Tuesday, 23 February 2010

NUI Galway Surf Club have retained their title for the fifth consecutive year at the 2010 Irish Surfing Association Student Intervarsities hosted by the University in Strandhill, Co. Sligo. The competition, sponsored by Rip Curl, saw 120 competitors from 12 different Universities and Institutes of Technologies across Ireland, take part. The contest, the largest event of its kind in Ireland, was split into five different categories, Men's Open, Women's Open, Longboard, Body Board and Beginners. The beach in Strandhill was separated into two contest zones to allow the Beginners competition to take place at the same time as the main event. Over 43 beginners took part, making it one of the biggest competitions of the Intervarsities and the only beginner competition in the British Isles. NUI Galway dominated in the contests two main events, the Men's Open and Women's Open, with Ollie O'Flaherty clinching the Men's Open title. NUI Galway's Hugh Galloway and Rob Cahill took third and fourth place in the Men's Open respectively. NUI Galway's Rebecca Piggott took third place in the Women's Open with Elisha Hickey coming in fourth. NUI Galway also had a successful run in the Longboard category when Stephen Kelleher was awarded first place, and Baron Tomlinson came in second. Commenting on the success of NUI Galway students in the competition, Kathy Hynes, Development Officer for Clubs and Participation at NUI Galway, said: "The NUI Galway Surf Club has successfully, through their commitment to the sport, raised the profile of the club on a national and international basis. We are extremely proud of this dynamic group of students and the success they have brought to the University". The 2011 Irish Surfing Association Student Intervarsities will be held in Bundoran, and co-hosted by University of Ulster, Coleraine and NUI Galway. -Ends-

Monday, 22 February 2010

The finals of the Ulster Bank Fitzgibbon Cup third-level colleges senior hurling championship will be hosted by NUI Galway from 5-6 March, and was officially launched today at the University. The semi-finals of the competition will be held in Dangan, the NUI Galway Sports Grounds, along with the semi-finals of the Ryan Cup and the Fergal Maher Cups. The annual Fitzgibbon Cup dinner will take place on Friday, 5 March, in the Ardilaun Hotel, Galway, following the semi-final matches, with many local and national GAA personalities expected to attend. The final of the Fitzgibbon Cup, which will be broadcast live on TG4, takes place on Saturday, 6 March, in Pearse Stadium. The Puc Fada finals will be held at half time, with each college in the country invited to send a participant. In the history of the Fitzgibbon Cup, NUI Galway has won the title nine times, the last being 30 years ago in 1980. In the 2009 championship, University College Cork was crowned title holders after defeating the University of Limerick. Mary Immaculate Limerick beat Jordanstown in the Ryan Cup, and St. Mary's of Belfast clinched the Fergal Maher Cup from Napier of Scotland. Commenting on the upcoming championship, Michael O'Connor, NUI Galway Gaelic Games Officer, said: "NUI Galway is delighted to be entrusted with the honour of hosting the blue riband of third-level hurling. Like other years it should provide GAA supporters with some of the hurling moments of the year. The closeness in exchanges in the group games will ensure that all sides will be in with strong chances of ultimate success in their competition. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the University for its co-operation in making the hosting of this tournament an expected success". Brendan McDermott, Ulster Bank West Regional Director, commented: "Ulster Bank is delighted to be involved as sponsors of GAA Higher Education Gaelic Games, especially the blue riband event of college hurling, the Ulster Bank Fitzgibbon Cup. This is the fourth year of our association with Gaelic Games as sponsors of the Ulster Bank Fitzgibbon Cup, the Ulster Bank Ryan Cup and the Ulster Bank Fergal Maher Cup. Congratulations to the NUI Galway team for all their work in the build up to the finals weekend". Retired Head of Sport at NUI Galway, Tony Regan, is still heavily involved with sport at the University and is currently Chairperson of the NUI Galway Hurling Club. Tony has had much success on the Gaelic fields leading NUI Galway to win five Sigerson Cups, two Fitzgibbon Cup, Ashbourne Cup and countless games during his time at NUI Galway. Speaking in advance of the finals, Tony said: "As Chairman of the hurling club I would like to wish all semi finalists in their respective competitions the very best of luck and also thank all involved in the running of the weekend, sponsors, college staff and most of all the hurlers of the future". -Ends-

Thursday, 18 February 2010

- Direct support for key industry sectors and research strengths - Leading US University to play significant role in technology transfer - Launch of unique student exchange between institutions NUI Galway and the University of Limerick today (18 February, 2010) announced a Strategic Alliance which will support the development of the wider region to encourage indigenous enterprises and foreign direct investment, strengthen research and industry partnerships, and further a shared commitment to academic excellence. The Alliance will have an international dimension, through a partnership with Georgia Institute of Technology in the US, in the exploitation of research from both Irish universities. At a ceremony in Dublin involving An Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, and the Minister for Education and Science, the Alliance was announced to leaders from a wide range of community, public and political bodies as well as partners from academia and industry. Welcoming the announcement, An Taoiseach Brian Cowen, T.D., said: "NUI Galway and the University of Limerick are demonstrating how working together means working smarter. This Alliance is an exciting new departure for two very progressive Universities. It represents a key building block for our Smart Economy project. And it promises to make a major contribution to economic and social development in this country, at both regional and national levels. The Government strongly supports increased collaboration between higher education institutions and between these institutions and industry. Our universities have a critical role to play as a dynamo energising our Smart Economy with new ideas and creativity. Increased collaboration among our universities - joining forces - greatly helps us to up our game in the intense ongoing global competition to come up with new ideas, new products and new services. The Government is very happy to see that Ireland s universities are coming up to the mark, moving from competition at home to collaboration in competing on the world stage". Key and immediate initiatives resulting from the Alliance include: Supporting key industry sectors Furthering research and education to serve Ireland's biomedical device industry – which employs 24,000 people. Joining forces on research initiatives to provide scientific and technological breakthroughs in the 'green tech' sector. Supporting Ireland as the biggest exporter of software solutions in Europe, by collaborating to remain at the forefront of software development and internet technology research. Technology Transfer Achieve economies of scale through jointly supporting technology transfer and commercialisation of research. Working to establish a translational research centre with Georgia Institute of Technology for technology transfer. Academic Excellence Furthering commitment to 4th Level Education through joint development of structured PhD programmes. Facilitating student exchange between the Universities on a modular or semester basis. Creating a new Medical Academy at Portiuncula and Roscommon Hospitals. Planning to facilitate joint academic appointments to maximise student choice. Civic Engagement Promoting active citizenship through projects such as urban renewal and regeneration. Shared Services Optimising resources through shared services and focused use of research, teaching and academic support services. Professor Don Barry, President of the University of Limerick, said: "By forming this Strategic Alliance, we are collaborating in very real and immediate ways, driving scientific and economic progress with a specific focus on industry partnerships and research in the areas of Biomedicine, Energy, ICT and Civic Engagement. "UL and NUI Galway are hubs of educational excellence and research activity. By coming together with a shared vision for the future we will optimise our delivery of world-class research, innovative teaching and service to the community, while being responsive to the needs of our industry partners and to the social, cultural and economic needs of Ireland". Commenting on the new partnership, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, said: "The aim of this Alliance is to better support the social and economic development of our wider region by combining the strengths of the two universities to enhance the service we provide to our students, to industry and business partners, and to enhance the international standing of both Universities. Together we can and will achieve more". President Browne added: "The fragmentation of Irish higher education prevents the achievement of critical mass, particularly in research, and slows down the drive towards internationalisation. The future of higher education in Ireland will be best served by a network of collaborating institutions, each of which develops international excellence in appropriate priority areas. The NUI Galway and UL Strategic Alliance is an important step in that direction". The institution-wide Alliance will work across all areas of activity at UL and NUI Galway including teaching, technology transfer, lifelong learning and the provision of services. The Alliance allows for the facilitation of student exchange between the universities. The new Alliance will see NUI Galway and UL collaborate extensively in the area of teaching and learning. Exciting new initiatives include a unique 'Link to Learn' student exchange programme, which will enable students at either university to choose modules from the other institution as part of their programme. Other developments include the creation of a new joint Medical Academy at Portiuncula and Roscommon Hospitals, in addition to the development of a programme of activities to respond to the national objectives of building strong foundations in mathematics and science in primary and second level education. Speaking at the launch, Minister for Education and Science, Mr Batt O'Keefe, T.D., said: "The Framework for the development of a 'Smart Economy' highlighted the key role played by the higher education system in the development of an innovation culture and it set out a challenge to the sector to create new possibilities, through new alliances and new organisational arrangements, to advance our knowledge capacity and generate opportunities for new levels of efficiency, performance, innovation and growth. The Alliance is significant in that it spans all the key areas of activity in the universities including teaching, research, technology transfer, lifelong learning and the provision of services. We know that the quality of our higher education system is critical to Ireland's economic recovery. It is essential that we position the system to fully exploit its potential in producing the smart people and the smart ideas that are required for our smart economy ambitions. I applaud today's announcement by UL and NUI Galway as an important practical contribution to meeting that challenge and as recognition by the two universities of the nature of the response that Ireland needs from its higher education system". A focus of this Strategic Alliance will be industry collaborations in R&D, increased commercialisation and spinouts. UL and NUI Galway continue to exceed international benchmarks for delivery of commercial licences and spinouts per euro invested. In total, NUI Galway and UL have set up 21 spin-out companies over the past four years, with 72 licences and 121 patents filed. By 2015, the Alliance aims to deliver 40 spin-outs, with particular focus on commercialisation in the fields of ICT, Healthcare and Medical Technologies and Energy. Targets also include 450 invention disclosures, 110 licences and to have filed 200 patents. The ICT and Biomedical industries are currently worth €34.2bn annually to the Irish economy, while dependence on imported energy significantly impacts industry and the economy. A cooperative effort focused on these strategically vital areas aims to accelerate the delivery of viable solutions and sustainable industries. Speaking at the announcement, An Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan, T.D., said: "This proactive and visionary arrangement illustrates the collective determination of both universities to further enhance the economic and social development of the region. I warmly welcome the Alliance as it will serve to encourage growth in indigenous enterprises and foreign direct investment, strengthen research and industry partnerships and further their commitment to academic excellence". "The objective of the Government's STI strategy is to harness the benefits of research collaboration for the benefit of the Irish economy. This is creating a strong cadre of indigenous firms and attracting and further embedding leading multi-national companies here. For example, last year 49% of the IDA's Foreign Direct Investment wins were Research, Development and Innovation related which were valued at €500m. Almost 45% of all enterprises are now engaged in innovation activities in Ireland", the Tánaiste added. The NUI Galway and UL Strategic Alliance is already forging relationships with international partners. Georgia Institute of Technology and the Alliance will work to establish a translational research institute to focus on technology commercialisation with industry partners. Together the three institutions will form a joint Translational Research Institute focused on the application of core technologies and expertise within the partner institutions. -Ends-

