Monday, 25 May 2009

American Conference for Irish Studies 2009 Second Galway Conference of Irish Studies 2009 Over four days in June this summer, the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway will host one of the largest conferences in the humanities in Ireland this year. In his note of welcome to conference delegates, Professor Kevin Barry, Dean of Arts at NUI Galway, comments that the range of papers and diversity of plenary events presented at the conference 'bring together momentarily in one place the passion and attentiveness to displacement that marks Irish Studies'. Speakers from a dozen countries, representing over 100 universities will present up to 250 papers examining themes relating to contemporary Irish culture and society. Delegates attending the American Conference of Irish Studies (ACIS) in conjunction with the Second Galway Conference of Irish Studies (GCIS) will consider issues relating to the key themes of the dynamics of immigration and settlement in modern Ireland, and the concept of the 'everyday' in Irish life and culture. The opening evening of the conference will feature a roundtable discussion on inward migration to Ireland over the past decade chaired by Donncha O'Connell, former director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and a member of the Law School at NUI Galway. Donncha will be joined by Des Geraghty, President of SIPTU from 1994 to 2002 and former member of the European Parliament, Denise Charlton, chief executive of the Immigration Council of Ireland, and Chinedu Onyejelem, editor of Metro Éireann. A highlight of the joint conference is the Public Interview Series with three key figures who have made significant contributions to Irish public life over the past half-century, chaired by renowned RTÉ broadcaster John Quinn. TK Whitaker, whose vision for economic development in the 1950s marked a major shift in Ireland's self-fashioning, Bernadette McAliskey, a central figure in the Civil Rights movement in Northern Ireland and a trenchant critic of the Good Friday Agreement, and Cardinal Cahal Daly, Archbishop Emeritus of Armagh, one of the most influential figures in recent history of the Catholic Church in Ireland will be in conversation with John Quinn over the course of three afternoons. One of Ireland's outstanding historians, Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, NUI Galway, will examine the dynamics of the Irish experience of emigration in his plenary lecture, 'Unity and Diversity? Considering the Irish Diaspora'. Other keynote events include the launch of the Siobhán McKenna Collection at the James Hardiman Library, and a celebration of sean-nós song and dance hosted by the Raidió na Gaeltachta and TG4 broadcaster, Máirtín Tom Sheáinín. Readings featuring resident and visiting writers co-ordinated by the Over the Edge literary organisation will take place each evening at the Galway City Library and Sheridan's Wine Bar. The conference is free to all members of the public. For further details see www.nuigalway.ie/cis or contact Ms Samantha Williams at 091-492051. -Ends-

Monday, 25 May 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) NUI Galway's ALIVE programme has had a huge response to its call for volunteers for the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Galway. A significant percentage of the 750 volunteers who will be the face of the two-week free festival are NUI Galway students. Earlier this month, NUI Galway was announced as the partner of the Volunteers Programme for the event. The University will bring its considerable experience in the field of volunteering and work with non-profit event organiser Let s Do It Galway to help mobilise the small army of volunteers required. As Ireland s leading University in the development of student volunteering initiatives, NUI Galway supports thousands of students who volunteer with community organisations every year. The volunteering drive for the Volvo Ocean Race stopover is a natural extension of this ethos of civic engagement. Lorraine Tansey is Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway and runs the University s ALIVE programme: "The response among our students has been phenomenal. On the day we put the official call out we had 200 immediate queries, so the students are really getting behind the ethos of Let s Do It Galway". Volunteers will have a wide range of roles in the event, from working in the media centre, to helping out backstage at the free concerts, to providing information for the hundreds of thousands of visitor expected at the Race Village. Fiona Lawless, NUI Galway graduate and Volunteers Manager with Let s Do It Galway, has said: "Volunteers will be key to the success of the Galway Stopover and are the face of the event to visitors at the Festival's Race Village. During the event volunteers will be the heart and soul of the festivities". Toradh Iontach ar Thóraíocht Oibrithe Deonacha Volvo (View in English) Bhí an-toradh ar an ngairm a rinne clár ALIVE OÉ Gaillimh ar oibrithe deonacha do stad na Gaillimhe de Rás Aigéin Volvo. Is mic léinn de chuid OÉ Gaillimh iad céatadán suntasach den 750 oibrí deonach - 'éadan' na féile coicíse saoir in aisce. Níos luaithe an mhí seo, fógraíodh gurbh í OÉ Gaillimh comhpháirtí Chlár Oibrithe Deonacha na féile. Cuirfidh an Ollscoil an taithí leathan atá aici i réimse na hoibre deonaí ar fáil agus oibreoidh sí le lucht eagair neamhbhrabúsach an imeachta, Let's Do It Galway, le cuidiú leis an mbaicle bheag oibrithe deonacha a bheidh de dhíth. Ós í an Ollscoil seo an ollscoil is gníomhaí sa tír ó thaobh tionscnaimh dheonacha a fhorbairt, tacaíonn OÉ Gaillimh leis na mílte mac léinn a oibríonn go deonach le heagraíochtaí pobail gach bliain. Is céim eile chun cinn in éiteas an chomhpháirteachais phoiblí an bhéim atáthar a chur ar obair dheonach do stad Rás Aigéin Volvo. Is í Lorraine Tansey Comhordaitheoir Obair Dheonach na Mac Léinn in OÉ Gaillimh agus tá sí i mbun chlár ALIVE na hOllscoile: "Tá sé dochreidte an chaoi ar fhreagair na mic léinn don ghairm. An lá a ndearnamar an ghairm oifigiúil fuaireamar 200 fiosrú láithreach bonn, rud a léiríonn go bhfuil na mic léinn ag tacú go hiomlán le héiteas Let's Do It Galway". Beidh róil éagsúla ag oibrithe deonacha san fhéile, idir a bheith ag obair i lárionad na meán, lámh chúnta a thabhairt ar chúl an stáitse ag na ceolchoirmeacha saor in aisce, agus eolas a chur ar fáil do na céadta mílte cuairteoir a bhfuiltear ag súil leo i Sráidbhaile an Rása. Seo an méid a bhí le rá ag Fiona Lawless, céimí de chuid OÉ Gaillimh agus Bainisteoir Oibrithe Deonacha Let's Do It Galway: "Beidh an rath a bheidh ar Stad na Gaillimhe den Rás ag brath go huile agus go hiomlán ar na hoibrithe deonacha mar gurb iad a gcuid 'éadan' siúd a fheicfidh agus a aithneoidh cuairteoirí ar Shráidbhaile an Rása. Cuirfidh na hoibrithe deonacha a gcroí agus a n-anam i gceiliúradh na féile." -Críoch-

Monday, 25 May 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) Cameramen on the cutting edge of sports filming, having just sailed across the Atlantic with the Volvo Ocean Race teams, will take part in an NUI Galway symposium entitled 'Representing Sport'. The international symposium runs from 2-3 June and will bring together leading academics and practitioners concerned with the representation of sport through history and in contemporary life. The symposium is being organised by NUI Galway's Huston School of Film & Digital Media and its School of Languages, with support from the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences. On 2 June, at 2pm, the lecture on 'Broadcasting the Volvo Ocean Race', supported by Inmarsat, the official technology sponsor for the race, will demonstrate how high-definition television (HDTV) has changed international sailing events and high-octane sports. With HDTV and other technologies has come the introduction of an 11th person, known as the media crewman, onto each of the Volvo Ocean Race boats. Their job during the 37,000 nautical mile trip is to send back a daily quota of words, photos and video via Inmarsat's FleetBroadband from the race route, but they cannot partake in sailing the boat. During the lecture Ian Walker, skipper of Green Dragon, will be joined by media crewmembers from Puma (Rick Deppe), Ericsson (Guy Salter) and Telfonica (Gabriele Olivo) to share their experiences of reporting the race to a potential audience of two billion. Rick Deppe, an experienced British sailor and acclaimed videographer, whose credits include Deadliest Catch on Discovery Channel, has said: "My job is to keep the camera rolling and get some great shots over the course of nine months of action". The 'Representing Sport' symposium is jointly organised by Dr Seán Crosson, from NUI Galway's Huston School of Film & Digital Media, and Dr Phil Dine, from NUI Galway's School of Languages. Dr Seán Crosson comments: "From the fine arts, through print and audio-visual culture, sport has been an enduring subject of representation. This has increasingly been the case with the development of the contemporary global media industry, where representations of sport, from soccer to boxing and athletics, constitute one of the most popular subjects. Nowhere is the link between sporting traditions and technological modernity more apparent than in the state-of-the-art broadcasting of the Volvo Ocean Race". As well as considering the representation of sport in Ireland, the two-day symposium will focus on its representation across Europe and around the world. Presentations will be made on various topics from Roy Keane to French surfing culture to German identity. While entry to the symposium is free, prior registration is essential for Inmarsat's 'Broadcasting the Volvo Ocean Race' lecture. Please contact Dee Quinn at dee.quinn@nuigalway.ie or call 091 495076. A full programme for the Symposium is available at www.filmschool.ie/ Fir Cheamara ag Triall thar Muir do Shiompóisiam Spóirt OÉ Gaillimh (View in English) Beidh fir cheamara atá ar thús cadhnaíochta i scannánú spóirt agus atá díreach tar éis an tAtlantach a thrasnú le foirne Rás Aigéin Volvo rannpháirteach i siompóisiam de chuid OÉ Gaillimh dar teideal 'Representing Sport: Europe, Tradition and Modernity'. Beidh an siompóisiam idirnáisiúnta ar bun ó 2-3 Meitheamh agus tabharfar lucht acadúil agus cleachtóirí ar spéis leo an léiriú a dhéantar ar an spórt sa stair agus sa saol comhaimseartha le chéile ann. Tá an siompóisiam á eagrú ag Scoil Scannán & Meán Digiteach Huston agus ag Scoil Teangacha OÉ Gaillimh, le tacaíocht ón gComhairle um Thaighde sna Dána agus sna hEolaíochtaí Sóisialta. Ar an 2 Meitheamh ag 2pm, léireofar sa léacht faoi 'Broadcasting the Volvo Ocean Race', le tacaíocht Inmarsat, urra oifigiúil teicneolaíochta an rása, an bealach a bhfuil an teilifís ardghléine (HDTV) tar éis imeachtaí seoltóireachta idirnáisiúnta agus spóirt ardochtáin a athrú. Le teacht an HDTV agus teicneolaíochtaí eile tá an t-aonú duine dhéag, ar a dtugtar fear criú na meán, curtha ar gach ceann de bháid Rás Aigéin Volvo. Is é an cúram atá orthu le linn an turais 37,000 muirmhíle seo cuóta focal, grianghraf agus fístaifeadta a chur chugainn ó chúrsa an rása trí FleetBroadband Inmarsat, ach ní féidir leo a bheith páirteach sa tseoltóireacht. I dteannta Ian Walker, captaen an Green Dragon, le linn na léachta beidh cuid den chriú ón Puma (Rick Deppe), Ericsson (Guy Salter) agus Telfonica (Gabriele Olivo) lena dtaithí ar thuairisciú an rása do lucht féachana thart ar dhá bhilliún duine a roinnt linn. Bhí an méid seo le rá ag Rick Deppe, mairnéalach Briotanach oilte agus físghrafadóir cáiliúil, a bhfuil Deadliest Catch ar Chainéal Discovery ar cheann de na cláir a rinne sé: "Is é an cúram atá ormsa an ceamara a choinneáil ar bun agus sár-radhairc a thaispeáint i rith na naoi mí aicsin". Tá an siompóisiam 'Representing Sport: Europe, Tradition and Modernity' á eagrú ag an Dr Seán Crosson, as Scoil Scannán agus Meán Digiteach Huston in OÉ Gaillimh, agus ag an Dr Phil Dine, as Scoil Teangacha OÉ Gaillimh. Deir an Dr Seán Crosson: "Tá an spórt á léiriú go leanúnach le fada sna mínealaíona, in ábhar clóite agus sa chultúr closamhairc. Bhí sin amhlaidh de réir mar a d'fhorbair tionscal comhaimseartha domhanda na meán, ina bhfuil léiriú ar gach cineál spóirt idir shacar, dhornálaíocht agus lúthchleasaíocht, ar cheann de na hábhair ar mó spéis an phobail ann. Ní fhéadfaí léiriú níos soiléire a fháil ar an nasc idir na traidisiúin spóirt agus an nua-aoiseacht theicneolaíoch ná mar atá i scothchraoladh Rás Aigéin Volvo". Cé go bhfuil saorchead isteach chuig an siompóisiam, ní mór clárú roimh ré do léacht 'Broadasting the Volvo Ocean Race' Inmarsat. Déan teagmháil, le do thoil, le Dee Quinn ag dee.quinn@nuigalway.ie nó cuir glao ar 495076. Tá clár iomlán an tSiompóisiam ar fáil ag www.filmschool.ie/. -Críoch-

