Wednesday, 20 February 2013

European Space Agency and Irish Research Council Sponsor NUI Galway Research Rocket engineers at NUI Galway are developing new materials which will reduce the cost of launching rockets into space. The European Space Agency (ESA) is cooperating with the Irish Research Council and Irish and European companies to fund the research project. Two PhD students in Mechanical Engineering at NUI Galway will research innovative methods of using thermoplastic composite materials to reduce the weight of fuel tanks for space launchers.  David Grogan, from Renmore in Galway, and Brendan Murray from Annaglough, Co. Cavan, will work with NUI Galway’s Dr Conchúr Ó Brádaigh and Professor Seán Leen. Dr Christopher Semprimoschnig of the European Space Agency (ESA) has said that the Agency was delighted to support the work of the NUI Galway researchers: “It costs up to €30,000 to launch 1kg of payload into space. If ESA can reduce the weight of our liquid hydrogen/oxygen fuel tanks on launchers such as Ariane 5 and future launchers, by substituting lightweight composites for metals, this will reduce the cost of telecommunications, internet and satellite television and even help enable manned-missions to Mars and further parts of the Universe.” David Grogan’s PhD topic is “Finite Element Prediction of Microcracking in Thermoplastic Composite Cyrogenic Fuel Tanks”, and Brendan Murray’s research is on the “Development of Cost-Effective Rotationally-Moulded Polymer Liners for Composite Fuel Tanks.” The students’ PhD work is jointly sponsored for three years by ESA through its Network Partnering Initiative, and by the Irish Research Council through its EMBARK postgraduate Scholarships. David and Brendan’s work is also supported by ÉireComposites Teo. in Indreabhán, Co. Galway, and Astrium Space Transportation in Bordeaux, France, as well as the Irish Centre for Composites Research at the University of Limerick. -ends-

Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Law Reform Commission will hold a public consultation on its Fourth Programme of Law Reform in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 27 February. The event will be chaired by the Commission President, Mr Justice John Quirke, and there will be two contributions from invited speakers: Judge Tom O'Donnell of the Circuit Court and Damien McCallig, an Irish Research Council-funded PhD candidate in the School of Law, NUI Galway. The purpose of the evening is to hear the views of members of the public on what should be contained in the Fourth Programme of Law Reform. Members of the Law Reform Commission, including Tom O'Malley and Donncha O'Connell from the School of Law, NUIG, will be in attendance in a listening capacity. The event is open to the public and there is no admission charge. The Law Reform Commission is a statutory body, established by the Law Reform Commission Act 1975, with a mandate to keep the law under review, to undertake examinations and conduct research with a view to reforming the law, and to formulate proposals for law reform. Having completed the majority of the projects set out in its Third Programme of Law Reform, the Law Reform Commission is now in the process of preparing a new Programme of Law Reform which will form the principal basis of the Commission’s work over the coming years, subject to approval by the Government. Further information is available on our website www.lawreform.ie and any enquiries may be sent to fourthprogramme@lawreform.ie

Friday, 22 February 2013

“Full Health puts employees in the driving seat on preventative health”  – Taoiseach A major personal health initiative which promises to revolutionise the way medical test results are reported, was unveiled by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. in Dublin yesterday.  The new initiative, ‘Full Health’, which is being introduced into Biomnis Ireland’s workplace health screening programme, has the potential to significantly enhance preventative health planning for employees. Developed by a team of doctors at Full Health Medical, a company based in the NUI Galway Business Innovation Centre, ‘Full Health’ converts medical test results into a personalised report, outlining what the medical test results mean in a simple and easy-to-understand way.  The report, which combines medical, family history and lifestyle information with the test results, provides the individual with a personalised set of recommendations and preventative health measures. The ‘Full Health’ technology is now being introduced by Biomnis Ireland – the leading provider of medical laboratory testing services – as part of its workplace health screening programme, HealthWatch, which will benefit both employees and their employers. HealthWatch is Ireland's largest independent provider of workplace health and lifestyle screening programmes. Speaking at the launch event at the Biomnis Ireland Laboratories in Sandyford, Mr Kenny described Full Health as an empowering solution which puts employees firmly in control of their own personal health.  “As Ireland moves towards economic recovery, we need to secure the health and wellbeing of our workforce. Companies are increasingly aware that employee health can have a significant impact on the bottom line. This is a wonderful example of an innovative start-up company, Full Health, responding to a market opportunity and then commercialising its offering in conjunction with Biomnis Ireland. It is especially gratifying to see this level of collaboration happening in an Irish business setting and I wish the venture every success.” Full Health Medical is a Galway–based company that has developed new health technology which decodes complex medical data and creates simple medical reports that can empower people to improve their health. Dr Ann Shortt of Full Health Medical predicted Full Health would be a valuable tool in detecting and offsetting chronic illnesses and disease in the workplace. “The cost of just one chronic illness can be huge to a national economy, for example, type 2 diabetes which affects 5% of the Irish population.  Extrapolating from UK figures, type 2 diabetes leads to  approximately 515,000 absentee days per year in Ireland, costing €72.5 million while diabetes presenteeism (productivity loss among people still in work but suffering from this disease) costs a further €247 million.1 When the largest cost to business is wages and salaries, it makes sound business sense to invest in understanding employee health. Full Health can really help employers in a practical and meaningful way to anticipate and mitigate against future financial loss.” John O’Sullivan, CEO Biomnis Ireland said: “We are delighted to collaborate with Full Health on this partnership which we see as a unique medical reporting solution, which will form a key part of our growing HealthWatch brand. The HealthWatch screening service delivers health checks to approximately 10,000 employees every year. The Full Health initiative will provide employees with the important information in an easy-to-understand format as well as recommendations on how to stay healthy.  We also see it as having a wider application across the Biomnis group for our laboratory testing service as a premium content offering for clinicians and their patients.” Fiona Neary of NUI Galway’s Technology Transfer Office and Business Innovation Centre, said: “The NUI Galway Business Innovation Centre is buzzing with so much technology expertise, and Full Health Medical Ltd being no exception. We are here to support pioneering and ground-breaking companies that offer business solutions through the use of technology as can be demonstrated by the launch of ‘Full Health’, a preventative health innovation developed by our client company Full Health Medical Ltd. NUI Galway is a great place to do business, because of the workspace suitability for start-ups, the technical infrastructure, the atmosphere of innovation, as well as having research and industry located together is definitely a winning combination.” ENDS