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Six students from NUI Galway's newest degree programme, Energy Systems Engineering, have scooped first and second prize in the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Ireland Student Idea of the Year Awards. The winners were announced at a special ceremony in Dublin and presented by the Minister for Education and Science, Batt O'Keeffe T.D.. The 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. NUI Galway also scooped the inaugural 'Lecturer of the Year' Award which was presented to Mary Dempsey of NUI Galway. The award recognises the work of a lecturer who aims to promote innovation and creativity in the areas of Logistics, Transport and Commerce. Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway said: "The students' abilities to innovate are reflected in the attainment of these prestigious awards. I acknowledge the hard work, dedication and commitment that each student has made and their success reflects favourably on the new B.E. in Energy Systems Engineering". NUI Galway students Kane O'Shea from Cratloe, Co. Clare, John Mitchell from Blarney, Co. Cork, and Eoin Leonard from Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, were announced as the overall winners. Their innovative project was 'Electronic warnings on dangerous bends'. The runner-up prize was awarded to NUI Galway students Joseph Martyn from Kilrush, Co. Clare, Richie Walsh from Tramore, Co. Waterford, and Edward Tynan from Longford Town, for their project entitled 'Inter-vehicle communication system'. Professor Gerard Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: "We are delighted that our students have featured so prominently in this year's Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Awards. As an island nation, the transport sector has a huge impact on Ireland's economic performance. These awards clearly demonstrate that university-based innovation can directly contribute to improved efficiency and safety standards for road freight hauliers. These awards also highlight the importance of industry/university collaboration for the successful development of Ireland as a 'Smart Economy'". The students are all part of the first cohort to undertake the B.E. in Energy Systems Engineering at NUI Galway, a multidisciplinary degree programme integrating energy sources, energy conversion and energy utilisation. All aspects of energy are covered in the programme, including renewable energy, power generation, buildings, transportation, information technology, smart grids and power systems. -ends-

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The next in a series of public talks organised by NUI Galway's Centre of Astronomy will focus on exoplanets. The free event takes place at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 24 February, in the McMunn Lecture Theatre, Arts & Science Building, NUI Galway. The lecture, which will be presented by NUI Galway's Leon Harding, will concentrate on exploring and observing exoplanets, which are planets outside our solar system. Since their initial discovery in 1995, the population of detected exoplanets, or extrasolar planets as they are also known, has increased significantly, with over 400 such planets being discovered to date. Initially, the majority of discoveries were giant planets, sometimes hundreds of times the size of Earth, but in recent years smaller exoplanets have been discovered. Speaking about the lecture, NUI Galway's Leon Harding, said: "Astronomical observations from the surface of the Earth will never be as precise as space based observations and it is via space telescopes that we hope to find true Earth-like planets that can sustain life. With the launch of the Kepler and CoRoT space telescopes in the last decade, which are dedicated to exoplanetary detection and research, astronomers expect to see a large number of discoveries in the coming years. A new telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to be launched in June 2014, will expand the frontiers of discoveries beyond what is possible today". More details of all the talks can be found on http://astro.nuigalway.ie/outreach.php. -Ends-

Friday, 12 February 2010

NUI Galway's Professor Larry Egan, Interim Director of the Health Research Board (HRB) Clinical Research Facility, Galway today (February 12th 2010) welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Health & Children Mary Harney TD that €7.5m in capital funding is being provided for the construction of a new Clinical Research Facility on the grounds of University Hospital Galway. The HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway is a joint venture between Galway University Hospitals and NUI Galway. The facility is supported by funding from the Health Research Board and has been operating since March of 2008. The purpose of the Clinical Research Facility (CRF) is to improve human health through the generation of new medical knowledge from patient based research. The guiding philosophy of the CRF is to stimulate, engage and support health care professionals from diverse areas of expertise to undertake high quality clinical research. Commenting Professor Egan said, "The benefits of this facility include the ability to provide access to cutting-edge clinical trials and access to novel therapies for patients in the West of Ireland. Clinical care provided in a research-intensive environment has been proven internationally to result in the best patient outcomes. With the development of the Clinical Research Facility in Galway, our ability to provide this level of service to our patients will be significantly enhanced. As a result, patient care will improve, and the ability of our hospital to attract and retain the very best medical and allied health staff would be improved. Moreover, the capabilities for investigation at this facility will provide an important and highly valuable opportunity for Irish companies operating in the biomedical research area such as pharmaceuticals and biomedical device companies to add value to their products through high quality clinical research". Professor Timothy O Brien, Consultant Endocrinologist at GUH, Professor of Medicine at NUI Galway and Director of the SFI-funded CSET Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) thanked the HRB for support for this initiative. "The Galway CRF will form part of an Irish Network of Clinical Research Facilities which will allow Irish patients access to state of the art clinical research. The Galway facility will also serve as the translational arm of REMEDI and will allow findings from basic research in stem cells, gene therapy, biomaterials and immunology to be brought to the clinic. The facility will have space specially designed for clinical research in regenerative medicine. It will also have important advantages for the progression of research and development in the Medical Device Industry which is so important to the economy of the West of Ireland". Mr. Pat Commins Acting General Manager Galway University Hospitals added, "The development of this Clinical Research Facility on the grounds of the Hospital is a very significant milestone which will allow staff to contribute to shaping advances in health care science, and to bring the benefits of those advances to patients at the earliest opportunity. The establishment of the CRF will further enhance our academic links with NUI Galway in line with our hospital strategy". The CRF will be built along with translational research laboratories funded by NUI Galway in a new, approximately 5000m² building on the campus of University Hospital Galway. This joint clinical and translational research facility will comprise state of the art facilities for patient-based research and for the processing and analysis of bio-specimens such as blood samples from those patients. Planning permission has been received and it is expected construction of the facility will begin shortly. Ends