Friday, 22 May 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway) and Leitrim County Council have announced that the third John McGahern International Seminar will take place from 23-25 July, 2009, to commemorate the work and literary achievements of one of Ireland's best known and internationally respected modern writers. Previous International Seminars were held in County Leitrim in 2007 and 2008 and were each attended by more than 100 participants from Ireland and overseas. This year's inaugural lecture will be given by Professor Kevin Whelan of Notre Dame University. Other speakers will include Professor Liliane Louvel of the University of Poitiers, France, Professor Denis Sampson, Canada, Professor Mike Cronin, Boston College and Irish writer Kevin Barry. As in previous years, the Seminar will include guided visits to John McGahern's home places in Aughawillan, Ballinamore and Mohill, Co. Leitrim and Cootehall, Co. Roscommon. As well as appealing to all lovers of McGahern's own work, the International Seminar will be of interest to literary researchers and to book clubs, to readers of contemporary fiction and modern writing, and to all national and international students of Irish literature and culture. This year's Seminar will also see the launch of the second volume of The John McGahern Yearbook. The Yearbook will include proceedings of the 2008 Seminar as well as a range of new articles by writers and critics. Launching the Seminar, President of NUI Galway, Professor James J. Browne, said: "Through the John McGahern International Seminar and Summer School we at NUI Galway are working to broaden access to literary scholarship and to share the riches of the McGahern archive with the widest possible audience. In holding this valuable archive in the West of Ireland, we feel that the University is holding in trust a treasure for the world of literary scholarship; for the Irish nation and most especially for this region which we have served for more than 160 years. I wish the 2009 McGahern International Summer School and Seminar every success and I welcome the continued partnership of Leitrim County Council in this culturally important endeavour". John McGahern's work is translated into several languages worldwide. His best- known books include The Dark, Amongst Women, That They May Face the Rising Sun and Memoir. During the 2008 Seminar, Gerardo Gambolini, Argentinian poet and translator, who plans to introduce McGahern's Collected Stories in Spanish to a wide Latin-American audience, said of the Leitrim writer: "I see John McGahern as a great writer, not as a great Irish writer. His voice is universal; his undeniably Irish tone and topics are made universal by his talent, not by geography. My dominant experience in translating him was the pleasure of reading day after day over a long time remarkable pictures of the greatness and the abjectness of human soul and flesh, pictures always traversed in the end by compassion, by a joyful or painful form of redemption". In addition to the public Seminar, NUI Galway has organised the second intensive Summer School on John McGahern's work and its contexts which will form part of the University's 26th International Summer School in Irish Studies. The Summer School is designed for advanced level students and researchers who are interested in the writings of John McGahern, his life and times in 20thCentury Ireland. The 2008 Summer School was attended by students from Ireland, Slovakia, the United States and England. Speaking at the launch, Leitrim Arts Officer, Caoimhín Corrigan said: "Leitrim County Council is delighted to see this project develop in its third year, establishing its own rhythm within Ireland s literary calendar. While retaining its central focus on the work of John McGahern, this year's engagement with themes of the heroic - from the local, to the universal - and taking account also the 125th anniversary of the GAA, is a strong expression of the confidence and breadth of vision that Leitrim County Council and NUI Galway share for this important event". The Summer School (25 July – 1 August, 2009) will take place at the County Library, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim and it is directed by Dr John Kenny, John McGahern Lecturer in Creative Writing at NUI Galway. Lecturers at the Summer School will include Professor Denis Sampson, author of Outstaring Nature's Eye: The Fiction of John McGahern; Ms Belinda McKeon of Columbia University, New York; Dr Frank Shovlin of the Institute of Irish Studies, Liverpool; Dr James Whyte, author of History, Myth, and Ritual in the Fiction of John McGahern; and the writers Mike McCormack and Brian Leyden. For further details on The John McGahern International Seminar and Summer School contact 091-495442 or visit www.nuigalway.ie/iss Tríú Seimineár Idirnáisiúnta John McGahern Fógartha (View in English) Tá tríú Seimineár Idirnáisiúnta John McGahern, 23-25 Iúil 2009, fógartha ag Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh agus ag Comhairle Contae Liatroma, chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar obair agus ar shaothar liteartha an údair cháiliúil seo atá ar dhuine de na scríbhneoirí comhaimseartha Éireannacha is mó a bhfuil meas idirnáisiúnta air. Bhí na Seimineáir Idirnáisiúnta roimhe seo in 2007 agus 2008 ar siúl i gCo. Liatroma agus d'fhreastail os cionn 100 duine orthu as Éirinn agus as níos faide i gcéin. Tabharfaidh an tOllamh Kevin Whelan as Ollscoil Notre Dame céad léacht na bliana seo. I measc na gcainteoirí eile beidh an tOllamh Liliane Louvel as Ollscoil Poitiers, sa Fhrainc, an tOllamh Denis Sampson, Ceanada, an tOllamh Mike Cronin, Boston College agus an scríbhneoir Éireannach Kevin Barry. Arís i mbliana, beidh turais threoraithe ar fáil chuig áit chónaithe John McGahern in Achadh an Mhuilin, Béal an Átha Móir agus Maothail, Co. Liatroma agus Uachtar Tíre, Co. Ros Comáin. Ar ndóigh, cuirfidh daoine a dtaitníonn saothar McGahern leo suim sa Seimineár Idirnáisiúnta seo, ach chomh maith leo sin, cuirfidh taighdeoirí litríochta agus clubanna leabhar an-suim ann chomh maith le daoine a léann ficsean comhaimseartha agus nuascríbhneoireacht agus mic léinn náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta a bhfuil suim acu i litríocht agus i gcultúr an hÉireann. Seolfar an dara himleabhar de The John McGahern Yearbook ag Seimineár na bliana seo. Beidh cur síos sa Yearbook ar imeachtaí Sheimineár 2008 chomh maith le hailt nua le scríbhneoirí agus léirmheastóirí. Ag seoladh an tSeimineáir, dúirt an Dr James J. Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: "In OÉ Gaillimh, is mian linn scoláireacht litríochta a mhéadú agus cartlann McGahern a roinnt leis an lucht léitheoireachta is fairsinge trí Sheimineár Idirnáisiúnta agus Scoil Samhraidh John McGahern. Agus an chartlann luachmhar seo á coimeád in Iarthar na hÉireann, tá an Ollscoil ag coimeád taisce don scoláireacht litríochta; don tír agus, go speisialta, don réigiún seo a bhfuil an Ollscoil seo ag freastal air le breis agus 160 bliain. Guím gach rath ar Scoil Samhraidh agus Seimineár Idirnáisiúnta McGahern 2009 agus fáiltím roimh chomhpháirtíocht Chomhairle Contae Liatroma sa tionscnamh tábhachtach cultúir seo". Tá saothar John McGahern aistrithe go teangacha éagsúla ar fud an domhain. Is iad na leabhair is cáiliúla a scríobh sé The Dark, Amongst Women, That They May Face the Rising Sun agus Memoir. I rith Sheimineár 2008, dúirt Gerardo Gambolini, file agus aistritheoir ón Airgintín, a bhfuil sé i gceist aige Collected Stories McGahern a aistriú go Spáinnis do lucht léitheoireachta Mheiriceá Laidinigh, agus é ag trácht ar an scríbhneoir as Liatroim, dúirt sé: "Feicim John McGahern mar shárscríbhneoir, ní mar shárscríbhneoir Éireannach. Is guth uilíoch atá aige; tá an bua aige tuin agus topaicí uilíocha a chruthú cé gur léir gur tuin agus topaicí Éireannacha iad gan dabht. I mo thaithí ag aistriú a shaothair bhí an t-ádh orm lá i ndiaidh lae a chaitheamh ar feadh achar fada ama ag léamh agus ag samhlú an méid a scríobh McGahern". Chomh maith leis an Seimineár poiblí, tá an dara Scoil Samhraidh ina ndéanfar dianstaidéar ar shaothar McGahern agus a chomhthéacsanna á heagrú in OÉ Gaillimh mar chuid de 26ú Scoil Samhraidh Idirnáisiúnta na hOllscoile sa Léann Éireannach. Is ann don Scoil Samhraidh do mhic léinn agus do thaighdeoirí ardleibhéil a bhfuil suim acu i saothar John McGahern, agus a shaol in Éirinn san 20ú hAois. D'fhreastail mic léinn as Éirinn, an tSlóvaic, Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá agus Sasana ar Scoil Samhraidh 2008. Ag labhairt ag an seoladh, dúirt Oifigeach Ealaíon Liatroma, Caoimhín Corrigan: "Tá an-áthas orainn i gComhairle Contae Liatroma go bhfuil an tionscadal seo á reáchtáil don tríú bliain as a chéile, agus é go mór chun tosaigh i bhféilire litríochta na hÉireann. Cé go bhfuil an bhéim is mó ar shaothar John McGahern, léiríonn téama gaisce na bliana seo – gaiscí áitiúla agus gaiscí uilíocha – agus CLG ag ceiliúradh 125 bliain, an mhuinín agus an fhís atá ag Comhairle Contae Liatroma agus ag OÉ Gaillimh don ócáid thábhachtach seo". Beidh an Scoil Samhraidh (25 Iúil – 1 Lúnasa 2009) ar siúl i Leabharlann an Chontae, Baile an Átha Móir, Co. Liatroma faoi stiúir an Dr John Kenny, Léachtóir John McGahern le Scríbhneoireacht Chruthaitheach in OÉ Gaillimh. I measc léachtóirí na Scoile beidh an tOllamh Denis Sampson, údar Outstaring Nature's Eye: The Fiction of John McGahern; Belinda McKeon as Columbia University, Nua-Eabhrac; an Dr Frank Shovlin as an Institute of Irish Studies, Learpholl; an Dr James Whyte, údar History, Myth, and Ritual in the Fiction of John McGahern; agus na scríbhneoirí Mike McCormack agus Brian Leyden. Tá eolas breise ar Sheimineár Idirináisiúnta agus Scoil Samhraidh John McGahern le fáil ach glaoch ar 091-495442 nó dul chuig www.nuigalway.ie/iss -Críoch-

Friday, 22 May 2009

A study at NUI Galway into diabetes among pregnant Irish women has entered its final phase with further funding from the Health Research Board. Diabetes is the most prevalent chronic medical condition among pregnant women, with international estimates that it occurs in 2-9% of all pregnancies. The research at NUI Galway is the first prospective study to look at the prevalence and effects of diabetes among pregnant women in Ireland, working with over 10,000 women. The Atlantic Diabetes in Pregnancy (Atlantic Dip) research programme has been underway for three years and this further funding will support two final years of research. The study is led by Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, and also Consultant Endocrinologist with Galway University Hospitals. According to Professor Dunne: "Diabetes can be a serious problem for pregnant women. The outcomes for the mother and infant are less satisfactory when compared with the non-diabetic population. There is an increase in the risk of congenital malformations, stillbirths and neonatal deaths in the offspring. In addition these babies may require care in a neonatal unit because of respiratory and other problems. For the mother there is an increase in the risk of blood pressure and pre-eclampsia and they are more likely to be delivered by caesarian section". Professor Dunne added: "Babies from mothers with diabetes are at increased risk of weighing greater than 4 kg at birth. This in itself increases the risk of obesity and diabetes in their adult lives. Among women who already had diabetes before pregnancy, the study has found that women are poorly prepared for pregnancy with only 28% receiving pre-pregnancy care, 43% having folic acid and 29% achieving good sugar control levels". In addition to what is commonly known as type one and two diabetes, pregnant women can also develop Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM), diabetes occurring after 20 weeks of pregnancy. GDM is also associated with increased risks for the mother and her infant in the current pregnancy. It is associated with a very high life time risk of type two diabetes in the mother. Working with over 10,000 women along the Irish Atlantic seaboard, the Atlantic Diabetes in Pregnancy (Atlantic Dip) research programme has offered screening for GDM to all pregnant women to establish how many developed Gestational Diabetes (GDM) and its less severe form of impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). Of the 4,000 women tested, 130 (3.3%) had GDM and 328 (8%) had IGT. In addition, 50% of the cohort had a body mass index (BMI) in the overweight and obese categories. Professor Dunne says the data generated to date would suggest that universal screening for GDM and IGT should be offered to all pregnant women in Ireland: "Considering the high prevalence of GDM and IGT in the Irish population, a national screening programme should be considered. This would allow the identification of an 'at risk' population where intervention is likely to impact on the health of the infant from the pregnancy in addition to the future health of the mother and offspring". Professor Dunne and her team have also examined the impact of obesity alone on the outcome of pregnancy in 1,441 women in whom all forms of diabetes was excluded. They showed that obesity was an independent risk factor for higher rates of caesarian section, blood pressure, miscarriage, and babies weighing more than 4kg at birth. Professor Dunne says: "Obesity in women of reproductive age is thus a public health concern and requires intervention. Maternal obesity with or without diabetes will impact on the health of future generations". The next two years of this study will build on existing data and will provide greater insight into the prevalence and consequences of GDM and IGT in the Irish population. In particular it will examine the risk of persistent diabetes following GDM and IGT and the factors that increase this risk. Through collaborative work with UK-based Peninsula Medical School the project will explore the genetics behind GDM. There are also plans to develop and test an intervention programme for pre-pregnancy care for women with diabetes to see if the rates of stillbirth neonatal death and congenital malformation rates can be reduced. -ends-