Monday, 25 February 2013

      Largest ever state/industry co-funded research investment in Ireland       €200m of new Exchequer funds for 7 World Class Research Centres over 6 years      €100m co-investment by over 150 industry partners      NUI Galway represented in 3 of the 7 Centres      Supports key growth areas targeted in the Action Plan for Jobs 2013     Targets research into major social challenges, including Health and Energy     Directly supporting 800 top-class researcher positions NUI Galway features prominently in Government plans for science and technology research over the next six years, as part of a €300 million investment announcement today. The University will participate in three of the seven new Science Foundation Ireland Research Centres as announced by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard BrutonTD and Sean Sherlock, TD, Minister for Research and Innovation, in Dublin today. In a landmark investment by the Government in scientific research which is closely aligned to industry and enterprise needs, job opportunities and societal goals, €200 million of Irish exchequer funding will be invested in seven world class research centres of scale. The new funding will be delivered through Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Research Centres Programme coupled with over €100 million in cash and in-kind contributions from industry partners, making it the largest ever combined state/industry co-funding announcement of its kind in the research field in Ireland. The funding will be provided over the next six years with a mid-term review. Big Data and Analytics - INSIGHT NUI Galway’s web science research centre, the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), along with colleagues from the discipline of IT, will play a leading role in a new ‘big data’ and analytics centre, INSIGHT. For the last decade DERI has been at the vanguard of web science research and now has 140 researchers based in NUI Galway. With the explosion of internet based information, ‘Big Data’ represents a sector that is currently growing at up to 40% per annum. With 32 industry partners, including CISCO, Avaya and HP in Galway,INSIGHT will lead the development of breakthrough data analytics technologies to make Ireland a global leader in this rapidly expanding area. The goal of INSIGHT is explained by Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI: “In our digital age, the amount of data is growing exponentially. We want to harness that information and make it work for individuals, for business and for society. With significant support from SFI we are taking our research to the next phase, which is world-class and will have world-wide influence. This will have huge impact on the ICT sector in Ireland, in terms of supporting existing industry, attracting foreign direct investment and propelling Ireland onto the world stage in this area.” Marine Renewable Energy - MaREI Another new initiative, the Centre for Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI), will carry out world-leading research on all aspects required for the success of the marine renewable energy sector while also educating and training the next generation of engineers and scientists for the marine renewable energy industry. Ireland is one of the best locations in the world in terms of marine renewable energy resources. This centre will look to generate energy technologies for industry from wave, tidal and floating wind devices. NUI Galway’s Professor Michael Hartnett, who will be Deputy Director of MaREI, along with Dr Conchur O'Bradaigh will lead teams of researchers investigating tidal energy and the development of novel materials for use in the marine renewable energy industry.   Synthesis and solid State Pharmaceutical Technologies Cluster (SSPC) NUI Galway will also be part of Synthesis and solid State Pharmaceutical TechnologiesCluster along with its Alliance Partner, the University of Limerick. Speaking about the selection of the seven world-class centres, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI, said: “These seven funded research centres were selected from 35 proposals following a highly competitive and rigorous international peer review process. This 20% success rate is comparable to international funding success rates.  Each centre proposal was examined for scientific excellence through international scientific review by eminent scientists from the world’s leading universities and for potential economic impact through an international impact review by distinguished industrial R&D leaders, high technology investors, translational institute directors and tech transfer directors from world leading universities.  Over 100 esteemed international reviewers have joined with Industry and agency experts to ensure that the centres supported have excellent science with the potential to deliver societal and economic impact. ” At today’s announcement in Dublin, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is a leading international, research-intensive university, ranked amongst the top 250 universities in the world. The level of investment announced today by SFI in NUI Galway is very significant.  It is an endorsement not only of our research excellence, but also of our collaboration with academic partners and industry. “We have an ambitious research agenda, which is having a direct effect on job creation, through industry partnerships, spin-outs and innovation. Today’s investment is a welcome validation of our research agenda, past and future.” Commenting on the benefits for job-creation, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “A key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is to build on the major achievements in scientific research we have built up over the past decade and turn more good ideas into good jobs. Today’s announcement will lead to the establishment in Ireland of world-class centres of research excellence and scale which will be game-changers for Irish scientific research.” “The €300million investment announced today, and the seven new, large-scale, world-class research centres it will support, are aimed at achieving a step-change in the reputation and performance of Ireland’s research system. This will support more than 800 talented scientists, develop cutting-edge research and new technologies, attract dynamic partnerships with industry and ultimately help to create the jobs we need.” The new centres will link scientists and engineers in partnerships across academia and industry to address crucial research questions, and foster the development of new and existing Irish-based technology companies. The aim is also to attract industry that could make an important contribution to Ireland and its economy, and expand educational and career opportunities in Ireland in science and engineering. “We are pushing the frontiers of science and discovery at NUI Galway. Whether it’s securing Ireland’s energy independence through marine renewables or revolutionising the World Wide Web, our research shapes and influences all of our futures. Our research, carried out in conjunction with collaborators and our industry partners, also has huge potential in terms of job creation and growth”, said Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway. -ENDS-   Faigheann OÉ Gaillimh Maoiniú Suntasach  in Infheistíócht €300 milliún ón Rialtais in Ionaid Thaighde den Chéad Scoth    ·         An infheistíocht taighde is mó riamh in Éirinn atá cómhaoinithe ag stát/tionsclaíocht ·         €200m maoiniú nua ón Státchiste d’Ionaid Taighde den Chéad Scoth thar thréimhse 6 bliana ·         €100m comhaoinithe ag breis is 150 comhpháirtithe tionsclaíochta ·         Ionadaíocht ag OÉ Gaillimh i dtrí cinn de na seacht nIonad Taighde ·         Tacaíocht á tabhairt do phríomhréimsí fáis atá mar spriocanna i bPlean Gníomhaíochta do Phoist 2013 ·         Dírithe ar thaighde ar mhórdhúshláin shóisialta, Sláinte agus Fuinneamh san áireamh ·         Tacaíocht á tabhairt go díreach do 800 post den chéad scoth do thaighdeoirí Tá páirt suntasach ag OÉ Gaillimh i bpleananna an Rialtais don taighde eolaíochta agus teicneolaíochta as seo go ceann sé bliana, mar chuid de mhaoiniú €300 milliún don taighde a fógraíodh inniu. Glacfaidh an Ollscoil páirt i dtrí cinn de na seacht nIonad Taighde nua de chuid Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann mar a d’fhógair an tAire Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta,  Risteárd  De Briotún TD agus Seán Sherlock, TD, An tAire Taighde agus Nuála,  i mBaile Átha Cliath inniu. De bharr infheistíocht shuntasach an Rialtais i dtaighde eolaíoch a bhfuil dlúthbhaint aige le riachtanais tionsclaíochta agus fiontraíochta, deiseanna oibre agus spriocanna sochaíocha, déanfar €200 milliún maoiniú ó státchiste na hÉireann a infheistiú i seacht n-ionad taighde scála den scoth. Déanfar an maoiniú nua a sheachadadh trí Chlár Ionad Taighde Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann (SFI), mar aon le breis is €100 milliún in airgead tirim nó mar ranníocaíochtaí comhchineálacha ó chomhpháirtithe tionsclaíochta, rud a dhéanann é seo ar an infheistíocht taighde is mó atá comhaoinithe ag stát/tionsclaíochta a fógraíodh riamh sa réimse taighde in Éirinn. Cuirfear an maoiniú ar fáil as seo go ceann sé bliana agus déanfar athbhreithniú meántéarma air. Olltiomsú Sonraí agus Anailísíocht - INSIGHT Beidh ról ceannasach ag ionad taighde eolaíochta gréasáin OÉ Gaillimh, an Institiúid um Thaighde ar an bhFiontraíocht Dhigiteach (DERI), mar aon le comhghleacaithe ó dhisciplín na Teicneolaíochta Faisnéise, in ionad nua ‘olltiomsaithe’ agus anailísíochta, INSIGHT. Le deich mbliana anuas tá DERI ar thús cadhnaíochta i dtaighde eolaíochta gréasáin agus anois tá 140 taighdeoir dá chuid lonnaithe in OÉ Gaillimh. Leis an bhfás ollmhór atá tagtha ar fhaisnéis bunaithe ar an idirlíon, seasann ‘Olltiomsú Sonraí’ d’earnáil a bhfuil fás de suas go 40% in aghaidh na bliana ag teacht uirthi. Le 32 comhpháirtí tionsclaíochta, lena n-áirítear CASCO, Avaya agus HP i nGaillimh, beidh INSIGHT i gceannas ar fhorbairt teicneolaíochtaí ceannródaíocha anailísíochta sonraí chun Éire a chur chun tosaigh ar domhan sa réimse seo atá ag teacht chun cinn go sciobtha. Tá  míniú tugtha ag an Ollamh Stefan Decker, Stiúrthóir  DERI, ar chuspóir an ionaid taighde, INSIGHT: “San aois dhigiteach atá againn anois, tá fás easpónantúil ag teacht ar líon sonraí. Teastaíonn uainn leas a bhaint as an bhfaisnéis sin agus agus úsáid a bhaint aisti ar mhaithe le daoine aonair, le gnó agus leis an tsochaí. Agus tacaíocht shuntasach á fáil againn ó SFI táimid ag tabhairt ár gcuid taighde go dtí an chéad chéim eile, taighde den chéad scoth agus a mbeidh tionchar aige ar fud an domhain. Beidh tionchar an-mhór aige seo ar earnáil na Teicneolaíochta Eolais agus Cumarsáide in Éirinn,ó thaobh tacú leis an tionsclaíocht atá ann cheana féin, infheistíocht dhíreach a mhealladh ó thíortha thar lear agus Éire a chur ar stáitse an domhain sa réimse seo.” Fuinneamh Mara In-athnuaite - MaREI Beidh taighde den scoth ar siúl freisin ag tionscnamh nua eile, Fuinneamh Mara In-athnuaite na hÉireann (MaREI), ar na gnéithe uile atá de dhíth chun go n-éireoidh le hearnáil an fhuinnimh mara in-athnuaite agus ag an am céanna oideachas á thabhairt don chéad ghlúin eile innealtóirí agus eolaithe do thionsclaíocht an fhuinnimh mara in-athnuaite agus oiliúint á cur orthu. Tá Éire ar cheann de na háiteanna is fearr ar domhan ó thaobh acmhainní fuinnimh mara in-athnuaite. Cinnteoidh an t-ionad seo chuige go nginfear teicneolaiochtaí fuinnimh don tionsclaíocht ó ghléasanna toinne, taoide agus gaoithe. Beidh an  tOllamh Michael Hartnett ó OÉ Gaillimh, a bheidh ina Leas-Stiúrthóir ar MaREI, mar aon leis an Dr Conchur O’Bradaigh, i gceannas ar fhoirne taighdeoirí a bheidh ag déanamh imscrúdú ar fhuinneamh taoide agus ar fhorbairt ábhar núíosach lena n-úsáid i dtionsclaíocht an fhuinnimh mara in-athnuaite.     Braisle na Cógaisíochta Staide Soladaí (SSPC) Beidh OÉ Gaillimh ina chuid de Bhraisle na Cógaisíochta Staide Soladaí (SSPC) freisin, mar aon lena Comhpháirtí Comhghuaillíochta, Ollscoil Luimnigh. Ag labhairt faoi roghnú na seacht n-ionad den chéad scoth, dúirt an tOllamh Mark Ferguson, Ard-Stiúrthóir SFI: “Roghnaíodh na seacht n-ionad taighde maoinithe ó 35 togra tar éis próiseas athbhreithnithe piaraí idirnáisiúnta a raibh iomaíocht ghéar agus doichte ag baint leis. Tá an ráta ratha 20% seo inchomparáide leis na rátaí ratha a bhaineann le maoiniú idirnáisiúnta.  Rinneadh cíoradh ar gach togra le haghaidh ionaid chun a fháil amach an raibh feabhas eolaíochta i gceist leis trí athbhreithniú idirnáisiúnta eolaíoch a rinne eolaithe oirirce ó na hollscoileanna is fearr ar domhan agus chun a fháil amach an raibh tionchar ionchasach eacnamaíoch i gceist leis trí athbhreithniú idirnáisiúnta tionchair a rinne ceannairí céimiúla tionsclaíocha T&F, infheisteoirí ardteicneolaíochta, stiúrthóirí institiúidí aistritheacha agus stiúrthóirí ar aistriú teicneolaíochta ó na hollscoileanna is fearr ar domhan.  Bhí níos mó ná 100 athbhreithneoirí idirnáisiúnta measúla ag obair le saineolaithe tionsclaíochta agus gníomhaireachta le cinntiú go bhfuil eolaíocht den scoth ag na hionaid a dtugtar tacaíocht dóibh agus an acmhainneacht iontu tionchar sochaíoch agus eacnamaíoch a imirt.” Ag an bhfógairt i mBaile Átha Cliath inniu, dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Is Ollscoil dlúth-thaighde idirnáisiúnta,ar thús cadhnaíochta í OÉ Gaillimh, agus áit bainte amach aici i measc an 250 ollscoil is fearr sa domhan. Tá leibhéal na hinfheistíochta in OÉ Gaillimh a d’fhógair SFI inniu fíorshuntasach.  Is formheas é ní hamháin ar fheabhas ár gcuid taighde, ach ar an gcomhoibriú atá á dhéanamh againn freisin le comhpháirtithe acadúla agus le tionsclaíocht. Tá clár uaillmhianach taighde againn, a bhfuil iarmhairt díreach aige ar chruthú post, trí  chomhpháirtíochtaí, mac-chuideachtaí agus nuálaíocht tionsclaíochta. Déanann infheistíocht an lae inniu bailmheas a gcuirimid fáilte roimhe ar ár gclár taighde, san am atá thart agus sa todhchaí.” Ag labhairt faoi na tairbhí atá ann do chruthú post, dúirt an tAire Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta, Risteárd De Briotún TD: “Is príomhchuid de Phlean Gníomhaíochta do Phoist an Rialtais cur leis na móréachtaí i dtaighde eolaíoch atá déanta againn le deich mbliana anuas agus poist mhaithe a dhéanamh as smaointe maithe eile. Mar thoradh ar fhógairt an lae inniu, bunófar in Éirinn ionaid bharr feabhais taighde agus scála den chéad scoth a athróidh go suntasach an taighde eolaíoch in Éirinn as seo amach.” “Tá an infheistíocht €300 milliún a fógraíodh inniu, agus na seacht n-ionad nua mórscála taighde  den chéad scoth a gheobhaidh tacaíocht ón infheistíocht sin, dírithe ar athrú suntasach a bhaint amach i gclú agus i bhfeidhmíocht an chórais taighde in Éirinn. Déanfaidh sé seo tacaíocht a thabhairt do bhreis is 800 eolaí tallannach, taighde ceannródaíoch agus teicneolaíochtaí nua a fhorbairt, comhpháirtíochtaí dinimiciúla le tionsclaíocht a mhealladh agus ar deireadh thiar thall cabhrú leis na poist atá uainn a chruthú.” Déanfaidh na hionaid nua eolaithe agus innealtóirí a nascadh i gcomhpháirtíochtaí sa saol acadúil agus sa saol tionsclaíochta chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar cheisteanna fíorthábhachtacha taighde, agus chun forbairt cuideachtaí teicneolaíochta atá bunaithe in Éirinn, idir chuideachtaí nua agus chuideachtaí atá ann cheana féin, a chothú. Is í an aidhm freisin tionsclaíocht a mhealladh a d’fhéadfadh cúnamh tábhachtach a thabhairt d’Éirinn agus do gheilleagar na hÉireann, agus níos mó deiseanna oideachais agus gairme san eolaíocht agus san innealtóireacht a chur ar fáil in Éirinn. “Tá teorainneacha na heolaíochta agus na fionnachtana á leathnú againn in OÉ Gaillimh. Cibé acu an bhfuil neamhspleáchas fuinnimh na hÉireann á bhaint amach trí athnuaiteáin mhara nó tríd an Gréasán Domhanda a athrú ó bhonn, déanann ár dtaighde ár saol sa todhchaí a mhúnlú agus imríonn sé tionchar air.  Tá acmhainneacht mhór chun poist a chruthú agus ardacmhainneacht fáis inár gcuid taighde, a dhéantar i gcomhar lenár gcomhoibrithe agus lenár bpáirtithe tionsclaíochta”, a dúirt an tOllamh Lokesh Joshi, Leas-Uachtarán don Taighde in OÉ Gaillimh. -CRÍOCH-     