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

An innovative programme connecting medical education and the arts has been launched by NUI Galway. The new Medicine in the Arts Programme is the first of its kind in Irish Universities, and has been introduced into the undergraduate curriculum of the University's School of Medicine. The launch featured a flagship lecture by Dr Jane Edwards, Director of the MA in Music Therapy in the University of Limerick, entitled 'History of Music in Medicine; including its use in hospitals 1980-1940'.The initiative is available to current First Year medical students, introducing a semester-long syllabus of structured engagement with literature, performance and visual arts. The programme will highlight the therapeutic clinical benefits for patients which the Arts can provide and focus on the personal development of students as future medical practitioners. Medicine and the Arts will consist of a series of events incorporating music, mime, and dance, which are offered in the wider Arts in Action programme provided to all students at NUI Galway. There will also be a rich range of bespoke events which focus on the Arts in therapeutic clinical settings for the particular needs of the medical student. Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the Medical School at NUI Galway, said: "This is a valuable and important innovation which will benefit our students greatly. It will give them an appreciation of the richness which the Arts can bring to them as future doctors, to their patients and within the healthcare system generally. While this will undoubtedly be a very enjoyable experience for students, it also has a clear focus on student learning and self-development". -Ends-

Monday, 8 February 2010

The new NUI Galway Water Research Facility at Tuam, Co. Galway was officially opened today by Michael Finneran, Minister for Housing & Local Services and TD for Roscommon-South Leitrim. Core funding to establish the facility was provided by the EPA through its STRIVE Research Programme, and by NUI Galway. Located on the site of Tuam Waste Water Treatment Plant the facility is a full-scale test-bed for novel waste water and water treatment technologies. There are already a range of NUI Galway research projects on new green technologies underway at the Water Research Facility. EPA Director, Laura Burke said: "With a rising population and increasing requirements for improved water quality, there is a real need to develop and optimise waste water treatment systems, especially for villages and small towns. I expect that this facility will play a strong role in developing new indigenous solutions to protect the environment and deliver economic growth." In order to minimise the environmental impact of sewage discharges, effective systems are required to treat waste water and ensure clean and safe waters. By using influent taken from Tuam town waste water, the facility provides researchers and manufacturers with opportunities to evaluate novel technologies under realistic conditions. Effluent from the research facility is returned to the main Tuam WWTP ensuring there is no risk to the environment from the development work. Operating at a scale equivalent to a village with a population of 400, this system offers high performance at low operating costs. It is estimated that this new technology will allow the plant to operate at approximately 25% of typical running costs for a conventional activated sludge plant of similar size. Speaking at the opening of the facility, Minister Finneran said: "Work funded through the EPA STRIVE Research programme is continuing to deliver new and innovative responses to environmental problems, while also making a significant contribution to the development of Ireland's Smart Economy. The Tuam Water Research Facility is an excellent example of this, employing solutions generated by Irish researchers to deliver high performance results at low operating costs. As work progresses at the facility, it will also contribute towards implementation of the Water Framework Directive in Ireland." Commenting on the work carried out to date, Professor Terry Smith, Vice-President of Research at NUI Galway, noted: "The Tuam Water Research Facility provides a world-class facility for carrying out collaborative cutting-edge research for research institutions and industry on full-scale, smart green technologies that purify water and wastewater. The Water Research Facility has great potential to give Irish companies an innovative advantage in increasing its share of the international environmental technologies market, worth €227 billion per year in the EU alone." Jim Cullen, Director of Service, Environment & Water Services Unit at Galway County Council explained: "This plant demonstrates the value of co-operation between researchers and government bodies working in the same area. By working closely with local researchers, Galway County Council is pleased to have supported the establishment of this impressive facility, which we expect to deliver working solutions that will assist us in meeting our water treatment needs." Whilst core funding was provided by the EPA and NUI Galway, additional critical support came from Galway County Council, who provided the site and carried out civil engineering works. A range of industrial partners, including the main contractors Response Group Ltd, also contributed resources and equipment. -Ends-

Monday, 8 February 2010

Two eight foot tall, talking and dancing semi-animatronic Polar Bears will visit the Re-Energising Galway Family Day, organised by NUI Galway, on Saturday, 13 February. The campaigning bears are coming to Galway to highlight the importance of saving energy and cutting emissions, as part of the 10:10 national carbon reduction campaign tour to help cut Ireland's carbon footprint. The Re-Energising Galway Family Day will take place between 11am and 5pm in the Galway City Museum and all are welcome to attend this free event. At the event visitors will have a chance to explore the engineering behind renewable energy technologies, with different stands, each exploring sustainable energy from a different perspective, set up throughout the museum. Highlights of the event will include building model wind and wave turbines, playing Guzzler's Energy Challenge, and viewing demonstration models for renewable energy devices. Re-Energising Galway Family Day is organised by the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway with support from Junior Achievement, GMIT, and Sustainable Energy Ireland. The Family Day is part of national Engineers Week, from 8-13 February, which aims to showcase the diversity of engineering and to celebrate the role of engineers in Ireland. Speaking about the event, Dr Colin Brown, Director of the ECI at NUI Galway, said: "It will be a fun, free, family-friendly day out and will provide insight to the new era of low-carbon energy in Ireland – key knowledge for the next generation of Irish engineers". Re-Energising Galway Family Day is a free event that does not require tickets or advanced booking. For further information contact Lindsay Cody, Communications Officer, NCBES, NUI Galway at 091 495701 or email lindsay.cody@nuigalway.ie. For further information on events taking place during Engineers Week visit www.engineersweek.ie -Ends-

Monday, 8 February 2010

Múscailt, NUI Galway's week-long Spring Arts Festival, opened today (Monday, 8 February) and will run until Friday, 12 February. Now celebrating its 10th year, Múscailt will transform the campus with its vast programme of music, theatre, art exhibitions, film and live performances. Múscailt, which is organised by the NUI Galway Arts and Theatre Office, will feature emerging artists and entertainers performing through the medium of Irish and English. Highlights of the Festival will include Galway University Musical Society's own version of the musical, The WIZ, and a Gaeilge night of rap and comedy in An Cheathrú Rua. Music will feature strongly during the Festival with a variety of performances from classical music from pianist James Lisney to traditional from the University's Traditional Irish Music Society. A selection of new performing art shows and visual art exhibitions will also be on offer throughout the week. Also featuring at the Festival will be Kathleen O'Rourke, writer and voice of Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty, which has been nominated for an Oscar in the Best Animated Short Film category. Speaking about the Festival, Fionnuala Gallagher, Arts Officer, NUI Galway, said: "The Arts Office is proud to have identified young artists who are breaking the mould in Ireland. Múscailt promises huge fun this year. Bubba Shakespeare and GMC will be charming the audience into thinking and feeling in Irish; Kathleen O Rourke will be making them laugh, as Gaeilge; and chameleon-like comedian John Colleary is like 20 comics rolled into one. Even Aideen Barry, visual artist, celebrates her obsessive-compulsive order in a humorous way". All events are open to the public and almost all are free, with the exception of the James Lisney piano recitals in the Aula Maxima (tel: 091 705962 / info@musicforgalway.ie) and The WIZ at the Black Box (tel: 091 569777 / www.tht.ie). For further details about the festival please visit www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie, or telephone the NUI Galway Arts and Theatre Office at 091 493766 for a brochure. -Ends-

