóirt san Ollscoil agus déanann siad ceiliúradh ar éachtaí laochra spóirt OÉ Gaillimh le bliain anuas. Tugann na duaiseanna aitheantas d’éachtaí agus do rannpháirteachas spóirt agus tugann siad aitheantas do mhic léinn a bhfuil éachtaí déanta acu i gceannaireacht agus i gcomhordú a gcuid clubanna Spóirt. Tá réimse leathan agus leibhéal rathúlachta an spóirt in OÉ Gaillimh le sonrú i mbuaiteoirí na bliana seo. Bhuaigh Des Leonard as Sligeach bonn airgid i mbliana ag Craobh Cosdornála an Domhain i mBaile Átha Cliath agus bhí Jennifer Byrne ar fhoireann sacair na mban F19 a bhuaigh i gCorn an Domhain ar Oileán na Tríonóide. Bhí Adam Caulfield ina chaptaen ar fhoireann póló uisce OÉ Gaillimh a bhuaigh i gcomórtas náisiúnta an IUSWA. Dúirt Kathy Hynes, Oifigeach Forbartha, Rannpháirteachas agus Clubanna Spóirt: “Tugann OÉ Gaillimh aitheantas d’éachtaí iontacha na mac léinn i measc réimsí éagsúla spóirt. Tugtar aitheantas i searmanas na nduaiseanna do scileanna féinspreagtha, tiomantas agus stiúradh aidhmeanna áirithe chun iompraíocht agus intinn mhaith a chothú ar mhaithe le spriocanna na gclubanna. Tugtar aitheantas d’obair na gclubanna i saol an champais agus do thábhacht an rannpháirteachais sa spórt agus san aclaíocht agus déantar iad a cheiliúradh go cuí ag searmanas na nduaiseanna.” I mbliana cuimhneofar ar dhuine de na pearsa is mó i saol na hOllscoile le 30 bliain anuas agus bronnfar Duais Chuimhneacháin Tom Tuohy as éachtaí iomraimh.   Bhí Tom Tuohy ar dhuine de na cóitseálaithe iomraimh ab fhearr sa tír, agus mar gheall ar a chuid oibre le criúnna OÉ Gaillimh d’éirigh leo go leor a bhuachan in imeacht na mblianta, chomh maith le craobhacha náisiúnta, idirnáisiúnta agus Oilimpeacha. Chuaigh Tom i bhfeidhm ar go leor daoine agus den chéad uair i mbliana bronnfar an duais ar chriú tosaitheoirí na mban agus na bhfear a rinne éacht ag Craobhacha Náisiúnta 2011. Ag labhairt dó faoin duais speisialta, dúirt Gary Ryan, Oifigeach Forbartha do Spórt Éilíte in OÉ Gaillimh: “Cóitseálaí den scoth ab ea Tom chomh maith le ceannaire iontach agus bhí an-tionchar aige ar an iomramh sa tír seo. Bhí an t-ádh ar OÉ Gaillimh a bheith in ann leas a bhaint as a chuid saineolais. Níl sé ach cóir go gcuimhnímid ar a chuid oibre agus buíochas a ghlacadh leis féin agus lena theaghlach as an méid a rinne sé don Ollscoil agus do na mic léinn thar thréimhse fhada ama.” Tugann Duaiseanna Spóirt OÉ Gaillimh aitheantas don obair mhór a dhéanann mic léinn ar son na gclubanna agus an deis a thugann siad do dhaoine eile a bheith páirteach. Is í Louise Riordan as Club Haca na mBan a bhuaigh an Duais do Chaptaen na gClubanna i mbliana. Tugann Duais Chaptaen na gClubanna aitheantas don obair mhór a rinne mac léinn amháin i reáchtáil clubanna spóirt. Mar chomhordaitheoir Idir-ollscoile mhol Uachtarán Chumann Haca na hÉireann Louise nuair a dúirt sí gurb é an comórtas idir-ollscoile an comórtas ab fhearr ar fhreastail sí riamh air. Mar gheall ar scileanna ceannaireachta agus bainistiú tionscadail Louise tá club Haca OÉ Gaillimh aitheanta ar fud na tíre. Ba í Christine Quinn ón gClub Fo-Uisce a bhuaigh an Duais do Dhuine na Bliana ar Choiste. Bronnadh an duais seo den chéad uair riamh ar Christine Quinn as a tiomantas don tumadóireacht agus as próifíl an chlub a fheabhsú trí ranguithe réigiúnacha, náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta. Bronnadh Duais don Cheannaireacht Spóirt ar an gClub Boghdóireachta. Is comhpháirtíocht atá anseo idir clubanna spóirt na hOllscoile, ALIVE, Oifig Alumni na hOllscoile agus Seirbhísí do Mhic Léinn.  Tugann an duais aitheantas do cheannaireacht na mac léinn atá páirteach i gclubanna spóirt agus an ról lárnach atá aige i gcúrsaí spóirt a fhorbairt agus a chur chun cinn in OÉ Gaillimh. Cuireadh tús leis na duaiseanna i 1983, agus is mór an cháil atá orthu i measc na mac léinn. I measc na mbuaiteoirí roimhe seo bhí Paul Hession agus Olive Loughnane (Lúthchleasaíocht) Éadaoin Ní Challaráin (cadhcáil) Alan Martin, Cormac Folan agus James Wall (iomramh) agus iarchaptaen ar fhoireann Rugbaí na hÉireann, Ciaran Fitzgerald. Buaiteoirí Dhuaiseanna Spóirt 2012   Boghdóireacht: Darren Wallace as Co. Laois Sacar na mBan: Jennifer Byrne as Baile Átha Luain, Co. na hIarmhí Dornálaíocht: David Martin as Caisleán an Bharraigh, Maigh Eo Peil Ghaelach: Deirdre Brennan as Baile Chláir, Co. na Gaillimhe Snámh, Kevin McGlade as Cnoc na Cathrach, Gaillimh Iománaíocht: David Kenny as an Lios Dearg, Co. Uíbh Fhailí Rugbaí: Carol Staunton as Cathair na Mart, Co. Mhaigh Eo Póló Uisce: Adam Caulfield as an mBóthar Ard, Gaillimh Peil Ghaelach: Robbie Kiely as an mBandan, Co. Chorcaí Júdó: Enda O' Connor as Bóthar Grattan, Gaillimh Sacar na bhFear: Ger Cheevers as Órán Mór, Co. na Gaillimhe Cosdornáil: Des Leonard as Baile Idir Dhá Abhainn, Co. Shligigh Buaiteoirí Foirne Duais Foirne Foireann ‘A’ Púil & Snúcair - Stephen Dempsey (Capt.), Seamus Keane, Stephen O’Sullivan, Neil Hennelly agus Liam Cannon                                                     Duais Tom Tuohy as Éachtaí Iomraimh                                                 Foirne Iomraimh do Thosaitheoirí na mBan agus na bhFear                            Duais Chaptaein na gClubanna                                                              Captaen an Chlub Haca Louise Riordan as an Dúcharraig, Cathair Chorcaí               Duais do Dhuine ar Choiste                                                                   Christina Quinn as Bóthar Thuama, Gaillimh ón gClub Fo-Uisce Club is mó Feabhais                                          An Club Scuaise, Captaen Shane Touhy                                                   Duais d’Éacht Speisialta                                                                          Captaen an Chlub Júdó Jake Walsh agus Leas-Chaptaen Sarah Dillon, Cóitseálaí Colm O' Riordan                         Duais Rannpháirteachais                                                                        Dee O' Dwyer agus Oisin O’Carroll ón gClub Lúthchleasaíochta                   Duais Áineasa                                                    Buaiteoirí Futsal “Darren & the B” Grúpa mac léinn sna Dána, san Eolaíocht agus sa Ghnó as Gaillimh go Dún na nGall.                                                                                                          Duais Ceannaireachta Alumni                                                                 An Club Boghdóireachta Duais Obair Dheonach Alive                         Club Snámha, Póló Uisce agus Tarrthála                      CRÍOCH  

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Cuirfidh Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh iarchéim nua sa Léann Teanga ar fáil don bhliain acadúil nua seo.  Is clár nuálach máistreachta é seo a bheidh á thairiscint ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge agus é mar aidhm leis céimithe ardoilte le hardscileanna teanga a chur ar fáil.   Beidh an cúrsa seo á thairiscint do mhic léinn ar bhonn lánaimseartha nó páirtaimseartha. Cuirfidh an cúrsa nua MA seo, an t-aon cheann dá leithéid sa tír, oiliúint den chéad scoth sa Ghaeilge Fheidhmeach ar fáil. Beidh béim ar leith ar chruinnscríobh na Gaeilge, ar mhodeolaíochtaí taighde agus ar an tsochtheangeolaíocht.   Beidh deis ag mic léinn díriú ar speisialtóireachtaí éagsúla sa chlár nua seo lena n- áirítear: an t-aistriúchán, ardscileanna teanga agus an phleanáil teanga, rud a chuirfidh lena n-infhostaitheacht agus a fhorbróidh meascán scileanna intleachtúla, eolas agus cumas idirphearsanta a theastaíonn in ionad oibre a bhíonn ag síorathraithú. Dúirt Gearóid Mac Donncha, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, ag ócáid seolta an chúrsa:  “Teastaíonn scoth na Gaeilge ó chéimithe agus iad ar thóir oibre in earnáil agus i réimsí gairmiúla na Gaeilge.   Níl a leithéid de chlár iarchéime ar fáil ach in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh: tapaígí an deis!”    Tá an MA nua ag freastal orthu siúd ar mian leo feidhmiú go gairmiúil trí Ghaeilge, in eagraíochtaí éagsúla, leithéidí institiúidí an Aontais Eorpaigh, institiúidí aistriúcháin de chuid an Stáit, údaráis áitiúla, eagraíochtaí forbartha de chuid an Stáit, cuideachtaí príobháideacha aistriúcháin, na meáin Ghaeilge, institiúidí oideachais agus eagraíochtaí pobail. Cuirfear tús leis an gclár nuálach seo i Meán Fómhair 2012 in OÉ Gaillimh agus is féidir iarratas a dhéanamh ar líne ag www.pac.ie/nuigalway ag úsáid an chóid PAC GYA94. Is féidir tuilleadh eolais maidir le spriocdhátaí a fháil ag http://www.nuigalway.ie/postgrad/assessmentdates/) Dúirt Dónall Ó Braonáin, Príomhfheidhmeannach an Acadaimh: “Is céim mhór chun cinn d’Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge é an clár nua seo.  Beidh sároiliúint ar chéimithe an chúrsa agus creidim go mbeidh tóir ag fostóirí sa bhaile agus i gcéin orthu. Daingneoidh an cúrsa cáil Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh mar lárionad staidéir don Léann Teanga. ”      Is féidir tuilleadh eolais faoin gcúrsa a fháil ag www.oegaillimh.ie/acadamh nó ón Dr Conchúr Ó Giollagáin ag 091-595101 nó seol ríomhphost chuig leannteanga@oegaillimh.ie CRÍOCH          ___________________________________________________________________                    NUI Galway Launches a New MA in Advanced Language Skills NUI Galway has announced that it will provide a new postgraduate programme in Language Studies commencing in September.  This new innovative Irish language Masters programme will be provided by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge at the University and is designed to provide highly qualified graduates with advanced language skills. This new programme is offered on a full-time and part-time basis. This new MA programme, the only one of its kind in the Ireland, will provide training of the highest quality in Applied Irish.  Specific emphasis will be placed on accuracy in written Irish, research methodologies and sociolinguistics.   Students will have the opportunity to specialise in particular subject areas including translation, advanced language skills and language planning which will enhance their employability and develop a mix of intellectual skills, knowledge and interpersonal competence required in a constantly changing or evolving workplace. Speaking at the launch of the course, Gearóid Mac Donncha, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, said: “Excellent Irish is a prerequisite for graduates who wish to gain employment in the Irish language professional sector.  No other postgraduate programme of this nature is available in any institution other than NUI Galway and I recommend that students avail of this excellent opportunity.”    This new MA is aimed at those who wish to work professionally through the medium of Irish in organisations such as European Union institutions, state translation institutions, local authorities, state development organisations, private translation companies, Irish Language media, education institutions and community organisations. This innovative programme will commence in September 2012 at NUI Galway and applicants can apply online via www.pac.ie/nuigalway using PAC application code GYA94. Further details on closing dates can be found on http://www.nuigalway.ie/postgrad/assessmentdates/) Dónall Ó Braonáin, chief executive of the Acadamh said: “This new programme represents a significant step forward for Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. Graduates of this course will receive the highest standard of training and will, I believe, be sought by employers both at home and abroad.  This course will strengthen NUI Galway’s reputation as a key centre of Language Study.”     More detailed information about this programme visit www.oegaillimh.ie/acadamh or contact Dr Conchúr Ó Giollagáin at +353 (0) 91-595101 or email leannteanga@oegaillimh.ie  ENDS