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Secondary schools students from across Ireland participated in the sixth All-Ireland Final of the Debating Science Issues (DSI) competition on Friday, 22 February, in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin. After closely contested debates, Banbridge Academy, Co. Down came out victorious to become the 2013 Debating Science Issues winners, with Pobal Scoil Gaoth Dobhair, Co. Donegal awarded second place. Other finalists included Sacred Heart Secondary School, Clonakilty, Co. Cork and St. Andrew’s College, Blackrock, Co. Dublin. DSI is a dynamic debating competition inviting young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. Open to students in the senior cycle of secondary school, the competition provides a great opportunity for students to expand their communication and scientific skills. Funded by Discover Science and Engineering, Abbott Ireland, Boston Scientific and Pfizer, this All-Ireland project is coordinated by the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway in conjunction with eight science research and discovery centres throughout Ireland - Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, UCC; Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, DCU; CRANN in Trinity College Dublin; Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), W5 in Belfast, Clarity at UCD, Cork Institute of Technology and the Centre for Cross Border Studies. Danielle Nicholson, DSI Coordinator and Outreach Officer with REMEDI at NUI Galway, said: “DSI provides young people with an insight into science as an institution and the processes by which scientific knowledge is produced.  Incorporating the values and limits in science as well as its tactics for decision-making, DSI employs a discussion-based teaching model. The pre-competition workshops involve both science and non-science students. It is important that students do not judge their understanding of scientific knowledge to be insufficient to allow them to engage with socio-scientific issues of concern.  Argumentation is one of the cornerstones of the scientific process.  DSI increases student engagement with science content and promotes reasoning and justification skills that help prepare an informed citizenry.” Judges for the DSI Final included: Terry McWade, Deputy CEO of RCSI; Louise Mylotte, Lecturer at St. Angela’s College, Sligo; Katharine Jensen, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Abbott Ireland; Oonagh Ward, Programme Manager at Health Research Board; Eimear Holohan and Dara Dunican, both Scientific Programme Managers at Science Foundation Ireland; Maria Daly, Science Calling; Joan Flanagan, Education Liaison at European Commission Representation in Ireland; and Hannah McGee, Dean of Faculty of Medicine RCSI. Full information on the DSI competition is available at www.debatingscienceissues.com. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

NUI Galway’s School of Psychology is hosting a public lecture delivered by Professor Carol McGuinness, Queens University Belfast, on Teaching Thinking: Learning How to Think. The lecture will take place on Wednesday, 6 March from 5-7.30pm in IT250, Information Technology Building, NUI Galway. Drawing on research, this presentation will outline the key concepts for successfully teaching children to think and implications for teachers and curriculum designers will be emphasised. The session will be conducted in seminar style and will include demonstrations of useful techniques for classroom teachers.  Professor Carol McGuinness, a consultant on several national curriculum projects in the Republic of Ireland and the UK, is an expert in the application of psychology to learning and teaching in classrooms. Professor McGuinness is Director of the Activating Children’s Thinking Skills (ACTS) project in Northern Ireland and has helped launch similar projects across the UK.  She has also devised professional programmes for teachers embarking on thinking developments in their classroom. She is author of From Thinking Skills to Thinking Classrooms and a forthcoming book entitled Thinking Lessons for Thinking Classrooms.  According to Dr AnnMarie Groarke, Head of the School of Psychology at NUI Galway: “This topic is of immense interest as equipping children with skills on how to think will provide them with a valuable resource to help manage the increasingly complex social and educational challenges they will face. ”   Sponsored by Brainworx, this is the third in a series of jointly organised free public lectures from the Psychological Society of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Branch of the British Psychological Society. To book a place, visit www.psychologicalsociety.ie/page/all_events/102. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

NUI Galway’s Commerce students scooped first, second and joint third prize in the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Ireland ‘Student Idea of the Year’ Awards at a special ceremony in Dublin recently. The awards are presented to the originators of the most innovative ideas which could make the most significant contribution to some aspect of the logistics industry in Ireland. NUI Galway student Seán Ó Muircheartaigh from Rahoon, Galway City, was announced winner with his project ‘Easy Smart Travel Ireland’. Seán wrote a paper which focused on the feasibility and the design of a system which integrated public transport services using seamless smart mobile ticketing technologies. Second place was awarded to NUI Galway student Alex Hannon-Cross from Barna, Co. Galway. His project, ‘An Intelligent Public Transport System’, aimed to assess the viability of big data application orientated solutions for the public transport system, with the purpose of increasing efficiency and maximising resource usage. Third place was presented to NUI Galway international student, Kerry Creehan from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, USA. Her project ‘Exploring Out of Bounds’ designed a mobile application which uses offline capabilities for navigation and points of interest. The prototypes uses technology efficiently employing vector based maps rather than raster so that data is not stored as pixels. Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway said: “The positive indicators of economic growth are fuelled by the knowledge economy. I believe our graduates are well positioned to aid in the continued recovery of our country. Our students have an important role to play in creating the technologies of the future and engineering a path to a better future for all citizens. NUI Galway has established a learning platform for student innovations to be nurtured. I am encouraged that professionals in the industry who judge this national competition continue to reward our students for their innovations.” -ENDS-

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Public invited to a keynote lecture by Dr Kevin McNamara, former Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland NUI Galway’s Moore Institute will host a two-day international conference on 8-9 March on the theme of ‘The British Labour Party and Twentieth-Century Ireland’. The conference will take place in the Moore Institute at the University, with the keynote address scheduled for the Harbour Hotel, Galway, on Friday, 8 March at 6.30pm. Keynote speaker for the event is Dr Kevin McNamara, Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 1987-1994. He will deliver an address entitled, ‘The Cause of Labour is the Cause of Ireland, the Cause of Ireland is the Cause of Labour’. Dr McNamara, who was succeeded by Dr Mo Mowlam as Labour spokesperson on Northern Ireland under Tony Blair’s first government, is a seasoned commentator on Anglo-Irish affairs. He has researched and written on the MacBride Principles and is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Irish Studies at Liverpool University. The aim of the conference is to explore the relationship between the British Labour Party and Ireland over the course of the last century. At its foundation in 1900, the Labour Party was broadly supportive of Irish nationalist demands for self-determination in the form of ‘home rule’. Yet Labour’s responses to the Irish question would become more complicated over successive decades, particularly after the first Labour government came to power in Britain in 1924. Dr Laurence Marley, conference convenor and historian at NUI Galway, said: “The theme of the event provides an opportunity to examine a largely neglected aspect of Anglo-Irish relations in the twentieth century. By drawing on the expertise of a broad range of scholars from Ireland and Britain, the conference will bring a fresh perspective to the historical and commemorative focus on relations in ‘these islands’ and at a cross-border and regional level.” The conference is free and open to the public, and the keynote event, chaired by Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Emeritus Professor at NUI Galway, will feature a questions and answers session. ‘The British Labour Party and Twentieth-Century Ireland’ is supported by the Community Knowledge Initiative, NUI Galway, and by the Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A symposium entitled ‘Embedding a Children’s Rights Approach into the new Child and Family Support Agency’ is being held today (27 February 2013) in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. The establishment of a Child and Family Support Agency is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revolutionise the delivery of child protection, family support and other children’s services. This is a radical and important change, involving far more than simply switching logos at the top of payslips and headed paper. The design of the new agency will have a profound impact on services delivered to children and families for decades to come and will be one of the biggest tasks of the current government. Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, said:“Today is about kick-starting discussion on the new agency. There is no doubt that the agency has the potential to be a powerful vehicle for reform. There must be a transparent approach from the outset to ensure future accountability and buy-in from all stakeholders, including children and families themselves. Key to this is a commitment from Government to consult comprehensively on the draft legislation establishing the new agency. We have just passed a referendum on children but it will be an empty referendum if the new agency is not properly resourced to protect children and support families. A child-centred approach must be the starting point for the agency. This means treating all children equally, making decisions in their best interests and taking account of their views when making decisions about them.” “The potential for the Child and Family Support Agency’s success is indisputable, helping to draw a line under past failings such as those so tragically outlined in the 2012 Report of the Independent Child Death Review Group. It is also vital that the agency starts life without the burden of the existing HSE budgetary deficit, and that it is given adequate resources to fulfil its statutory duties to children.” Professor Pat Dolan, Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway, said: “The failings of the child protection and welfare system in the past have consistently focused on a lack of collaboration between professionals in the interests of children and children’s voices not being heard. People are tired of hearing about the failings of the system. In the future we should be hearing about its success. A system whereby workers at the frontline commit to upholding children’s rights, through the introduction of a children’s rights charter to be adhered to in practice, coupled with all children’s services coming under the umbrella of one transparent and accountable agency, will be the true test of positive change.” Noel Kelly, Chair of the Prevention and Early Intervention Network, said: “The Prevention and Early Intervention Network (PEIN) welcomes the establishment of the Child and Family Support Agency. This is an agency for all the children of Ireland and universalism must be its hallmark. Ensuring a prevention and early intervention approach within the design of the new agency will generate benefits for all children and families as well as reducing the numbers of families requiring intensive or specialist interventions. The new Prevention and Early Intervention Network website www.preventioninpractice.ie is also being launched today. It showcases the network's research, service and advocacy work, as well as being a valuable source of information about prevention and early intervention in Ireland.” This symposium, which has been heavily over-subscribed, is the first opportunity to publicly discuss the new agency. It is jointly organised by the Children’s Rights Alliance, the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway and the Prevention and Early Intervention Network. Speakers and Chairs include: Paul Gilligan, Chair of the Children’s Rights Alliance Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD Gordon Jeyes, CEO Designate, Child and Family Support Agency Young People from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs’ Voice of Children in Care Implementation Group Dr. Geoffrey Shannon, Child Law Expert Professor Pat Dolan, Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway Jim Breslin, Secretary General, Department of Children and Youth Affairs Jennifer Gargan, Director, Empowering People in Care (EPIC) Catherine Ghent, Gallagher Shatter Solicitors Toby Wolfe, Start Strong and Prevention and Early Intervention Network  Today’s event aims to explore how children’s rights, including a prevention and early intervention approach, must be translated into the structures, governance, design and service delivery of the agency. ENDS

Friday, 4 January 2013

A new type of orthopaedic implant developed at NUI Galway, which could improve the lifespan of hip and knee replacements, is generating growing interest from the biomedical industry.  OsteoAnchor aims to overcome a problem of implants coming loose over time by using a revolutionary surface of hundreds of tiny gripping claws. The implant is designed to not only grip bone securely, but also to encourage new hard bone tissue to grow into the implant, though a specially engineered lattice of tiny struts and pores. Successful pre-clinical study A recent successful pre-clinical study of an OsteoAnchor hip replacement showed the technology immediately grips the bone effectively, leading to a quicker recovery after surgery. No other surface coating on the market provides such a secure initial fixation with such potential for quicker recovery after surgery. In addition, the hip replacement remained very secure over time due to extensive growth of the bone into the implant. The team is now moving towards clinical trials, with plans for a first-in-man trial in 2014. $8.7 billion market With the combined US and European markets for hip and knee replacements estimated to be worth $8.7 billion, the team behind OsteoAnchor will initially target a particular segment - the revision hip market - which is estimated at $800 million. “We are keen to engage with potential investors and business partners interested in commercialising this high potential technology”, explains Dr Pat Mc Donnell who has been developing OsteoAnchor over the last four years with Dr Noel Harrison, of the Biomechanics Research Centre at NUI Galway’s National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science. As people are living longer and undergoing hip implants later in life, the potential for reduced recovery times associated with OsteoAnchor is a key attraction. “We have put together a team of orthopaedic surgeons to work with us to design a hip implant with OsteoAnchor,” adds Dr Mc Donnell. “They will participate in the clinical testing of the implant, providing the initial path to market. The initial target application is for patients having their second or third hip replacement in the same leg - that is one of the most challenging kinds of orthopaedic surgery, and it’s where OsteoAnchor can make a huge impact. In the future we hope to have OsteoAnchor knee and shoulder implants, but for now we are concentrating on hips.” 3D printing OsteoAnchor is made from a standard titanium alloy using a process similar to 3D printing. A preclinical study showed the technology immediately grips the bone effectively, that recovery after surgery is quicker and the hip replacements remain secure due to extensive bone in growth. The product is also cheaper to manufacture due to one step manufacturing process, where the surface architecture is integral to the implant core. The commercialisation project was funded by Enterprise Ireland and showcased at Enterprise Ireland’s Big Ideas event at the Aviva in November. NUI Galway has a strong reputation for technology transfer, in recent years spinning out 25 High Potential Start Ups, 76 license agreements and over 100 patent applications, providing a significant basis for job retention and creation in Ireland. To view Dr Pat Mc Donnell and Dr Noel Harrison on the Late Late Show (46.55 minutes) click on the below image ‌ -ends-