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

NUI Galway's President, Dr James J. Browne, today opened the University's new Nursing and Midwifery Library (Wednesday, 3 February). The new library, which adjoins the James Hardiman Library on the main campus, has been open for business since July 2009. It provides a modern learning environment for over 700 nursing and midwifery students with group study rooms, computer suites, laptop-enabled study spaces, and wireless access to the University's networked services. The need for a new, purpose-built library was driven by changes in nursing education and the increase in student numbers, which resulted in greater pressure on space as well as a need for new types of learning resources. The new library has over 100 study places, and has been heavily used and much appreciated by students and staff since it opened. Over 700 Nursing and Midwifery students now have access to the full resources of the University Library, including a wide range of information sources and extensive opening hours, in a central location on campus. Previously, NUI Galway's Nursing Library was located on the site of the former Nurses' Home at University College Hospital and it relocated temporarily to the IDA Business Park in Dangan in 2004. Dr Browne noted: "The new Nursing and Midwifery Library represents a modern learning centre which provides access to all of the information, online and in print, needed to deliver high quality graduates". The Nursing and Midwifery Library was developed at a total cost of €2 million. Of this total, a sum of €1 million was provided by the Department of Health and Children. The balance has been provided from the University's own resources. The Nursing and Midwifery Library was designed by award-winning architects, Scott Tallon Walker, and the project was led by Mr Paul Mannion who is based at their Galway office. This 650square metre building, which was completed within a twelve month period, was built by Michael McNamara & Company. ENDS

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The NUI Galway Alumni Group will present Michael D. Higgins T.D., Labour Party President and Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and NUI Galway graduate, in conversation with Harry McGee of The Irish Times. The event will take place on Friday, 12 February at 7.30pm in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway, in aid of COPE Galway. The interview will give NUI Galway graduates and friends access to the life, passions, interests, and writings of Michael D. Higgins. Guests will enjoy recitals of his poetry chosen especially for this occasion. Among his many distinctions, Michael D. Higgins was honoured in 2003 by his alma mater with the NUI Galway AIB Award for Literature Communication and the Arts. In 2006 he was appointed Adjunct Professor to the University's Irish Centre for Human Rights. He was also the inaugural winner of the McBride Peace Prize awarded by International Peace Bureau in Helsinki in 1991. The interview is open to all and entry is €10, with all proceeds to go to COPE Galway. COPE Galway provides services to the most isolated in the community including a refuge for women and children affected by domestic violence, accommodation for those experiencing homelessness and sustenance and social supports for older people at home. Booking for this event is essential, contact Justin or Bríd in COPE Galway on (091) 778750, or email fundraising@copegalway.ie. Early booking is advised. This is first event of the year for the NUI Galway Alumni Club following a highly successful calendar of events in 2009. For information on future events visit: www.nuigalway.ie/alumni/upcomingevents.html -ends-

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

NUI Galway, in partnership with Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI), has announced that the BITCI's Portrait Exhibition, entitled 'The Face of Corporate Responsibility, Ireland' will go on display at the University. The free photography exhibition will be open daily to the public, from 9-14 February, in the Orbsen Building at NUI Galway. The exhibition will be officially opened by the President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, and the Chief Executive of BITCI, Tina Roche on Tuesday, 9 February, at 2pm. The opening will also feature short talks by representatives from two of BITCI's local member companies, IBM and Boots. Each speaker will highlight the importance of corporate responsibility from their own perspectives, giving an interesting insight into the perception of socially responsible business practice from each sector. BITCI is a national non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting corporate responsibility in Ireland. A business driven network, with major social initiatives, membership is drawn from Ireland s most progressive companies. Corporate responsibility is about companies continually improving the impact they have on society, specifically in the community, environment, marketplace and workplace. The photo exhibition showcases employees from some of Ireland's largest companies who epitomise corporate responsibility in their day to day roles. The exhibition consists of unique portraits taken by photographer Kevin Fox in the studios of the National Gallery of Photography. Each portrait is accompanied by a caption explaining the reasons why this particular employee was nominated to take part in the exhibition. NUI Galway, through the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI), is committed to corporate responsibility whereby civic engagement opportunities are embedded into mainstream teaching and research activities. According to the Project Coordinator of CKI, Lorraine McIlrath: "To date over 25 degree programmes offer students a service learning experience whereby they use their knowledge to enhance the capacity of community. In addition, over 700 students volunteer every year in local, national and international communities through the NUI Galway ALIVE Student Volunteering Programme". Lorraine McIlrath added: "Through these activities NUI Galway strides to create civic minded graduates and professionals that will continue their commitment to community and society. The BITCI's exhibition further demonstrates the potential for students to maintain their civic engagement endeavours throughout their working lives". Speaking about the partnership on the exhibition with NUI Galway, Tina Roche, CEO for Business in the Community, Ireland said: "BITCI wants to show university graduates that a responsible attitude towards society and the environment can continue well after they have graduated. The exhibition, therefore, portrays to students and the community alike that extraordinary contributions to society can be made and are being made by thousands of employees nationwide". -ends-

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

An education conference at NUI Galway on Saturday, 27 February, will look at an emerging method of teaching languages which is gaining popularity across Europe. With 40% of marks being allocated to the oral in the Leaving Cert Irish exam from 2012, the conference will be of specific interest to teachers of Irish at second-level. The one-day conference is organised by NUI Galway's School of Education and Gaelscoileanna Teo. The conference will focus on Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), a method for teaching subjects and language together. In recent years, CLIL has become the umbrella term for learning another subject, such as geography, through a language which is not the mother tongue of the learners. This method would be of particular interest to Irish teachers who could perhaps teach part of their second subject through Irish. According to conference organiser Sinéad Ní Ghuidhir of NUI Galway's School of Education: "This method can have students speaking the language without them even being aware of it. CLIL is being used to great effect all over the EU, and it has huge potential for Irish language, Irish teaching and for Irish schools. The challenges around teaching Irish which we face in Ireland every day are not something that should be seen as particular to this country alone. Our colleagues around Europe have much experience to share". The conference will feature a case study by Olive Ní Chonghaile of the Mercy College, Tuam, who will describe her own experience of putting CLIL into practice in a secondary school in Ireland. Speakers in the area of CLIL and language acquisition at the event include: María Jesús Frigols-Martin, Valencia, will give the background to the growth and success of CLIL in Europe. Do Coyle, University of Aberdeen, will discuss the issues related to training teachers in this method. Muiris Ó Laoire, IT Tralee, world renowned in the area of language and language acquisition, will speak on CLIL in the Irish context. Áine Furlong, IT Waterford, will show practical ways of creating materials and resources for the CLIL lesson. Yolanda Ruiz de Zarobe, University of the Basque Country, will discuss the CLIL experience with a minority language in the Basque Country. Carmel Mary Coonan, Universita Ca'Foscari di Venezia, Italy, will talk about CLIL in the classroom. NUI Galway's Sinéad Ní Ghuidhir added: "This is a chance to explore new ways of teaching Irish by incorporating the CLIL methods – which are known to work in other European countries. We hope the conference will provide the opportunity for those involved in education to share with colleagues around the country and to invigorate teaching with new possibilities". The cost for the day, including lunch and refreshments is €55. For more information and online booking, see www.conference.ie or call phone 091 492861 / 01 8535191. -ends-

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The archaeology of 19th century Ireland, a subject of growing interest, will be the topic of a free public lecture hosted by the discipline of Archaeology at NUI Galway on Monday, 8 February. Specifically, the talk will look at 'The Art and Archaeology of the 19th Century Farmhouse Interior'. The lecture will be delivered by Professor Charles E. Orser Jr. and will take place at NUI Galway's Moore Institute at 4pm. Professor Orser is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Illinois State University and Curator of Historical Archaeology at the New York State Museum. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at NUI Galway. He is an historical archaeologist and uses anthropology and archaeology to investigate the lives of men and women, often ignored by official written history, and their interactions with people of power. According to Professor Orser: "Taken by themselves, the analysis of archaeological findings and works of art can provide valuable information about the material culture of 19th century rural Ireland. The union of both sources of information is even more powerful for offering a more complete picture of the material lives of farm families. In this talk, I present examples of the ways in which the two sources can be used together as a way of demonstrating what we can learn from them". Professor Orser's textbooks are used to train archaeologists in many countries and he has carried out fieldwork in Latin America, the US and Ireland. For over a decade his field research has focused on the west of Ireland in the 19th century. Maggie Ronayne, Lecturer in Archaeology at NUI Galway, who has organised the lecture said: "We are delighted to host this distinguished international scholar. Historical archaeology of our more recent past, especially when professionals work in partnership with the community whose heritage it is, can make a vital contribution, here in Ireland and globally, to our appreciation of the collective human endeavour of our ancestors, and the often miraculous accomplishments of tenant villages. With this knowledge we may better understand and support communities today who defend their culture and heritage". -ends-