Thursday, 29 March 2012

ALIVE Certificate Awards Ceremony Celebrates Student Commitment to Community NUI Galway’s Vice President for the Student Experience, Dr Pat Morgan, presented over 950 University student volunteers the ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering at a recent presentation. The ceremony was also attended by Galway City Mayor, Hildegarde Naughton. ALIVE is the onsite volunteer centre for NUI Galway students connecting community volunteer opportunities with over 4,000 students annually. Lorraine Tansey, NUI Galway Student Volunteer Coordinator, said: “If each of the 950 awardees gave just 20 hours to volunteer in the city, and many gave much more, at minimum wage they have contributed €171,000 to the Galway economy. Student volunteering is a two-way street with students learning and benefiting immensely from the experience and organisations and communities benefiting from their engagement. We would like to thank all 300 community organisations for providing great opportunities for our students to learn, grow and develop their civic side.” Mary McGrath, Mercy Secondary School Homework Club coordinator, said: “We are most grateful for diligent NUI Galway student volunteers who are always ready to help us out.  They are fantastic.”  ALIVE - A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience – was established by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution the University students make to Galway by volunteering. To date over 7,000 students have been recognised for their volunteering commitment within a variety of pathways, enabling NUI Galway to become a role model in promoting skills related to democratic participation and civic engagement amongst the student body. Students have volunteered in a variety of organisations and organised events throughout the year including Heads Up, Childline, Galway Civic Defence, Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Barretstown and Suas. For further information contact Lorraine Tansey, ALIVE Student Volunteer Coordinator at 091 495346, or email lorraine.tansey@nuigalway.ie.   -ENDS-

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Promoting Peace and Reconciliation and Excellence in Music Education and Performance2,000 children from schools all over Galway County will take part in Galway Peace Proms which will be held in the Kingfisher Hall, NUI Galway this Saturday and Sunday, 4 and 5 February. Performances will take place at 3pm and 8pm on Saturday; Sunday performances will be at 2pm and 7pm.Choirs will perform with the internationally acclaimed Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland (CBOI), and will be led by Ireland’s premiere conductor Maestro Gearóid Grant. Concerts will feature one of our finest tenors Emmanuel Lawler, renowned Uilleann Piper Patrick Martin, outstanding Violinist Patricia Treacy in addition to magnificent drum and piping corps. The programme is packed full of family favourites and showstoppers as well as powerful anthems from the Ulster Scots and Irish traditions.  The CBOI was established as a peace initiative almost seventeen years ago and is made up of 120 young musicians from all over Ireland including Galway.  The orchestra gained international recognition following sell out performances at world renowned venues including Carnegie Hall, New York; Chicago Symphony Hall; Boston Symphony Hall, and major venues throughout California and Europe. In 2011 the CBOI won an international award for the “Most Outstanding Performance” at the Shanghai Expo in China. The CBOI will make their London debut at the Royal Albert Hall in October next. The CBOI has performed for President McAleese at Áras and Uachtaráin; for Queen Elizabeth 11 at Hillsborough Castle; for many special international Ministerial gatherings at Slane Castle and Dublin Castle; for numerous national commemorations including the Battle of the Boyne; the 10th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement; the 30th anniversary of the twinning of Listowel and Downpatrick, and the 400th Anniversary of the Flight of the Earls in Rome. The CBOI has developed “Peace Proms” over the past seventeen years as a unique and very special music education programme.  7,000 children from all over Ireland participate in “Peace Proms” annually. “Peace Proms” is supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and the Department of Education and Skills and is recognised as one of Ireland’s most important Arts Education initiatives, providing outstanding cultural opportunities for young people while promoting peace, unity and tolerance through music. The CBOI is a registered charity and totally not-for -profit. All funds generated through ticket sales cover the cost of running this programme in which 7,000 children participate annually. Tickets for the Galway Peace Proms can be purchased from the Town Hall Theatre, Galway or from the CBOI on www.cboi.ie  ENDS

Thursday, 2 February 2012

        100 new Postgraduate Scholarships for full-time Taught Masters 2012NUI Galway has announced details of a new scholarships scheme for postgraduate students. In total, 100 new scholarships will be awarded at €2,000 per student. The announcement follows recent cuts to maintenance grants for postgraduate students in Budget 2011.The new initiative is open to postgraduate students, applying for a fulltime Taught Masters programme due to commence in autumn 2012. Scholarships will be awarded to students accepted on a fulltime taught masters and who fulfill the criteria as outlined by the University.Details of the new Postgraduate Scholarships include: 100 scholarships at €2,000 per student For students who have been accepted on to full-time Taught Masters programmes in 2012/13  Who have a First Class Honours undergraduate degree  And who were in receipt of a Local Authority Higher Education Grant for their undergraduate degree** Students who were admitted to their undergraduate degree programme via an NUI Galway Access Programme or through the HEAR Scheme are also eligible to apply*** There are some limitations on who will qualify for possible selection, for example, students who have previously taken a postgraduate programme for which they had a Local Authority Higher Education grant or similar awards will not be eligible for the scholarship. Interested students should visit the NUI Galway website for further detail about the scholarships and for information about the general postgraduate student application process: www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate/scholarshipsSpeaking at the announcement, which was made yesterday at the Postgraduate Open Day on campus, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “The new scholarships were developed in direct response to the recent cuts in maintenance funding for postgraduate students. We know that more and more students are looking to postgraduate study as a means of enhancing their skills and their employability, but financial constraints are a big problem. We believe that these scholarships will enable more of the brightest and most committed students to progress to postgraduate study.”Postgraduate students make up a significant part of the student population at NUI Galway, with almost 4,000 students (taught and research) across all schools and disciplines.For more information on postgraduate programmes and scholarships at NUI Galway visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate/scholarships or phone 091 492844 or email postgrad@nuigalway.ieENDS   --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                        Fógraíonn OÉ Gaillimh Scoláireachtaí Nua Iarchéime100 Scoláireacht nua Iarchéime do Chláir lánaimseartha Mháistreachta Mhúinte 2012D’fhógair OÉ Gaillimh sonraí faoi scéim nua scoláireachtaí do mhic léinn iarchéime. Bronnfar 100 scoláireacht nua san iomlán ar luach €2,000 an ceann. Tagann an fógra seo sna sála ar na ciorruithe ar dheontais chothabhála do mhic léinn iarchéime a tugadh isteach i gCáinaisnéis 2011.* Tá an tionscnamh nua oscailte do mhic léinn iarchéime atá ag déanamh iarratais ar chlár lánaimseartha Máistreachta Múinte a bheidh ag tosú i bhfómhar 2012. Bronnfar scoláireachtaí ar mhic léinn a nglacfar leo ar mháistreachtaí múinte lánaimseartha agus a chomhlíonann critéir atá leagtha amach ag an Ollscoil. Seo a leanas sonraí na Scoláireachtaí nua Iarchéime: 100 scoláireacht ag €2,000 an mac léinn Do mhic léinn ar glacadh leo ar chláir lánaimseartha Mháistreachta Mhúinte in 2012/13  Agus a bhfuil bunchéim Céadonóracha acu  Agus a bhí ag fáil Deontas Ard-Oideachais ó Údarás Áitiúil dá mbunchéim**  Tá mic léinn a tháinig isteach ar chlár bunchéime trí Chlár Rochtana OÉ Gaillimh nó tríd an Scéim HEAR i dteideal iarratas a dhéanamh chomh maith*** Tá srianta áirithe i gceist maidir leo siúd a bheidh incháilithe le hiarratas a dhéanamh, mar shampla, ní bheidh mic léinn a bhfuil clár iarchéime déanta cheana acu agus a fuair deontas Ard-Oideachais ó Údarás Áitiúil nó gradaim chosúla incháilithe don scoláireacht. Ba cheart do mhic léinn a bhfuil spéis acu anseo cuairt a thabhairt ar láithreán gréasáin OÉ Gaillimh chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoi scoláireachtaí agus chun eolas ginearálta a fháil faoin bpróiseas iarratais do mhic léinn iarchéime: www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate/scholarshipsAg labhairt dó faoin bhfógra, a rinneadh inné ag an Lá Oscailte Iarchéime ar an gcampas, dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Forbraíodh na scoláireachtaí nua mar fhreagra díreach ar na ciorruithe a rinneadh le déanaí ar mhaoiniú cothabhála do mhic léinn iarchéime. Tá a fhios againn go bhfuil níos mó mic léinn ag díriú ar staidéar iarchéime d’fhonn cur lena gcuid scileanna agus chun a n-infhostaitheacht a fheabhsú, ach tá srianta airgid ag cothú fadhbanna móra. Creidimid go dtabharfaidh na scoláireachtaí seo deis do níos mó de na mic léinn is cliste agus is tiomanta dul ar aghaidh chuig staidéar iarchéime.”Is mic léinn iarchéime iad cuid mhór de phobal OÉ Gaillimh; tá beagnach 4,000 mac léinn (ar chláir mhúinte agus thaighde) sna scoileanna agus sna disciplíní ar fad. Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil ar chláir agus ar scoláireachtaí iarchéime in OÉ Gaillimh téigh chuig http://www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate/scholarships  nó glaoigh ar 091 492844 nó seol rphost chuig postgrad@nuigalway.ie CRÍOCH