Monday, 7 January 2013

NUI Galway’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics is organising a conference and gala dinner to mark the 40th anniversary of the first intake to its Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme. Celebrating this milestone, the events will take place Friday, 25 January in Galway and all MBA alumni, as well as past and current teaching faculty, are invited to attend. Focusing on a number of contemporary business, management and leadership issues and challenges, the conference, 40 Years A-Growing in Business & Management: Learning from the Past, Leading the Future, will draw together a panel of high-profile contributors from business and academia, many of whom are NUI Galway MBA alumni. These will include: Dr Alan Ahearne, Economist and Lecturer at NUI Galway; Mike Higgins, Managing Director and Head of CIBC World Markets Corporation and Chair of NUI Galway’s US Foundation Board; Seamus Kavanagh, Vice-President of Hollister in Chicago; Paschal McCarthy, Vice-President of GE Healthcare; Professor John McHale, Chair of the National Fiscal Council and Chair of Economics at NUI Galway; and Helen Ryan, CEO, Creganna Tactx Medical. Dr Alma McCarthy, Executive MBA Programme Director, NUI Galway, said: “We very much look forward to welcoming back our very successful MBA alumni.  This is a great opportunity for them to return to the University, see the new Cairnes Business School, reconnect with their MBA classmates and network with other NUI Galway MBA graduates and potential business partners.” A number of alumni who are located oversees have registered to attend the event and the conference has received funding from The Gathering.  “The NUI Galway MBA programme is the second oldest MBA programme in the Island of Ireland and is the flagship programme in the School.  The quality of our graduates is reflected in multiple successes in national MBA competitions with many of our alumni holding senior management positions in a variety of organisations nationally and internationally”, said Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway. For further information about the conference and gala dinner, please contact the Alumni Office on 091 493750. ENDS

Monday, 7 January 2013

Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, will give a public interview on her life and work with journalist Fintan O’Toole at NUI Galway on Monday, 14 January. The event will begin at 7.15pm and will take place in the Bailey Allen Hall on campus. While the event is free and open to the public, registration is essential and bookings should be made through www.conference.ie Following the interview a panel discussion will take place with representatives of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights including the Centre’s newly appointed director, Professor Michael O’Flaherty FRSA and Professor Bill Schabas as well as Dr Nata Duvvury and Dr Niamh Reilly from the University’s Global Women’s Studies Programme. Mary Robinson visited NUI Galway last November to mark the beginning of a new partnership with the University. Plans unveiled in 2012 to establish a Mary Robinson Centre in the former President’s home town of Ballina, Co. Mayo. The Centre, supported by Mayo County Council and Ballina Town Council will be established at Mary Robinson’s birthplace and will include both a Visitor Centre and an academic research centre, supported by NUI Galway and focused on scholarly research and education in the fields of Human Rights and Women’s Leadership. Mary Robinson’s archive will be the centrepiece of the educational facility, and as academic partner to the project, NUI Galway will bring researchers and students from all over the world to Ballina to engage with the archive. NUI Galway is internationally recognised as a leader in the field of Human Rights and Gender research, and offers undergraduate degrees and postgraduate programmes in the area. The University will also advise on the cataloguing and making available of the extensive archive which is valued at over €2.5 million. The proposed Visitor Centre, which is set to open to the public by the end of 2014, will provide a unique cultural tourism resource for Mayo as visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about Mary Robinson’s life and work, including her early roots in Ballina. The project will involve the refurbishment of Victoria House, a protected 19th century Georgian house, together with the construction of an Annex to the house. Parts of the house will be recreated to its original condition at the time of Mary Robinson’s birth in 1944. The property at Victoria House, which has been in the Bourke Family for generations, is being made available to the Centre by the owner, Mary’s brother Adrian Bourke, and will be leased in perpetuity. Mary Robinson’s archive is a vast collection illuminating the life and career of one of Ireland’s most distinguished public figures. The archive includes a library of books, and periodicals, Mary Robinson’s personal diaries, working files and detailed records of her career as a champion of human rights and women’s equality. Also included are numerous recordings and manuscripts from her time as President of Ireland. Shortlisted for the Political Book Awards 2013 Political Book of the Year Everybody Matters A Memoir by Mary Robinson was published in 2012.   ENDS

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Thurles on Thursday, 17 January. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7-9pm in the Anner Hotel, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand to answer any questions in relation to courses and practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts with Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programmes, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and a Bachelor of Arts with Journalism which are brand new for 2013. “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Tipperary, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Thurles is a perfect opportunity to meet current students and our lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the information evening in Thurles, contact NUI Galway’s Schools Liaison Officer, Celine O’Donovan on 087 239 1219 or celine.odonovan@nuigalway.ie. ENDS

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Research calls on screening and interventions to bring down costs and protect mother and baby A new study from NUI Galway, funded by the Health Research Board, has shown maternity care costs for pregnant women with gestational diabetes are 34% higher than average. Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is a form of diabetes which is first diagnosed during pregnancy. It develops in about 12% of pregnancies and is more common in women who are overweight or obese. Previous research has shown that it carries with it increased risks for both mother and baby, but this is the first time the economic implications have been studied in Ireland. This study explored the determinants of maternity care and costs for a cohort of 4,432 pregnant women in Ireland. In particular, it estimated the independent effects of GDM, over and above the effects of other potentially important determinants, on mode of delivery, neonatal unit admission, and maternity care costs. From the sample of 4,372 women, those with a diagnosis of GDM were almost twice as likely to undergo an emergency caesarean section, and their infants were three times more likely to be admitted to a neonatal unit. The resulting maternity care costs, specifically calculated by sampling patients from the public healthcare system, were increased by 34%.Of the other variables included in the analysis, maternal obesity was found to increase costs by 21%. “Aside from the serious health implications, GDM is also placing a substantial economic burden on maternity care costs. This burden is likely to rise in the future if current practices remain unchanged given projected increases in GDM prevalence rates. However, what our study really highlights are the potential cost savings which may go to offset the costs of interventions that aim to prevent the onset of GDM in pregnancy,” explains Dr Paddy Gillespie, from the School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway. Professor Fidelma Dunne, Consultant Endocrinologist and Head of School of Medicine at NUI Galway, headed-up the Atlantic DIP research and co-authored this week’s study.  Professor Dunne pointed out that the cost of interventions, such as universal screening, could potentially be offset by the reduced number of women requiring more costly medical care. “GDM is a significant public health concern for women and their babies in Ireland. It can lead to future diabetes in the mother and diabetes and obesity in their children, with indications that it is contributing to the global diabetes epidemic. Ireland needs to introduce universal screening of women in pregnancy for GDM, rather than the current approach of selective screening. We also need to look at lifestyle interventions and educating women about vitamin supplements, diet and exercise through their ante-natal centres and GPs.” The research, ‘Modelling the Independent Effects of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus on Maternity Care and Costs’, was funded by the Health Research Board, was published this week in the international peer-reviewed journal Diabetes Care. Data for the study came from the five-year project Atlantic Diabetes in Pregnancy (Atlantic DIP), which measured the incidence and outcomes of diabetes in pregnancy in the west and north-west of Ireland. -ends-

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties will host a seminar acknowledging Ireland’s first term as a newly elected member of the UN Human Rights Council, which began on 1 January 2013. The seminar, Ireland and the Human Rights Council – Where to From Here? will take place on Friday, 1 February in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway. This one-day seminar will explore the challenges and opportunities presented by Ireland’s recent election to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The event will bring together a range of experts from the field of human rights, including H.E. Gerry Corr, Irish Ambassador to the United Nations, to draw up a list of recommendations that can inform Ireland’s term of office on the Council. Other speakers at the seminar will include: Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director, Amnesty International (Irish Section); Mary Lawlor, Founder and Executive Director, Frontline Defenders; Professor Michael O’Flaherty, Co-Director, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway; Suzanne Egan, Lecturer, School of Law, University College Dublin; Dr Niamh Reilly, Senior Lecturer in Global Women’s Studies, School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway; Julie de Rivero, Geneva Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch; and Caoimhe de Barra, Head of International Department, Trócaire. Professor Ray Murphy, Co-Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway said: “The seminar will explore the challenges and opportunities presented by Ireland’s recent election to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The aim of the event is to address questions regarding the commitments made by Ireland during its election campaign, how Ireland can best contribute to the agenda of the Council, and the leadership role that Ireland can play in the promotion of human rights.” The Human Rights Council, which was established in 2006 by the UN General Assembly, is the most important UN body for the protection and promotion of human rights. The 47 member Council is an inter-governmental body within the UN system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the world and for addressing situations of human rights violations. The Council has a number of mechanisms at its disposal including Universal Periodic Review to assess human rights practices in member states, the Advisory Committee, which serves as the Council’s “think tank” providing it with expertise and advice on thematic human rights issues, and the Complaint Procedure, which allows individuals and organisations to bring human rights violations to the attention of the Council. To register for the seminar, or to view the programme, visit http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=203 For further information on the seminar contact Annabel Egan in the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway on 091 493946 or annabel.egan@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

A new research initiative has begun at NUI Galway to develop high-quality forestry products in Ireland using innovative engineering technologies. One of the first activities of the €0.5 million project is the creation of the first database to contain details of all the known properties of Irish-grown timber. Secondly, the research will attempt to re-engineer timber to produce products with enhanced strength and durability. The demand for increased use of sustainable materials in areas such as construction has led to a demand for innovative timber products, which can replace more traditional materials that have poor environmental performance. Dr Annette Harte, a senior lecturer in Civil Engineering and member of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, will lead the research into methods for engineering Irish timber to produce high-performance construction products. The project will utilise the latest technologies at the University’s timber research laboratory, which is the primary timber and engineered wood products testing facility in Ireland. Dr Harte will test the feasibility of using novel technologies such as cross-lamination and internal reinforcement of the timber components with fibre-reinforced polymer rods and plates to manufacture advanced construction products from Irish timber.  “This funding will help us to develop a world-class competence to exploit Ireland’s natural resource of wood. We aim to identify the potential for producing added-value timber products for construction applications from Irish timber resources. These products will allow Irish timber to be used in more demanding applications than before, such as long-span and multi-storey construction”, explains Dr Harte. The project is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine under the FIRM/RSF/COFORD scheme, and Queens University Belfast is a collaborating partner in the research, giving the results all-island impact. Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway added: “In the context of pressures on resources and the environment, innovation and resource efficiencies can go hand-in-hand with steady economic growth. Dr Harte’s work is helping to create better conditions for timber products and services that should have lower impacts across their life-cycles, and are durable, repairable and recyclable.” According to Dr Martina Prendergast, Strategic Development Manager of the Ryan Institute: “As a result of securing the significant grant from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine, we are in a much better position to attract European funding from the EU Horizon 2020 programme to develop high quality forestry products which will be recognised around the world.” -ends-