Thursday, 21 May 2009

(View in English) Is cúis áthais do mhic léinn an Dioplóma sna Dána (Cóiriú agus Stáitsiú an Cheoil Thraidisiúnta), OÉ Gaillimh cuireadh a fháil ó eagraithe Rás Aigéin Volvo na Gaillimhe chuig Lá na Gaeilge agus dul ar an ardán ar Ché an Bhreathnaigh an 1 Meitheamh 2009 ó 4i.n.-7i.n. Ag tagairt don chuireadh seo, dúirt an Dr Charlie Lennon, Stiúrthóir Ceoil an chúrsa gur: "Iontach an dul chun cinn atá déanta ag na mic léinn ildánacha seo le bliain anuas agus is iontach an deis atá ann dóibh a gcuid scileanna mar ealaíontóirí sa cheol traidisiúnta a chur os comhair an phobail idirnáisiúnta a bheas i láthair ag an ócáid idirnáisiúnta seo. Is cúis bróid dúinn bheith ag obair leo i gcaitheamh na bliana. Cúis mórtais dúinn go mbeidh muid ag casadh ag an ócáid idirnáisiúnta seo". Beidh blaiseadh den obair atá déanta ag na mic léinn lenár dteagascóirí i gcaitheamh na bliana ó mhí Mheán Fómhair seo caite idir chóiriú, chumadóireacht, chartlannaíocht, stáitsiú agus léiriú an Cheoil Thraidisiúnta á léiriú ag an ócáid. Ar ndóigh ní hé seo an chéad uair don ghrúpa seo a bheith ar an ardán. Bhí ceolchoirm mhór na bliana Tonnta acu an mhí seo caite áit a léirigh siad ceol nuachumtha leis an Dr Charlie Lennon agus le deireanas, d'oscail siad Éigse an Spidéil i bpáirt leis an nGaelacadamh. D'eagraigh siad Ceolchoirm na Nollag faoi stiúir Dhiarmuid De Faoite i Seanscoil Shailearna. Ina theannta sin, ghlac siad páirt i gceolchoirm lóin ar an gCeathrú Rua eagraithe ag Subhóró, Cumann Ceoil na Ceathrún Rua. Tá an cúrsa seo á reáchtáil ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh i gcomhar le Stiúideo Cuan Teo. ar bhonn lánaimseartha thar bhliain amháin agus tá an cúrsa feiliúnach do cheoltóirí, do dhamhsóirí agus d'amhránaithe ar mhaith leo a gcuid scileanna a fhorbairt sna réimsí seo a leanas: teoiric an cheoil, stair an cheoil agus stáitsiú agus léiriú an cheoil thraidisiúnta. Tuilleadh eolais faoin gcúrsa ar fáil ag www.acadamh.ie NUI Galway students to perform in outdoor concert during the Galway Volvo Ocean Race Festival (Leagan Gaeilge) Students from NUI Galway's Diploma in the Arranging and Staging of Traditional Irish Music (Dioplóma sna Dána: Cóiriú agus Stáitsiú an Cheoil Thraidisiúnta) are delighted and honoured to have been chosen to perform at the Galway Volvo Ocean Race Festival during 'Lá na Gaeilge' and will take to the stage on the Breathnach Quay between 4pm and 7pm on 01 June. The Musical Director of the diploma programme and renowned fiddle player Dr Charlie Lennon, said: "Over the past year, these eleven multi-skilled musicians have come on musically by leaps and bounds both individually and as a group and this invitation to play to an international audience at such a prestigious event has presented them with an ideal opportunity to showcase their talents. We are very proud of their achievements to date and are honoured to have been invited to play at this high profile cultural event". The students will perform a selection of pieces they have worked on since the start of the programme last September. During the year they undertook a wide range of subjects from music arrangement and composition, archiving, sound, to the staging and production of Traditional Irish Music. This is not the first time that the group have performed together publicly. Only last month their aptly titled show 'Tonnta' was on stage in Connemara where they performed both well known and newly composed and arranged music and songs on the theme of the sea under the direction of Dr Charlie Lennon. They were also invited to open the annual 'Éigse an Spidéal' Festival in partnership with the Gaelacadamh. At Christmas, under the direction of Diarmuid de Faoite they played to packed houses with their Christmas Concert in Seanscoil Shailearna, Inverin, Co. Galway and performed a lunchtime concert in Carraroe on the invitation of Subhóró, Cumann Ceoil na Ceathrún Rua. This diploma programme is offered by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway in partnership with Stiúideo Cuan Teo. on a full-time one-year basis and through the medium of Irish. The course is suitable for musicians, dancers and singers who wish to further develop their skills in the following areas: Music Theory, the History of Traditional Music and the Staging and Production of Traditional Music. For further information log on to www.acadamh.ie -ends-

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

A groundbreaking educational programme, which brings teenagers and retirees together in the classroom, celebrated 10 years of success last night. Originating from NUI Galway's Adult and Continuing Education Office, 'Living Scenes' is an intergenerational programme of learning involving Transition Year students and local retired adults. It is the pioneering programme of its kind in Ireland and Europe, possibly even worldwide. Through weekly art, music, drama and creative writing workshops, Living Scenes allows teenagers and older adults to learn together, share experiences and build bonds of mutual respect and understanding. A strong emphasis is placed on the holistic development of the participants, promoting equality, personal development and confidence building in both the younger and older adults. The innovative programme was first piloted in Galway City's Presentation Secondary School in 1999, and quickly became established in as part of its Transition Year. Living Scenes has since developed and expanded through partnerships between NUI Galway and five further secondary schools: Calasanctius College, Oranmore, Co. Galway; Millstreet Community School, Millstreet, Co. Cork; St Flannan's College, Ennis, Co. Clare; St Joseph's Secondary School, Charlestown, Co. Mayo; and St Joseph's Secondary School, Tulla, Co. Clare. A major entertainment production was staged in the Ardilaun Hotel last night involving all of the current participants in Living Scenes, representing the six schools. Clíona Ní Néill, Principal of Presentation Secondary School, Galway, praised the programme: "Living Scenes is a highly valued project in Presentation Secondary School. It has taught young people to value an older generation, and conversely it has given the older generation a new and positive lens to understand and enjoy teenagers. Students have benefited hugely in the areas of personal development, communication and confidence building skills. It has enriched our students understanding of life, given them a broader perspective, and it has created a sense of community in the school. We are delighted as a staff and as a school to be associated and involved with NUI Galway in this programme". In the course of its ten year history, the programme has been instrumental in cultivating a strong relationship between the University and schools, older and younger adults, and has a key objective of promoting the school as a focal point for community regeneration. NUI Galway's Dr Mary Surlis is the Living Scenes Programme Director, and the has been involved since its inception: "At a time when there is a serious erosion of social fabric evident in Irish society, Living Scenes aims to respond to the growing need for communication and trust in both the school and in the local community. What we are trying to do is to regenerate relationships both in schools and communities and, perhaps more importantly, between our older and our younger generations". Extensive research has been carried out by Dr Surlis on Living Scenes to evaluate the project in a developmental curricular capacity and to identify its contribution in an overall educational context. Dr Surlis says: "The findings of this research have implications for policy makers, as well as school and community groups interested in initiating change in a curricular and social context". President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne: "NUI Galway is committed to a strong ethos of civic engagement. We develop this by fostering a sense of social responsibility and citizenship amongst students and by working to share the knowledge resources of the University with the wider community. The Living Scenes programme of intergenerational learning is the embodiment of that ethos – reaching from the University into the heart of the community to work with schools and with older people. As President, I am proud of the unique and pioneering work which NUI Galway has led, through Living Scenes, in building social cohesion in Ireland". -ends-

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

A nation-wide research study into young carers in Ireland has begun at NUI Galway's Child and Family Research Centre. The research will look at the impact that providing care to a family member has upon a young person's life and will explore ways of better supporting these young carers. The study has been commissioned by the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. NUI Galway researchers involved in the study are trying to identify children and young people, aged 5-17, who provide care to a family member in the home, perhaps due to disability or illness. The research team has already begun to interview young carers about their experiences and hope to identify more who would be willing to take part in the study. All information will be treated confidentially according to strict ethical guidelines and interviews should take no more than an hour to complete at a venue to suit the young person. According to Dr Allyn Fives, a member of the research team at NUI Galway: "We don't have accurate data on just how many young people care for a member of their family. While the most recent census tells us that approximately 3,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 17 are carers, it does not give a figure for the many young people below that age group. Also, very little is known about their day to day experiences, or the kinds of help and assistance that would benefit them. This is partly because not many studies have focused on the experiences of young carers in Ireland, and also because there is a wide variety of caring situations and experiences". Dr Fives added: "Young carers are asked to do different kinds of tasks and they have different levels of responsibility. Their caring has different impacts on other parts of their lives, including school work, sports and other recreational activities, and their friendships and family life. These young people contribute so much to their families that we hope this research will show us how they themselves can be supported in their vital role". Those interested in getting in touch with researchers at the NUI Galway Child and Family Research Centre can call Dr Fives on 091 495732 or email allyn.fives@nuigalway.ie -ends-

Monday, 18 May 2009

To celebrate the arrival of the Volvo Ocean Race in Galway a free public talk entitled 'The Making of Galway Bay' will be held at 6pm on Monday, 25 May, in the Cairnes Lecture Theatre, Arts/Science Concourse, NUI Galway. Delivering the lecture will be Professor Mike Williams, Head of Earth and Ocean Sciences at NUI Galway, who has spent many years researching the natural history of Galway Bay and the Aran Islands. According to Professor Williams, "The talk will be a tale of earthquakes, tsunami, great storms and climate change that have, over thousands of years, shaped Galway Bay into what it is today. While Galway Bay has been romanticised in song, natural forces have been far from loving. In 1755, the Lisbon earthquake triggered a tsunami which swept up the Bay, damaging the Spanish Arch and drowning many citizens. Our brave city, perched on the Atlantic coast, also took the brunt of the one of the biggest storms Europe has ever known in 1839. It was referred to at the time, in understated fashion, as 'the night of the big wind'. Much of the Professor's work centres on identifying the sedimentary fingerprints of tsunami and extreme storm waves along Ireland's cliff faces. He comments: "Ridges preserved on the cliffs of the Aran Islands and Co. Clare are up to 50 metres above sea level, and offer a perfect natural laboratory in which to study the natural history of Galway Bay". Professor Williams has published papers on wave, climate, and coastal erosion. During his talk he will outline some recent discoveries on the history of Galway Bay, which stretches back over 15,000 years. As the talk is being held on Africa Day of the Volvo Ocean Race, it is also supporting Zikomo Ireland, a Galway-based African charity group. -ends-

Monday, 18 May 2009

The Irish Centre for Social Gerontology (ICSG) is organising two free public events to mark 'Say No to Ageism Week', 18-22 May. The ICSG is Ireland's first multi-disciplinary research centre dedicated to the study of the economic and social aspects of ageing in Ireland. Ageism is a set of attitudes and practices that are based on stereotyped, usually negative, assumptions about older people. For example, older people may be assumed to be inflexible in their attitudes, uninterested in their work, physically and/or mentally incapable, unattractive or sexually inactive simply because of their age. These attitudes may be held by key individuals such as employers, managers and service-providers. They may simply be practices that develop over time as opposed to being a deliberate attempt to discriminate. Professor Eamon O'Shea, Director of the ICSG at NUI Galway, says: "Ageism makes no sense economically, culturally or socially. Let's challenge and defeat it so that all citizens can reach their economic and social potential no matter what their age". In terms of employment practices, ageism can mean that older people are not seen as serious contenders for promotion, leading to age discrimination. The idea that people are 'too old to be promoted' at 50, 45 or even 40 is prevalent in some large organisations. Áine Ní Léime is a researcher with the ICSG at NUI Galway, and comments: "There is increasing evidence that ageism exists in Irish society. Ageism was the most common ground for complaint to the Equality Authority, under the Employment Equality Acts, in 2007. The events planned for "Say No to Ageism Week" are designed to highlight awareness of and discussion about attitudes to older people in Ireland, with a view to ultimately helping to combat ageism in Irish society". On Tuesday, 19 May, a seminar in NUI Galway's Moore Institute at 1pm entitled 'An Age-friendly Society in a time of Recession' will feature Niall Crowley, former CEO of the Equality Authority. All are welcome to come along. In the same venue, on 21 May at 11am, a three-hour AgeWise workshop run by trainers from Age & Opportunity will take place. This participatory workshop aims to provide information on older people and ageing in Ireland and to challenge myths and stereotypes. The workshop will enable participants to understand the personal, cultural and structural effects of ageism. It will also serve to identify instances of discrimination against older people and help devise strategies to counter discrimination in their workplace or community. The workshop is organised by the ICSG and the Equality Office at NUI Galway, to register for this free event, please contact NUI Galway's Brenda Fallon by e-mail at brenda.fallon@nuigalway.ie -ends-

Monday, 18 May 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) Today (15 May 2009), Dr Nollaig Ó Muraíle of NUI Galway, will be admitted as a Member of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) in a special ceremony in Dublin. Election to the Royal Irish Academy is the highest honour available to a scholar working on the island of Ireland. Nollaig Ó Muraíle is Senior Lecturer in the School of Irish at NUI Galway. He has made a unique contribution to the study of Irish genealogies through his edition and translation of Leabhar Mór na nGenealach or "The Great Book of Irish Genealogies", which has been described as one of the most unique contributions to Irish history ever. Professor Nicholas Canny, President of the Royal Irish Academy, said: "The Academy s new members are amongst a small group of academics in Ireland that set the international hallmark of excellence in their fields of study". Professor Canny is former Vice President for Research at NUI Galway (2005-2008). Dr Noel Dorr was also admitted as a Member of the RIA today. Dr Dorr is Chair of the NUI Galway Governing Authority and former Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs (1987-1995). He received an honorary doctorate from NUI Galway in 2001. Interestingly, both Dr Ó Muraíle and Dr Dorr are former pupils of St Nathy's College, Co Roscommon. The criterion for election to membership is a significant contribution to scholarly or scientific research as shown in the candidate's published academic work. Membership of the Academy, which is by peer nomination and election, is limited to those scientists and scholars normally resident in Ireland. About the Royal Irish Academy The Royal Irish Academy is an all-Ireland, independent, academic body that promotes study and excellence in the sciences, humanities and social sciences. It is the principal learned society in Ireland. For 224 years membership of the Royal Irish Academy has been keenly competed for, as it is the highest academic honour in Ireland and a public recognition of academic achievement. There are now over 420 Members of the Academy, in disciplines from the sciences, humanities and social sciences. Those elected are entitled to use the designation MRIA after their name. Among the membership of the Academy are many of Ireland s leading scholars, the best known of whom include: Professor Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate; Professor Patrick Cunningham, geneticist and the government s Chief Scientific Adviser; Professor Frances Ruane, economist; Dr Garret FitzGerald, economist and former Taoiseach; and Dr Peter Harbison, archaeologist. The Academy has also more than 60 distinguished Honorary Members, who in the past have included J.W. Von Goethe, Maria Edgeworth, Albert Einstein and Max Born. Today the Honorary Members include Nobel Laureates, Murray Gell-Mann, Steven Weinberg and Sir Andrew Huxley. Further information can be found on www.ria.ie Comhalta Foirne OÉ Gaillimh ina Bhall Nua d'Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann (View in English) Inniu (15 Bealtaine 2009) ag searmanas speisialta i mBaile Átha Cliath glacfar leis an Dr Nollaig Ó Muraíle ó OÉ Gaillimh mar Bhall d'Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann (RIA). Is é seo an onóir acadúil is mó is féidir a bhronnadh ar scoláire atá i mbun oibre ar oileán na hÉireann. Tá Nollaig Ó Muraíle ag obair mar Léachtóir Sinsearach i Scoil na Gaeilge in OÉ Gaillimh. Chuir saothar an Dr Ó Muraíle Leabhar Mór na nGenealach go mór lenár dtuiscint ar ghinealas na hÉireann agus go deimhin deirtear go bhfuil an leabhar áirithe seo ar cheann de na saothair is tábhachtaí a foilsíodh riamh i stair na hÉireann. Ba é an Dr Ó Muraíle a chuir an saothar in eagar agus a rinne an t-aistriúchán. Dúirt an tOllamh Nicholas Canny, Uachtarán Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann: "Áirítear baill nua an Acadaimh i measc grúpa beag acadóirí atá ag obair in Éirinn, daoine a bhfuil ag éirí leo saothar ar ardchaighdeán a sholáthar ina réimsí léinn féin". Bhí an tOllamh Canny ag obair mar Leas-Uachtarán um Thaighde in OÉ Gaillimh idir 2005-2008. Glacadh leis an Dr Noel Dorr mar bhall d'Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann inniu freisin. Is é an Dr Dorr Cathaoirleach Údarás na hOllscoile in OÉ Gaillimh agus chaith sé na blianta idir 1987-1995 ag obair mar Ard-Rúnaí sa Roinn Gnóthaí Eachtracha. Bhronn OÉ Gaillimh dochtúireacht oinigh air in 2001. Spéisiúil go leor, is iarscoláirí de chuid Choláiste Nathaí i gCo. Ros Comáin an Dr Ó Muraíle agus an Dr Dorr. Roghnaítear baill d'Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann bunaithe ar shaothar scolártha nó ar thaighde eolaíoch a léirítear in obair acadúil foilsithe an iarrthóra. Eolaithe agus scoláirí a bhfuil cónaí orthu in Éirinn a bhíonn ina mbaill den Acadamh, agus is bunaithe ar ainmniúchán ó phiaraí agus toghchán a roghnaítear baill nua d'Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann. Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann Comhlacht neamhspleách, acadúil, uile-Éireann é Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann a bhfuil sé mar aidhm leis staidéar agus ardchaighdeán a chothú sna heolaíochtaí, sna daonnachtaí agus sna heolaíochtaí sóisialta. Is é Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann príomhchumann léannta na hÉireann. Le 224 bliain anuas tá iomaíocht ghéar ann le ballraíocht a bhaint amach in Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann, agus is ionann ballraíocht san Acadamh agus an onóir acadúil is airde is féidir a fháil in Éirinn mar aon le haitheantas poiblí ar éachtaí acadúla. Tá breis is 420 Ball ag Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann anois, scoláirí a bhfuil a gcuid taighde dírithe ar na heolaíochtaí, ar na daonnachtaí nó ar na heolaíochtaí sóisialta. Tá cead ag baill thofa Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann 'MRIA' a scríobh i ndiaidh a n-ainm. Áirítear go leor de scoláirí mór le rá na hÉireann i measc bhaill Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann, An tOllamh Seamus Heaney, Buaiteoir Duais Nobel; An tOllamh Patrick Cunningham, géineolaí agus Príomhchomhairleoir Eolaíochta an Rialtais; An tOllamh Frances Ruane, eacnamaí; An Dr Garret FitzGerald, eacnamaí agus iar-Thaoiseach; agus an Dr Peter Harbison, seandálaí, ina measc. Tá breis is 60 Comhalta Oinigh ag an Acadamh, J.W. Von Goethe, Maria Edgeworth, Albert Einstein agus Max Born ina measc in imeacht na mblianta. I measc na gComhaltaí Oinigh reatha tá Buaiteoirí Duais Nobel Murray Gell-Mann, Steven Weinberg agus Sir Andrew Huxley. Tá tuilleadh eolais le fáil ag www.ria.ie -Críoch-