Friday, 3 February 2012

Comhrá Ceoil: Music and Dance Studies at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway, is delighted to announce the inaugural lecture in the Martin Reilly Lecture Series, which will take place at 6.30pm on Tuesday, 21 February in Galway City Library. This series is dedicated to Martin Reilly, the celebrated East Galway uilleann piper, who left a rich musical legacy to generations of pipers.  The lecture series will give an opportunity to researcher-practitioners in Irish traditional music and dance to present their research in a public forum and the audience will get to hear some tunes, see some dancing and listen to some songs as well.  Galway and the West of Ireland has long been an important centre of traditional dance, music and song and this lecture series reflects the increasing interest in the study of these traditions.Supported by the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway, the first lecture will be given by Dr Jimmy O’Brien Moran, a Waterford uilleann piper and researcher well known to the traditional music community west of the Shannon.  Jimmy’s talk, ‘Folk Music Collecting in Galway before the Famine’, will focus on the Galway piper Paddy Conneely and his collectors (Petrie, the Hudson brothers, William Forde and Henry Westenra aka Lord Rossmore) and will include a mention of Martin Reilly who was, for a few years, a contemporary of Conneely. As a young student, Jimmy attended NUI Galway and currently lectures at the Waterford Institute of Technology. As a piper he has been invited to give lectures, workshops and concerts all over the world from Seattle to the Seychelles and from old Zealand to New Zealand). Jimmy said: “It is an honour to be invited to give the opening lecture in the Martin Reilly series and I am looking forward to coming back to the City of the Tribes.”A reception will take place before the talk at 6.15pm, when Jackie Small will officially launch the lecture series.  All are invited to attend both the launch and lecture.  Admission is free.Further information on this and other planned talks in the series is available athttp://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Martin-Reilly-Lecture-Series/289147347801522or e-mail: Martinreillylectureseries@gmail.com ENDS

Monday, 6 February 2012

Múscailt, NUI Galway's week-long Spring Arts Festival, opens today (Monday, 6 February) and will run until Friday, 10 February.  Revolving around the theme of Illumination/Soiliú, this year Múscailt hosts a superb line-up of art, music, performance and sculpture.The NUI Galway Artsoc's annual show, this year entitled ‘Derelicte’, will consist of drawings, paintings, textiles and pop-up sculptures, with guest artist, Sinéad Aldridge, will deliver an illustrated lecture entitled ‘Stop Making Sense-Play Havoc’.GUMS, the NUI Galway Musical Society, will once again entertain the audience with their new musical, ‘Spring Awakening’. Other performances throughout the week will include the hit puppet show ‘Mise Scéal Cailín’, poetry slam with MC Pete Mullineaux, NUI Galway staff and students will perform in ‘Solo Show’ and Dramsoc will produce ‘The Clean House’ by Sarah Ruhl.COLOURS Street Theatre Company’s ‘sculptures on wheels’ will be popping up in unexpected locations throughout the week. Other activities throughout the week will include juggling, magic, films, fiction and poetry, with performances from NUI Galway students, staff, alumni, local and national artists, and local filmmakers.Music will feature strongly during Muscáilt with a variety of performances ranging from classical music to traditional with performances from Rolf Hind, the NUI Galway Orchestra, Tradsoc, Choralsoc and Diploma in Trad music students. The judges and public will decice the winner of the ‘Witless Band Competition Final’ which will take place in the Student Union Bar.Speaking about the Festival, Fionnuala Gallagher, Arts Officer, NUI Galway said, “This year is a celebration of ‘Illuminations’ that are physical, mental, audio, visual and emotional, using the full colour spectrum. Many of the events are free and we urge the public to come along and attend all activities during the week.”All exhibitions are open Monday – Friday, for information on any of the events visit www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie or contact the Arts Office at 091 493766 or 091 495098.Tickets for events and info on Society events will be available from the Socsbox at 091 492852 or socsbox@socs.nuigalway.ie. Spring Awakening tickets are also available from Town Hall Theatre www.tht.ie or 091 569777.-ENDS-  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                       Osclaíonn an 12ú Féile Bhliantúil Ealaíon de chuid OÉ GaillimhD’oscail Féile Ealaíon an Earraigh, Múscailt, in OÉ Gaillimh inniu (Dé Luain, an 6 Feabhra) agus mairfidh sí go dtí Dé hAoine, an 10 Feabhra.  Bunaithe ar an téama Soilsiú, beidh sárchlár imeachtaí ar siúl ag Féile Múscailt na bliana seo – ealaín, ceol, taibhiú agus dealbhadóireacht san áireamh.Mar chuid de ‘Derelicte’,  seó bliantúil an Artsoc, beidh líníochtaí, péintéireachtaí, teicstílí agus preabdhealbha; agus tabharfaidh aoi speisialta, an t-ealaíontóir Sinéad Aldridge, léacht le léaráidí dar teideal ‘Stop Making Sense-Play Havoc’.Cuirfidh Cumann Ceoldrámaíochta na hOllscoile (GUMS), an ceoldráma nua, ‘Spring Awakening’, i láthair. I measc na rudaí eile a bheidh le feiceáil le linn na seachtaine beidh ‘MISE Scéal Cailín’, seó puipéad, craobh filíochta le Pete Mullineaux mar fhear an tí; scríbhinní agus léirithe nua ó mhic léinn agus ó fhoireann OÉ Gaillimh sa ‘SOLO Show’ chomh maith le léiriú de ‘The Clean House’ le Sarah Ruhl, á chur i láthair ag an Dramsoc.Beidh ‘sculptures on wheels’ le COLOURS Street Theater Company ag preabadh aníos ar fud na háite le linn na seachtaine. I measc na ngníomhaíochtaí eile a bheidh ar siúl i rith na seachtaine, beidh lámhchleasaíocht, seónna draíochta, scannáin, ficsean agus filíocht, agus léirithe ó mhic léinn, ó fhoireann agus ó alumni OÉ Gaillimh, ealaíontóirí áitiúla agus náisiúnta, agus lucht áitiúil scannánaíochta.Beidh áit lárnach ag an gceol i bhFéile Múscailt idir cheol clasaiceach agus cheol traidisiúnta agus leithéidí Rolf Hind, Ceolfhoireann OÉ Gaillimh, an Tradsoc, an Choralsoc agus mic léinn an Dioplóma sa Cheol Traidisiúnta ag ceol le linn na seachtaine. Beidh Craobhchomórtas na mBannaí Witless ar siúl i mBeár Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn, áit a mbeidh vóta ag na moltóirí agus ag an bpobal.Ag labhairt faoin bhFéile, dúirt Oifigeach Ealaíon OÉ Gaillimh, Fionnuala Gallagher, “Is ceiliúradh ar ‘Shoilsiú’ é Féile na bliana seo, soilsiú a bhaineann leis an duine go fisiceach, a bhaineann leis an inchinn, le héisteacht, le feiceáil agus le mothúcháin ag baint úsáide as speictream ildaite. Tá go leor de na himeachtaí ar fáil saor in aisce agus mholfainn don phobal teacht agus freastal ar na hócáidí ar fad i rith na seachtaine.”Tá na taispeántais ar fad ar oscailt Dé Luain – Dé hAoine. Chun eolas a fháil faoi aon cheann de na himeachtaí, téigh chuig www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie  nó glaoigh ar an Oifig Ealaíon ag 091 493766 nó 091 495098.Beidh ticéid ar fáil do na himeachtaí ar fad, chomh maith le heolas fúthu, ón Socsbox ag 091 492852 nó socsbox@socs.nuigalway.ie.  Is féidir ticéid do Spring Awakening a fháil chomh maith ó Amharclann na Cathrach ag www.tht.ie nó 091 569777.-CRÍOCH-