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The 8th annual Teddy Bear Hospital at NUI Galway will take place Thursday and Friday, 24 and 25 January. The event will see over 1,500 sick teddy bears admitted to the hospital, accompanied by their minders, 1,500 primary school children. The event is organised by the Sláinte Society, the NUI Galway branch of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations, and up to 200 medical and science students will diagnose and treat the teddy bears. In the process, they hope to help children, ranging in age from 3-8 years, feel more comfortable around doctors and hospitals. Over the years, children have come along with teddy bears suffering from an imaginative range of sore ears, sick tummies and all kinds of others weird and wonderful ailments. Henry Roberts, a second-year medical student at NUI Galway and co-organiser of Sláinte Society, said: “We have had unprecedented demand for Teddy Bear Hospital this year, and are delighted that so many teddies and their owners can be accommodated. This is one of the biggest community outreach programs in NUI Galway, and it always proves to be a fantastic day, not only for the children but also the students who volunteer!” This year, 26 local primary schools are participating in the event. On arrival at the Teddy Bear Hospital on campus, the children will go to the ‘waiting room’, which contains jugglers and face painters. Then the children and their teddy bears are seen by a team of Teddy Doctors and Teddy Nurses, who will examine them.  The students will have specially designed X-ray and MRI machines on hand, should the teddy bears need them. Those in need of minor surgery will be stitched up by members of the sewing society present on the day.  Recuperating teddy bears can avail of medical supplies from the Teddy Bear Pharmacy, stocked with healthy fruit from Total Produce, along with medical supplies from Matt O’Flaherty and Boots to help poor teddy recover. After all this excitement the children can enjoy a bouncy castle and visit an Order of Malta ambulance. Further support for the event has come from, among others, Abbott pharmaceuticals, MPS, Bons Secours and Leo Walsh pharmacy. Ríona Hughes, NUI Galway’s Societies Officer, said: “The Teddy Bear hospital is a wonderful opportunity for the students to engage in a meaningful way with the children in Galway City and County schools. It is one of the NUI Galway societies' most colourful and endearing community outreach programme and we are thrilled with its success. Congratulations to Sláinte Society who invite the children and their teddy bears on to campus for such a great reason and we look forward to a rewarding few days for all involved.” -ends-   Otharlann na mBéiríní á reáchtáil ag Mic Léinn OÉ Gaillimh Den ochtú bliain as a chéile, beidh Otharlann na mBéiríní, ar oscailt in OÉ Gaillimh, Déardaoin, an 24 agus Dé hAoine, an 25 Eanáir. Tiocfaidh breis agus 1,500 béirín tinn chun na hotharlainne lena bhfeighlithe, 1,500 páiste bunscoile. Is é an Cumann Sláinte, craobh OÉ Gaillimh de Chónaidhm Idirnáisiúnta Chumann na Mac Léinn Leighis, agus suas le 200 mac léinn leighis agus eolaíochta a bheidh ar láimh le scrúdú leighis a dhéanamh ar na béiríní agus le cóir leighis a chur orthu. Tá súil acu go gcuideoidh an ócáid le páistí, idir 3-8 mbliana d’aois, a bheith ar a suaimhneas nuair a bheidh siad ag an dochtúir nó san otharlann. Thar na blianta, thug páistí béiríní chuig an otharlann agus iad ag samhlú go raibh réimse leathan tinnis ag gabháil dóibh cosúil le cluasa tinne, boilg bhreoite agus gach cineál gearán eile faoin spéir. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Henry Roberts, mac léinn leighis sa dara bliain in OÉ Gaillimh agus comheagraí Chumann Sláinte: “Bhí an-éileamh ar Otharlann na mBéiríní i mbliana agus tá an-áthas orainn a bheith in ann freastal ar an oiread béiríní agus a n-úinéirí. Tá sé seo ar cheann de na cláir for-rochtana pobail is mó a reáchtálann OÉ Gaillimh agus bíonn lá iontach ann i gcónaí. Baineann na mic léinn an oiread sásaimh as an lá agus a bhaineann na gasúir!” I mbliana, tá 26 bunscoil áitiúil páirteach san ócáid. Nuair a thagann na páistí chuig Otharlann na mBéiríní ar an gcampas, rachaidh siad chuig an 'seomra feithimh', áit a mbeidh lámhchleasaithe agus maisitheoirí aghaidheanna ag fanacht orthu. Ansin buailfidh na páistí agus na béiríní le foireann de Dhochtúirí Béiríní agus d’Altraí Béiríní a chuirfidh scrúdú leighis orthu.  Beidh meaisíní speisialta X-gha agus MRI ag na mic léinn ar fhaitíos go mbeidís ag teastáil ó na béiríní. Gheobhaidh na béiríní a dteastóidh obráid bheag uathu a gcuid greamanna ón gcumann fuála ar an lá.  Beidh Cógaslann Béiríní ann chomh maith, agus beidh torthaí sláintiúla ó Total Produce ann mar aon le soláthairtí leighis ó Chógaslann Matt O’Flaherty agus Boots le cóir leighis a chur ar na béiríní. Nuair a bheidh an méid sin curtha díobh acu féadfaidh na gasúir ama a chaitheamh ar phreabchaisleán agus cuairt a thabhairt ar otharcharr Ord Mhálta. Tá tacaíocht tugtha don ócáid chomh maith ag Abbott Pharmaceuticals, MPS, Bons Secours agus cógaslann Leo Walsh i measc daoine eile. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Ríona Hughes, Oifigeach na gCumann in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is iontach an deis Otharlann na mBéiríní do mhic léinn casadh le gasúir ó scoileanna na Cathrach agus an Chontae. Tá sé ar cheann de na cláir for-rochtana pobail is deise agus is spraíúla ag cumainn OÉ Gaillimh agus táimid an-bhródúil as chomh maith agus a éiríonn leis an ócáid. Comhghairdeas leis an gCumann Sláinte a thugann cuireadh do na gasúir agus a gcuid béiríní ar an gcampas d’ócáid chomh hiontach leis agus tá súil againn go mbainfidh gach a mbeidh páirteach an-sult as an gcúpla lá seo.” -críoch-

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

A public forum focussed on organ donation and ongoing research in this area will be held at the Westside Library in Galway on Wednesday, 23 January, from 6-7.30pm.  The public forum will ask how research is contributing to tackle the problem of the imbalance between the numbers organs available for transplant and the numbers of patients on waiting lists. For example, there have been recent advances in immunology science which may improve the chances of successful transplants. Participants include Phyllis Cunningham, National Kidney Transplant Co-ordinator at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Clinician and Professor of Transplant Biology Matthew Griffin of REMEDI at NUI Galway and Martina Goggin, the mother of an organ donor and Co-Founder of the Strange Boat Donor Foundation. Topics that will be discussed include the impact of kidney disease on individual people and communities, the contributions that organ donors make to Irish society and the role that research can play in reducing the health burden of kidney disease in the future. A question and answer session will follow.  This event is part of a Health Research Board (HRB) Knowledge, Education and Dissemination scheme dedicated to create opportunities for dialogue surrounding Professor Griffin’s research on kidney health and disease. Professor Griffin works with the Regenerative Medicine Institute at NUI Galway, and is particularly focussed on immunology related to kidney disease and transplantation. The evening will be of particular interest to those considering donating their organs and individuals and families affected by kidney disease or requiring a transplant. -ends-

Thursday, 17 January 2013

NUI Galway Drama Students Get in on the Act Theatrecorp's seventh classic production, William Shakespeare’sMeasure For Measure, will run from 29 January to 2 February in the Black Box Theatre. The play is directed by Max Hafler, a teacher on the Drama programmes at NUI Galway. This play is rarely seen in the West of Ireland and Drama students from the University get to see first-hand behind the scenes of such a production, while some current students and recent graduates have secured performing roles in the production. The play will be presented in raw ensemble style, which is a style the company embraced in many of its previous productions. Max Hafler, his cast and design team will be utilising a specific acting technique in rehearsal, the Chekhov Technique, to explore and work on the text. Max Hafler, who has trained with the renowned Michael Chekhov Association in the US, has been working with actors extensively in this technique.   Measure For Measure issupported by NUI Galway and as part of the University’s relationship with the company, Theatrecorp provide several placement opportunities for performers and technical crew from the BA in Drama and Theatre Programme, with NUI Galway students also working on the production. In addition, Measure For Measure is being taught to second-year English students, providing an invaluable teaching resource for the University, with a post-show talk on the production. Dr Patrick Lonergan, Head of Drama Programmes at NUI Galway, said: “Max Hafler is a long-serving teacher on our Drama programmes here at NUI Galway, and has done a huge amount to prepare the next generation of Galway actors, directors, and theatre audiences. For that reason, we are particularly delighted to be able to support this production, which will greatly aid our students' appreciation of one of Shakespeare's most challenging plays. This TheatreCorp production promises to be of interest to everyone who loves theatre in this city: it will, as ever, be visually inventive, thematically rich, and superbly well acted. We're looking forward to it immensely.” Actress and NUI Galway teacher Sarah O’Toole plays Isabella, current student Darragh O’Brien and MA in Drama graduate Emmet Byrne are also acting, and students Muireann Ní Raghaillaigh and Lane Jackson work on the technical team. Measure for Measure is supported by NUI Galway, the Town Hall Theatre and Galway City Council. Tickets for Measure for Measure can be purchased from the Town Hall Theatre at 091 569777 or visit www.tht.ie, or on the door at the Black Box.  -ENDS-

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Wednesday, 30 January - Friday, 1 February Public invited to keynote lecture by Tony Juniper, top international environmentalist and author of the new book ‘What has Nature ever done for us?’ Over 300 researchers will gather in NUI Galway on 30 January for a three-day conference called ENVIRON2013. The theme of the conference is ‘Environment: From Ecosystem Functioning to Human Health’. “Human health and wellbeing is achieved and maintained through our interactions with the world around us. Clean air, clean drinking water, safe food, good quality soils, and smart land use are essential elements in achieving good health and wellbeing”, according to Dr Martina Prendergast, convenor of ENVIRON2013 and Strategic Development Manager of the Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research at NUI Galway. “This year we have included five activities of the conference that are open and free to the general public. Those interested in issues such as the future of energy usage in Ireland, air pollution, or how nature can benefit health, are welcome to come along and join us for the public sessions,” added Dr Prendergast. The conference will challenge delegates to consider how their research can contribute to providing a healthier planet and thereby a healthier society. The event is the 23rd Irish Environmental Researchers’ Colloquium, and is co-hosted by the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway in association with the Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland (ESAI). Free events open to the public While access to the main conference is subject to a delegate fee, ENVIRON2013 will feature five free events open to the general public. These will include a public debate, a keynote address by environmentalist Tony Juniper, a career exhibition, a memorial lecture and a photography and art exhibition. Public Debate: A Q&A style panel debate on the topic of ‘Securing Ireland’s Energy Future’ will take place onWednesday, 30 January, from 8-10pm in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway and will be preceded at 7.30pm by refreshments. Duncan Stewart, presenter of the RTÉ programme Eco Eye will moderate the debate which will cover a wide array of topics such as energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, CO2 emissions, power, heat, transport, fuel imports/energy security, and the creation of energy-related jobs. Members of the six-person panel include: Eamon Ryan, Leader of the Green Party and former Minister for Energy, Communications and Natural Resources; Colm deBurca, Manager of Ocean Energy at ESB International; Pat Swords, Engineer and Environmental Campaigner; Brian Barrett, Senior Executive with Galway County Council; Emeritus Professor Phillip Walton, Physicist and member of the Irish pro-nuclear lobby group BENE (Better Environment with Nuclear Energy); and Dr Eimear Cotter, Senior Manager with EPA’s Climate Change and Environmental Research Unit. Keynote Lecture: The keynote lecture on Thursday, 31January will be delivered at 9.30am by Tony Juniper who is one of the top ten international environmental figures of the last 30 years and who has a new book out this month called ‘What has Nature ever done for us?’ He will speak about ‘Nature for Health - Opportunities for People and the Environment’. Tony Juniper is a British campaigner, writer, sustainability advisor and leading environmentalist recognised among other activities for his work as Executive Director of Friends of the Earth, England, Wales and Northern Ireland and as Vice-Chair of Friends of the Earth International from 2000-2008. Career Expo: The conference will feature the ‘ENVIRON Career Expo and CV advice shop’. Attendees will meet representatives from NGOs, environmental consultancies, research institutes, and semi-state bodies who are all actively recruiting positions. Attendees can discuss job opportunities, internships, post-doctorate and PhD programmes, and receive free expert career advice. All members of the public are welcome to bring along their CVs. The career expo takes place in the foyer of the Bailey Allen Hall on Thursday, 31 January, from 1-5pm. Memorial Lecture: Professor S. Gerard Jennings, Emeritus Professor of Experimental Physics and former Director of the Environmental Change Institute at NUI Galway will deliver a lecture remembering the former Professor of Physics, Tom O’Connor (RIP), who passed away in November 2012. The late Professor O’Connor dedicated decades of his career to making important contributions to the fields of atmospheric physics, aerosol science, occupational hygiene, and the history of science. In what was a prolific career, he was instrumental in the setting up of the Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station, located on the west coast near Carna, Co. Galway. Since he took the first readings at Mace Head in 1958 it has grown to become one of the most important sites for atmospheric research in the Northern hemisphere, with its data used by climatologists and modellers around the world to predict global climate change. Photography and Art Exhibition: Throughout the conference, a photography exhibition in the foyer of the Bailey Allen Hall will feature entries received for the ENVIRON 2013 photography competition. In addition, the French artist, Francois Gunning, will have an exhibition of 20 of his pieces on display during the Thursday and Friday of the conference. Francois paints pictures and builds sculptures using recycled materials and plastic debris found on the sea shore and along the coast on beaches.   To find out full details and access a schedule for all events associated with this conference, visit http://www.esaiweb.org/environ/public-event/ -ends-