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Kathleen O'Toole, Chief Inspector of the Garda Síochána Inspectorate, will be the keynote speaker at a special networking event hosted by NUI Galway's Child and Family Research Centre. The eighth in a series, the Child and Family Welfare Network Event takes place at 6pm on Tuesday, 9 February, in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. Kathleen O'Toole will deliver a presentation on 'Youth Justice – Prevention and Intervention', which will be followed by a practitioner response by local Community Garda Ciara Moran. Chief Inspector O'Toole began her career as a patrol officer in the Boston Police Department and rose through the ranks of local and state law enforcement in Massachusetts. She was also a consultant to the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division on police profiling cases, was a member of the Independent Commission on Policing in Northern Ireland as part of the Peace Process, and chaired the Boston Fire Department Review Commission. According to Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement, NUI Galway: "Community-based prevention programmes and community policing offer real world solutions both in supporting young people at risk and those who are in conflict with the law. In the current economic crisis it is crucial that we invest more in preventing youth crime with a view to savings for the taxpayer in the long-term". The Child and Family Welfare Network Event is aimed at practitioners, managers, policy makers and academics working or interested in the area of children and family wellbeing. The bi-annual event aims to allow for discussion, dissemination of information, shared learning and networking with the ultimate aim of improving outcomes for children and families. For further information or to RSVP for the event please contact Carmel Devaney, Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway on 091-495733. -Ends-

Monday, 1 February 2010

NUI Galway's Green Week was launched today (Monday, 1 February) at a talk by RTÉ's Environment Correspondent, Paul Cunningham on 'Copenhagen and Beyond'. Now in its third year, Green Week will take place on campus from 1-7 February. The Green Week programme features many environmental themed events such as Ecolympics, Leave your Car at Home Day and Wear Green Day. At the 'Eco Fair', over 40 stands will showcase renewable technologies, volunteering opportunities, green electricity, recycling, eco-gadgets, environmental campaigns and organic food. The 'Sustainable Transport Fair' will showcase means of transport with low impact on the environment and will have a selection of silent electric and city bikes, and scooters available to test-ride. Other highlights during Green Week will include workshops on growing and cooking your own vegetables, repairing old clothes, and how to make your home more energy efficient. Environmental themed films will be shown and talks on a variety of topics from energy efficiency to human rights and sustainability will take place. The NUI Galway Literary and Debating Society will also hold a debate on the future of Nuclear Power in Ireland. For those interested in cycling to work, a free safe-cycling talk will be given by Galway Cycling Campaign and a training session will be provided by the West Coast Wheelers Cycling Club. WEEE Ireland (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) will also be on campus to accept electrical and electronic household waste for recycling. A number of new initiatives will be launched during the week including a computer reuse initiative in partnership with Camara – a volunteer organisation dedicated to educating communities in Africa. Sinéad Higgins, Environmental Manager at NUI Galway, said: "NUI Galway's Green Week is the ideal time for members of the public and our 19,000 students and staff to make one small change and play a part in developing a greener community. The programme is packed with events, ideas and competitions to suit everyone". NUI Galway is committed to playing a role in helping Ireland to reduce carbon emissions and in recent years has invested greatly in improving its environmental performance. In 2009, NUI Galway reduced its carbon emissions from energy consumption by almost 5% through investment in energy efficiency measures across campus. The University also increased recycling rates by 7% and substantially reduced waste production on campus. -ends-

Monday, 1 February 2010

NUI Galway's Centre of Astronomy will continue its series of public talks with the next lecture exploring the topic of Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs). The free lecture will take place on Wednesday, 10 February, at 7.30pm in the McMunn Theatre, NUI Galway. The lecture, which will be delivered by NUI Galway's Dr Gregg Hallinan, will focus on the mysterious GRBs, which are flashes of gamma rays associated with extremely energetic explosions in distant galaxies. Although most GRBs take place in the far reaches of the universe, they still result in the detection of large amounts of energy on earth. It has been hypothesised that a close GRB, originating in our own Milky Way galaxy, could have previously caused a mass extinction on Earth. GRBs occur approximately once per day, when a bright flash of deadly gamma radiation is detected coming from a wholly random direction in the sky. Until recently GRBs were one of the biggest mysteries in astronomy. When initially detected in the late 1960s, the United States suspected that the USSR might be attempting to conduct secret nuclear tests on the far side of the moon. However, it was soon established that these bursts were coming from outer space, although it took three decades of active research to find out what actually caused these bright flashes in the sky. Speaking about the lecture, Dr Hallinan said: "We now know that most GRBs signal the biggest explosions in the universe since the Big Bang. These explosions are a million trillion times as bright as the Sun, and are caused when the very largest stars run out of fuel and are torn apart by their own gravity, resulting in the formation of a black hole. During the lecture I will explain the history of how GRBs were discovered and the quest to understand them, as well as their importance in astronomy and their potential threat to humanity". More details about this lecture series can be found on http://astro.nuigalway.ie/outreach.php. -Ends-

Monday, 1 February 2010

NUI Galway Launches First Comprehensive Book in Emerging Field of Microbial Glycobiology The first comprehensive book to be published in the emerging field of microbial glycobiology has been launched at NUI Galway. Microbial Glycobiology – Structures, Relevance and Applications presents information on sugars (carbohydrates) influencing the biology of microorganisms, what is termed microbial glycobiology. Microbial glycobiology represents a multidisciplinary and emerging area with implications for a range of basic and applied research fields, as well as having industrial, medical and biotechnological implications. The importance of the substitution of microbial proteins by sugars (glycosylation) and the role played by glycosylated molecules in disease development, immune recognition and environmental processes has become well-established in recent years. The new book, with Professor Anthony Moran, School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway as Editor-in-Chief, runs to over 1,000 pages, with 50 chapters by 100 contributors from Europe, North America, Japan and Australia. The volume also boasts a panel of international editors from the field, including: Professor Otto Holst, Leibniz Centre for Medicine and Biosciences, Germany; Professor Patrick Brennan, Colorado State University, USA; and Professor Mark von Itzstein, Griffith University, Australia. At the launch, Professor Moran noted that the book comes at an important time as glycobiology is having significant impact upon our understanding of microbes, their control and exploitation. He said: "Industrially, major developments in vaccine design, drug discovery and diagnostics are being made based on microbial glycobiology, and technologically the field is expanding our understanding, detection and therapy of various infectious agents". He added: "This is a very vibrant area of research and is an expanding area of technology with many potential ramifications for industrial and medical developments. The subject area exhibits extensive growth because of the biomedical, biotherapeutic, diagnostic and biotechnological applications which have fuelled research and industrial interest". Ireland has already established a strong footing in the burgeoning field of glycoscience. NUI Galway is home to the Alimentary Glycoscience Research Cluster (AGRC) of which Professor Moran is a member. A collaboration of research institutions and industry partners, the AGRC was established in 2009 with a significant grant from Government through Science Foundation Ireland, and is aiding in the discovery of novel diagnostics, therapeutics and nutraceuticals. "There is strong expertise in Ireland in this area, and the publication of this new book will further advance that connection on the international research stage. With Microbial Glycobiology, our aim is to provide a useful introduction to the subject for new researchers, as well as an invaluable reference for experienced ones," observed Professor Moran. Microbial Glycobiology is published by Academic Press, for more information see http://www.elsevierdirect.com -ends-