Monday, 6 February 2012

A range of scientific resources and handbooks to facilitate better coastal planning will be launched at a national seminar in NUI Galway on Tuesday, 21 February.The resources are the result of a three-year, €1.9 million project, funded by the EU which has assessed the extent to which coastal risks are currently considered in development plans. It appears that across Europe’s Atlantic countries, despite guidance from policy documents at national and European level to include considerations of coastal risks, existing development plans are lacking in this area.Atlantic Europe is made up of 33 regions stretching across a coastline of 1,550 miles, home to around 70 million inhabitants. The Atlantic Network for Coastal Risk Management (ANCORIM) project, led by the Aquitaine regional council in France, focused on key issues of erosion, water quality and planning. Using existing scientific knowledge and legislative instruments the ANCORIM project - a collaboration of scientists and decision-makers from Ireland, Spain, Portugal and France - has developed a set of tools to improve the current situation.A partner in the ANCORIM project, Dr Kevin Lynch of NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, explains the challenges faced by coastal communities: “Every year, in Ireland, we are reminded of the threats posed by coastal risks to our communities, their economies and our natural environment. During the winter months, this usually surfaces in stories of coastal erosion, flooding, and storm damage, while during the summer months emphasis switches to reports of poor bathing water quality or ‘red tides’.”Examples of coastal erosion in Ireland are most pronounced in County Wexford, which has experienced coastline retreat of up to one meter a year in places. More recently, the seaside town of Strandhill in Sligo has been badly affected by erosion of its sand dunes following severe winter storms.However, Dr Lynch points out that there are other potential hazards for coastal locations: “Examples of other risks that are not always on our radar, but could potentially have considerable socio-economic and environmental impacts, include major oil or chemical spills or ocean acidification impacts on calcifying organisms which play key roles in the oceanic food chain.”The seminar on 21 February is aimed at all decision-makers involved in planning and managing our coast, including county planners, managers, engineers and councillors. Also invited are individuals and organisations who contribute to the decisions being made, such as county environmental or heritage officers, NGOs, local development groups, commercial enterprises and associations, as well as land and homeowners.Mayo County Council, a project partner, recognises the need for better coastal planning and Iain Douglas, Senior Planner with the Council, points out: “Key to addressing issues of coastal risk is prevention, and clearly this is directly dependent on good forward planning – avoiding locating homes, businesses, infrastructure and the like in areas that are potentially very hazardous.”The resources made available by the ANCORIM project (http://ancorim.aquitaine.fr/), include a range of practical guides and tool kits. A ‘Good Practice in Planning’ handbook, for example, sets out in a step by step manner details on how coastal risks may be incorporated into new development plans.To build greater awareness among a broader audience two educational guides have also been produced, outlining what coastal risks are and the issues associated with them for local communities.It is hoped that a combination of greater general awareness of coastal risks in conjunction with improved forward planning will reduce the potential impacts of these risks in the future.To register for the seminar go to the Atlantic Network for Coastal Risk Management National Seminar website at www.conference.ie.-ends-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                              Pleanáil chun cinn le deireadh a chur le Rioscaí CóstaAg seimineár náisiúnta in OÉ Gaillimh Dé Máirt, an 21 Feabhra, seolfar réimse acmhainní agus lámhleabhair eolaíochta chun pleanáil níos fearr don chósta a éascú.Tagann na hacmhainní mar thoradh ar thionscadal trí bliana ar luach €1.9 milliún, a bhí maoinithe ag an AE. Rinne an tionscadal measúnú ar an gcaoi a ndéantar cúram do rioscaí cósta i bpleananna forbartha. In ainneoin treorach ó cháipéisí polasaí ag leibhéal náisiúnta agus Eorpach chun rioscaí cósta a chur san áireamh, is cosúil go bhfuil easpa den chineál eolais seo i bpleananna forbartha reatha ar fud thíortha Atlantacha na hEorpa.Tá 33 réigiún san Eoraip Atlantach, agus cósta 1,550 míle ag baint leis na réigiúin chomh maith le daonra 70 milliún nó mar sin. Dhírigh an tionscadal Atlantic Network for Coastal Risk Management (ANCORIM), a bhí faoi stiúir chomhairle réigiúnach na hAcatáine sa Fhrainc, ar phríomh-shaincheisteanna a bhain le creimeadh, le caighdeán uisce agus le pleanáil. D’úsáid an tionscadal ANCORIM – comhoibriú idir eolaithe agus lucht déanta cinntí ó Éirinn, ón Spáinn, ón bPortaingéil agus ón Fhrainc – eolas eolaíoch agus ionstraimí reachtúla a bhí ann cheana féin chun tacar uirlisí a fhorbairt chun an staid reatha a fheabhsú. Déanann an Dr Kevin Lynch ó Institiúid Uí Riain, OÉ Gaillimh, cur síos ar na dúshláin os comhair pobail cois cósta: “In Éirinn gach bliain, cuirtear i gcuimhne dúinn na bagairtí atá ann ó rioscaí cósta dár bpobail, a n-eacnamaíochtaí agus an timpeallacht nádúrtha.  Le linn mhíonna an gheimhridh, is iondúil go bhfeictear é seo sa chreimeadh cósta, tuile, agus damáiste ó stoirmeacha, agus le linn mhíonna an tsamhraidh athraíonn ár n-aird go dtí tuairiscí ar dhroch-chaighdeán uisce snámha nó blás algach.”Is i gContae Loch Garman is mó atá creimeadh cósta le sonrú, áit a bhfuil cúlú cósta suas go méadar in aghaidh na bliana ag tarlú in áiteanna. Le déanaí, tá droch-chreimeadh le sonrú ar dhumhcha sa Leathros, baile cois cósta i Sligeach, tar éis stoirmeacha fiáine an gheimhridh.Deir an Dr Lynch, áfach, go bhfuil contúirtí eile ann d’áiteanna cois cósta: “I measc na rioscaí eile, nach mbímid ar an airdeall fúthu i gcónaí ach a d’fhéadfadh tionchar suntasach socheacnamaíoch agus comhshaoil a bheith acu, tá doirteadh ola nó ceimiceán nó na héifeachtaí atá ag aigéadú aigéin ar orgánaigh chailcithe a mbíonn ról tábhachtach acu sa bhiashlabhra aigéanach.Tá an seimineár, a bheidh ar siúl an 21 Feabhra, dírithe ar lucht déanta cinntí atá bainteach le pleanáil agus le bainistíocht ár gcósta, lena n-áirítear pleanálaithe, bainisteoirí, innealtóirí agus comhairleoirí contae. Tá cuireadh freisin ag daoine aonair agus ag eagraíochtaí a chuireann leis na cinntí a dhéantar, mar shampla oifigigh chomhshaoil nó oidhreachta, eagraíochtaí neamhrialtais, grúpaí áitiúla forbartha, fiontair agus cumainn tráchtála, chomh maith le húinéirí talún agus tí.Is comhpháirtí sa tionscadal é Comhairle Contae Mhaigh Eo, agus aithníonn sé an gá atá le pleanáil cósta níos fearr agus deir Iain Douglas, Pleanálaí Sinsearach leis an gComhairle:  “Cosc a chur le rioscaí cósta an bealach is fearr chun déileáil leo, agus is cinnte go bhfuil sé seo ag brath go hiomlán ar phleanáil chun cinn – gan tithe, gnólachtaí, infreastruchtúr agus a leithéid a chur i limistéir a d’fhéadfadh a bheith i mbaol.”Tá réimse leathan treoracha praiticiúla agus uirlisí curtha ar fáil ag an tionscadal ANCORIM (http://ancorim.aquitaine.fr/ ). Leagann an lámhleabhar ‘Good Practice in Planning’ amach céim ar chéim conas rioscaí cósta a chur san aireamh i bpleananna nua forbartha. D’fhonn feasacht níos mó a chothú i measc pobal níos leithne tá dhá threoirleabhar oideachasúla curtha ar fáil chomh maith. Déantar cur síos iontu ar a bhfuil i gceist le rioscaí cósta agus na saincheisteanna a bhaineann leo do phobail áitiúla. Mar gheall ar an bhfeasacht ghinearálta níos fearr atá ar rioscaí cósta agus pleanáil chun cinn níos fearr, táthar ag súil go laghdófar tionchair a d’fhéadfadh a bheith ann de bharr na rioscaí sin sa todhchaí.Chun clárú don seimineár téigh chuig an láithreán gréasáin do sheimineár náisiúnta an Atlantic Network for Coastal Risk Management ag www.conference.ie.   -críoch-

Monday, 6 February 2012

NUI Galway will host Ireland’s first Crisiscamp to raise awareness on how technology can be used to help respond to disasters and improve resilience and response before a crisis. Organised with ‘Haiti Connect’, a charitable trust based in County Galway, Crisiscamp will take place on Sunday, 26 February.Crisiscamps are a series of global events organised by members of CrisisCommons, a global community of volunteers from technology, crisis response organisations, government agencies, and individuals. Having witnessed first-hand the benefits of technology and social media in disaster response and rebuilding scenarios, the organisation is keen to raise this awareness with the general public.CrisisCamp began in March 2009 as an event to connect crisis management and global development practitioners to the technology volunteer community. During the Haiti response, CrisisCamp became a movement and added a response mechanism to the community.Since 2009, CrisisCommons has coordinated crisis event responses such as the Haiti, Chile and Japan Earthquakes and the floods in Thailand, Nashville and Pakistan. Over 3,000 people have participated worldwide in over 30 cities, across 10 countries including France, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Chile and Colombia.‘Haiti Connect’ has been running and supporting technology-based aid and rebuilding projects in Haiti since shortly after the earthquake of 2010. Through direct experience they have seen the advantages of using modern, digital technologies in these environments.Evert Bopp, founder of ‘Haiti Connect’, said: “Through this event we hope to create awareness amongst Irish crisis response organisations, government agencies and citizens on how open source software and hardware can be used to respond to disasters. Working together with NUI Galway’s Discipline of Information Technology was a logical choice when organising this event. People in Information Technology and other disciplines in NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics are already engaged in both research and voluntary work in support of crisis response. Through Crisiscamp we hope to bring together people who are working on these challenges and inspire others to apply their skills in this area.”The event will take place in the Information Technology Building on the NUI Galway campus from 10am until 7pm. Admission is free but interested parties are encouraged to register via the website www.crisiscampireland.comFor more details please contact Evert Bopp on 086 8645099 or by email on info@crisiscampireland.com.-ENDS-

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The next public talk in the NUI Galway public talk series on Sports Technology will take place on Tuesday, 14 February, at 6pm. Entitled Engineering in Hurling – Hurleys, Sliotars and Helmets, the talk will be delivered by Dr Conchúr Ó Brádaigh, Lecturer with the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway.The talk will focus on the application of engineering principles to the ancient game of hurling. Important advances have been made in the last 15 years in the equipment used by hurlers. This includes test standards with minimum performance levels for sliotars and helmets, and the introduction of composite hurleys.The second half of the talk will give an overview of the engineering research work carried out at NUI Galway and at other Irish third-level institutions in hurling, much of which has been funded by the GAA and Enterprise Ireland. Current standards and trends in the development of hurling equipment will also be discussed.Dr Conchúr Ó Brádaigh is a Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at NUI Galway, and an internationally-renowned expert in the field of composite materials. He is also Research and Development Manager of ÉireComposites Teo., Indreabhán, Co. Galway. His current interests are in the application of lightweight composites in the fields of aerospace, automotive, and renewable energy.The free public talk will take place in room 3035 of the Engineering Building at NUI Galway.The series of Sports Technology talks is being organised as part of NUI Galway’s degree programme in Sports & Exercise Engineering, whose students are being educated to design the next generation of sports and exercise systems and devices.For more information on the Sports Technology talks, which are supported by Engineers Ireland (West) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, visit www.ExerciseEngineering.com or call 091 492728.-ENDS-

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

NUI Galway has published guidelines to support communication between general practitioners (GPs) and migrants who have limited English language skills. The research is a direct and practical response to the ongoing reality in Ireland that many service users from migrant communities and their GPs face significant communication challenges because of language and cultural differences.Funding for the research was provided by the Health Research Board (HRB) and the Health Service Executive (HSE).A key finding from this extensive, participatory research process is that the recommended best practice is to use a trained, accredited interpreter or to consult with a general practitioner who has fluency in the language of the service user. These supports increase the chances that information is shared accurately and effectively during a consultation.Ms Mary O’Reilly-de Brún, Senior Researcher in the Discipline of General Practice, School of Medicine, NUI Galway, points out: “Using children and other family members or friends as interpreters is not considered best practice by migrants, general practice staff, professional interpreters or HSE service planners involved in this project. The use of visual or computer aids such as phrase books or on-line translation programmes are also not considered best practice.”Ms. Mary O’Reilly-de Brún worked with project leader Anne MacFarlane, Professor of Primary Healthcare Research, University of Limerick, and colleagues in the Health Service Executive National Social Inclusion Unit and the Centre for Participatory Strategies, Galway to produce the report entitled ‘Guideline for Communication in Cross-Cultural General Practice Consultations’.The importance of the research was highlighted by Diane Nurse from the HSE National Social Inclusion Unit: “This participatory research process progresses recommendations in the HSE National Intercultural Health Strategy 2007-2012 by taking a multi-stakeholder approach to clarifying what kinds of supports work best for whom and in what circumstances.”An important feature of the participatory research process was the involvement of Service User Peer Researchers (SUPERS). These included Khalid Ahmed, Jean Samuel Bonsenge Bokanga, Maria Manuela De Almeida Silva, Aga Mierzejewska, Lovina Nnadi, Florence Ogbebor and Katya Okonkwo. The group trained in participatory research methods with the Centre for Participatory Strategies, Galway.This training enabled the SUPERS to give members of their wider communities an opportunity to ‘have a voice’, in their own languages and with people from their own cultural groups, in the development of the guidelines. In total, fifty-one members of the migrant community from Polish, Russian, Portuguese, Urdu, French Congolese speaking and Nigerian communities in the Galway region, participated in this research along with representatives from general practices, professional interpreting and the HSE.Speaking about her experience of being trained as a peer researcher Maria Manuela De Almeida Silva said: “The most exciting and important experience was the PLA training provided, it was excellent training. I use it all the time now, with lots of different groups and in lots of different project. ”This research was funded by the Health Research Board and the Health Service Executive National Social Inclusion Unit through a Health Research Board Partnership Award. -ends-