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Maeve Mulrennan, Head of Visual Arts, Galway Arts Centre, today (Wednesday, 16 January) launched the 13th annual NUI Galway Arts Festival programme, Múscailt. The Festival, which runs from 4-8 February, contains a superb programme of art, music, performance, dance, literature and film revolving around this year’s theme of ‘Merriment and What Not’. This year's festival hosts an array of international, national and local artists including special guest, Mario Pirovano, who will perform ‘Francis the Holy Jester’ written by nobel-prize winner Dario Fo. Mario is the only actor that Dario Fo has permitted to perform this piece. Triko Cirkus Teatar (Best Independent Theatre Company in Croatia in 2012) will bring their hit show ‘Slavuj/Nightingale/Rossigno, including four theatre clowns in the style of Jacques LeCoq and three musicians, directed by Lee DeLong. This is their only show in Ireland. New work is a very important feature of each Múscailt Festival and artist Conor Gallagher will install ‘Channels’, an ambitious, mixed media show where original paintings and driftwood sculptures meet. The foyer of the Bank of Ireland Student Theatre will house new installations and art objects by Nick Hitchcox, Maria Hitchcox and Hannah O’Reilly, and Robin Jones will blur the distinction between drawing and sculpture in his outdoor ‘Temporary Work’. Artsoc will present their annual show in Áras na Mac Léinn and the duo of art student Paul Kearney and local artist, Podge Daly, will exhibit new oil paintings entitled ‘Reflections & Fragments’ in the University Art Gallery. Nick Danziger, international photographer and film-maker and Adjunct Professor at the NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film & Digital Media and the Irish Centre for Human Rights, will display ‘The British’, a collection of photographs of Great Britain in the 1990s. Closer to home, Women’s ID Project, portrays women in their lives and communities in the Westside and Ballybane in Galway.  New band Immis, Una Ní Fhlannagáin, Brewen Favrau and Ger Chambers, on harp, pipes and accordion will delight and inspire with music full of soul and drive. Chorchestrad’s performance on the opening night of Múscailt promises to be a highlight. After a spectacular experiment last year, the three societies, the NUI Galway Orchestra, Choral Soc and Trad Soc will join forces again on newly selected material. Traditional music will also feature with performances from students of the Dioplóma sna Dána (Cóiriú agus Stáitsiú an Cheoil Thraidisiúnta). The Witless Band Competition Final will take place in the Student Union Bar on Tuesday, 5 February. Live artist, Áine Phillips, will perform ‘Spectral’, with sound by Trevor Knight, and will also deliver the opening address at a one-day seminar on interdisciplinary artistic collaboration, entitled ‘All Collaborators will be shot’. During the seminar professional artists and collaborators will give presentations, and the public are invited to join proceedings.  Galway University Musical Society (GUMS) will perform the rock opera, ‘RENT’, with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, based on Puccini’s opera La Bohéme in the Black Box, from 5-9 February. ‘RENT’ tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York’s Lower East Side, finding their voices and living for today.   Múscailt hosts the premiere of new performances including ‘Glowpunk’, written and performed by Frank Cronin, a student who has been living in a tent on campus since September and is a distillation of his experiences. Local artists Esti Siles, Judith Bernhardt and Helen Caird will perform ‘MOVE’, a new dance meets painting performance. SOLO SHOW will showcase seven original ‘five-minute monologues’ by NUI Galway’s students and staff and the Colours Theatre Company premieres a new one-man show ‘The Statue’. President Jim Browne extends an open invitation to the public to attend the ‘The Galway Music Residency-NUI Galway Sponsor’s Concert’, at 1pm on Thursday, 7 February in the Bailey Allen Hall. The specially chosen programme ‘A brief history of classical music from Bach to Beatles’ includes ‘The Arrival of Queen of Sheba’ by George Friedrich Handel, ‘Meditation’ by Jules Massenet and ‘Rag Tim’ by Scott Joplin, all performed by Galway Ensemble-in-Residence, ConTempo Quartet, in association with NUI Galway’s Arts in Action programme. Literature today can take many forms as will be revealed when current staff and alumni read from their latest ‘exploits’ in writing and the Writers Society will present an evening of new student writing. This year new artwork created on-site at NUI Galway will include: a large-scale original photographic work for Áras Moyola by local photographer Aengus McMahon; exhibits by painting and drawing classes on the balcony of Áras na Mac Léinn; new work by artist Marina Wild in DERI ‘Art’ Café; and a revamp of the Yarn Bomb Sculpture by NUI Galway Knitting and Crochet Group. Commenting on this year's line up, Fionnuala Gallagher, NUI Galway Arts Officer said: “Our theme this year, ‘Merriment and What Not’, comes courtesy of Eyeore in Winnie-the-Pooh, and encourages the creative act that bursts forth with unexpected results. Everyone is welcome to participate.” All exhibitions are open Monday to Friday and open to the public, with many of the events free to attend. For further information, or for a copy of the programme, visit www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie or contact the Arts Office at 493766 or 495098. Tickets for events will be available from the Socsbox at 091 492852 or socsbox@socs.nuigalway.ie. RENT tickets are also available from Town Hall Theatre www.tht.ie or 569777. -Ends-   13ú Féile Múscailt in OÉ Gaillimh le Téama Cruthaitheach Sheol Maeve Mulrennan, Ceannaire na dTaibh-Ealaíon in Ionad Ealaíon na Gaillimhe, an clár do 13ú féile ealaíon bhliantúil OÉ Gaillimh, Múscailt, inniu (Dé Céadaoin, an 16 Eanáir). Beidh an Fhéile ar siúl 4-8 Feabhra, agus tá clár iontach ealaíon, ceoil, léirithe, damhsa, litríochta agus scannánaíochta geallta. Is é téama na bliana seo ‘Merriment and What Not’. Tá ealaíontóirí idirnáisiúnta, náisiúnta agus áitiúla ar chlár na bliana seo agus an t-aoi speisialta, Mario Pirovano, a léireoidh ‘Francis the Holy Jester’ scríofa ag Dario Fo a bhuaigh duais nobel. Is é Mario an t-aon aisteoir ar lig Dario Fo dó a shaothar a léiriú. Tabharfaidh Triko Cirkus Teatar (An Compántas Neamhspleách is fearr sa Chróit in 2012) a seó cáiliúil ‘Slavuj/Nightingale/Rossignol’, go hÉirinn. Beidh ceathrar bobaide amharclainne i stíl Jacques LeCoq agus triúr ceoltóirí, faoi stiúir Lee DeLong sa seó. Is é seo an t-aon seó acu in Éirinn. Gné an-tábhachtach den Fhéile Múscailt gach bliain saothair nua agus cuirfidh an t-ealaíontóir Conor Gallagher an seó ‘Channels’ ar taispeáint. Seó ilmheáin, uaillmhianach measctha é seo a thugann bunphéintéireacht le chéile le dealbhóireacht adhmaid raice. Ar taispeáint i bhforhalla Amharclann Bhanc na hÉireann beidh saothair nua le Nick Hitchcox, Maria Hitchcox agus Hannah O’Reilly, agus beidh saothar taobh amuigh ag Robin Jones dar teideal ‘Temporary Work’ atá idir líníocht agus dealbhóireacht. Cuirfidh Artsoc a seó bliantúil i láthair in Áras na Mac Léinn agus beidh taispeántas olaphictiúr ag an mac léinn ealaíne, Paul Kearney, agus an t-ealaíontóir áitiúil, Podge Daly, dar teideal ‘Reflections & Fragments’ le feiceáil i nDánlann na hOllscoile. Cuirfidh Nick Danziger, grianghrafadóir idirnáisiúnta agus scannánóir agus Ollamh Cúnta i Scoil Scannán & Meán Digiteach Huston agus san Ionad Éireannach um Chearta an Duine in OÉ Gaillimh ‘The British’ ar taispeáint, bailiúchán grianghraf as an mBreatain sna 1990idí. Níos gaire de bhaile, léireoidh Women’s ID Project, saol agus pobal na mban ar an Taobh Thiar agus sa Bhaile Bán i nGaillimh.  Bainfidh daoine an-sult as an mbanna nua Immis, Una Ní Fhlannagáin, Brewen Favrau agus Ger Chambers, ar an gcláirseach, ar an bhfeadán agus ar an gcairdín. Is cinnte go mbeidh Chorchestrad ina bhuaicphointe an chéad oíche de Mhúscailt. Turgnamh a bhí anseo anuraidh ar éirigh go hiontach leis agus tiocfaidh na trí chumann, Ceolfhoireann OÉ Gaillimh, an Cumann Córúil agus an Cumann Traidisiúnta le chéile arís i mbliana le hábhar nua. Beidh ceolchoirm lóin á reáchtáil ag mic léinn an Dioplóma sna Dána-Cóiriú & Stáitsiú an Cheoil Thraidisiúnta. Beidh craobhchomórtas na mBannaí Witless ar siúl i mBeár Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn Dé Máirt, an 5 Feabhra. Léireoidh an t-ealaíontóir beo, Aine Phillips, ‘Spectral’, fuaim le Trevor Knight, agus tabharfaidh sí an chéad léacht ag seimineár lae ar comhpháirtíocht idirdhisciplíneach ealaíne, dar teideal ‘All Collaborators will be shot’. I rith an tseimineáir, beidh ealaíontóirí gairmiúla agus a gcomhpháirtithe i mbun oibre agus tugtar cuireadh don phobal a bheith páirteach.  Cuirfidh Cumann Ceoldrámaíochta Ollscoil na Gaillimhe (GUMS) an ceoldráma rac, ‘RENT’ ar stáitse, le ceol agus liricí le Jonathan Larson, bunaithe ar cheoldráma Puccini, La Bohéme, ó 5-9 Feabhra. Insíonn ‘RENT’ scéal grúpa ealaíontóirí agus ceoltóirí óga bochta atá ag iarraidh maireachtáil agus a bheith cruthaitheach i Nua Eabhrac, agus iad ar thóir a nguth agus ag baint suilt as an saol.  Léireofar den chéad uair riamh saothair nua cosúil le ‘Glowpunk’ i rith Múscailt, scríofa agus léirithe ag Frank Cronin, mac léinn atá ina chónaí i bpuball ar an gcampas ó Mheán Fómhair. Is cur síos atá sa saothar ar a thaithí. Léireoidh na healaíontóirí áitiúla Esti Siles, Judith Bernhardt agus Helen Caird ‘MOVE’, damhsa nua measctha le péinteáil. Is éard is SOLO SHOW ann seacht ‘monalóg cúig nóiméad’ le mic léinn agus comhaltaí foirne OÉ Gaillimh agus den chéad uair riamh léireoidh Colours Theatre Company an seó aonair ‘The Statue’.  Ba mhaith leis an Uachtarán Jim Browne cuireadh oscailte a thabhairt don phobal freastal ar Cheol Cónaitheach na Gaillimhe - Ceolchoirm Urraitheoirí OÉ Gaillimh, ag 1pm Déardaoin, an 7 Feabhra i Halla Bailey Allen. Sa chlár seo a cuireadh le chéile go speisialta ‘A brief history of classical music from Bach to Beatles’ beidh ‘The Arrival of Queen of Sheba’ le George Friedrich Handel, ‘Meditation’ le Jules Massenet agus ‘Rag Time’ le Scott Joplin. Is iad Ensemble Cónaithe na Gaillimhe, ConTempo Quartet, i gcomhar le clár na nEalaíon Cruthaitheach in OÉ Gaillimh a bheidh i mbun siamsaíochta. Is iomaí crutha a bhíonn ar litríocht sa lá atá inniu ann mar a bheidh le feiceáil nuair a léifidh comhaltaí foirne agus alumni a saothar scríofa is deireanaí agus cuirfidh Cumann na Scríbhneoirí tráthnóna scríbhneoireachta nua na mac léinn i láthair. I mbliana, i measc na n-ealaíon nua a cruthaíodh ar an láthair in OÉ Gaillimh tá: saothar ollmhór grianghraf d’Áras Mhaighe Seola leis an ealaíontóir áitiúil Aengus McMahon; taispeántais péintéireachta agus líníochta ar an mbalcóin in Áras na Mac Léinn; saothar nua leis an ealaíontóir Marina Wild sa chaife ‘Art’ in DERI; agus athchóiriú iomlán nua ar an mBuama Snátha a rinne Grúpa Cniotála agus Cróise OÉ Gaillimh. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Fionnuala Gallagher, Oifigeach Ealaíon OÉ Gaillimh, faoi chlár na bliana seo: “Thógamar téama na bliana seo, ‘Merriment and What Not’, ó Eyeore in Winnie-the-Pooh, mar go spreagann sé an chruthaitheacht agus is as sin a eascraíonn torthaí nach bhfuil súil leo. Tá fáilte roimh chách a bheith páirteach.” Tá gach taispeántas oscailte Luan go hAoine don phobal, agus tá go leor de na himeachtaí saor in aisce. Tá eolas breise agus cóip den chlár le fáil ar www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie nó téigh i dteagmháil leis an Oifig Ealaíon ar 493766 nó 495098. Beidh ticéid do na himeachtaí ar fáil ón Socsbox ag 091 492852 nó socsbox@socs.nuigalway.ie. Tá ticéid RENT ar fáil ó Amharclann na Cathrach chomh maith www.tht.ie nó 569777. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Due to demand NUI Galway has announced the re-opening of a computer training initiative, ‘Click and Connect’, aimed at people categorised as digitally excluded. NUI Galway, working in partnership with Limerick Community Connect, DCU and Age Action Ireland, will deliver basic computer training to 40 more people from 29 January. ‘Click and Connect’ will be delivered by the Discipline of Information Technology at NUI Galway and this free initiative is funded by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. Experienced tutors will introduce learners to the very basics of computers and teach them computer activities such as: surfing the web, setting up and using email, how to download photographs, how to access Government information on-line. Classes will be small and will be carried out in local, non-formal learning settings. Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “There are thousands of people living in Ireland today who have been left behind when it comes to the internet. Older people will particularly benefit, as will unemployed people and disadvantaged groups in the Galway region. These people miss out on opportunities most people take for granted.  For example, those not yet online cannot send emails, do internet searches for products or information, or conduct Government transactions online.” NUI Galway has designed training material suitable for beginners, with plenty of support and encouragement from the volunteer tutors. The training provided will be very basic and is intended as practical guidance for people with no prior experience of computers and the internet. Classes will be just two hours duration over three consecutive weeks and are a great opportunity to be part of this amazing digital world. If you would like more information on NUI Galway’s ‘Click and Connect’, or to register for the classes, please contact the co-ordinator David English in NUI Galway’s Discipline of Information Technology at 087 0571967. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Is cúis mhór áthais é d’Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh OÉ Gaillimh go bhfuil Joe John Mac an Iomaire ceaptha mar Amhránaí Cónaitheach Sean-nóis i mbliana. Is as Ros Dugáin, Cill Chiaráin, Joe agus is cuimhin leis a mháthair bheith ag gabháil fhoinn agus é ina leaid óg.  I dtithe cuartaíochta ar nós thigh Sheáinín Choilmín a fuair sé go leor dá chuid amhrán ina dhiaidh sin. Tá guth glan binn ag Joe John is tá a stíl amhránaíochta préamhaithe i dtraidisiún a cheantair féin.  I measc na n-amhrán is mó atá luaite leis, tá ‘An Droighneán Donn’ agus ‘Bean a’ Leanna’ a chan sé ar an gclár teilfíse Amhrán is Ansa Liom. Tá ‘Caoineadh na dTrí Mhuire’ i measc na n-amhrán is ansa leis chomh maith agus canann sé gach bliain é ag an bpátrún a bhíonn ar siúl ag Máméan i mí Lúnasa. Tá Corn Uí Riada buaite faoi dhó ag Joe (1975, 1977), agus Comórtas na bhFear ag an Oireachtas (1968, 1978) agus is minic ó shin e ag canadh ag féilte in Éirinn agus thar lear, go mórmhór i mBoston mar aoi speisialta de chuid  Chonradh na Gaeilge sa chathair sin. Beidh sraith ceardlann á reachtáil ag Joe John san Ollscoil agus in áiteanna eile san Earrach agus arís sa bhFómhar agus beidh a chuid amhrán á dtaifeadadh aige don gcartlann sean-nóis atá á cur le chéile le blianta beaga anuas ag Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh. Cuirfear tús leis na ceardlanna i seomra seimineáir an Ionaid ar Bhóthar na Drioglainne ar an 13Feabhra. Tá na ceardlanna saor in aisce agus fáilte roimh éinne a bhfuil spéis aige/aici san amhránaíocht. Is iad Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta, An Chomhairle Ealaíon agus Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh OÉ Gaillimh a mhaoiníonn an tionscnamh seo. CRÍOCH   New Sean-nós Singer in Residence at Centre for Irish Studies The Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway is delighted to announce the appointment of Joe John Mac an Iomaire as Sean-nós Singer in Residence for 2013. The appointment of Joe John recognises his importance in the rich singing tradition of Connemara and the West of Ireland. A native of Ros Dugáin, Cill Chíaráin, Joe John remembers his mother singing from a young age, but learned much of his singing from the time-honoured practice of ‘cuartaíocht’ at houses such as that of Seainín Choilmín.  Like many of his contemporaries, Joe John’s singing is firmly rooted in the repertoire and style of his locale.  His voice is instantly recognisable for its sweetness of tone and distinct delivery, and his renditions of ‘An Droighneán Donn’ and ‘Bean a Leanna’ are among his signature performances which featured in TG4’s recent Amhrán is Ansa Liom.  ‘Caoineadh na dTrí Mhuire’ is also a favourite and he makes the annual pilgrimage to Maméan each August to sing it as part of the revived pattern there.  Joe John won Corn Uí Riada on two occasions (1975 and 1977), and he was also successful in Comórtas na bhFear at An tOireachtas in 1968 and again in 1978.  He has been invited to sing at festivals throughout Ireland, and indeed, has been a favoured guest of Conradh na Gaeilge in Boston on many occasions.  During his residency, Joe John will participate in a series of performances and workshops at the Centre for Irish Studies and other venues in Galway.  A selection of his repertoire will also be recorded to deposit in the Sean-Nós Archive at the Centre for Irish Studies. The Sean-nós singing workshops at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway will commence on the 13th of February 2013 and are free of charge and open to all. This project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and An Chomhairle Ealaíon in association with the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. ENDS