Friday, 15 May 2009

The Energy Research Centre at NUI Galway to Support New Product Development BioSpark, the newly-formed joint venture between Imperative Energy Ltd and Sustainable BioPolymers Ltd, is today announcing its intention to invest €40 million in the development of a next generation bio-processing research, innovation and manufacturing centre at Claremorris, County Mayo, which will create 180 new high value jobs within the local and regional economy with the realistic potential to grow to 300 jobs within three years. The BioSpark development, which is to be located at a 22-acre site close to the town of Claremorris, will incorporate the following elements: 20,000 tonne per annum bio-processing facility, utilising next generation technologies and techniques for the conversion of organic material such as straw and wood biomass into multiple high value bio-based products such as ethanol, lactic acid, lignin, methane and hydrogen state-of-the-art laboratory facilities for bio-processing research and innovation 60,000 tonne per annum wood pellet production facility, which will be the largest and most advanced on the island of Ireland 20MWth/5MWe CHP plant which will be fired on biomass and connected to the national grid via a sub-station in close proximity to the site 17 commercial units to house a cluster of related business ventures. The co-location of all of these elements is specifically designed to extract the maximum value from locally produced biomass in a model that is completely sustainable from both an environmental and an economic point of view. The biomass is used to produce industrial bulk and speciality bio-based compounds, which today are predominantly derived from the refining of oil, and which form essential inputs for a wide range of major global industries from pharmaceuticals to paints and plastics. At the same time, the biomass is also used to generate large quantities of renewable heat and power, making the whole facility not only completely self-sufficient in terms of its energy use, but also providing enough green energy to support district heating and cooling systems for the Claremorris area. Making the announcement The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan T.D., said: The impact of 180 high level jobs in County Mayo cannot be over emphasised. Certainly the construction jobs during the building phase will be a boost to the local economy; however, it is the sustainable jobs of the ultimate workforce that will be a real driver to the local and regional economy." "The BioSpark project is not just impressive at a County Mayo level, this is a project that will impress on an international scale and sends a strong message that the conditions are right for new businesses to setup in Ireland. Bioprocessing has been talked about for some time but this is the first real manifestation of a commercial scale facility with such a strong focus on innovation and R&D", the Tánaiste added. The total development will cost €40m and will be constructed over the next two years, subject to planning approval. The regional and national impact of the development will be: 120 jobs during construction 80 full-time positions post-construction – mostly high skilled, engineering roles engaged in R&D, manufacturing and operations management 100 upstream jobs in harvesting, transportation and supply chain management a further potential 120 high value jobs at the BioSpark Claremorris centre within three years of its completion, as new business ventures are spun off €18m yearly spend on locally sourced goods and services significant Intellectual Property (IP) relating to process enhancements as well as new product developments, which will be primarily coordinated through the Energy Research Centre at NUI Galway significant displacement of imported fossil fuels and fossil fuel derived products ready availability of green energy to the Claremorris area to support further inward investment in commercial, industrial and residential developments, similar to well-established district heating schemes in countries like Sweden and Finland. Professor Vincent O'Flaherty is Director of the Energy Research Centre at NUI Galway and says there are many future returns to be had from today's announcement: "Ireland's geographical location, our natural resources and our existing research base put us in a very strong position to take full advantage of the emerging green knowledge economy. This project is world-class and the ideal platform for Ireland to develop high-tech solutions for the global sustainable energy market. Our research centre's multi-disciplinary team looks forward to working with BioSpark to maximize its R&D potential". Bio-processing builds on one of Ireland's natural competitive advantages – our ability to grow biomass quicker and more productively than anywhere else in Europe – and BioSpark is designed to maximise the value that be gained from that fact. The BioSpark development at Claremorris is the first of a number of similar facilities that the promoters of the project – Imperative Energy Ltd and Sustainable Biopolymers Ltd - are planning to replicate across Ireland, the UK and North America. -ends-

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Four NUI Galway students have managed to secure all of this year's Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport national awards. The national awards are presented to the originators of the most innovative ideas which could make the most significant contribution to some aspect of the transport industry in Ireland. The winners were announced at a special ceremony at NUI Galway and presented by Senator Rónán Mullen. The winners announced were: · Natasha O'Farrell from Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, winner of the Safety & Environment Category. · Lt. David Kiely a serving Army Officer from Dromree, Macroom, Co Cork, winner of the Logistics and Transport Category. · Lauren Paul from Marquette University, winner of the Air Category. · Tristin Hatch, from University of Southern California, winner of the Road Category. Both Lauren and Tristin are international students participating in a European study programme. Professor Padraic O'Donoghue, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: "I would like to warmly congratulate all four winners of these prestigious awards. This reflects well on the quality of the student body at NUI Galway, the supervision of the lecturing staff and the range of relevant educational programmes that we provide. It is particularly noteworthy that two of the winners are visiting students from well known US universities and this illustrates the international nature of the educational experience at NUI Galway". Ms Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering and Informatics, who taught the Logistics and Transportation module taken by the winning students said: "The students' abilities to innovate are reflected in the attainment of these prestigious Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport awards. I am extremely proud of our students and I acknowledge the hard work, dedication and commitment that each student makes in the Logistics and Transport area. University education continues in its mission to develop innovative skills and talent which is vital to the development of our economy". -ends-

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) NUI Galway's Dr Conchúr Ó Brádaigh has been awarded the very first annual Crossland Medal for Engineering Innovation by Engineers Ireland. A part-time Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at NUI Galway, Dr Ó Brádaigh is also Joint Managing Director of ÉireComposites Teoranta in Indreabhán, Co. Galway. The Crossland Medal was presented to Dr Ó Brádaigh by Sir Bernard Crossland in recognition of his outstanding and innovative contribution to manufacturing processes within the aerospace and energy generation industries. The award was presented at a special event held recently at Queen's University Belfast. In presenting the Medal, Sir Bernard Crossland stated that Dr Ó Brádaigh was a worthy recipient of the First Crossland Medal for Engineering Innovation which is named in his honour. Sir Crossland noted that he has a proven track record of exploiting research in developing hi-tech industry in Ireland and his achievements are an example to young entrepreneurs. Following the presentation, Dr Ó Brádaigh delivered a keynote lecture on his work, entitled 'Development of thermoplastic composite manufacturing processes for aircraft and large wind turbine blades'. Dr Ó Brádaigh holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Centre for Composite Materials at the University of Delaware, USA, and M.EngSc. and B.E. degrees from NUI Galway. The focus of ÉireComposites Teoranta, which he jointly founded and developed, is the manufacture of thermoplastic composite components for the industrial sector and today it employs some 60 people including 20 graduate engineers. Dr Ó Brádaigh's innovations in the manufacture of large scale wind turbine blades are highly significant in the rapidly expanding area of energy generation by wind power that is of huge industrial and environmental importance to the west of Ireland. He has also made a very strong contribution to the field of mechanical engineering generally and to the development of strong and productive alliances between industry and academia, in particular NUI Galway. President of NUI Galway Dr Jim Browne, who is also President of Engineers Ireland, congratulated Dr Ó Brádaigh on this well deserved honour, saying that it reflects very well on the University. Sir Bernard Crossland, who sponsored the award, is former Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Queen's University Belfast, and has himself made an enormous contribution to the development of the mechanical engineering field in academia and in industry in Ireland, both north and south. An Chéad Bhonn Bliantúil Crossland do Nuálaíocht Innealtóireachta bronnta ar Léachtóir as OÉ Gaillimh (View in English) Tá an chéad bhonn bliantúil Crossland do Nuálaíocht Innealtóireachta bronnta ag Innealtóirí Éireann ar an Dr Conchúr Ó Brádaigh ó OÉ Gaillimh. Oibríonn an Dr Ó Brádaigh mar Léachtóir Sinsearach páirtaimseartha le hInnealtóireacht Mheicniúil in OÉ Gaillimh agus tá sé ag obair mar Chomhstiúrthóir Bainistíochta ar ÉireComposites Teoranta in Indreabhán, Co. na Gaillimhe freisin. Ba é Sior Bernard Crossland a bhronn Bonn Crossland ar an Dr Ó Brádaigh mar aitheantas ar an tsárobair agus ar an nuálaíocht atá léirithe aige i ndáil le próisis déantúsaíochta sa tionscal aeraspáis agus sa tionscal ginte fuinnimh. Bronnadh Bonn Crossland ar an Dr Ó Brádaigh ag searmanas speisialta a bhí ar siúl in Ollscoil na Banríona, Béal Feirste le déanaí. Dúirt Sior Bernard Crossland go raibh an-áthas air an Chéad Bhonn Crossland do Nuálaíocht Innealtóireachta a bhronnadh ar an Dr Ó Brádaigh. Ainmníodh an gradam áirithe seo in onóir Sior Bernard Crossland. Dúirt Sior Crossland go n-éiríonn leis an Dr Ó Brádaigh taighde a spreagadh agus tionscal ardteicneolaíochta a fhorbairt in Éirinn agus gur dea-shampla d'fhiontraithe óga a bhfuil bainte amach aige go dtí seo. I ndiaidh an tsearmanais, thug an Dr Ó Brádaigh léacht faoina chuid oibre dar teideal 'Development of thermoplastic composite manufacturing processes for aircraft and large wind turbine blades'. Tá Ph.D. in Innealtóireacht Mheicniúil ó Ionad na nÁbhar Ilchodach in Ollscoil Delaware, SAM, agus M.EngSc. agus B.E. ó OÉ Gaillimh ag an Dr Ó Brádaigh. Tá ÉireComposites Teoranta, a raibh sé ina chomhbhunaitheoir agus ina chomhfhorbróir air, dírithe ar ilchodaigh ilchodacha theirmeaplaisteacha a dhéanamh don earnáil thionsclaíoch agus tá 60 duine fostaithe ag an gcuideachta anois, 20 céimí innealtóireachta san áireamh. Ábhar suntais go háirithe an dul chun cinn atá déanta ag an Dr Ó Brádaigh i ndéantús lanna tuirbíní gaoithe móra ó tharla borradh a bheith faoi ghiniúint fuinnimh ó chumhacht na gaoithe i láthair na huaire agus tábhacht thionsclaíoch agus chomhshaoil a bheith ag baint leis seo in iarthar na hÉireann. Chomh maith leis sin, d'éirigh leis an-dul chun cinn a dhéanamh san innealtóireacht mheicniúil go ginearálta agus d'éirigh leis comhpháirtíochtaí láidre, bisiúla a fhorbairt idir an saol tionsclaíoch agus an saol acadúil, le OÉ Gaillimh go háirithe. Thréaslaigh Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh agus Uachtarán Innealtóirí Éireann, an Dr Jim Browne, leis an Dr Ó Brádaigh agus dúirt sé go gcuireann a leithéid d'aitheantas le dea-cháil na hOllscoile freisin. Iar-Ollamh le hInnealtóireacht Mheicniúil in Ollscoil na Banríona, Béal Feirste é Sior Bernard Crossland, urraitheoir an ghradaim, fear a chuir go mór le forbairt na hinnealtóireachta meicniúla sa saol acadúil agus sa saol tionsclaíoch in Éirinn, ó thuaidh agus ó dheas. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