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

NUI Galway saw huge numbers attending the first ever Galway CoderDojo event held on campus recently. CoderDojo, an Irish led global network of computer clubs where young people come to learn to code, develop websites, apps, games and more, is hosted and supported by NUI Galway.Topics covered in CoderDojo Galway include web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and Javascript and programming languages such as Scratch. There are also plans to cover other languages such as Python and Java, as well as Databases, and Mobile Apps and Games as the CoderDojo develops in future classes.The Head of Discipline of Information Technology at NUI Galway, Dr Michael Madden, said:  “We are very excited to have CoderDojo come to Galway. It is vital for young people to understand how our digital world works, and CoderDojo provides a unique environment to exchange knowledge and learn from each other how to write software, particularly in the absence of a computer science curriculum in Secondary Schools.”Adrian Bannon, one of the organisers of CoderDojo, said: “Illiteracy of the 21st century will not be those who cannot just read and write but those who cannot program and code. Coderdojo seeks to address this deficit.”NUI Galway’s Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) is also supporting CoderDojo and is looking for volunteers, especially IT students, who will assist and supervise the young people during the classes. Volunteers will be presented with an ALIVE certification as recognition of their work.According to Brendan Smith, Education Officer at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) of NUI Galway, “The high attendance at last weekend’s registration shows that there is an appetite amongst the general public for our school-going population to learn the skills that will transform Ireland from a nation of digital users into a nation of digital creators. Thankfully Coderdojo also proves that there is also an army of volunteer mentors drawn from the third level education sector, industry and elsewhere who are prepared to give their time free of charge to help educate our children in computer coding.”CoderDojo, a free event, will take place every Saturday from 12 to 3:30pm, with groups in both the DERI Building in IDA Business Park and in Lab 102 in the Information Technology Building at NUI Galway.Interested parties are asked to bring lunch, a laptop (if they have one) and attendees under 12 years are asked to bring a parent along.Due to the large demand, those interested are asked to register before attending. For further information visit http://coderdojo.com or email coderdojogalway@gmail.com.-ENDS-

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, has paid tribute to the late John Cunningham, former Editor of the Connacht Tribune.A Tuam native, Mr Cunningham was editor of the Connacht Tribune newspaper from 1984 to 2007. He had worked as editor for the Waterford News and Star from 1982 to 1984. He also contributed to broadcast journalism as a commentator on RTÉ current affairs programmes. He was conferred with an Honorary Master of Arts, honoris causa, degree on 23 October, 2006 by NUI Galway for his contribution to regional and national journalism and for his role as an Adjunct Lecturer in journalism at the University.Dr Jim Browne, NUI Galway President, said: "The University offers its sincere condolences to John’s family, particularly his wife Nuala and his four sons Shane, Gary, Ivor and Enda, along with his many friends and colleagues. John was an inspirational figure in Irish journalism.  In his career with the Connacht Tribune and as an Adjunct Lecturer in NUI Galway he fostered the talents of some of the leading figures in the worlds of Irish media and journalism.  Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.”

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The School of Education at NUI Galway will hold a Development Education Day on Wednesday, 15 February. Organised in partnership with Self Help Africa and with support from Irish Aid, the event is the first step towards integrating Development Education as a much more significant component across all Initial Teacher Education programmes offered at the University.NUI Galway students on the Professional Diploma in Education, Dioplóma Gairmiúil san Oideachas and the BA in Mathematics and Education programmes, as well as some practicing teachers from cooperating partner schools, will also participate in the event. The Development Education Day will involve 26 expert speakers hosting 33 sessions, promoting awareness among the teachers. The event will also provide attendees with some knowledge on the main emerging issues within Development Education and ideas on how to bring development issues into the classrooms.Keynote speakers at the Development Education Day will include: Sydney Chisi, Director of Youth Initiative for Democracy in Zimbabwe and Ray Jordan, CEO of Self Help Africa.Development Education themes covered throughout the event will include Global Interdependence, Climate Change, Food Security and Irelands Bilateral Aid Programme, and group workshops will focus on how to integrate Development Education in specific areas across the curriculum.Event Organiser, Seán Ó Grádaigh from the NUI Galway School of Education, said: “Development Education plays a key role in the curriculum in Irish second level schools. Through a series of workshops, presentations and seminars, this event will provide our student teachers with a broad understanding of current development education issues. Participants will gain an understanding of the skills required to embed development education topics into their subject teaching.”For further information contact Seán Ó Grádaigh in the School of Education, NUI Galway, at sean.ogradaigh@nuigalway.ie or 091 494072/495985. -ENDS-

Monday, 13 February 2012

A team of engineering students from NUI Galway have won second place in the Health and Safety Authority’s (HSA) ‘Safety in Design and Construction’ third-level competition. The NUI Galway team consisted of: Kevin Carney, a fourth year BSc in Project and Construction student from Frenchpark, Co. Roscommon; fourth year BE in Civil Engineering student Grant Deeney from Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon; and Conor Higgins a fourth year BE in Civil Engineering student from Wicklow Town.At the finals, held recently in Dublin, six short-listed teams battled it out to win the first prize. The overall winners were Carlow IT, with third place going to Letterkenny IT.  Other third-level institutions represented in the final included Cork IT and two teams from Carlow IT.The aim of the competition is to provide an environment where undergraduate students can collaborate and work together to enhance, develop and embed their knowledge and understanding of health and safety in construction.  The challenge involved the selection, procurement and installation of a complete MRI Modular Unit, and all associated site preparatory and interface works within an existing hospital. The project also included the design and specification of any necessary internal reconfiguration works required to be carried out to the hospital. Central to the brief was to minimise all risks to the safety and health of patients, staff, and construction workers arising from the installation works.Chairperson of the Authority’s Third Level Education Group, Dr Anne Drummond, said: “This competition goes beyond the boundaries of the classroom and brings together students who may not yet have interacted at an undergraduate level and yet, will work together as professionals. The approach to the competition is based on problem-based learning which resembles professional life far more than many more traditional methods of assessment. The feedback from students and their lecturers is that the engagement of working together with their colleagues on the competition is a rewarding and enjoyable part of their learning experience.”Joanne Harmon, Education Manager with the Health and Safety Authority said: “This competition is in its third year and it’s great to see the level of engagement from students and their lecturers as well as the continual high standards and creativity on display.  I would like to congratulate NUI Galway and thank everyone else who took part.  We kept the brief as real as possible so that students had to be creative in their solutions but are also as likely to come across similar scenarios in their future working life.”Dr Jamie Goggins Programme Director for BSc in Project and Construction Management at NUI Galway, said: “We would like to congratulate Kevin, Grant and Conor on winning second place in this competition. Members of this team also won the competition last year, which is a credit to the students. The aim of the competition fits very well with the ethos of our undergraduate degree programmes in construction related programmes – to provide an environment where undergraduate students can collaborate and work together to enhance, develop and embed their knowledge and understanding of various aspects of engineering and construction. Furthermore, this competition provides a platform for students to work in multidisciplinary groups, which is an experience that we value and promote in our undergraduate degree programmes.”The judging panel was made up of the following members: Paraig Earley, Construction Policy Inspector, HSA; Mike Keyes, Aegis Safety Management; and Tony Sheridan, Health and Safety Manager, John Sisk and Son Ltd.-ENDS-

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Success rates for cornea transplants could be greatly improved following a major advance in genetically modifying donor corneas. Scientists at National University of Ireland Galway’s Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) have determined a method, in pre-clinical trials, to genetically modify donor corneas so that they are less likely to be rejected by the host immune system. With more than 100,000 procedures a year worldwide, cornea transplantation (keratoplasty) is the most frequent transplant procedure. The cornea is the transparent, dome-shaped surface of the eye, and accounts for a large part of its focussing power. Transplantations can restore vision, reduce pain and improve the appearance of a damaged or diseased cornea.Although keratoplasty is a procedure with good success rates, incidence of graft rejection still exists. For some high-risk patients, rejection rates can be as high as 50%. Using their breakthrough technique on the donor corneal tissue before grafting, the REMEDI team showed success in laboratory trials of decreased inflammatory response and protection against rejection.The research team at NUI Galway, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, was led by Dr Thomas Ritter: “What we have succeeded in doing with the latest molecular biology techniques is to successfully encourage the donor cornea to produce ample PD-L1. It is known that Programmed Death-Ligand 1 (PD-L1) stops the activity of the body’s fighter immune cells and prohibits their ability to disrupt the transplantation process. By encouraging the donor cornea to produce PD-L1, it increased what known as the ‘immune privilege’ or ability of the eye to accept the graft.”Dr Ritter added: “Potentially, what is most exciting is that these strategies could be of value for other transplant models. It could be applied, for example, to protect pancreatic islet cells transplanted for the treatment of type 1 diabetes.”With Dr Ritter’s research, significant prolongation of transplant survival was observed which was associated with a reduction of the inflammatory response. No additional anti-rejection treatment was necessary for the recipients of the engineered corneas. These encouraging results may lead to a novel treatment protocol for ‘high-risk’ corneal graft recipients who are more likely to reject the graft than other patients. The research is published in this month’s American Journal of Transplantation.Mr Gerry Fahy, Consultant Ophthalmologist at University Hospital Galway, who was involved in this study, commented on the results of this study: “Prevention of corneal transplant rejection is very important. This research describes a new exciting method of achieving that goal. I look forward to its translation into clinical use.”Further investigations using mesenchymal stem cells by scientists at REMEDI will examine how these potent cells could also be used to prevent graft rejection.-end-