Friday, 29 January 2010

Ms Áine Brady, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for Older People and Health Promotion, today launched the establishment of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion Research at NUI Galway. The work of the World Health Organisation (WHO) is supported by a global network of collaborating centres, with the centre at NUI Galway one of only three in Ireland, and one of only 26 centres around the world dedicated to Health Promotion. The designation comes as a result of the important role the University's Health Promotion Research Centre has played over the past 20 years in health promotion education and research to support national policies and development. The Centre at NUI Galway is the only one of its kind in Ireland and has an active multidisciplinary research programme of work supported by an experienced team of some 30 staff. "I am very pleased to launch this WHO Collaborating Centre at NUI Galway. The Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway plays an important role in providing the research and knowledge base for the development of national policy and best practice on promoting the health of the population. I am confident that the Centre will continue to make a very valuable contribution to the work of WHO in health promotion and public health at both national and global levels", said Minister Brady. Following today's announcemnt, the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway will collaborate with WHO on the effective production, dissemination and translation of health promotion research. This will support the development of effective practice and policy at national, European and global levels. The Centre will focus on supporting evidence-based practice and policy in a number of areas including; research on promoting youth health in schools, the health of staff in the workplace, and advancing the implementation and evaluation of health promotion interventions including those that target improved mental health and social wellbeing. President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, said: "This is a tremendous achievement and is an important recognition of the international standing and quality of the research produced at the Health Promotion Research Centre in NUI Galway.  The designation of the Health Promotion Research Centre as a WHO Collaborating Centre highlights our international leadership in this field". The Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway is officially designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre for an initial period of four years, led by Professor Margaret Barry. who commented: "Health promotion is proven to have a wide range of health and social benefits and our work over the last 20 years and been focussed on informing policy decisions and best practice in this area. We look forward to working with our colleagues at WHO and our national and international partners on the advancement of research for the effective promotion of population health and wellbeing". -ends-

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Dr Peter Corcoran of NUI Galway is the only engineer based in Ireland to be elected Fellow of the prestigious US-based Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) in the 2010 listing. Dr Corcoran is being recognised for his 'contributions to digital camera technologies' alongside 308 other engineering experts from around the world. Dr Corcoran's elevation to Fellow brings to 10 the number of Irish-based researchers who have been recognised by the IEEE. That number includes Dr Corcoran's colleague Professor Ger Hurley from NUI Galway who was recognised in 2006 for his work in the field of power electronics. Fellowship of the IEEE is conferred only by invitation of the Board of Directors upon persons of outstanding qualifications and experience who have contributed significantly to society. A native of Dublin, Dr Corcoran has made significant contributions to digital camera technology both through his academic publications and through a technology company, FotoNation, which he co-founded with Eran Steinberg and Petronel Bigioi. FotoNation became the market leader in automated red-eye removal and continues to develop and refine a range of OEM technologies for digital cameras. These technologies are used in more than 100 million digital cameras worldwide. Dr Corcoran was also a major contributor to a range of face-tracking and face-analysis techniques pioneered for digital cameras and cameraphones by FotoNation in the period 2003-2008. Again, these technologies have greatly enhanced today s consumer digital cameras enabling better quality images to be achieved in low-cost consumer products. Dr Corcoran s research team from NUI Galway formed the original engineering team of the start-up company that became FotoNation. Almost all of these engineers are still working with the company today. According to the IEEE: "The ability of a small, Galway based, engineering company to compete with large multinational corporations in the development of leading edge image processing algorithms is due in no small part to Dr Corcoran s technical vision and knowledge of embedded systems and image processing techniques". More recently, Dr Corcoran's research has explored methods for the encoding of digital content using personal biometric features. This approach offers a potential solution to the growing problems of piracy and illegal distribution of digital content such as music and movies. Dr Corcoran added: "The new challenge for electronic engineers such as myself now lies in the area of biometric features. Within a matter of years we can hope to have consumer devices that will "know" their owners. These new "smart" devices should solve many of the problems we have today with digital copyright and the piracy of movies and music". -ends-

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

The line up for the 10th annual NUI Galway Arts Festival programme, Múscailt, which runs from 8-12 February, was launched yesterday (Monday, 25 January). The Festival contains a superb programme of music, art, performance and film, with many free events to which the public are welcome. Múscailt, which is organised by the NUI Galway Arts and Theatre Office, will feature emerging artists and entertainers performing through the medium of Irish and English. Among the venues for the Festival will be the University's newly opened arts and cultural centre, the Bailey Allen Wing. The launch featured rap artist Bubba Shakespeare performing 'as Gaeilge', along with performances from The WIZ by the Galway University Musical Society (GUMS). Festival highlights include: Musical GUMS will perform their version of The WIZ, a musical based on the 1978 movie starring Michael Jackson which is full of jazz, soul and funk numbers. Gaeilge Night A night of rap and comedy 'as Gaeilge', will take place in Tigh an Táilliúra, An Cheathrú Rua. Bubba Shakespeare and GMC will join comedienne Kathleen O'Rourke, writer and voice of the animation, Granny O'Grimm, which has been long-listed for an Oscar. This will be followed by DJ Ben O'Faoláin. Visual Arts During Múscailt the visual arts will feature strongly. Alice Maher will unveil two of her iconic pieces, Coma Berenices and The Seduction, which were recently acquired by NUI Galway. As well as giving a short talk on her work, Alice will also open the visual art exhibitions in Múscailt, including Slippage, a temporary solo exhibition of drawings and animations by acclaimed visual artist Aideen Barry. A group exhibition, Acquisitions, featuring recently acquired works by Robin Jones, Aideen Barry, Ben Geoghegan, Dagmar Drabent, Brian Maguire and Brigit Beemster will also be on display. Many of these artists, including stone carver Pat Bracken, will participate in a series of informal morning conversations. MUSE, the 30th annual Art Society exhibition, will feature a collection of drawings, paintings, textiles and sculptures. A new ceramic sculpture by Simon Murphy, specially created for the 10th Múscailt Festival, will also be unveiled. Performance Arts Múscailt will have a selection of new shows on offer in the Performing Arts, including Plastic Age by Francomime and Colours the Opera by Colours Street Theatre. A new initiative, SOLO SHOW – Monologue for Múscailt, will feature short solo performances. Comedian John Colleary will perform with student comedian Steve Bennett in support. In association with Arts in Action, artist Benji de Burca, will create a giant cut-out painting using stencils of images of students created on the day. Juggling Society will perform with special guest juggler extraordinaire Marco Paoletti, while Cumann Drámaíochta will provide a performance 'as Gaeilge'. For film fans, new releases will be shown throughout the Festival and the Fantasy and Science Fiction Society will run a marathon of retro Sci-Fi films. Music Múscailt, together with Music for Galway, will host pianist James Lisney, currently in mini-residency at the University, and will celebrate 200 years of Schumann and Chopin, with a series of recitals. Irish rappers Bubba Shakespeare and GMC will perform 'as Gaeilge' on the opening day of the festival. Students from the Dioplóma sna Dána (Coiriú agus Stáitsiú an Cheoil Thraidisiúnta) class will present a traditional music performance and NUI Galway Chamber Orchestra, Traditional Irish Music Society, Rockapella (Barbershop), and grunge band 21 Outs will also feature in the musical programme. Fionnuala Gallagher, NUI Galway Arts Officer, said: "In these financially tight times, it is important and fulfilling to encourage emerging performers and artists, working in both Irish and English, who are edgy and original. The artists featuring in this year's 10th Múscailt Festival are definitely making waves, and we are proud to have them in our programme". All events are open to the public and almost all are free, with the exception of the James Lisney piano recitals in the Aula Maxima (tel: 091 705962 / info@musicforgalway.ie) and The WIZ at the Black Box (tel: 091 569777 / www.tht.ie). For further details about the festival please visit www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie, or telephone the NUI Galway Arts and Theatre Office at 091 493766 for a brochure. For information on the Comedy and Rap night in An Cheathrú Rua please email funkygaeilgeloba@yahoo.com. -Ends-