The winner of this year's Inter-college Technology Development Competition is Eoghan Clifford, Research Engineer from NUI Galway's College of Engineering and Informatics. The winning technology is based on developing a novel integrated process technology to convert organic carbon, solids, nitrogen, phosphorus, odours and greenhouse gases (present in municipal, industrial and agricultural biosolids) to high-value useful products in a market worth about € 3.5 billion per annum in Europe alone. The Inter-College Technology Development Competition is a collaborative programme between NUI Galway, TCD and UCC and is funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) under the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) which includes multidisciplinary teams and cross-university teams working together on the commercialisation of research and technology transfer. One of the competition organisers Fiona Neary of the Ignite Technology Transfer Office, NUI Galway said: "The standards were very high and the expert panel made up of Venture Capitalists, funding agencies, business and academic professionals were extremely impressed by the level of technologies showcased. It was an exciting event where feedback from the experts revealed that more entrepreneurial training with a strong focus on market validation and financial strategy is critical to deliver successful commercial opportunities". Throughout the programme participants from NUI Galway, TCD and UCC were given training and mentoring to assist them prepare and present their commercial opportunities to an experienced panel. The variety of technologies ranged from a bartering system for online services, the next Google, solar technologies, knowledge transfer algorithm and minute batteries. Ms Neary added: "These emerging technologies with the convergence of innovation, training and commercialisation will help deliver Irelands Smart Economy of the future". Dr Michael Rodgers from NUI Galway's College of Engineering and Informatics, and supervisor for the winning project, said: "It is very exciting to be part of the winning team. There is an urgent need to develop new technologies that can sustainably process increasing volumes of biosolids generated during the treatment of municipal, agricultural and industrial wastes. I would like to extend my congratulation to Eoghan and the other members of the team, Edmond O'Reilly, Eimear Ruane, Kathy Carney and Dr Aoife Keady". -ends-

Monday, 11 May 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) NUI Galway has announced details of a new spin-off company, Qpercom Ltd. The software and services company, based in the University's business incubation facilities, provides an online assessment tool to replace any kind of paper-based form or check list. The company's initial target market is medical schools across Europe, of which there are almost 140, with well over one million students. Qpercom Ltd. has already secured as customers the Medical School at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, and NUI Galway's School of Medicine and its School of Nursing and Midwifery. NUI Galway's Dr Thomas Kropmans is one of the founders of the company and developed the technology with his colleagues at the University's Medical Informatics and Education group in the School of Medicine. He comments: "Quality assurance in medical education and assessment is an absolute necessity. This innovative web platform allows electronic data capturing and real-time data analysis. Therefore, improved quality assurance and appropriate educational decision making can be achieved. The financial benefits are also very compelling, as our customers are realising savings of up to 70% in administrative costs, not to mention savings on paper and printing". Until now, the performance of medical students during their clinical examinations has been recorded on paper forms by the assessor. A cohort of 600 medical students produces at least 8,600 forms. Those forms would then have to be compiled, manually calculated and keyed into a database, resulting in a delay before results could be viewed. Such paper marking sheets can now be replaced by Qpercom's online Assessment Management System* with results compiled instantly. Last month, medical students at NUI Galway were successfully examined using Qpercom's technology. NUI Galway's Dr Barry O'Donovan, a lecturer in General Practice, said: "This is a really exciting development. The innovative software was a complete success and the laborious tick boxing is now all gone. Even more importantly, we can now analyse station and examiner performance. We can now ensure that the only variable in the exam is the student. This software is going to be of great interest to medical schools in Ireland and internationally". Qpercom's products and services also have huge potential in other markets where instantaneous results from forms or check-lists would be of benefit. Such markets include industrial education, sports education, agriculture and health and safety. Reflecting Qpercom's broad appeal, the new company has secured In Tense Safety Training & Assessment in the Netherlands as a customer. Radmer de Jong of In Tense comments: "Qpercom has delivered a great custom-made product to meet our requirements, because they took the time to investigate the demands needed in our field and specified by our company. An online interface was designed to score our outdoor training sessions to ensure validation of our assessment tool". NUI Galway has a long standing involvement with the promotion of indigenous enterprise and a strong record of start-up companies. Other innovative spin-out companies are in the pipeline and are currently at late stage negotiation. Seach-Chuideachta Bogearraí Nua Bunaithe in OÉ Gaillimh (View in English) Tá sonraí fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh maidir le seach-chuideachta nua, Qpercom Ltd. Soláthraíonn an chuideachta bogearraí agus seirbhísí seo, atá lonnaithe i ngorlann ghnó na hOllscoile, uirlis measúnachta ar líne a bheidh in úsáid in ionad foirmeacha agus seicliostaí páipéir. Is iad scoileanna leighis ar fud na hEorpa an spriocmhargadh a bheidh ag an gcuideachta ag an tús. Tá beagnach 140 scoil leighis ar fad ann, agus breis is milliún mac léinn. I measc na gcustaiméirí atá aimsithe ag Qpercom Ltd. cheana féin tá Scoil Leighis Ollscoil Erasmus in Rotterdam, Scoil an Leighis, agus Scoil an Altranais agus an Chnáimhseachais in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an Dr Thomas Kropmans ó OÉ Gaillimh ar dhuine de bhunaitheoirí na cuideachta agus d'fhorbair sé an teicneolaíocht seo i dteannta a chomhghleacaithe i nGrúpa Ionformaitice agus Oideachais Leighis na hOllscoile, Grúpa atá lonnaithe i Scoil an Leighis. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá aige: "Tá géarghá le dearbhú cáilíochta in oideachas agus i measúnacht leighis. Ciallaíonn an t-ardán gréasáin nuálach seo gur féidir sonraí a ghabháil go leictreonach agus gur féidir anailís fíor-ama a dhéanamh ar shonraí. Is é an buntáiste a bhaineann leis seo gur féidir dearbhú cáilíochta a fheabhsú agus cinntí oideachais cuí a dhéanamh. Baineann buntáistí suntasacha airgeadais leis seo freisin, tuigeann ár gcustaiméirí gur féidir suas le 70% a shábháil ar chostais riaracháin, le cois airgead a shábháil ar pháipéar agus ar phriontáil". Go dtí le blianta beaga anuas, ba é an measúnóir a choimeád taifead ar pháipéar d'obair na mac léinn leighis le linn dóibh a bheith i mbun scrúduithe cliniciúla. Bíonn thart ar 8,600 foirm i gceist le cohórt 600 mac léinn leighis. Ansin bheadh na foirmeacha ar fad le tiomsú, na marcanna le suimiú agus le hiontráil ar bhunachar sonraí. Thógfadh sé seo ar fad roinnt ama sula mbeadh na torthaí ar fáil. Is féidir Córas Bainistíochta Measúnachta ar líne Qpercom* a úsáid anois in ionad na mbileog marcála páipéir rud a chiallaíonn go mbíonn torthaí ar fáil láithreach bonn. An mhí seo caite, baineadh leas as teicneolaíocht Qpercom le mic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh a chur faoi scrúdú. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Barry O'Donovan, léachtóir ó Roinn na Dochúireachta Teaghlaigh: "Is cinnte gur forbairt thar a bheith spéisiúil é seo. D'éirigh thar cionn ar fad leis an mbogearra nuálach seo agus tá deireadh anois le ré na mboscaí beaga agus na dticeanna. Níos tábhachtaí ná sin, táimid anois in ann anailís a dhéanamh ar obair stáisiúin agus ar fheidhmiú na scrúdaitheoirí. Féadaimid a chinntiú anois nach mbeidh ach athróg amháin sa scrúdú feasta – an mac léinn. Níl aon amhras orm ach go mbeidh an-spéis ag scoileanna leighis in Éirinn agus scoileanna leighis ar fud na cruinne sa teicneolaíocht seo". Tá neart deiseanna eile ann freisin táirgí agus seirbhísí Qpercom a fhorbairt i margaí eile ina mbainfeadh tairbhe le torthaí a fháil láithreach bonn ó fhoirmeacha agus ó sheicliostaí. I measc na margaí sin tá oideachas tionsclaíoch, oideachas spóirt, talmhaíocht, agus sláinte agus sábháilteacht. Cruthúnas eile fós ar an tóir a bheidh ar an gcuideachta nua seo is ea gur éirigh le Qpercom cuideachta atá lonnaithe san Ísiltír ar a dtugtar In Tense Safety & Assessment a fháil mar chustaiméir. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Radmer de Jong ó In Tense Safety & Assessment: "Tá táirge shaincheaptha den chéad scoth deartha ag Qpercom a chomhlíonann na riachtanais atá againn mar go raibh siad sásta an t-am a chaitheamh i mbun scrúdaithe ar ár riachtanais agus ar na riachtanais a shonraíomar. Dearadh comhéadan ar líne a chur ar ár gcumas scóir a choinneáil dár seisiúin oiliúna allamuigh d'fhonn a chinntiú go raibh ár n-uirlis measúnachta oiriúnach". Tá baint ag OÉ Gaillimh le fada an lá le fiontar dúchasach a chur chun cinn agus cuidiú le cuideachtaí nua. Tá seach-chuideachtaí nuálacha eile á bhforbairt i láthair na huaire agus críoch curtha beagnach leis na hidirbheartaíochtaí ina lán cásanna. -Críoch-

Thursday, 7 May 2009

RTÉ Sport presenter Colm Murray will host a history lecture to celebrate the GAA's 125th birthday in Dublin on Tuesday, 12 May at 7.30pm at the Davenport Hotel, Merrion Square, Dublin 2. Murray will introduce the passionate GAA enthusiast and celebrated academic, Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh from NUI Galway, who will deliver a lecture entitled 'The GAA at 125 - The Challenges of Change'. The event is organised by the NUI Galway Dublin Alumni Group. Professor Ó Tuathaigh will look back at the success of the association and the challenges it now faces. He will make the case that the secret of the GAA s success as a social force in Ireland for 125 years lies in its capacity (at leadership and rank and file levels) to adapt to changes in the wider society. Professor Ó Tuathaigh argues, "Its adaptability - and its ability to manage change - rather than any deep conservatism inherent in the organisation; this is its key characteristic". The lecture will also consider some of the main challenges facing the GAA at the present time, and those likely to challenge it during the next decade. These include; globalisation (sport as a product in a global entertainment market), urbanisation, professionalism and the amateur ethos, and the role of women at all levels of the Association. Paraic Duffy, Director General of the GAA, will provide his response to Professor Ó Tuathaigh's points of view at the end of the lecture. Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh is an alumnus of, and Professor of History at, NUI Galway. He has lectured and been a visiting professor at numerous universities in North America, Britain, Australia, and continental Europe. In addition to his many publications (in modern Irish and British history), he is an experienced broadcaster (in Irish and English) in the main media in Ireland and Britain. Tickets for the event will be allocated on a 'first-come, first-served' basis to graduates of NUI Galway who apply via email to colm.odwyer@nuigalway.ie or phone Colm O'Dwyer on 091 493750 -ends-

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Ways of using marketing techniques to change social behaviour in Ireland will be discussed at an NUI Galway conference on Friday, 15 May. Entitled 'Changing Lives for Good', the event will explore the emerging field of Social Marketing which is being successfully applied to tackle social problems around the world. Social marketing is the application of marketing concepts and techniques to achieve specific behavioural goals for a social good. Social Marketing has already had some success tackling issues such as obesity, smoking and road safety in countries including the USA, Canada, Britain, France, New Zealand and Australia. The leading authority in the US on Social Marketing, Nancy Lee, will draw from her 25 years of practical experience in the field to deliver the keynote address at the event. Nancy Lee serves as a strategic adviser on a variety of local and national social marketing campaigns in the US, and has co-authored five books with marketing guru, Philip Kotler. Organising the conference is Dr Christine Domegan, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway. Dr Domegan is convinced of the value of Social Marketing and is working on developing courses and encouraging further study into the field to help address the need for Social Marketing skills in this country. "Changing consumer behavioural patterns for the better, for example away from binge drinking, requires professionals from many fields to come together to drive policy and communications strategies," explains Dr Domegan. She adds: "For those new to the field, the conference will provide a comprehensive introduction to Social Marketing, encouraging participants to consider the scope for using marketing principles and techniques to effect social change and fundamentally alter the way we live for the better. It will demonstrate how professionals, seeking to bring about behavioural change, can apply it to practical situations in Ireland". Among the other contributors to the conference are Maurice Murphy from the Cork Institute of Technology, who will ask if Social Marketing can be used to reduce road traffic collisions among young male drivers. Joe McKenna from Venture Advancement will look at applications of Social Marketing in the non-profit sector. Lorraine McIlrath, who works with NUI Galway's Community Knowledge Initiative, will explore community and university partnerships in her presentation. The conference will also feature workshops on Health, Environment, Voluntary Sector and Management Models for a Knowledge society. To register, or for further details, contact Valerie Parker on 091 495971 or by email at valerie.parker@nuigalway.ie -ends-