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

NUI Galway is delighted to announce that its Energy Management System (EnMS) has been awarded certification by CICS Global (UK) for compliance with the International Energy Management Standard ISO 50001:2011. NUI Galway is only the second university in Ireland to achieve this standard. Energy is one of the biggest recurring costs NUI Galway face annually. The implementation of an energy management system will not only help to manage and monitor energy consumption, but also to reduce it. This maximizes energy efficiency and reduces annual energy consumption and resulting expenditure on critical utilities. Savings made in this way will help to fund ongoing expenditure in other energy reduction programs and to invest in new energy efficient technologies. NUI Galway’s Buildings Services Engineering Manager, Noel O’ Connor says: “We implemented an innovative Energy Management System model that achieved the ISO 50001 standard within three months and this success was built on the skills and dedication of a small team of staff, and on investments by the Buildings Office in technical systems and energy metering “Whilst there are many innovative features throughout the University’s Energy Management System model, the two unique to NUI Galway include: The incorporation of the Display Energy Certificate rating system as a management tool allowing comparative performance rating of mixed use and multiple buildings of various fabric standards, occupancies and applications. The introduction of an incentive scheme where financial savings achieved through energy reduction are reinvested back into the Department/Unit responsible for those savings. These reinvestments are ‘ring fenced’ and are a powerful incentive to continue reducing energy consumption.” NUI Galway has an annual replacement program for existing building stock to install energy efficient lighting, heating, ventilation and cooling systems. The capital building program is heavily influenced by a focus and philosophy of improving the energy efficiency of buildings, beyond present day regulations and planning standards.  A case in point is the newly opened Engineering Building. The building contains a wide- range of renewable energy, and energy saving technologies such as Biomass heating, solar thermal hot water heating rainwater harvesting, combined heat and power (CHP) plant, , LED lighting, insulation and glazing properties in excess of planning requirements, and  low-embodied energy materials in its construction. ISO standards make a positive contribution to the world we live in facilitating trade, spread knowledge, disseminate innovative advances in technology, and share good management and conformity assessment practices. ISO 50001 is based on the management system model that is already understood and implemented by organisations worldwide. It can make a positive difference for organisations of all types in the very near future, while supporting longer term efforts for improved energy technologies. ENDS

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Students from across Connacht who received an A in Junior Certificate Honours Business Studies, were presented with Certificates of Achievement from the College of Business, Public Policy and Law, NUI Galway recently. The presentations, in association with the Business Studies Teachers Association of Ireland (BSTAI), were made at a special ceremony at the University which included teachers and parents. This is the third year NUI Galway has presented these awards and 260 students received recognition for their achievement at the ceremony. The certificates were awarded to students from over 55 individual schools throughout the counties of Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo. Presenting the certificates to each individual winner, NUI Galway’s Registrar and Vice-President, Professor Nollaig MacCongáil said: “NUI Galway’s international success is built on a strong and enduring relationship with its hinterland and therefore we see these awards as very important. I congratulate all the students on their achievement and also the work of teachers in helping students achieve their potential. I hope I will also have the pleasure of meeting many of these students again in NUI Galway in the future on one of our business or commerce programmes.”  Jennie Harrington, President, BSTAI said “The BSTAI is delighted to continue its partnership with NUI Galway in hosting this ceremony which celebrates and recognises academic excellence in Business Studies at a young age. I am confident many of today’s award recipients will build successful careers in the business world.” ENDS