Monday, 25 January 2010

The Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway will this week launch the European Yearbook of Disability Law (Volume 1), a collaborative project between NUI Galway and the University of Maastricht. This is the first journal of its type in Europe. The launch will take place on Friday, 29 January, at 4pm in Room MY 129, Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, will welcome attendees, while Mr Hywel Ceri Jones will formally launch the Yearbook. Mr Ceri Jones is co-chair of the Consortium of European Foundations (Philanthropies) on Human Rights Disability. He is also former Deputy Director General of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities in the European Commission. The European Yearbook of Disability Law reviews significant developments in disability law and policy at a European level and also contains a series of commissioned articles on current challenges and developments in the field from senior analysts and academics. The Yearbook is jointly edited by Professor Lisa Waddington of Maastricht University and Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the NUI Galway Centre for Disability Law and Policy. According to Professor Quinn, "The Yearbook is a great example of the work carried out here at the Centre. It provides an important overview and update on the state of affairs on the European stage. This is more crucial than ever as the EU ratifies the new UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. It is important that we spread knowledge about EU level initiatives in the field of disability and bring more people into the debates". The Centre for Disability Law and Policy was established in 2008 and is one of the first of its type in Europe. For further information on the launch contact Mary McQuinn at 091 495888 or email mary.mcquinn@nuigalway.ie -ends-

Monday, 25 January 2010

20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010 – 2030: Opportunities and Challenges NUI Galway will host a Symposium on Language Planning next month, aimed at those who have an interest in cultural and linguistic diversity, and the challenges posed to this diversity in various language communities. The Language Planning Symposium will take place in the Bailey Allen Wing in Áras na Mac Léinn on 1 and 2 February. Following the publication of the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010 – 2030, the Language Planning Unit of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge welcomes the opportunity to provide this forum for detailed discussion and analysis of the new strategy. Both national and international scholars of language planning will contribute to the Symposium, with the aim of encouraging discussion and critical analysis of the various language planning challenges at this critical juncture. The Symposium also provides the opportunity to learn from experiences shared by other language minorities in today's social, political and cultural contexts. "This Symposium is being held at a very critical time for the Irish language due to the legislative amendments and the language planning approach currently being considered for the language and the Gaeltacht. This Symposium will give us the opportunity to discuss these important issues between ourselves and also with international experts who have expertise in language planning for minority languages" according to Dr Conchúr Ó Giollagáin, Symposium Director. Invited lecturers include: Dr Rob Dunbar, University of Aberdeen; Dr Hywel Glyn Lewis, Coleg Prifysgol y Drindod Carmarthen, University of Wales; Professor Silvina Montrul, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív, T.D., will officially open the Symposium at 9.30am on Monday 1 February. Participants are asked to attend at 9.00am on the Monday to complete registration. An attendance fee of €100 will apply however students will be permitted to attend free of charge. For further information please contact Laoise Ní Thuairisg in The Language Planning Unit, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge at laoise.nithuairisg@oegaillimh.ie or 091 595101. -Ends-

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

The annual NUI Galway Graduate Studies Fair takes place on Wednesday, 3 February, from 12.30 – 4.30pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, Áras na Mac Léinn. Almost 3,500 postgraduate students currently attend NUI Galway, many of them travelling from overseas and this event will showcase over 400 of NUI Galway's full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes, including taught and research masters, and doctoral research options. The Fair will focus on the benefits of doing a postgraduate programme and the practicalities of making an application. An applications clinic and personal statement clinic will run throughout the day, and talks will include information on funding opportunities. At the Graduate Studies Fair, 80 information stands will provide details on postgraduate opportunities at NUI Galway, with academic staff and current students on hand to answer questions about specific courses. Stands from other institutions across the country will also feature. According to John Hannon, Head of NUI Galway's Career Development Centre: "In the current economic climate, there is increased interest among undergraduate students in staying in education by pursuing postgraduate studies. A postgraduate qualification can provide a real career boost. Undoubtedly, it can maximise career prospects and earnings". NUI Galway offers a wide range of fourth level courses, developing programmes based on its traditional academic strengths of Arts, Social Sciences, Celtic Studies, Commerce, Medicine, Nursing, Health Science, Law, Engineering, Informatics and Science. These areas have been augmented with innovative Research Centres in areas as diverse as Biomedical Engineering, International Human Rights, Digital Media & Film Studies, and Regenerative Medicine. Valerie Leahy, Postgraduate Admissions Officer, adds: "Last year postgraduate applications to NUI Galway increased by 40%. People are always interested in upskilling, improving their qualifications and their employability. With so many options available at postgraduate level, people must choose carefully. The Graduate Studies Fair offers the opportunity to talk to lecturers and current postgraduate students. My advice would be to apply early and often as you can make up to three applications online at www.pac.ie/nuigalway". An online prospectus of all that is on offer at NUI Galway at postgraduate level and further information about the Graduate Studies Fair is available at a href="http://www.nuigalway.ie/postgrad/"www.nuigalway.ie/postgrad/. -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

The 5th annual Teddy Bear Hospital, the largest ever in Ireland, is to take place at NUI Galway from 28-29 January. Over 1,000 sick teddy bears will be admitted to the hospital, accompanied by their owners, 1,000 primary school children between the ages of three and eight. Up to 200 medical students from NUI Galway will volunteer to diagnose and treat the teddy bears. In the process, they hope to help the children feel more comfortable around doctors and hospitals. The event is organised by the Sláinte Society, the NUI Galway branch of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations. Cornelia Carey, second year medical student at NUI Galway, is a member of Sláinte Society and is helping to organise the event: "Teddy Bear Hospital will be held over two days in order to cater for the overwhelming number of sick teddies in Galway city and county. This event provides a great opportunity for our Teddy Doctors to explain how doctors work and to show the children that hospitals and medical procedures are not so scary". This year, 28 local primary schools are participating in the event. On arrival at the Teddy Bear Hospital on campus, the children will go to the 'waiting room', a play area filled with toys and games, from Smyths Toys. Then the children and their teddy bears are seen by a team of Teddy Doctors and Teddy Nurses, who will examine them and decide if Teddy needs to visit the specially designed Teddy X-ray or MRI Machine. It is expected that Teddy will soon be on the mend, helped by medical supplies from Boots. A Teddy Pharmacy will also be open, stocked with healthy fruit from Total Produce. After all this excitement the children can enjoy a bouncy castle and visit an Order of Malta ambulance, sponsored by Medisource. Entertainment will be provided throughout the day by NUI Galway's Juggling Society and face painters. Ríona Hughes, NUI Galway's Societies Officer, said: "I love seeing Teddy Bear Hospital in action. Students take the initiative to engage with the community in mutually beneficial and creative ways. This event grows each year and for good reason". - ends -