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

NUI Galway Gaelic Club will this year host the Irish Daily Mail Sigerson Cup Finals and today (Monday, 13 February) former GAA President Mick Loftus was on campus to officially launch the event.  NUI Galway has won the prestigious Sigerson Cup on no less than 22 occasions, the last being 2003. Loftus was a member of the University team on three of those occasions. Over the weekend of the 24/25 February NUI Galway will host over 400 of the brightest talents on the forefront of Gaelic football nationally. As well as the Sigerson cup semi-finals and final, the Trench cup semi-finals and final along with Corn na Mac Léinn semi-finals and finals will take place. The final of the Sigerson and Trench cups will take place in Pearse Stadium with the Sigerson final live on TG4 at 3pm on Saturday, 25 February. Speaking at the launch, Niamh NicLiam, Marketing Manager with The Irish Daily Mail, said: We are delighted to sponsor this year’s Sigerson Cup Finals at NUI Galway. As Ireland’s youngest newspaper we’ve been cementing our relationship with the GAA over the last few years and The Irish Daily Mail GAA third level leagues and championship is a fantastic opportunity for us to build on this even further. We are sure that the Sigerson Cup Finals weekend in NUI Galway will be a huge success and we would like to wish all involved the very best of luck.” NUI Galway Gaelic football club will also honour the 1962 and 1963 Sigerson winning teams with a Sigerson reunion dinner at the Radisson Hotel on Friday, 24 February. Ten of the players being honoured on the night went on to backbone the legendary Galway three-in-a-row team of 1964 - 1966.  2012 is also the centenary of the very first Sigerson win in 1912, and a bespoke colour programme will be published to honour this centenary and other great wins and memories of Sigerson cup in NUI Galway over the decades. Speaking before the official launch NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, said: “The Sigerson Cup weekend promises to be a great weekend of sport at NUI Galway.  I pay tribute to our former Sigerson Cup players who return to their alma mater, traveling from Ireland and overseas, for this weekend of sporting reunion.  By returning they celebrate with us the spirit of participation and achievement which has distinguished the club for the past 100 years.  In particular, I welcome the members of the 1962 and 1963 teams who gather to mark the 50th anniversary of their Sigerson success.  On this Sigerson centenary occasion, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of many students, alumni, current and former staff who have been involved over the years in building support for Gaelic Games on our campus.” NUI Galway GAA Club has issued a welcome to football followers from all over the region to make their way to Dangan and other venues for what promises to be a weekend of Gaelic football to remember from the stars of tomorrow. ENDS   Seolann Mick Loftus Deireadh Seachtaine Chorn Sigerson in OÉ Gaillimh Tionólfaidh Club Peile OÉ Gaillimh Cluiche Ceannais Chorn Sigerson an Irish Daily Mail i mbliana agus inniu (Dé Luain, 13 Feabhra) bhí iar-Uachtarán an CLG Mick Loftus ar an gcampas chun an ócáid a sheoladh go hoifigiúil.  Tá Corn Sigerson buaite ag OÉ Gaillimh 22 babhta, in 2003 go deireadh. Bhí Loftus ar fhoireann na hOllscoile trí bhabhta acu sin. I rith dheireadh seachtaine an 24/25 Feabhra beidh 400 de na himreoirí is fearr ag imirt peile sa tír faoi láthair in OÉ Gaillimh. Chomh maith le cluichí leathcheannais agus cluiche ceannais Chorn Sigerson beidh cluichí leathcheannais agus cluiche ceannais Chorn Trench mar aon le cluichí leathcheannais agus cluiche ceannais Chorn na Mac Léinn ar siúl an deireadh seachtaine céanna. Beidh cluichí ceannais Chorn Sigerson agus Chorn Trench ar siúl ar Pháirc an Phiarsaigh agus beidh cluiche ceannais Chorn Sigerson beo ar TG4 ag 3pm Dé Domhnaigh, an 25 Feabhra. Ag labhairt ag an seoladh, dúirt Niamh NicLiam, Bainisteoir Margaíochta le The Irish Daily Mail: Tá an-áthas orainn urraíocht a dhéanamh ar Chluiche Ceannais Chorn Sigerson i mbliana in OÉ Gaillimh. Is é nuachtán s'againne is nuachtán is nuaí ar an margadh agus táimid ag iarraidh an caidreamh atá againn le CLG a láidriú le roinnt blianta anuas. Is iontach an deis sraitheanna agus craobhchomórtas CLG The Irish Daily Mail an tríú leibhéal chun an caidreamh sin a láidriú. Táimid cinnte go n-éireoidh go maith le deireadh seachtaine Chorn Sigerson in OÉ Gaillimh agus ba mhaith linn gach ádh a ghuí ar gach a bheas páirteach.” Beidh dinnéar Sigerson ar siúl ag club peile OÉ Gaillimh chomh maith d'fhoirne buaiteacha 1962 agus 1963 in Óstán an Radisson Dé hAoine, an 24 Feabhra. Bhí deichniúr de na himreoirí a bheidh i láthair ar an oíche ar fhoireann cháiliúil na Gaillimhe a bhuaigh trí bliana as a chéile 1964 - 1966.  Tá sé céad bliain chomh maith ó crochadh Corn Sigerson den chéad uair i 1912, agus foilseofar clár speisialta daite chun é seo agus buanna agus cuimhní eile in OÉ Gaillimh le céad bliain anuas a chomóradh. Ag labhairt roimh an seoladh oifigiúil, dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne: “Beidh neart spóirt in OÉ Gaillimh i rith dheireadh seachtaine Chorn Sigerson.  Tréaslaím le hiarimreoirí Chorn Sigerson atá ag filleadh ar a n-alma mater, as ar fud na tíre agus na cruinne, don deireadh seachtaine spórtúil seo.  Beidh siad ag ceiliúradh rannpháirteachas agus éachtaí an chlub seo le céad bliain anuas.  Ba mhaith liom fáilte ar leith a chur roimh fhoirne 1962 agus 1963 atá ag ceiliúradh leathchéad bliain ó bhuaigh siad Corn Sigerson.  Don chomóradh céad bliain, ba mhaith liom aitheantas a thabhairt don obair atá déanta ag mic léinn, ag alumni, agus ag comhaltaí foirne in imeacht na mblianta chun tacú leis na Cluichí Gaelacha ar an gcampas.” Tá cuireadh tugtha ag Club Peile OÉ Gaillimh do lucht leanúna na peile ar fud an réigiúin a mbealach a dhéanamh go dtí an Daingean agus ionaid eile don deireadh seachtaine chun réaltaí an lae amárach a fheiceáil. CRÍOCH

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

NUI Galway and Druid Theatre have announced the joint appointment of Thomas Conway as the first Director- in –Residence to be based between Druid Theatre and the School of Humanities at the University. The ‘Druid Director-in-Residence,’ will participate in the development of theatre and performance education at NUI Galway.  Speaking on his appointment, Mr Conway said:  “NUI Galway is moving into an ambitious and exciting phase in its aim to develop the next generation of Irish theatre practitioners – not the least of which is the partnership with Druid. It is an immense honour to me to be given a chance to play a part in this. It is clear that an appetite for theatre, dance and performing arts – and a real high quality engagement with them – is running through the university, from the students, the academics, and the practitioners working with them. As I take my first steps in the role, I am excited by the prospect of working with this amazing energy, and look forward to promoting and supporting it, and to feel supported by it in turn. I look forward to the good times ahead as Druid Director-in-Residence.”  Thomas Conway, a practising professional director, will particularly focus on enhancing the undergraduate programmes in drama at NUI Galway, including the new BA in Drama Theatre and Performance. He will also contribute to the MA in Drama and Theatre Studies as well as expanding the University’s current offerings in these areas. As well as teaching on the current drama and theatre programmes, Mr Conway will also coordinate workshops offered to the BA and MA programmes by members of the Druid Theatre Company, and will direct an annual student production with BA and MA students. Dr Patrick Lonergan, English Lecturer at the School of Humanities, NUI Galway: “Thomas Conway is admired throughout the Irish theatre community for his knowledge of drama – not just from Ireland but from around the world. He is also a superb teacher. NUI Galway is delighted to welcome him as part of our unique partnership with Druid Theatre, and looks forward to working with him in building links between the university and theatre practitioners at home and abroad. Thomas will make a key contribution to our partnership with Druid, helping us to advance our aim of identifying and educating the next generation of Irish theatre-makers.” Speaking of the announcement, Artistic Director of Druid Theatre Company, Garry Hynes said: "All of us at Druid look forward to this semester and working with Thomas Conway in his new role as Druid-Director-in-Residence. As a graduate of NUI Galway I am thrilled to see the students working so closely with me and my colleagues at Druid to help develop the next generation of theatre-makers.” The new BA degree in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies has recently been launched by NUI Galway and is designed for students with a keen interest in all aspects of drama and performance. It is a world-class programme, providing a unique opportunity to study drama, theatre and performance from a practical, theoretical and historical perspective. The first intake of students for the new BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies will be in September 2012. Applications will be accepted via the CAO process, on which the new course code is GY118.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Researchers at NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute are involved in a major €14 million European initiative to develop the potential of algae as a source of sustainable energy.As a partner in the project, NUI Galway is responsible for the initial step of producing some of the biomass required for conversion to biofuel. This will be accomplished by cultivating macroalgae (seaweed) biomass at sea in a one-hectare pilot facility.Currently, algal bioenergy technologies are immature, but rapid advances are being made in the field. NUI Galway’s part of the ‘EnAlgae’ project is valued at almost €1.2 million, over the next four years.The project will focus on the cultivation of some of Ireland’s native kelp species (large brown seaweeds, commonly seen cast up on the beach after a storm). Growth of the seaweed crop occurs in two phases, the first phase of which is being carried out at the Ryan Institute’s Carna Research Station, Co. Galway.Dr Maeve Edwards, a research scientist at the Ryan Institute’s Carna facility, explains: “In our facilities here, microscopic stages of the algae are cultured and sprayed onto ropes. Once the seaweed has been ‘seeded’ onto hundreds of metres of rope, they are deployed at sea in the one-hectare experimental plot in Ventry Harbour, Co. Kerry.”Seaweed will also be cultivated in Northern Ireland (by Queen’s University Belfast) and Brittany, France (by Centre d’Etude et de Valorisation des Algues, CEVA). NUI Galway will coordinate the cultivation efforts between all three institutions.Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, commented: “Ireland and the European Union recognise the need to reduce our dependence on dwindling petroleum stocks and are promoting the use of biofuels. I am delighted to see that bright young researchers in the Ryan Institute have spotted the opportunity to engage in international and innovative research into a source of biomass - in this case, seaweed - whose conversion to biofuels could help in the transformation of the transport sector.”The four-year transnational Energetic Algae - or EnAlgae - project, led by Swansea University in Wales, is a strategic initiative funded by the INTERREG IVB North West Europe Programme via the European Regional Development Fund, together with a range of co-sponsors.EnAlgae involves 19 Partners and 13 Observers across eight EU member states; France, Belgium, UK, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Luxembourg, and aims to reduce CO2 emissions and dependency on unsustainable energy sources, through the accelerated development and deployment of algal-based biomass and bioenergy technologies.The project’s manager Dr Robin Shields, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR) at Swansea University’s College of Science, said: “Thanks to close transnational cooperation, EnAlgae partners and stakeholders will gain access to those sustainable technologies most suited to their local operating conditions. As project lead partner, Swansea University is delighted to extend its industry-focused research on algal bioremediation and biorefinery technologies, in partnership with acknowledged experts from across North West Europe.”-ends- Olltionscnamh Eorpach €14m chun na féidearthachtaí a bhaineann le Feamainn mar Bhithbhreosla a fhorbairt Tá taighdeoirí in Institiúid Uí Riain in OÉ Gaillimh ag obair ar olltionscnamh Eorpach, ar fiú €14 milliún é, chun forbairt a dhéanamh ar algaí mar fhoinse fuinnimh in-athnuaite. Mar chomhpháirtí sa tionscadal, tá freagracht ar OÉ Gaillimh as an gcéad chéim a bhaineann le cuid den bhithmhais a tháirgeadh atá ag teastáil le tiontú go bithbhreosla. Déanfar é seo trí bhithmhais mhacralga (feamainn) a shaothrú san fharraige i saoráid phíolótach aon heicteár. Faoi láthair, tá teicneolaíochtaí bithfhuinnimh algaigh neamhaibí, ach táthar ag déanamh an-dul chun cinn sa réimse. Sna ceithre bliana atá le teacht, is fiú beagnach €1.2 milliún an pháirt atá ag OÉ Gaillimh sa tionscadal ‘EnAlgae’.  Díreoidh an tionscadal ar chuid de speiceas nádúrtha ceilpe na hÉireann (feamainn mhór dhonn, a fheictear caite ar thránna go minic i ndiaidh stoirme) a shaothrú. Fásann feamainn in dhá chéim, tá an chéad chéim ar siúl i Stáisiún Taighde Institiúid Uí Riain i gCarna, Co. na Gaillimhe. Deir an Dr Maeve Edwards, eolaí taighde i saoráid Institiúid Mháirtín Uí Riain i gCarna: “Inár saoráid anseo, saothraítear céimeanna micreascópacha de na halgaí agus spraeáiltear ar théada iad. Nuair a bhíonn an fheamainn ‘síolaithe’ ar na céadta méadar téide, forbraíonn siad san fharraige sa tsaoráid thurgnamhach aon heicteár i gCuan Fhionntrá, Co. Chiarraí.” Saothrófar feamainn i dTuaisceart Éireann chomh maith (faoi stiúir Ollscoil na Ríona, Béal Feirste) agus sa Bhriotáin, an Fhrainc (faoi stiúir Centre d’Etude et de Valorisation des Algues, CEVA). Déanfaidh OÉ Gaillimh comhordú ar na hiarrachtaí saothraithe idir na trí institiúid. Deir an tOllamh Colin Brown, Stiúrthóir Institiúid Uí Riain, OÉ Gaillimh: “Aithníonn Éire agus an tAontas Eorpach an gá atá ann gan a bheith ag brath an oiread ar na stoic pheitriliam atá ag laghdú de shíor agus tá siad ag cur úsáid bithbhreoslaí chun cinn. Tá an-áthas orm a fheiceáil gur thug taighdeoirí óga éirimiúla in Institiúid Uí Riain faoi deara an deis le bheith páirteach i dtaighde idirnáisiúnta agus nuálaíoch ar fhoinse bithmhaise – sa chás seo, feamainn – má athraítear feamainn go bithbhreosla d’fhéadfaí athrú ó bhonn a dhéanamh ar an earnáil iompair. Is tionscnamh straitéiseach maoinithe ag Clár Iar-Thuaisceart na hEorpa INTERREG IVB trí Chiste Forbraíochta Réigiúnaí na hEorpa, chomh maith le réimse comhurraitheoirí é Energetic Algae – EnAlgae. Is é Ollscoil Swansea sa Bhreatain Bheag atá mar cheann feadhna ar an tionscadal ceithre bliana trasnáisiúnta seo. Tá baint ag 19 gComhpháirtí agus 13 Bhreathnóir as ocht mballstát AE leis an tionscadal; an Fhrainc, an Bheilg, an Ríocht Aontaithe, an Ghearmáin, Éire, an Ísiltír, an Eilvéis, agus Lucsamburg. Tá sé mar aidhm ag an tionscadal astaíochtaí CO2 agus spleáchas ar fhoinsí fuinnimh in-athnuaite a laghdú, trí bhithmhais algaí agus trí theicneolaíochtaí bithfhuinnimh a fhorbairt agus a úsáid gan mhoill. Deir bainisteoir an tionscadail, an Dr Robin Shields, an Stiúrthóir, the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR), i gColáiste na hEolaíochta in Ollscoil Swansea: “A bhuíochas le comhoibriú trasnáisiúnta, beidh teacht ag comhpháirtithe agus ag páirtithe leasmhara EnAlgae ar na teicneolaíochtaí inmharthana is mó a fheileann dá gcoinníollacha áitiúla féin. Mar phríomhpháirtí an tionscadail, tá an-áthas orainn in Ollscoil Swansea ár dtaighde, atá dírithe ar an tionscal, ar theicneolaíochtaí bithleigheasacháin agus bithscaglainne algaí a leathnú, i gcomhpháirt le saineolaithe aitheanta ó Iar-Thuaisceart na hEorpa.” -críoch-