Monday, 28 January 2013

President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne On behalf of NUI Galway and the university community, I extend sincere condolences to the family and friends of Éamon de Buitléar.  Éamon de Buitléar was an outstanding figure of modern Ireland.  An exceptional film-maker, a committed environmentalist, a public intellectual, author, musician and member of Seanad Éireann - he was a man of many parts and a man whose contribution to Irish society has enriched the lives of many generations. Most of us can recall Éamon’s passion for the Irish environment, brought to life through his books and television progammes.  His enduring legacy will be a sense of respect for the landscape and heritage of Ireland, along with a joyful enthusiasm for the culture and traditions of our nation. We in NUI Galway are deeply honored by our association with Éamon de Buitléar.  His decision to donate his rich multi-media, bi-lingual archive to the University will mean that his lifetime’s work of creativity and advocacy will be held in trust here for the nation and for generations of scholars.  We are proud to have been entrusted with that task. As dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.   Aitheasc Ómóis an Uachtaráin d’Éamon de Buitléar Thar ceann Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh agus chomhluadar na hOllscoile, déanaim comhbhrón ó chroí le muintir agus le cairde Éamoin de Buitléar. Duine as an ngnáth ar fad i saol comhaimseartha na hÉireann a bhí in Éamon de Buitléar.  Bhain sé barr feabhais agus cáil amach mar fhear déanta scannán, mar fhear ar chás leis cothú na timpeallachta, mar intleachtóir poiblí, mar údar, mar cheoltóir agus mar bhall de Sheanad Éireann – fear ildánach iltréitheach a bhí ann a shaibhrigh sochaí na hÉireann thar bhlianta fada ar an iliomad dóigh. Is cuimhin lenár mbunús an cion mór a bhí ag Éamon ar thimpeallacht na hÉireann a léiríodh trína chuid leabhar agus clár teilifíse. Mairfidh tionchar agus lorg Éamoin go ceann i bhfad sa mheas breise a bheas ag daoine ar thírdhreach agus ar oidhreacht na hÉireann agus sa spéis ghliondrach bhreise a chuirfear i gcultúr agus i dtraidisiúin na tíre seo. Tá idir bhród agus áthas orainn in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh as ár gceangal le hÉamon de Buitléar. Nuair a chinn sé ar a aircív shaibhir ilmheán dhátheangach a bhronnadh ar an Ollscoil, chinntigh sé lena linn sin go mbeadh a shaothar saoil i réimse na cruthaitheachta agus na bolscaireachta poiblí   i dtaisce go sábháilte agus ar fáil feasta don náisiún agus don lucht léinn. Tá bród orainn gur leag sé an cúram sin orainn. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Participants needed for new study As the build-up to Valentine’s Day begins, for one NUI Galway researcher it’s an opportunity to ask the over sixties to tell her about love. Kate Burke, a doctoral student at NUI Galway, wants to examine the importance of romantic relationships for people over the age of 60. She has created a questionnaire and ideally needs around 200 people to participate. Apart from being over 60, participants should also either be in a romantic relationship or have been in a relationship within the last 10 years. “We are hoping to identify the most important elements of successful romantic relationships, and how these factors influence one another”, explains Kate, who is a Trainee Clinical Psychologist and carrying out her research under the supervision of Dr Michael Hogan, Lecturer in Psychology at NUI Galway. Successful romantic relationships are recognised as being beneficial for psychological wellbeing and physical health. Communication, intimacy, sex and love have been found to be important in relationship satisfaction, however this research is usually completed with younger couples. “Older adults are largely neglected when it comes to this kind of research”, says Kate, “with the focus being on younger people and newlyweds. However, I think older people have a lot of experience and can offer a different perspective that younger people can’t.” In order to create the survey, Kate has already carried out some in-depth research with a group of younger people, and older people. Using what’s known as collective intelligence methodology, Kate was able to establish some stark differences between the focus groups. “So far, in testing this research area, we think that older people see honesty as being the fundamental driver of all other elements of successful romantic relationships. Honesty is an interesting concept as it involves self-disclosure and risks putting an individual in a vulnerable position, and yet the ability to disclose honestly can facilitate a deeper level of intimacy in the relationship. The older adult group were able to draw on their experience and recognise honesty as critical to the long-term success of romantic relationships.” For younger adults, communication and trust significantly enhance all elements of relationship success. Older adults also acknowledged the importance of communication and both younger and older adults identified intimacy as an important component of relationship success. However, there were also differences in the elements of relationship success identified by younger and older adults.  Specifically, older adults argued for the importance of religion, companionship, and respect, whereas younger adults argued for the importance of attraction, compatibility and love. “The survey will hopefully build on our previous findings and provide some statistical information about this interesting topic, allowing us to learn more about what’s important in loving relationships for older people. The survey itself is a series of tick box questions, and hopefully should only take people half an hour to fill out. It would be great if people could share their experience with us.” Those who wish to participate in the online study should log onto https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MBNJ9CL Participants can also complete the survey in paper format by contacting Kate on 0879451299 or kateburke85@gmail.com. All participants’ data will be kept confidential with no identifying information attached to the questionnaires. -ends-

Monday, 28 January 2013

Biomaterials for human tissue engineering, drug delivery applications, dental and bone fillers, and wound dressings   A new generation of ‘green’ biomaterials are to be sourced from the Atlantic Ocean by a team of scientists across Europe. As part of the project, two research groups based at the National University of Ireland Galway have received funding of over €0.5 millioneuro to investigate the potential use of such marine materials for applications in the biomedical industry. The University’s Irish Seaweed Research Group (ISRG) and the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) will work on the two-year project which has a total of ten partners from France, Portugal, Spain, the UK and Ireland. The primary focus of the project is to research and develop new products and applications with particular emphasis on the development of biomaterials for human tissue engineering, drug delivery applications, dental and bone fillers, and wound dressings. Galway is a global manufacturing and research hub for medical devices and its coastal location has given rise to the highest concentration of marine scientists of any area in Ireland. By bringing together two of the most widely recognised research fields in the region, the project has the potential to lead the way in the discovery of the next generation of ‘green’ biomaterials. The project, ‘MARMED’ is funded to the tune of €2,066,765 in total, under the Atlantic Area Translational Programme 2007-2013. Led by the University of Minho in Portugal, it aims to find economic and societal value from marine resources, marine sub-products and by-products. Behind this initiative is the drive for the sustainable use of natural resources as well as the growing realisation that the oceans possess a wealth of opportunities for marine derived medicines. Marine resources and by-products yield materials and compounds with biomedical efficacy. Many of these compounds have been isolated but only a few have reached clinical trials and the pharmaceutical market. The universities and institutes involved in this project will work closely with industrial partners involved in the marine-related and biomedical device sectors to demonstrate proof-of-concept and the added-value and high-potential of these materials in biomedical applications. Professor Abhay Pandit is Director of the NFB at the National University of Ireland Galway, and this EU grant brings to seven the number of EU projects which the Science Foundation Ireland-funded group is involved: “Marine materials have only barely been explored and their use in a biomedical context is quite an innovative approach. There are tremendous possibilities around, for example, marine derived bone proteins as an alternative to genetically engineered technologies. Meanwhile, marine collagen has huge potential for use in biomedical products such as skin substitutes. We also want to explore the use of new polysaccharides extracted from green algae for possible use in intervertebral disc repair and ceramics such as hydroxyapatite produced from fish bones which could be used in bone repair.”  The Irish Seaweed Research Group and NFB will focus on the technical development of marine biomaterials for potential added value and biomedical applications following the identification of suitable compounds and sub-products. This phase of the work will give valuable insight into how marine resources can be turned into added-value biomedical products. “Through the success of previous EU projects carried out by the ISRG and NFB and the involvement of industry partners, the utilisation avenues of under exploited marine resources can be explored. The MARMED project provides a platform for European partners to collaborate on research that will lead to the rapid development of new products for human health,” says Dr. Richard Walsh of the ISRG, which is part of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway. -ends-

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Alliance partners, NUI Galway and the University of Limerick are delighted to announce the opening of a Joint Medical Academy at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe. The NUI Galway – University of Limerick Medical Academy will bring the expertise of two of Ireland’s medical schools together through shared teaching and facilities. This allows for greater efficiencies in maintenance of infrastructure and recruitment of academic and administrative staff but also allows student of undergraduate medical training and graduate entry programmes to learn from one another.  Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe has been chosen as a step-out clinical site for the education of Medical Students from NUI Galway and the University of Limerick. As of 7 January 2013, 22 medical students from both institutions will carry out a large component of their training at the hospital. Speaking at the announcement, Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of Medical School at NUI Galway, said: “Placements in clinical practice are the cornerstone of medical education and this will be delivered to a high standard through the rotation of students through a central university teaching hospital and the selection of regional academies. It is anticipated that a proportion of students in regional academies will become the junior and senior medical staff for these hospitals in the future. The opening of this medical teaching academy in Ballinasloe sees the completion of the network of regional medical academies representing partnerships between NUI Galway and HSE West and more recently Galway Roscommon University Hospital Trust.” Professor Dunne added: “Recent investments in staffing and new infrastructure in NUI Galway, including three new buildings for medical research, as well as ground-breaking developments in our research activities, have positioned the Medical School as one of the top Schools in the country and we are delighted to offer this unique approach to medical education with University of Limerick to our students.” The opening of the Ballinasloe Academy is unique in that two medical schools will share the academy premises and academic staff. This allows for greater efficiencies in maintenance of infrastructure and recruitment of academic and administrative staff but also allows students progressing through two different curricula to learn from one another. Professor Michael Larvin, Head, Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick, welcomed the announcement; "UL is delighted to see another example of collaboration between our two universities with the creation of this joint Medical Academy at Portiuncula Hospital.  This collaboration gives both Universities an excellent opportunity to compare the complementary medical education learning experiences of undergraduate and graduate entry medical students.  Our expectation is that their co-existence will lead to great synergy.  The hospital currently hosts UL medical students in Medicine, Surgery and Paediatrics and they have been wonderfully supported by the hospital staff. The GEMS student evaluations of their experience at the Portiuncula Hospital have been consistently excellent and we are excited to see the arrival of NUI Galway medical students.  It will be a wonderful opportunity for both staff and students to learn from each other.” Dr Maeve Durkan, Dean of NUI Galway – University of Limerick Medical Academy said: “We are delighted to celebrate the merging of these two Academies, NUI Galway School of Medicine and University Limerick, Graduate Entry Medical School which represents the first such venture in the country. Portiuncula Hospital is very pleased at this resounding endorsement by two of our leading medical schools, which reiterates the esteem in which both our clinical and teaching disciplines are held. Portiuncula is committed to consistent high quality care of our patients and this development reiterates that. Equally we recognize the absolute importance of medical education, I am personally proud of the dedication of our module leaders who are instrumental in the delivery of both high quality care and education.  In the last three years, the highest achieving graduates in the UL GEMS program have all trained at Portiuncula Hospital that alone speaks to our talents and dedication. This collaboration is a new departure in the merging of both an undergraduate and postgraduate program, which will be challenging and instructive but a challenge that we will embrace.” Established in 2010, the NUI Galway - UL Strategic Alliance is an institution-wide partnership which covers all of the key areas of activity including teaching, research, technology transfer, lifelong learning and the provision of services. The objective of the alliance is to better support the social and economic development of our wider region by combining the strengths of the two Universities so as to increase the quantity and quality of our collaborative research and teaching, to further develop industrial, business and other partnerships, to ensure the most effective use of our combined resources, and to enhance the international standing of both Universities. -Ends-

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

                                             Sport Scholarships presented to 25 students At a special ceremony at NUI Galway tomorrow, 25 new recipients of University student Sports Scholarships will be presented.  This brings the total number of students receiving sports scholarships at NUI Galway to 60. NUI Galway offers comprehensive sports scholarships to students each year to support and develop their sporting and academic careers. As well as financial support, scholarship holders get access to NUI Galway facilities as well as physio and medical care, coaching and academic support and a range of services designed to help athletes reach the top of their sport. The range of expertise available is from experts who have all worked with top international competitors right up to and including Olympic level. The success of athletes supported by this program in recent years includes World U23 Handball Champion, Diarmuid Nash; World U23 Rowing Silver Medallist Niall Kenny; World Kickboxing Silver Medallist Des Leonard; and Olympians such as Paul Hession, Olive Loughnane, Alan Martin and Cormac Folan. The All -Ireland Finals in GAA were also strongly populated by NUI Galway sport scholarship students. Gary Ryan the Elite Sports Development Officer at NUI Galway pointed out that, “The aim of our scholarships is to provide the right supports to young athletes that will not only help them to become world class athletes but great Doctors, Engineers and Teachers as well.” This year’s recipients reflect the growing strength of sport in the region and the wide variety of talent that NUI Galway attracts. Angela O Connor is one of Ireland’s most promising young swimmers who will train in the new Connacht High Performance centre based at the University, while Lauren Murray will play with the newly formed NUI Galway Mystics in Division 1 of the National Basketball League Robert O Callaghan was part of the NUI Galway/ Gráinne Mhaol crew that won the senior 8’s at the Irish Rowing Championships in 2012, and Conor Egan and Dan Hindle were part of the successful Intermediate 4 at these championships. Clare’s Aaron Cunningham and Conor McGrath were part of the Clare team that won the All Ireland U21 Championship in 2012 and Conor O’ Shea while still a teenager was part of the Mayo panel as they reached the All-Ireland Final last September. This year the NUI Galway Soccer Club will present a scholarship in memory of the late Eamonn “Chick” Deacy. "Chick" formerly of Galway United, won an English League title with Aston Villa in 1981, he won four Irish International caps and received an honorary Masters of Arts degree from NUI Galway in 2009. The first recipient of this award is Gabriel Darcy who is studying physics and medical physics. To apply for a Sports Scholarship at NUI Galway visit http://www.sports.nuigalway.ie/scholarships_info.html for details. ENDS