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Galway Chamber and NUI Galway last night (Monday, 18 January) hosted the third Paddy Ryan Memorial Lecture. This event, which alternates between the University and GMIT, honours the memory of the late Paddy Ryan. Dr Alan Ahearne, Special Advisor to Mr Brian Lenihan T.D., Minister for Finance, was the guest speaker at the event which was held at NUI Galway and attended by some 500 people. Currently on a leave of absence from positions at NUI Galway and at Bruegel, the influential Brussels-based economics think tank, Dr Ahearne gave his view on the country's current economic situation in a lecture entitled 'Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Policy Making in a Time of Economic Crisis.' A number of factors are starting to fall into place to ensure that economic growth can be anticipated in 2010, according to Dr Ahearne. He said that 2009 was a year for stabilisation and that the measures taken last year should result in growth later this year. According to Dr Ahearne, a number of factors gave rise to such optimism. He said there was a 5% improvement in unit labour costs in Ireland since the autumn. The unit cost in Ireland dropped 2% in Ireland last year at a time when they increased by 3% in the Euro area. "This is already kickstarting growth. We are starting to gain market share but we need to do more as we lost our competitiveness during the boom years," said Dr Ahearne. He said that export-led growth would be the engine for the recovery but that it would probably be 2011 before real impact would be felt, after years of over-dependence on house building. "We are on the road to recovery but it will be a bumpy road. It is still an uncertain world and the financial markets are fragile. "Unemployment is still increasing, although the rate has slowed down," he noted. He said that as firms expand in the recovery it was crucial banks could provide credit, so sorting out the banking sector was key to this. "There needs to be a proper sequence of events and that is what is happening. Around €19billion will be transferred into NAMA next month and that first transfer will give us a lot of information," he said. Dr Ahearne said that the remainder should be transferred by the end of September and that the cost of recapitalising the banking sector would become apparent in between. He said that when the 'risky' loans were gone off the balance sheet and the banks were recapitalised, the banking sector would be well able to meet the needs of the economy. Dr Ahearne dismissed suggestions that banks should default on bondholders. "The bulk of bonds in Irish banks are ordinary senior bonds. They are part of the banks' funding and not risk capital. They are owned by pension funds, insurance companies, credit unions and other long-term providers of funds," said Dr Ahearne, who added that, in any event, such bonds were covered by the Bank Guarantee scheme. Dr Ahearne and the Paddy Ryan Memorial Lecture was introduced by NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne. He said that people in Ireland today owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Paddy Ryan and to his generation. "Paddy Ryan and his peers worked to build the modern Ireland. He will be remembered for his contribution to Galway's business and civic life and as an exemplar of the nation-builders of the 50s, 60s and '70s. "Like many of his generation, he believed in 'giving something back'. He had a strong sense of responsibility towards helping those less fortunate. "In many ways, he embodied what is nowadays referred to active citizenship and social responsibility," said Dr Browne. President of Galway Chamber Mr Paul Shelly presented Dr Ahearne with a specially commissioned medal designed by the artist and sculpture Padraic Reaney following his lecture. The medal was sponsored by Schneider Electric IT Logistics Europe (formerly APC). The Paddy Ryan Memorial Lecture alternates between GMIT and NUI Galway. Paddy Ryan was a former Mayor of Galway who was a successful businessman in the city until his death in 2004. Dr Ahearne's presentation can be viewed at http://www.nuigalway.ie/about-us/video/paddy-ryan-memorial-lecture.html -Ends-

Monday, 18 January 2010

A new public lecture series by recently-appointed NUI Galway Established Professors in the School of Humanities will commence on Wednesday, 27 January. NUI Galway's President, Dr James J. Browne, will launch the first of the series of free talks at the Galway City Museum at 7.30pm. Designed to make a case for the role of the Humanities in society today, the lectures address fundamental questions from the perspectives of English, Philosophy and History. The talks will follow a lively, informative and provocative format and will be relevant to how we think of ourselves as a society today. The first lecture, 'Literature in a Digital Age', will be given by Sean Ryder, Established Professor of English and an international authority on text-editing with new technologies. His talk will question the use of literature in the contemporary world. On Wednesday, 24 February, Paul Crowther, Established Professor of Philosophy at NUI Galway and world-renowned expert in aesthetics, will pose the question 'what is it to be free?' and address the uses of non-practical knowledge. The third and final lecture will be delivered by Steven Ellis, Established Professor of History at NUI Galway, on Wednesday, 24 March. Professor Ellis, who is a specialist in Tudor Ireland and Britain, will examine the role of political unions and partitions in early modern Ireland. This lecture series is designed to appeal to a broad audience and each 40 minute lecture will be followed by a short question and answer session. Light refreshments will be available before each lecture. The lecture series is organised by the Civic Engagement Forum of the School of Humanities. For further information, contact Karen Walsh 091-495689 or email: karenm.walsh@nuigalway.ie. -ends-

Monday, 18 January 2010

Representatives from NUI Galway and Ireland's six other universities are this week travelling to New York and Washington, in a joint initiative coordinated by Enterprise Ireland. The aim of the initiative is to boost collaboration between Irish and US institutes of higher learning. The visit is part of the Education Ireland strategy to draw new waves of US students to Ireland for undergraduate and graduate studies and to broaden the network of research partnerships between higher learning institutions in both countries. Enterprise Ireland's Manager of International Education Services Terry McParland said: "Ireland's third level institutions, with the support of the Irish Government are investing heavily in research in strategically important areas such as science, engineering, biotechnology and medical disciplines. It is hoped that increasing the collaboration between higher level institutions in Ireland and the US will foster new and greater synergies that will yield inventive research and breakthroughs. "The initiative also aims to increase the flow of US students to pursue studies in Ireland's higher education institutes. International education is already a high growth sector in Ireland as global demand for quality, overseas tertiary education continues to grow despite the economic downturn. This initiative aims to highlight the quality of third level education in Ireland and attract more American students to study in Ireland." Anna Cunningham, Director of International Affairs at NUI Galway added: "NUI Galway has a long tradition of welcoming North American students for both semester abroad and summer school programmes. In recent years, increasing numbers of US students have chosen NUI Galway to complete their full degree programmes, thus adding to the rich culture diversity already evident on campus. Students regularly comment on how welcome they are made not just at the University but also by the people of Galway City. Every year approximately 800 US students choose Galway for their short-term study programmes, contributing significantly to the local economy. These students return to the US and act as important ambassadors both for Galway and Ireland". This initiative is being coordinated by Education Ireland. Education Ireland is dedicated to the development and promotion of Ireland as an international education centre of excellence. The Education Ireland brand is managed by Enterprise Ireland. The seven universities participating in this pilot visit include Dublin City University, National University of Ireland, Galway, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College, Dublin and the University of Limerick. -Ends-

Monday, 18 January 2010

NUI Galway has announced the winners of the 2010 Alumni Awards to be presented at the tenth annual Alumni Awards Gala Banquet on Saturday, 6 March, 2010 in the newly opened Bailey Allen Wing on campus. The Alumni Awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University's more than 70,000 graduates worldwide. The awards programme boasts an impressive roll call of 61 outstanding graduates who have gone on to honour their alma mater, including, for example, Michael D. Higgins, Ciarán FitzGerald, Sean O'Rourke, Professor Frank Gannon, Dr Luke Clancy and Gráinne Seoige. The winners of the eight alumni awards to be presented at Gala 2010: AIB Award for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies Gerard Donovan BA 1983, MA 1988, Novelist. Bank of Ireland Award for Business, Public Policy and Law Margaret Sweeney BComm 1981, Chief Executive, Postbank Ireland Ltd. Bank of Ireland Award for Engineering and Informatics Professor Brian Moran BE1980, MEngSc.1982. Acting Provost and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia. Duais Hewlett-Packard don Ghaeilge Pádraig Ó hAoláin LLB 1985, Príomhfheidhmeannach, Údarás na Gaeltachta. Medtronic Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Professor Rose Anne Kenny MB, BCh, BAO 1977, MD 1986, Head of Department of Clinical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin and Consultant Physician in Medicine at St James' Hospital. Seavite Award for Science Dr J. Paul Duffy BSc 1986, PhD 1992, Vice President Operations, Primary Care/Oncology Operating Unit for Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals. Speaking on the announcement of the Awards recipients, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne said: "Our Alumni Awards programme recognises the many Galway alumni who are leaders in their professions and excel in their pursuits at national and international levels. These awards celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual achievements among the University's more than 70,000 graduates worldwide. I congratulate each of the Award winners and look forward to welcoming them back to their alma mater for the Gala Banquet in March". The new Gala Banquet venue, The Bailey Allen Wing in the newly refurbished Áras na Mac Léinn, is dedicated to the arts and societies and will include performance facilities, exhibition space and an auditorium for University, civic and public events. Through a generous bequest of the late Angela Allen the spirit of her son, Frank Bailey, will be immortalised at NUI Galway with the development of the new venue. Francis J. Bailey is fondly remembered for his theatre productions on campus in the 1960s. The University is proud to honour this remarkable man who died tragically in 1972. The Bailey Allen Hall will provide the University with a prime theatre space to be used by students for performance as well as by the University for conferrings and other significant events. For booking information contact Catherine Conroy at 091 492972 or catherine.conroy@nuigalway.ie For further information and online booking, click here. -Ends-