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Four researchers at the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB), NUI Galway, have been awarded Short-Term Travel Fellowships by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). Bill Daly, Mohammad Abu-Rub, Dr Xuejun Hu and Shane Browne will travel to prestigious research institutes in the US and China to progressing NFB ambitions in the cardiac, neural and wound-healing fields.Shane Browne will travel to Harvard Medical School where he will work with Professor Richard Lee for six months on a study to demonstrate the efficacy of a biomaterial-based gene delivery system for treatment following myocardial infarction (heart attack). The complex delivery system addresses the inflammatory response and promotes healing following cardiac events. This system, which will enable re-modelling and re-vascularisation of damaged cardiac tissue, has already been developed at the NFB as part of Shane’s doctoral thesis. The work undertaken at Harvard will facilitate progression to Phase I clinical trials.Mohammad Abu-Rub and Bill Daly, both PhD students, will spend six months working withDr Simon Dillon at the Proteomics Facility at the Dana Faber Cancer Institute, part of the Harvard Medical School in the US. Mohammad’s PhD thesis is in the area of neural regeneration, and he has developed a platform technology, based on a hydrogel system, to target spinal cord injury at the cellular and molecular level. Bill’s work will focus on neural cell behaviour on engineered scaffolds. He has already developed a novel, collagen-based technology as a solution to neural tissue damage in the peripheral nervous system, resulting from injury or neural degenerative diseases. Postdoctoral researcher Dr Xuejun Hu’s studies are centred on the development of a gene therapy to promote skin regeneration. This new therapy is of potential benefit to patients of Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (RDEB). RDEB is a condition characterised by hard-to-heal, chronic wounds which can leave patients in constant pain. Xuejun will spend three months working at Dalian Medical University, China, with Professor Qi Wang, in order to further develop this gene therapy, determining which gene vector will be constructed, with a view to improved treatment for RDEB patients. According to Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of the NFB: “Travel awards allow researchers to undertake training and gain skills in leading edge technologies which they can later apply when they return to Ireland.”The four researchers are supervised by Professor Abhay Pandit and Dr. Wenxin Wang, of the NFB at NUI Gawlay, an SFI-funded Strategic Research Cluster. The NFB, which includes national and international academic and industry partners, aims to design the next generation of functional biomaterials, providing clinical solutions to unmet clinical needs. ENDS

Thursday, 16 February 2012

The NUI Galway Centre for Disability Law and Policy will host a seminar in the European Parliament in Brussels on 'Genetic Discrimination - Transatlantic Perspectives on the Case for a European Level Legal Response'. The seminar, organised in conjunction with the European Disability Forum and the European Parliament Disability Intergroup, will take place on Tuesday, 6 March.The purpose of this event is to bring together key stakeholders to examine and further highlight the case for a European level legal and policy response to protect the privacy of genetic information. Ways to prevent genetic discrimination will also be examined, particularly in the employment and insurance contexts.The event will highlight the issues of genetic discrimination and genetic privacy on a European forum.  It will also raise awareness of these issues to the key European Institutions in Brussels.  This is an important and necessary step towards introducing reform in the area and taking the opportunity to make recommendations for legal intervention. The outcome of the seminar will further the discussion on what an appropriate European level response might be – involving stakeholders who will be contributing towards drafting, producing and implementing such a legislative response. The potential practical impact of this seminar is that it will make a meaningful contribution towards framing the necessary legal reform in this area.Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy, said: “NUI Galway hosted a conference of the same title in Galway at the end of 2011. This conference highlighted the interdisciplinary nature of this area and focused on the interaction between genetic science, technology, ethics and the law, and in particular, how best to regulate this complex area. On foot of the scientific and legal expertise offered, and on consideration of the potential for abuse and the fundamental human rights at stake, the conference strongly indicated a need for an appropriate regulatory response at European level to protect the privacy of genetic information and to prevent genetic discrimination. This event in March aims to build upon the discussion generated from the NUI Galway conference and further highlight this issue at European level.”The European seminar will be chaired by Andre Gubbels, Belgian Ministry. Speakers at the seminar will include: Professor Ciaran Morrison, Centre for Chromosome Biology, School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway; Professor Yann Joly, Centre of Genomics and Policy, McGill University, Canada; Professor Peter Blanck, Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University; Dr Delia Ferri, Faculty of Law, University of Verona; Dr Ine Van Hoyweghen, Department of Health, Ethics and Society, Maastricht University; Peter Hustinx, European Data Protection Supervisor; Jan Jareb, Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights; Marian Harkin, Member of the European Parliament; and J. Patrick Clarke, member of European Disability Forum Executive Committee and President of Down Syndrome Ireland.For further details, or to register for this free event, visit http://conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=161 -ENDS-

Friday, 17 February 2012

NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne and Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology President, Michael Carmody, welcomed eleven US Fulbright Awardees at a reception held recently to mark the commencement of Inter-changes: an Orientation Programme for 2011 – 2012 hosted by NUI Galway. This academic year (2011-2012), 14 Fulbright Awardees from the US are based in Higher Education Institutions around Ireland studying, researching and lecturing in disciplines ranging from American History and animation to journalism and civil engineering. Two of the Fulbright awardees are based in Galway, Dr Kathryn Laity in NUI Galway and Professor Gurram Gopal in GMIT. Inter-changes, running over three days, was an event-filled programme helping US Fulbright Scholars gain insights into various aspects of Ireland’s culture, history, society and geography. Part funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, an important part of the programme is also to learn more about the Irish language speaking regions and practice cúpla focal in the Gaeltacht. In addition to NUI Galway, the US Fulbrighters visited Galway Chamber of Commerce, TG4, Office of the Language Commissioner, Stiúideo Cuan in Spiddal and Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in Carraroe, Co. Galway. The Fulbright awards are jointly funded by the Irish and US governments under the Ireland-United States Commission for Educational Exchange. Fulbright scholarships have provided Irish and US students, scholars and professionals with the opportunity to study, lecture and research at top universities and institutions in the US and Ireland respectively since 1957. For more information visit www.fulbright.ie. ENDS Fáiltiú do 11 Scoláire Fulbright in OÉ Gaillimh         Chuir Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne agus Uachtarán Institiúid Teicneolaíochta na Gaillimhe – Maigh Eo, Michael Carmody, fáilte roimh aon scoláire dhéag a fuair Scoláireachtaí Fulbright Mheiriceá ag ócáid a bhí ar siúl le gairid chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar thús Inter-changes: an Orientation Programme for 2011 – 2012 atá ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh. I mbliana (2011-2012), tá 14 scoláire Fulbright ó Mheiriceá in Institiúidí Ard-Oideachais ar fud na hÉireann ag staidéar, ag déanamh taighde agus ag tabhairt léachtaí i ndisciplíní éagsúla ó Stair Mheiriceá agus beochan go hiriseoireacht agus innealtóireacht shibhialta. Tá beirt de na Scoláirí Fulbright lonnaithe i nGaillimh, an Dr Kathryn Laity in OÉ Gaillimh agus an tOllamh Gurram Gopal in GMIT. Bhí Inter-changes ar siúl ar feadh trí lá, agus clár imeachtaí ann chun cabhrú le Scoláirí Fulbright Mheiriceá tuiscint a fháil ar ghnéithe éagsúla de chultúr, stair, sochaí agus tíreolaíocht na hÉireann. Tá an clár á pháirtmhaoiniú ag an Roinn Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta, agus is cuid thábhachtach den chlár é níos mó a fhoghlaim faoi na réigiúin Ghaeltachta agus deis a thabhairt do na scoláirí cúpla focal Gaeilge a labhairt sa Ghaeltacht. Chomh maith le cuairt a thabhairt ar OÉ Gaillimh, chuaigh na scoláirí Fulbright chomh fada le Cumann Tráchtála agus Tionscail na Gaillimhe, TG4, Oifig an Choimisinéara Teanga, Stiúideo Cuan sa Spidéal agus Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge ar an gCeathrú Rua, Co. na Gaillimhe. Déanann rialtais na hÉireann agus Mheiriceá cómhaoiniú ar na gradaim Fulbright faoi Choimisiún na hÉireann-Stát Aontaithe um Malartú Oideachasúil. Trí scoláireachtaí Fulbright tá deis faighte ag mic léinn, scoláirí agus gairmithe na hÉireann agus na Stát Aontaithe staidéar, léachtóireacht agus taighde a dhéanamh in ollscoileanna agus in institiúidí den scoth sna Stáit Aontaithe agus in Éirinn faoi seach ón mbliain 1957. Le tuilleadh eolais a fháil, féach www.fulbright.ie.   CRÍOCH