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) NUI Galway has been announced as the partner of the Volunteers Programme for the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Galway from 23 May-6 June 2009. As Ireland's leading University in the development of student volunteering initiatives, NUI Galway will work with non-profit event organiser Let's Do It Galway to help mobilise the small army of volunteers needed for the two-week festival in Galway City. To date, almost 1000 people, including many NUI Galway staff and students, have offered to volunteer their time and skills in support of the Galway Volvo Ocean Race. The University will bring its considerable experience in the field of volunteering to the event. Every year, through its ALIVE volunteering programme, NUI Galway supports thousands of students who volunteer with over 80 local and international community organisations. NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, is proud of the role the University plays in actively encouraging volunteering initiatives: "NUI Galway has a specific commitment to embracing community and civic engagement as a core part of our mission. Our University is at the forefront in Ireland of pioneering models for civic engagement including volunteering programmes that annually actively engage over 1,500 NUI Galway students to think critically about society and their place within it. We are proud of our role in helping to shape socially-aware citizens, who are active members of their community through their voluntary activities". According to Fiona Lawless, NUI Galway graduate and Volunteers Manager with Let's Do It Galway: "This is a unique opportunity for people to play an integral role in the biggest international sporting Festival within Europe in 2009. Volunteers will be key to the success of the Galway Stopover and are the 'face' of the event to visitors at the Race Village. The reality is that the number of events being staged during the two week festival would not be possible without the enthusiasm and commitment that people have demonstrated. During the event volunteers will be the heart and soul of the festivities". Lorraine Tansey is Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway and runs the University's ALIVE programme: "Our partnership with Let's Do It Galway on the Volunteering Programme for the Volvo Ocean Race is a natural fit. There is an ethos of civic engagement here at NUI Galway and that will spread around the City in the coming weeks". Volunteers are already playing major roles in the pre-event Let's do it Galway team, and the amount of time and high standard of work is highly valued by the organisers. Claire Heskin, a marketing graduate from NUI Galway, is currently volunteering in the Let's Do It Galway Office as Marketing and PR Assistant, says: "This is a once in a lifetime festival and it's hugely rewarding to be involved as a volunteer. I will experience the Volvo Ocean Race from a different perspective and every day more volunteers are coming on board. We have a great team, loads of energy, and the excitement is growing every day as we count down to the 23 May". Oibrithe Deonacha OÉ Gaillimh do Rás Aigéin Volvo (View in English) Tá sé fógartha gurb í OÉ Gaillimh comhpháirtí an Chláir Oibrithe Deonacha do stad na Gaillimhe de Rás Aigéin Volvo ón 23 Bealtaine – 6 Meitheamh 2009. Ó tharla gurb í an Ollscoil seo an ollscoil is gníomhaí sa tír ó thaobh tionscnaimh dheonacha a fhorbairt i measc na mac léinn, oibreoidh OÉ Gaillimh leis an eagraí neamhbhrabúsach Let's Do It Galway le cuidiú leis an mbaicle bheag oibrithe deonacha a bheidh ar fáil don fhéile a mhairfidh ar feadh coicíse i gCathair na Gaillimhe. Go dtí seo, tá beagnach 1000 duine, go leor d'fhoireann agus de mhic léinn OÉ Gaillimh ina measc, tar éis a gcuid ama agus a gcuid scileanna a thairiscint dúinn le tacú le Rás Aigéin Volvo na Gaillimhe. Cuirfidh an Ollscoil an taithí mhór atá aici i réimse na hoibre deonaí chun sochair na féile. Gach bliain, trína chlár oibrithe deonacha ALIVE, tacaíonn OÉ Gaillimh leis na mílte mac léinn a bhíonn ag déanamh obair dheonach i mbreis agus 80 eagraíocht phobail áitiúil agus idirnáisiúnta. Tá Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr James J. Browne, mórtasach as an mbaint atá ag an Ollscoil le tionscnaimh oibrithe deonacha a spreagadh: "Mar chuid thábhachtach den mhisean atá againn, tá cúram ar leith á dhéanamh ag OÉ Gaillimh den chomhpháirteachas pobail agus poiblí. Tá an Ollscoil seo ar thús cadhnaíochta in Éirinn ó thaobh múnlaí ceannródaíocha comhpháirteachais phoiblí a bhunú, agus i measc na múnlaí sin tá cláir oibrithe deonacha ina spreagtar breis agus 1,500 mac léinn de chuid OÉ Gaillimh le machnamh criticiúil a dhéanamh ar an tsochaí agus ar an mbaint atá acu féin léi. Táimid bródúil as an ról atá againn ag múnlú saoránach atá feasach ar an tsochaí agus atá gníomhach sa phobal tríd an obair dheonach a dhéanann siad." Seo an méid a bhí le rá ag Fiona Lawless, céimí de chuid OÉ Gaillimh agus Bainisteoir na nOibrithe Deonacha le Let's Do It Galway: "Is deis iontach é seo do dhaoine le ról gníomhach a bheith acu san Fhéile spóirt idirnáisiúnta is mó san Eoraip in 2009. Beidh a fheabhas a éireoidh le Stad na Gaillimhe den Rás ag brath go huile is go hiomlán ar na hoibrithe deonacha arb iad 'aghaidh' an imeachta iad do chuairteoirí ar Shráidbhaile an Rása. Is é fírinne an scéil nach bhféadfaí an líon imeachtaí atáthar a reáchtáil le linn na féile coicíse a eagrú gan an spéis agus an dílseacht atá léirithe ag daoine iontu. Cuirfidh na hoibrithe deonacha a gcroí agus a n-anam san fhéile." Is í Lorraine Tansey Comhordaitheoir Obair Dheonach na Mac Léinn in OÉ Gaillimh agus tá sí i mbun chlár ALIVE na hOllscoile: "Tá an chomhpháirtíocht le Let's Do It Galway do Chlár Oibrithe Deonacha Rás Aigéin Volvo ag luí go nádúrtha le clár ALIVE. Tá spiorad láidir comhpháirteachais phoiblí anseo in OÉ Gaillimh agus beidh sé le brath ar fud na Cathrach as seo go ceann cúpla seachtain." Tá oibrithe deonacha an-ghníomhach cheana féin ar fhoireann réamhimeachta Let's Do It Galway, agus tá an lucht eagair thar a bheith buíoch den mhéid ama atá á chaitheamh acu leis agus d'ardchaighdeán na hoibre. Tá Claire Heskin, céimí Margaíochta ó OÉ Gaillimh, ag obair go deonach in Oifig Let's Do It Galway mar Chúntóir Margaíochta agus Caidreamh Poiblí: "Is féile eisceachtúil í seo agus tá an-sásamh le baint as a bheith páirteach inti mar oibrí deonach. Beidh taithí eile ar fad agam ar Rás Aigéin Volvo agus tá líon na n-oibrithe deonacha ag méadú lá i ndiaidh lae. Tá foireann iontach againn, neart fuinnimh, agus táimid ag éirí níos tógtha de réir mar atáimid ag druidim leis an 23 Bealtaine." -Críoch-

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) An information evening on Adult and Continuing Education courses available from NUI Galway takes place in the Orbsen Building, on Thursday, 14 May from 6.30-8.30pm. Information will be available on a new initiative from NUI Galway which will allow a 50% fees reduction for people who have recently become unemployed and wish to study certain programmes which address the future skills of the 'smart economy'. The specific programmes which will be discounted are the Diploma in Innovation Management (Postgraduate), Diploma in Technology Commercialisation (Postgraduate), Master of Science in Technology Management, Diploma/Bachelor of Science in Science and Technology Studies and the Certificate/Diploma in General Studies. NUI Galway will also offer individual modules from these courses to prospective students, and discounts will be available on some language courses. Over 40 part-time courses will be show-cased at the event in areas such as Community Development, Health Promotion, Business/Management, IT, Science and Technology, Training and Education, and Languages. NUI Galway's suite of part-time programmes, include foundation level studies through to Masters awards. All are available in a modular, flexible format and can be taken through traditional classroom mode or via distance learning for students who are unable to attend the campus on a weekly basis. "With recent job losses and much economic debate, it is even more important that employees update and refresh their skills either for future employment prospects or for career change", says Nuala McGuinn, Adult Education Development Officer at NUI Galway. Many of our courses have a number of award options, including Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees so students can choose which exit route suits them at any point in time". Through the University's system of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), students may seek credit for their existing knowledge which can provide for entry to programmes or exemption from certain modules. Nuala McGuinn adds: "It's worth considering your current skills set and where this can be enhanced. Our programmes are not only designed to be as flexible as possible, but we also want to recognise the knowledge and training that each individual already has. With Recognition of Prior Learning, returning to education does not mean starting from square one". People visiting NUI Galway for the Adult and Continuing Education information evening are invited to bring along a copy of their CV for feedback and guidance from the University's Career Development Centre. Visitors are also invited to a series of careers talks running in parallel to the information evening, from 7–8pm, on the theme 'Focus for Career Success in Challenging Times'. During the talks, a variety of high-profile speakers will focus on the labour market, improving employability, motivation and networking. For further details on the information evening or to obtain a prospectus of the Adult and Continuing Education Programmes, contact 091-492062 or check out the website on www.nuigalway.ie/adulteducation. Oíche Eolais do Dhaoine ar Spéis leo Tabhairt faoi Chlár Oideachais Aosaigh in OÉ Gaillimh (View in English) Beidh oíche eolais faoi na cúrsaí Oideachais Aosaigh agus Leantaigh atá á reáchtáil in OÉ Gaillimh ar siúl in Áras Oirbsean, Déardaoin, an 14 Bealtaine ó 6.30-8.30pm. Beidh eolas ar fáil faoin scéim nua atá ar bun in OÉ Gaillimh – scéim a thabharfaidh lacáiste 50% ar tháillí do dhaoine a chaill a bpost le déanaí agus ar mian leo staidéar a dhéanamh ar chláir áirithe a bhfuil sé mar aidhm leo díriú ar na scileanna a bheidh riachtanach don 'gheilleagar cliste' amach anseo. I measc na gclár a bhfuil an lacáiste 50% luaite leo tá an Dioplóma i mBainistíocht Nuálaíochta (Iarchéim), Dioplóma i dTeicneolaíocht Tráchtálaithe (Iarchéim), Máistreacht Eolaíochta i mBainistíocht Teicneolaíochta, Dioplóma/Baitsiléir Eolaíochta in Eolaíocht agus Staidéar Teicneolaíochta, agus Teastas/Dioplóma i Staidéar Ginearálta. Chomh maith leis sin, beidh modúil aonair ó na cúrsaí seo á dtairiscint do mhic léinn ar spéis leo tabhairt faoi cheann de na cúrsaí sonraithe, agus beidh lacáiste le fáil freisin ar chuid de na cúrsaí teanga. Beidh eolas le fáil faoi bhreis agus 40 cúrsa páirtaimseartha ag an oíche eolais, cúrsaí faoi Fhorbairt Pobail, Cothú Sláinte, Gnó/Bainistíocht, TF, Eolaíocht agus Teicneolaíocht, Oiliúint agus Oideachas, agus Teangacha ina measc. Tá idir chúrsaí bonnleibhéil agus chéimeanna máistreachta á dtairiscint ag OÉ Gaillimh. Bíonn na cúrsaí ar fad roinnte i modúil éagsúla, bíonn solúbthacht áirithe i gceist agus féadfar tabhairt faoi na cúrsaí sa seomra ranga nó féadfaidh na mic léinn sin nach bhfuil ar a gcumas freastal ar an gcampas gach seachtain na cúrsaí a dhéanamh trí chianfhoghlaim. Deir Nuala McGuinn, Oifigeach Forbartha Oideachais Aosaigh in OÉ Gaillimh "go bhfuil sé níos tábhachtaí anois ná riamh, ó tharla an oiread sin daoine a bheith dífhostaithe agus neart díospóireachta a bheith ar bun faoin ngeilleagar, go dtapaíonn fostaithe na deiseanna atá ann a gcuid scileanna a fheabhsú agus scileanna nua a fhoghlaim ionas go mbeidh siad in ann na deiseanna fostaíochta a bheidh ann amach anseo a thapú nó go deimhin post nua ar fad a aimsiú dóibh féin. Tá cineálacha éagsúla cúrsaí á dtairiscint anseo in OÉ Gaillimh, Teastais, Dioplómaí agus Céimeanna san áireamh, agus is féidir leis na mic léinn na cúrsaí is fearr a fheileann dóibh féin a roghnú". Tríd an gcóras ar a dtugtar Aitheantas i leith Réamhfhoghlaim atá i bhfeidhm san Ollscoil, féadfaidh mic léinn creidiúint a fháil don méid atá foghlamtha acu roimhe seo, córas a théann chun tairbhe mac léinn ar mian leo tabhairt faoi chláir áirithe nó díolúine a fháil ó mhodúil áirithe. Chomh maith leis sin dúirt Nuala McGuinn: "gur fiú machnamh a dhéanamh ar na scileanna atá agat i láthair na huaire agus na bealaí ina bhféadfaí na scileanna seo a fheabhsú. Ní hamháin go bhfuil sé mar aidhm againn cláir sholúbtha a sholáthar, teastaíonn uainn aitheantas a thabhairt freisin don eolas agus don oiliúint atá sealbhaithe ag daoine cheana féin. Tríd an gcóras ar a dtugtar Aitheantas i leith Réamhfhoghlaim, ní gá gur ag tosú ón tús a bheifeá arís". Tá míle fáilte rompu siúd a bheidh ag tabhairt cuairte ar OÉ Gaillimh don oíche eolais cóip dá CV a thabhairt leo más mian leo aiseolas agus treoir a fháil ó Ionad Forbartha Gairmeacha na hOllscoile. Chomh maith leis sin, tá fáilte roimh chuairteoirí freastal ar shraith cainteanna faoi ghairmeacha a bheidh ar siúl an oíche sin idir 7-8pm. 'Focus for Career Success in Challenging Times' an teideal atá ar an tsraith cainteanna seo. I rith na gcainteanna, labhróidh cainteoirí aitheanta faoin margadh fostaíochta agus faoi infhostaitheacht, spreagadh agus líonrú a fheabhsú. Má theastaíonn tuilleadh eolais uait faoin oíche eolais nó más mian leat cóip de réamheolaire na gClár Oideachais Aosaigh agus Leantaigh a fháil, glaoigh ar 091-492062 nó féach ar an láithreán gréasáinwww.nuigalway.ie/adulteducation. -Críoch-

Friday, 1 May 2009

PurStem, a €3.5m European-wide collaborative research project, has been launched at NUI Galway with the aim of revolutionising the large scale processing of high quality adult stem cells. Stem cells have shown tremendous potential for the repair and regeneration of a large range of tissues and organs, however, the translation of this potential into functional clinical therapies requires large numbers of stem cells. PurStem aims to develop methods for producing adult stems calls in a safe and effective manner, on an industrial scale, suitable for clinical applications. PurStem is funded under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Union and coordinated by the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI), at NUI Galway. The project brings leading researchers in stem cell science and regenerative therapy from across Europe together with small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) with specific industrial technologies and expertise. According to Professor Frank Barry of REMEDI, NUI Galway, and coordinator of PurStem: "In order for the potential of these new therapies to be realised, a consistent and plentiful supply of well-characterised stem cells is essential. There has been relatively little progress in the development of new culture technologies for the large-scale manufacture of adult stem cells. There is now a strong possibility that this limited ability to produce stem cells will result in delays to the translation of new therapies to the clinic". The team involved in PurStem seek to address the challenge of current limitations on producing adult stem cells by standardising existing adult stem cell preparation methods in partner laboratories, devising new reagents and media formulations for expansion and differentiation and by advancing Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) capabilities for production. The collaborative research led by NUI Galway's REMEDI will also include the University of Genoa, Italy; Ovagen International Ltd., Ireland; the University of Leeds, UK; Pintail Ltd., Ireland; the Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic; and ProCure Ltd., Ireland. -ends-

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Two NUI Galway students are among a select group chosen to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the new Obama administration, through internships in Washington DC. Part of a group of thirty-one students from Ireland and Northern Ireland, Anne Parsons and Heather Watters were selected for the US trip by the Washington Ireland Program (WIP). Heather Watters from Emyvale, Co. Monaghan, is a final year Corporate Law student at NUI Galway, and is working on Capitol Hill for the summer at the office of Representative Tim Holden. Final year Arts student Anne Parsons from Portlaoise, Co. Laois, is studying English and Philosophy at NUI Galway. Anne is interning at Imagination Stage, which produces theatre and arts education for young people. WIP selects promising individuals, from Ireland and Northern Ireland, who will ultimately use their unique talents to contribute back to their home communities. Last year, NUI Galway Corporate Law student Peter Mannion was part of the WIP programme and worked with the then Senator, now President, Barack Obama's office. NUI Galway's Vice-President for the Student Experience, Mary O'Riordan, stated that: "NUI Galway is delighted to support WIP which provides a wonderful opportunity for our students to participate in this very exciting programme". The students, who will return to Ireland in August, have already held a private meeting with the Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts, at the Supreme Court. Each student must also undertake a speaking moment at a high profile event, and attend functions at venues including the Embassy of Ireland, the National Press Club, the US Congress, and the United Nations. Speaking about the Program, Heather Watters said: "The team is so varied, and each person so unique, it is such a great experience. The work placement has been very helpful. Although I study Law, I have never been a huge follower of local Irish politics. Now having been placed in Congressman Tim Holden's office, I have gained a new found respect for all the invisible people in politics, and the procedures that occur". Anne Parsons commented: "It is a great honour to be representing NUI Galway. I received enormous support from English and Philosophy in my application process, in particular from Dr Felix Ó Murchadha and Dr John Kenny. I have had an incredible experience so far with the Washington Ireland Program. We have been given so many opportunities to meet so many influential people, from Chief Justice Roberts of the Supreme Court to political speechwriters and CEOs. My experience so far at Imagination Stage has been so positive". Celebrating its fifteenth anniversary this year, WIP is an organisation designed to give students a rich insight into America's professional and social culture, through a two-month internship and an intensive training course in leadership and service. This year produced an unprecedented level of interest in the Program. Ireland Director, Jonathan Chesney, believes this level of interest ensures the Program really does pick the very best students: "Due to the record number of applicants, this year's selection process was exceptionally competitive and as a result, we have a phenomenal team". -ends-

Monday, 29 June 2009

On Friday, 3 July, an elite group of international scientists will convene at NUI Galway, highlighting the combined efforts of chemists and biologists in cancer research. Over the years, NUI Galway has built a strong foundation in cancer research through strategic recruitment of internationally recognised cancer researchers and clinicians. Professor Corrado Santocanale is one of these international recruits and, as Chair of Molecular Medicine at NUI Galway, he will speak about his research at the Symposium. With his team at the University's National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES), Professor Santocanale is studying a protein called 'Cdc7 kinase' which is a possible target in cancer cells for drug therapies. According to Professor Santocanale, "Biology must bridge to Chemistry to find therapies for cancer. We now have a much better understanding of the molecular changes occurring in cancers and how cancer cells use specific proteins to multiply. Through Chemistry we have therefore the opportunity to develop drugs that, by targeting those specific proteins, have the potential to be more effective than current therapeutics. It is only through the best inter-disciplinary approach, that significant progress can be made". Also speaking at the Symposium will be Professor Karl J. Hale, Chair of Organic & Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Queens University Belfast; Professor Ian Paterson, University of Cambridge, and Fellow of the Royal Society; and Professor Amos B. Smith III, Rhodes-Thompson Professor of Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, USA. These researchers are leading groups which conduct world-class research into the synthesis of architecturally complex natural products with exceptional promise in the cancer area. At NUI Galway there is a large multidisciplinary team with a focus on cancer. This team is working to understand the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the initiation and progression of cancer, and to develop new and better cancer therapies. The research groups include those working in the Centre for Chromosome Biology led by Professor Noel Lowndes and an Apoptosis group led by Dr Howard Fearnhead. These basic research groups have strong links with clinical teams in medicine, surgery, radiotherapy and pathology. Clinical and translational research encompasses a range of malignancies including haematologic, breast, prostate and gastrointestinal cancers. In the School of Chemistry a group of researchers work in the Cancer Chemistry area, led by Professor Paul Murphy. The School plans to continue the development of programmes in the design and synthesis of anti-tumour compounds, including those that are related to natural products as well as development of new cancer diagnostic tools, and studying the basic chemical mechanisms involved in cancer progression. -ends-

Friday, 26 June 2009

Through an international collaboration, NUI Galway's Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), has announced a new way to enhance web content. Working with AdaptiveBlue, Faviki, Freebase, Yahoo!, Zemanta and Zigtag, the team at DERI have launched Common Tag, a new tagging format for web pages. Over 100 researchers at DERI focus on the Semantic Web, which is the next incarnation of the internet and is expected to be more intuitive because data will be defined and linked. According to Dr Alexandre Passant, postdoctoral researcher in DERI, "The possibilities offered by Common Tag are really exciting. When people start using it to tag their data, lots of new usages will emerge. For instance, it will be easier to find content related to a particular music genre, a movie or a location. Common Tag is another concrete step to enable the Semantic Web, a vision of the Web that we are working on in DERI at NUI Galway for the last five years". Peter Mika from Yahoo! Research emphasised: "Semantic tagging is an important next step in the evolution of the Web. When we add semantic meaning to tags, the content that is tagged becomes significantly easier for machines to understand. That in turn allows for the development of more intelligent applications for aggregating, searching, and browsing the Web". On a website, tags are a kind of label which is embedded behind and image or piece of text. Tags have long been used tags to organise, share and search for content on the Web. However, in the absence of a common tagging format for Web content, the benefits of tagging have been limited. Individual places like New York City are often represented by multiple tags (e.g., "nyc", "new_york_city", and "newyork"), making it difficult to organise related content. In addition, it isn't always clear what a particular tag represents – does the tag "jaguar" represent the animal, the car company, or the operating system? The Common Tag format was developed to address these shortcomings and help everyone including end users, publishers, and developers to get more out of Web content. With Common Tag, content is tagged with unique, well-defined concepts, for example, everything about jaguar the animal is tagged with one concept for jaguar the animal. The Common Tag format also provides access to useful metadata that defines each concept and describes how the concepts relate to one another. For example, metadata for the Barack Obama concept indicates that he's the President of the United States and that he's married to Michelle Obama. At NUI Galway, DERI was established in 2003 by Science Foundation Ireland as a Centre for Science and Engineering Technology (CSET) with a focus on researching Web Science, sensors and their use in enabling networked knowledge. Currently on its second major five-year research programme, DERI's research output is being used by its eight CSET industry partners to maintain competitive advantage, contribute towards next generation product development and as innovation enablers. DERI is also actively engaged in technology spin-outs and licensing of its leading edge technologies. Since its establishment it has since grown to over 120 people and has acquired significant additional research funding from sources such as the European Union Framework Programmes, Enterprise Ireland and industrial partnerships". Dr Passant added, "Together with previous work done here regarding SIOC (Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities), and a project like FOAF (Friend of a Friend) in which DERI also participates, Common Tag now provides a complete ecosystem to represent social data on the Web in a meaningful and understandable way". -ends-

Friday, 26 June 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) The conferring of Honorary Degrees took place at NUI Galway today (Friday, 26 June). Those honoured were from the spheres of engineering Liam Connellan, business Brian Joyce, public service Pádraic MacKernan, philanthropy Anna Ó Coinne and education Professor Philip O'Leary. NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, speaking at the conferring ceremony said: "NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history, and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group. Each has been outstanding in their own way, and NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals". Liam Connellan A native of Strokestown, Co Roscommon, Liam Connellan has had a deep involvement in the engineering profession for over forty years and has served as President of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland; was a founding member of the Irish Academy of Engineering and has served as President of the Academy. He also served as the first Chairman of the National Roads Authority from 1994 to 2001, and was President of the Royal Dublin Society from 1995 to 1998. Liam has been Chairman of companies within the Veolia Environment Group in Ireland and is Chairman of the Energy Institute in the Republic of Ireland. He is a member of the Board of the Peter McVerry Trust which assists homeless young people. Brian Joyce Born in Headford, Co. Galway, Brian Joyce, returned to his Alma Mater to collect his honouray degree in recognition of extensive contribution to the world of business. Brian is a former Chief Executive of Board Bainne and has served as a Board member and Chairman of numerous household name companies. These include the Education Building Society, Allegro, Irish Life, IDA, Tara Meats, Williams Groups, National Hardware, Celtic Anglian Water, Clancourt Holdings, CIÉ and the Mater Private Hospital. Brian continues to influence business in Ireland as he is presently Chairman of Clancourt Holdings and a director of Kingspan. Brian was the recipient of a Bank of Ireland Alumni Award for Business from NUI Galway in 2008. Pádraic MacKernan Pádraic MacKernan was born in Limerick and joined the Department of External Affairs in 1964. He was Vice-Consul of Ireland in Boston from 1965 to 1968 and Deputy Consul-General in New York from 1968 to 1974. Pádraic was successively Counsellor, Assistant Secretary and Political Director in the Department of Foreign Affairs and a regular member of the Irish Delegation to the United Nations until his appointment as Ambassador of Ireland to the United States and Mexico in 1985. Pádraic was appointed Permanent Representative to the European Union in Brussels in 1991 and returned to Dublin as Secretary-General of the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1995. He became Ambassador to France in 2001, a post he held until his retirement in 2005. Anna Ó Coinne In 1989, local business woman Anna Ó Coinne became involved in raising funds to finance research into Breast Cancer being pioneered by Professor Fred Given at the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI) in Galway. Working with a voluntary group, Anna became chairperson of the Finance and Planning Committee of the NBCRI. This fund raising group has raised over € 12 million for the NBCRI. Anna's stewardship and attention to detail has allowed the organisation to develop to have an outstanding contribution in the breast cancer research space. During 2010 the Institute will move to a new purpose built Translational Research Centre being constructed by NUI Galway on the grounds of University College Hospital. This project is being financed by major philanthropic donations and includes a major contribution from NBCRI. Professor Philip O'Leary Third generation Irish of mostly Munster extraction, Professor Philip O'Leary is currently Professor of English in Boston College which has been to the fore for decades for the excellence of its Irish Studies programme. His work in publishing, promoting and debating Irish Studies was described today as 'gargantuan', and Professor O'Leary was lauded for bringing Modern Gaelic literature to a global audience. Of particular interest is Professor O'Leary's series on Modern Gaelic literature from 1881 to 1951. This four volume work is 'easily the most ambitious, wide-ranging and comprehensive analysis of Modern Gaelic literature ever undertaken and unlikely to be surpassed'. Today's graduands join the ranks of previous honorary conferees which include among many others Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O Connor Snr and Jnr, Enya, Sean Purcell, the late Merv Griffin and Anjelica Huston. Céimeanna Oinigh á mBronnadh in OÉ Gaillimh (View in English) Bronnadh Céimeanna Oinigh inniu (Dé hAoine, an 26 Meitheamh) in OÉ Gaillimh. Bhain na daoine ar bronnadh na céimeanna oinigh orthu le réimse na hinnealtóireachta (Liam Connellan), an ghnó (Brian Joyce), leis an tseirbhís phoiblí (Pádraic MacKernan), le réimse an daonchairdis (Anna Ó Coinne) agus le réimse an oideachais (an tOllamh Philip O'Leary). Ag an searmanas bronnta dúirt an Dr James Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: "Tá an t-ádh ar OÉ Gaillimh go bhfuil an oiread sin céimeanna oinigh bronnta ar chéimithe den scoth le blianta fada anuas aici, agus is cinnte gur grúpa ar leith iad an cúigear atá roghnaithe i mbliana. Rinne gach duine díobh éacht ar a bhealach féin, agus tá OÉ Gaillimh an-sásta go bhfuil sí in ann aitheantas a thabhairt do na daoine eisceachtúla seo." Liam Connellan Tá breis agus 40 bliain caite ag Liam Connellan, arb as Béal na mBuillí i gCo. Ros Comáin ó dhúchas dó, ag plé le gairm na hinnealtóireachta agus i rith an ama sin ceapadh é mar Uachtarán ar Institiúid Innealtóirí na hÉireann; bhí sé ar bhunaitheoirí Acadamh Innealtóireachta na hÉireann agus chomh maith leis sin chaith sé seal ag feidhmiú mar Uachtarán ar an Acadamh sin. Ba é an chéad Chathaoirleach é, chomh maith, a ceapadh ar an Údarás um Bóithre Náisiúnta idir 1994 agus 2001, agus ba é a bhí ina Uachtarán ar Chumann Ríoga Bhaile Átha Cliath idir 1995 agus 1998. Bhí Liam ina Chathaoirleach ar chuideachtaí éagsúla sa Veolia Environment Group in Éirinn agus tá sé ag feidhmiú mar Chathaoirleach ar an Institiúid Fuinnimh i bPoblacht na hÉireann faoi láthair. Is ball é de Bhord Iontaobhas Peter McVerry a chabhraíonn le daoine óga atá gan dídean. Brian Joyce D'fhill Brian Joyce, a rugadh in Áth Cinn, Co. na Gaillimhe ar a Alma Mater lena chéim oinigh a fháil mar aitheantas ar a bhfuil déanta aige do shaol an ghnó. Is iar-Phríomhfheidhmeannach ar an mBord Bainne é Brian agus bhí sé ina chomhalta Boird agus ina Chathaoirleach ar go leor cuideachtaí atá i mbéal an phobail. Ina measc sin tá Education Building Society, Allegro, Irish Life, IDA, Tara Meats, Williams Groups, National Hardware, Celtic Anglian Water, Clancourt Holdings, CIÉ agus Ospidéal Príobháideach an Mater. Tá tionchar ag Brian i gcónaí ar chúrsaí gnó in Éirinn agus tá sé ina Chathaoirleach faoi láthair ar Clancourt Holdings agus ina stiúrthóir ar Kingspan. Bhain Brian Gradam Alumni Bhanc na hÉireann don Ghnó amach ó OÉ Gaillimh in 2008. Pádraic MacKernan Chuir Pádraic MacKernan tús lena shaol oibre sa Roinn Gnóthaí Eachtracha i 1964. Bhí sé ina Leaschonsal na hÉireann i mBostún idir 1965 agus 1968 agus mar Leaschonsal-Ginearálta i Nua-Eabhrac idir 1968 agus 1974. Áirítear i measc na ról a bhí ag Pádraic sa Roinn Gnóthaí Eachtracha Comhairleoir, Rúnaí Cúnta agus Stiúrthóir Polaitiúil agus bhí sé ina bhall rialta de Thoscaireacht na hÉireann chun na Náisiún Aontaithe go dtí gur ceapadh mar Ambasadóir na hÉireann do na Stáit Aontaithe agus do Mheicsiceo é i 1985. Sa bhliain 1991 ceapadh Pádraic mar Bhuan-Ionadaí an Aontais Eorpaigh sa Bhruiséil agus i 1995 d'fhill sé ar Bhaile Átha Cliath mar Ard-Rúnaí sa Roinn Gnóthaí Eachtracha. Ceapadh é mar Ambasadóir na Fraince in 2001, post a bhí aige go dtí go ndeachaigh sé ar scor in 2005. Anna Ó Coinne Sa bhliain 1989 thosaigh an bhean ghnó áitiúil Anna Ó Coinne ag bailiú airgid chun an taighde a bhí ar bun ag an Ollamh Fred Given ar Ailse Chíche san Institiúid Taighde Náisiúnta ar Ailse Chíche (NBCRI) a mhaoiniú. Le linn d'Anna a bheith ag obair le grúpa deonach, ceapadh í ina Cathaoirleach ar Choiste Airgeadais agus Pleanála NBCRI. Tá breis agus €12 milliún bailithe ag an ngrúpa seo don NBCRI. A bhuíochas le maoirseacht Anna agus an aird a thugann sí ar mhionrudaí, tá forbairt tagtha ar an eagraíocht agus tá an-obair á déanamh aici sa spás taighde ar ailse chíche. Am éigin i rith 2010 bunófar an Institiúid in Ionad Taighde Aistritheach nua atá á thógáil ag OÉ Gaillimh i láthair na huaire ar thailte Ospidéal Choláiste na hOllscoile. Tá an tionscadal seo á mhaoiniú trí shíntiúis dhaonchairdiúla agus trí infheistíocht shuntasach ón NBCRI féin. An tOllamh Philip O'Leary De bhunadh na Mumhan go príomha, trí ghlúin siar, an tOllamh Philip O'Leary atá ina Ollamh le Béarla in Boston College, coláiste atá ar thús cadhnaíochta leis na scórtha bliain as feabhas an chúrsa sa Léann Éireannach ann. Tugadh obair 'fathaigh' ar a shaothar foilsithe, agus ar an obair a rinne sé chun an Léann Éireannach a chur chun cinn agus chun díospóireacht a chothú faoi, agus tugadh ardmholadh dó as lucht léitheoireachta domhanda a aimsiú do litríocht na Nua-Ghaeilge. Tá spéis ar leith ag daoine i sraith an Ollaimh O'Leary faoi litríocht na Nua-Ghaeilge ó 1881 go 1951. Tá an saothar seo ina bhfuil ceithre imleabhar ar an 'anailís is dúshlánaí, is leithne agus is cuimsithí ar Nua-Litríocht na Gaeilge a rinneadh riamh agus ní bheidh a shárú le fáil'. Cuirfear céimithe oinigh an lae inniu leis an liosta daoine ar bronnadh céim oinigh orthu go dtí seo, ina measc, Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O Connor Snr and Jnr, Enya, Sean Purcell, Merv Griffin, nach maireann, agus Anjelica Huston. -críoch-