Friday, 17 February 2012

NUI Galway law lecturer, Donncha O’Connell, has been appointed by the Government, on the nomination of Attorney General, Máire Whelan, SC, to the Law Reform Commission to replace Mr. Justice Donal O’Donnell of the Supreme Court. He will serve as a part-time Commissioner. The Law Reform Commission is an independent, statutory body established under the Law Reform Commission Act 1975. Its purpose is to keep the law under review and to make recommendations for law reform in keeping with the changing nature of Irish society. Its scope was expanded in 2006 to include new projects on statute law restatement and the legislation directory. O’Connell was the Dean of Law at NUI Galway from 2005-2008 and he continues to teach European Human Rights and Constitutional Law in the School of Law. He has extensive experience on European human rights bodies having served as the Irish member of the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights established by the EU Commission in 2002 and as the senior Irish member of FRALEX, the legal expert group that advised the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights based in Vienna. He spent the academic year 2009-2010 as a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights LSE and is the editor of the Irish Human Rights Law Review published annually by Clarus Press. Donncha was the first full-time Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) from 1999-2002 and he has, in the past, been a board member of the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) Ltd and Amnesty International-Ireland. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the London-based NGO, INTERIGHTS – The International Centre for the Legal Protection of Rights. He is also a member of the Legal Aid Board. ENDS  

Monday, 20 February 2012

NUI Galway is calling all wanna-be-engineers to participate in a week of events and activities from 27 February to 4 March as part of National Engineers Week. As part of the line-up NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute and College of Engineering and Informatics will host a free family-event.  Taking place at St Nicholas Church in Galway City on Saturday, 3 March from 11am to 5pm, Connecting our Lives promises to be a great day out for everyone, with activities to suit all ages. Speaking about engineering and Engineers Week, Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “Engineering is an exciting profession. Everything around you has been engineered in some way, yet you may not see the engineers behind the scenes. Engineers take maths and science from the lab to invent, design, and build things that matter. By dreaming up creative and practical solutions, engineers are changing the world all the time. Come and explore engineering through cool, fun and exciting demonstrations, meet with practicing engineers and IT specialists, learn about robotics, mobile phone apps, sports engineering, building design, renewable energies, medical implants and much more.” At the one day family event, visitors will be able to take part in hands-on experiments, workshops, and demonstrations. Each activity will explore the engineering behind many aspects of our lives including sustainable building and living, transport, water pollution and treatment, and electricity. There will be puppets and a lego-build area especially for the young visitors and a display of antique engineering equipment to make the grown-ups feel at home. Highlights of the event will include a K’Nex Bridge Building Contest, an Eco-House Design Challenge, a Renewable Energy Demonstration Station, Water Treatment experiments, Robotics and more.  Speaking about the Connecting our Lives event, Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research, said: “Every aspect of how we live is connected by Engineering, and it’s an area that is becoming more and more important as we are looking to a future where we need to think about how we can build, live and play more sustainably.  Each year this event is sure to be a good pick for a fun, family-friendly day out, with visitors walking away with a much better understanding of the role of Engineering in our lives.” Connecting our Lives is part of National Engineers Week, which aims to showcase the diversity of engineering and to celebrate the role of engineers in Ireland. Other NUI Galway events being hosted during National Engineers Week include guided tours of the recently opened €40million Engineering Building at NUI Galway and a series of free lunchtime concerts provided by the staff and students of the College of Engineering and Informatics. The event will also provide an opportunity for secondary school pupils to meet practicing engineers and IT specialists at the ‘Explore Engineering and Technology’ event, a show called ‘It’s all done with Mirrors’ for primary school pupils which explores the science and technology behind many self working magic tricks, as well as many more events during Engineers Week. All of these events are free of charge. For more information on these and other events visit www.engineersweek.ie. For further information on Connecting our Lives contact Sarah Knight, Outreach Officer, Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research, NUI Galway at 091 495061 or email sarah.knight@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Monday, 20 February 2012

A new report from NUI Galway finds that while growing old in rural areas can be a positive experience, there are also a number of factors which may lead to older people experiencing social exclusion. The report, ‘Social Exclusion and Ageing in Diverse Rural Communities’, from NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Social Gerontology is the first of its kind on the island of Ireland. It takes an in-depth look at exclusion for older people living in rural settings across Ireland and Northern Ireland. The report identifies five areas where older people living in rural areas can be excluded. These domains of exclusion are: (1) social connections and social resources; (2) services; (3) transport and mobility; (4) safety, security and crime; and (5) income and financial resources.The report, which was launched today (20 February) at NUI Galway by Ireland’s Minister of State for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People, Kathleen Lynch TD, and Northern Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Michelle O’Neill MLA.“Our findings suggest that an older person’s experience of exclusion across these domains is influenced by such factors as individual disposition, life transitions, place characteristics, and macro-economic forces. It is this influence that determines the depth and extent of exclusion experienced. We came across many older people living in what would appear to be difficult circumstances, but a sense of belonging and keeping connected in their communities helped to maintain their quality of life,” explained one of the authors of the report, Professor Eamon O’Shea, of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Social Gerontology (ICSG). Older people in the study were generally happy with their lives and with where they lived and were optimistic about the future. However, it was clear to the authors how service depletion, weak social connections and older people’s low expectations can be significant issues.In response to the research, Minister Lynch TD said: “This most informative study on social exclusion and ageing in diverse rural communities in Ireland will be of great importance to planners and policy makers, service providers and community workers – North and South – in planning and implementing intervention strategies that target loneliness and social isolation in rural areas. This research is a welcome contribution to European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, and provides valuable insights into the lived experiences of older people. It tells us of the great diversity within the older population as a whole in Ireland and the very valuable contribution of older people to society. The research reminds us that good communities, good neighbours and attachment to place make life better – irrespective of personal circumstances.” Minister O’Neill MLA welcomed the publication of the cross-border document stating: “As Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, and as a rural dweller, I am acutely aware of the difficulties facing many people living in our rural communities and particularly the elderly. This all-island research report on Social Exclusion and Ageing in Rural Communities highlights those many difficulties so that informed action can be taken. I congratulate the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology and the Healthy Ageing in Rural Communities (HARC) Research Network for this work.”Minister O’Neill went on to say: “Later this week I will be formally launching the ‘Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation’ framework which provides a package of some £16 million over the next four years to help the most vulnerable rural dwellers facing poverty and social isolation.”The research calls for more innovative ways to support local areas to assist and engage older people in rural society and presents recommendations in order to assist in this task and to reduce the potential for older people to be excluded in rural communities. Speaking at the event, Dr Kieran Walsh of the ISCG said social exclusion is a complex phenomenon: “With this work we are closer to understanding how it can affect older people’s lives in rural communities. For instance, a person who experiences a transition into ill health, and who has recently moved to a remote community, may find it more difficult to establish social connections. Alternatively, an individual with ill health who has developed a capacity for coping and who lives in a place with a strong sense of community may have less difficulty in maintaining social connections. Or, indeed, a person may be socially included, but be excluded in terms of service access.”Professor Scharf, Director of the ICSG, added: “With the ageing of our rural communities, and the increasingly difficult economic climate, we must be aware of how the diversity of people and places can intersect to produce both inclusion and exclusion.”Dr Roger O’Sullivan, Director of the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI) - funder of the research, commented: “People who live in rural areas and experience exclusion are often invisible to society and this is particularly true for older people. With the launch of this report today those developing policy and services now have substantial evidence at hand to help make rural Ireland a good place to grow old.”The report authors were Dr Kieran Walsh, Professor Eamon O’Shea and Professor Tom Scharf, from the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway. The research was completed in collaboration with the Healthy Ageing in Rural Communities (HARC) research network (www.harcresearch.com), which is a cross-border interdisciplinary initiative involving  NUI Galway, Queen’s University Belfast, Rural Community Network and FORUM Connemara.-ends-

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The next talk in the NUI Galway public talk series on Sports Technology will take place on Tuesday, 28 February at 6pm. Entitled Application of GPS Technology in Improving Running Performance, the talk will be delivered by former Irish Olympian Gary Ryan, Elite Sports Development Officer at NUI Galway.This talk will examine the use of GPS in sport and focus on the key questions that GPS technology can answer for a coach, its use as a performance analysis tool and and how it can directly help improve an athlete’s performance in a wide range of sports, and at a varying levels of ability.According to Gary Ryan, Elite Sports Development Officer at NUI Galway, “The development of GPS technologies for use in sport is one of the most exciting developments in modern coaching in recent years. Coaching is all about the giving of accurate information and feedback. The potential of GPS to revolutionise coaching, tactics and training in a wide variety of sports is very exciting and challenging for both engineers and coaches.”Gary’s early sporting career focused on soccer when he played for Limerick City and Waterford United as a teenager before switching successfully to Athletics in his early twenties. Gary went on to become the first Irish Athlete in 60 years to qualify for a sprint event at an Olympic Games when he qualified for the 1996 Atlanta event in the 200m. He also competed in the Sydney games of 2000. The highlight of his career was winning a bronze medal in the 2004 World Indoor Championships in the 4x400m relay in Budapest. He also was the first Irish sprinter to reach a global final at the World Student games in 1997 where he finished 4thin the 200m.During his competitive career Gary was also a Lecturer on both the Physical Education and Sports Science Courses at UL. A multiple Irish record holder and national champion, Gary also captained the Irish team for a number of years and retired from competitive athletics after the 2006 European Championships in Gothenburg. After his retirement as a competitive athlete, he took up the role of Director of Coaching for Athletics Ireland and was head coach for the World Junior championships in 2009 in Poland.Gary has coached a number of top track athletes and Olympic hopefuls such as Fiona O’ Friel from Dublin and Emily Maher from Kilkenny, and has worked with a broad range of sports people and teams including the Clare Hurling team in 2006 and Lar Corbett, Hurler of the Year in 2010.The free public talk will take place in room ENG-3035 in the Engineering Building at NUI Galway.The series of Sports Technology talks is being organised as part of NUI Galway’s degree programme in Sports & Exercise Engineering, whose students are being educated to design the next generation of sports and exercise systems and devices.For more information on the Sports Technology talks, which are supported by Engineers Ireland (West), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, visit www.ExerciseEngineering.com or call 091 492728.-ENDS-