Thursday, 25 June 2009

The College of Science at NUI Galway welcomed prospective students from second level schools to its Science Experience Workshop this week. This engaging programme allowed 30 students to delve into a wide range of scientific disciplines and explore future career opportunities. Students took part in hands-on activities and experienced working in world class research facilities and institutes. Some of the institutes visited by the students were Applied Optics, the Environmental Change Institute, the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science and the Regenerative Medicine Institute. Throughout the workshop, attendees had the opportunity to 'shadow' scientists and gain an invaluable insight into a wide range of scientific disciplines. According to Dr Mark Foley, Vice Dean of Communications and Strategy, College of Science, NUI Galway: "With the CAO change of mind deadline looming Science Experience Workshop provided an excellent forum whereby students got information on the diverse range of undergraduate programmes available at NUI Galway. Students got to investigate the differences between various denominated and undenominated offerings. Panel discussions with current students and staff allowed the exchange of information with prospective students. Participants also had the chance to see the state-of-the-art teaching, research and sporting facilities. This workshop offered participants the chance to experience life on campus while learning about Science and interacting with students, staff and their peers from across Ireland". For further information on the College of Science or future Science Experience Workshops, call 091 492182 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/science/news.html -ends-

Thursday, 25 June 2009

An NUI Galway professor has said Ireland needs a new breed of engineering graduate. These new engineering professionals, as well as being properly educated in their technical discipline, would also be provided with a significant exposure to the principles of business and finance, and to the process of innovation and entrepreneurship. Gearóid Ó Laighin, Professor of Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway, said: "Ireland s economic future requires the creation of Irish owned companies, led by engineers who can, through invention and innovation, create economic success. This process is a central pillar of the 'Smart Economy'". While innovation and entrepreneurship are traditionally seen as innate skills, there is plenty of evidence that providing graduates with the correct mix of skills can boost their capabilities as innovators and entrepreneurs. Professor Ó Laighin says a cross-disciplinary approach to engineering education can provide a massive boost to the creation of the entrepreneurial spirit. He commented: "Ireland is perfectly positioned to create the equivalent of Canada's Research In Motion company, creators of the omnipresent BlackBerry. By adopting new methods to educate engineers in our universities and by stepping out beyond traditional programme boundaries, we can produce more adaptable graduates, with the appropriate skill set to create innovative market-led products for worldwide markets". Electronic devices now represent a massive productive sector worldwide with production in 2009 expected to exceed $1 trillion. Electronic engineering knowledge is used to create systems and devices across a broad range of sectors from life saving medical devices, computer hardware, entertainment systems, mobile communications, automotive electronics, industrial automation, consumer electronics, transportation systems and renewable energy systems and devices. Professor Ó Laighin is the driving force behind the new Engineering Innovation – Electronic degree programme at NUI Galway. The four-year bachelors or five-year masters programme is a joint initiative of NUI Galway's Colleges of Engineering & Informatics and Business, Public Policy & Law. The new course will deliver graduates with the skills and capabilities to start up their own company to design niche electronic products for world-wide markets. Established companies will also benefit from the availability of a new type of Electronic Engineer who has the capability to stimulate and support innovation and growth in those organisations. According to Professor Ó Laighin, "From the beginning of their studies, students will build expertise in electronic engineering while at the same be exposed to the principles of business and finance and the process of innovation and entrepreneurship in parallel. We feel that this approach to the education of young electronic engineers will make a powerful difference". The new degree programme from NUI Galway has received endorsements from IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Engineers Ireland, Shannon Development, Power Electronics Industry Group, Irish Medical Devices Association and Microelectronic Industry Design Association Ireland. NUI Galway is also offering a new four-year honours degree in Energy Systems Engineering which will have its first intake this September. The programme will produce professional accredited engineers, qualified to drive the emerging energy related industries. Engineering students at NUI Galway will also benefit from the University's new state-of-the-art Engineering Building which is due for completion in 2011. -ends-

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Today HP Ireland announced the 2009 Ireland winners of the Innovation in Education Grant Initiative, which rewards universities and secondary schools across EMEA for their innovative teaching and learning projects. This year's Ireland winners were NUI Galway and Coláiste Iognáid, Galway. Each institution will receive a mobile technology solution, such as tablet PCs, laptops, printers, access points, and a cash donation valued at approximately 100,000 USD HP list price (approximately 75,500 EUR). They will also be invited to join a network of educators around the world who are working to design the future of high-tech education through which they can share ideas and best practices in areas such as online learning, virtual worlds and simulations. "Innovation in education is vital to developing the next generation of high-tech innovators, and is central to the success of the smart economy in Ireland. Whenever possible, we feature HP technology in ways that support pioneering teaching and learning practices, especially to enhance achievements in math and science or other subjects essential to student success in IT careers. I'd like to congratulate both NUI Galway and Coláiste Iognáid on being selected for their enlightening approaches to innovative teaching and learning," said Martin Murphy, Managing Director, HP Ireland. Commenting, Dr James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: "Here at NUI Galway, we are committed to the highest quality teaching and learning experience for our students and have strongly integrated this priority into the institutional agenda. The success of Dr James Cruickshank and his team in winning a HP innovation in Education Grant highlights this culture of innovation and learning excellence. I commend James and his colleagues for their work in finding new and innovative ways to improve the teaching of mathematics through this initiative, and others such as our new BA programme in Maths and Education which is educating a new generation of maths teachers. Improvement in the teaching of mathematics is key to Ireland's success as a smart economy, and we in NUI Galway are delighted to play our part in developing this vital element of national competitiveness". NUI Galway was selected for its project that plans to implement a SecondLife Maths Support space to deliver one of its courses in its Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Education degree programme. As part of the project, all participating students will use eLearning Platforms such as Tablet PCs in conjunction with virtual environments such as Blackboard and SecondLife to monitor their development and teach while off campus during their teaching practice in secondary schools in West of Ireland. Coláiste Iognáid located in Galway city with over 600 students was selected for its commitment to making practical usage of technology in delivering the school curriculum. The aim is to create a roaming computer suite which would afford the maximum number of students and teachers a unique opportunity to achieve computer literacy and equip them for participation in the knowledge economy. This platform will allow students to access digitally provided content in an efficient and cost effective manner. The HP Innovation in Education Grant Initiative supports institutions in the EMEA region in launching innovative pilot projects in math, technology and science fields. HP's ultimate objective is to foster future leaders in the disciplines vital to HP's business. This year's winners include 50 academic institutions from 15 countries across EMEA. The grants given to universities aims to specifically enhance the engineering, computer science and IT degree programmes, while for secondary schools the aim is to improve student achievement, by using technology to redesign the learning experience. The grant winners were selected from proposals submitted by secondary schools and universities as part of the request for proposal process initiated by HP earlier this year. A jury of HP and education experts from HP's partner ISTE evaluated the submissions and selected those that best integrated technology at the intersection of teaching and learning and fostered innovation in education. -ends-

Monday, 22 June 2009

Kevin Burke from Athenry, Co. Galway, an Electronic and Computer Engineering student at NUI Galway, has won the Accenture Academic Innovation in Computing Award. Kevin's submission for the award was based on the use of mobile phone technology to monitor driver behaviour. He received €2000 and a commemorative trophy from Accenture. The award winning submission was based on the development of a system to remotely monitor driver behaviour using GPS and accelerometer functionality on off-the-shelf 3G mobile phone handsets. The prototype system is capable of detecting when and where drivers exceed driving speed limits and potentially to identify when they execute dangerous driving manoeuvres. The developed system, which was tested using handsets and network services sponsored by O2, also allows a user to monitor the occurrence of such events on an intuitive Google Map interface. Kevin's final year project supervisor, NUI Galway lecturer Liam Kilmartin, said: "What Kevin has very cleverly done is to capitalise on existing technology and take this functionality into another realm. The project is highly innovative and has great commercial potential. Kevin worked very closely with an Enterprise Ireland funded research team here at the College of Engineering and Informatics, so we are looking forward to seeing if and how this type of technology application can be developed further towards commercialisation". Kevin was one of eight short-listed national finalists in the competition which is open to both undergraduate and postgraduate students who have developed an innovative software solution as part of their studies. The winning submission was based on Kevin's final year project as part of Electronic and Computer Engineering at NUI Galway. NUI Galway now offers over a dozen undergraduate degrees in Engineering and Informatics, including new programmes in Energy Systems Engineering and Engineering Innovation – Electronic. -ends-

Friday, 19 June 2009

A five-day International Criminal Court Summer School at NUI Galway's Irish Centre for Human Rights opens tomorrow (Saturday, 21 June). The keynote address will be given on Sunday by Judge Sang-Hyun Song, President of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Now in its 10th year, the summer school is established as one of the premier intensive courses offered internationally on the important subject of the ICC. An independent, permanent court, the ICC tries those accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. "After the United Nations, the International Criminal Court is one of the most important international institutions. It is aimed at combating impunity for atrocities and it is at the forefront of a broader movement of achieving accountability", commented Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. Professor Schabas will be among a number of prominent speakers to address the event, including Professor David Scheffer who served as the first United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues. During the summer school at NUI Galway, students are provided with a detailed knowledge of the establishment of the Court, its applicable law, its structures and its operations. Lectures will also address related issues in international criminal law, including universal jurisdiction and immunities. The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway saw its other major summer school, on 'Minority Rights, Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights Law', come to an end today. Over 50 participants were provided with an overview of the legal, political and philosophical issues pertaining to international human rights law and its relationship to minority rights and the rights of indigenous peoples. Summer schools are one element of the work carried out by the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway which, since its establishment in January 2000, has developed a global reputation for excellence in the field of human rights teaching, research and advocacy. -Ends-