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News Archives

Thursday, 26 May 2016

NUI Galway Business and Innovation Centre support a Galway family’s global mission to make their language learning solution accessible for children with autism Enda and Valerie Dodd’s innovative software solution ‘ALL’, named after their company, Animated Language Learning, is driven by the belief that they can change the world. As clients of the NUI Galway Business Innovation Centre, they are determined to create a state of the art, visually rich language learning program that has already lifted their twin sons’ from the isolation of autism, and make it accessible to every family in need. Enda and Valerie Dodd originally moved to California in 2003 to find a solution to their sons’ condition. They actively started developing the software on a full time basis in 2009 in San Francisco and established Animated Language Learning Inc. The company relocated to Ireland in 2015 to NUI Galway’s Business and Innovation Centre. Speaking about the solution, Valerie Dodd said: “There was utter confusion surrounding the diagnosis of our sons’ when it became evident that they were not talking and were diagnosed as highly autistic. Autism spectrum disorder, pervasive development disorder, deafness, language disorder, sensory integration disorder and global dyspraxia were among many terms being used, and we had little understanding of their meaning. We struggled to comprehend these diagnoses and what was truly going on with our sons’. Equally we had to make sense of what therapies were available to help our children succeed with communication. This was our challenge.” It was this quest that ultimately brought the family to San Francisco, and the collaboration with Disney, Pixar and Adobe e-learning teams. Having given up their jobs, Valerie and Enda focused on creating a solution for the autism that disrupted their sons’ language. In that time the family assembled a team of world-leading specialists and schools who together with the help of Disney led their twin boys out of the isolation of their condition. Today the boys are emerging out of their deficits, enjoying school, sports, relationships and looking forward to a bright new world. Fiona Neary, NUI Galway business development manager at the Business Innovation Centre said: “Having recently moved back from the US the Dodd family are now surrounding themselves with a solid support structure and network to scale this solution globally. We are delighted to have Enda, Valerie and their team based onsite and look forward to working with them in achieving their global mission.” Animated Language Learning has already created a learning technology which is currently being piloted with over 200 families around the world. Enda Dodd says: “Language disordered children are very complex and our work with families has been vital in developing our understanding of communication and delivering our sons’ success to families in need. Our aim is to enact social change for our families through language, creating a better future for all of us.” To read more about ALL visit: animatedlanguagelearning.com/ ENDS

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Over 60 students from schools across the country attended the recent SIMMED School at NUI Galway.  Now in its third year, SIMMED School is an innovative and unique programme for Transition Year students who are interested in exploring medicine as a career. Students were immersed in the world of medicine over the four days, giving them a flavour of what life will be like as a doctor in a major teaching hospital. Throughout the programme, students were part of a simulated medical team and got to carry out medical and surgical skills in the centre for simulation in Galway University Hospital, SIMWEST. They heard the experiences of current students starting their journey in the School of Medicine and those of fully qualified doctors. They also met different professionals employed in a wide range of roles throughout the hospital, learned about common medical problems and discovered interesting facts about plastic surgery, orthopaedics, HIV, oncology, diabetes, asthma and many more topics. The focus of SIMMED School is to give students a genuine insight into hospital medicine and in teaching them to develop psychomotor skills. The students are also challenged to work as a team to solve medical and surgical clinical cases. At NUI Galway, the School of Medicine recognises the importance of a good introduction to the medical world for Transition Year students who might otherwise not have access to accurate information to help them to make career choices. Professor Sean Dinneen, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Medicine, said: “SIMMED is an innovative and unique programme at NUI Galway and Galway University Hospital that is a genuine opportunity for students to get hands on experience of what it is like to be a junior doctor. It is enormously popular and enjoyable as well as challenging and real eye-opening!" Speaking of her SIMMED experience, Imy Lundon of Presentation College, Athenry, Co. Galway, said: “I really liked the variety and the practical aspects of the course. For me the Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the heart surgery segments were the most interesting.” Cormac Nugent from Summerhill College in Sligo said: “I liked the simulations and hands-on parts of the course where we got to try things out for ourselves.” -Ends-

Thursday, 26 May 2016

The inaugural conference on ‘Living With Dementia in Rural Ireland’ will take place on Monday, 30 May from 10am-4pm at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society, NUI Galway. This conference seeks to explore rural isolation impacts on those living with dementia in rural Ireland and examine strategies and approaches in dealing with this. The conference will discuss the nature of living with dementia today; create opportunities for sharing of learning; profile models of good practice; highlight the need for joined up responses, both in policy making, planning and implementation.  Conference Organiser and NUI Galway graduate, Carmel Geoghegan said: “The conference is an opportunity for the communities in the West of Ireland to interact with experts in the field that are passionate about what they do and want to make a real difference.” Speakers include: Helen Rochford Brennan, Chair of the National Dementia Working Group; Dr Tony Foley, Department of General Practice, UCC; and Professor Sabina Brennan, Trinity College Dublin. The conference will also hear personal accounts from family members, carers and healthcare professionals working with people with dementia. To register please go to www.eventbrite.ie. Admission is free and members of the general public with an interest in ageing well are invited to attend. For further information please contact Carmel Geoghegan 086 361 2907. -Ends-

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The inaugural Irish Garden Party and Great ILAS Bake-Off will take place on Wednesday, 1 June from 12-4pm in the main foyer of the Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS) Building in Corrib Village. This local charity event, campus in aid of ACT for Meningitis and the Galway branch of The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, is hosted by ILAS in conjunction with SAOL Café. Bakers are encouraged to bring along cakes, scones and tarts to enter the bake-off competition and take home a prize or simply donate cakes to the bake sale. There will be local food and crafts from Galway producers in the Farmer’s Market on offer and live entertainment. There will also be a series of raffle prizes to be won on the day. Dr Patricia Carney, a researcher in ILAS and one of the organisers, said: “The event promises to be a fun day that brings the community together, old, young and everyone in between, with something for all, while supporting two fantastic charities. It’s also a great opportunity for all our star bakers out there to showcase their talents and get involved!” Local transport can be arranged if required. Please contact SAOL Café on 091 493055 for more details. Parking on university grounds requires a permit so please email irishgardenparty@gmail.com or SAOL Café to obtain a parking permit for use on the day.   The Irish Garden Party and Great ILAS Bake Off is a non- profit event with all raffle and bake-sale proceeds being donated to ACT for Meningitis and the Galway branch of The Alzheimer Society of Ireland.  -Ends-

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

NUI Galway Academic is co-author of global study which finds salt is essential to a person’s health and reduction matters most in people with high blood pressure who consume high salt diets A large worldwide study involving 49 countries has found that, contrary to popular thought, low-salt diets may not be beneficial and may actually increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death (compared to average salt consumption). The results from the study were published in The Lancet. The study, involving more than 130,000 people from 49 countries, was led by investigators of the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences. Professor Martin O’Donnell, a co-author on the study and an associate professor at NUI Galway, said: “This study adds to our understanding of the relationship between salt intake and health, and questions the appropriateness of current guidelines that recommend low sodium intake in the entire population. Our findings highlight the need for a definitive clinical trial that determines the safety and effectiveness of sustained low sodium intake on incidence of heart attacks and stroke.  Until definitive trials are completed, an approach that recommends salt in moderation, particularly focused on those with hypertension, appears more in-line with current evidence.” The researchers looked specifically at whether the relationship between sodium (salt) intake and death, heart disease and stroke is different in people with high blood pressure compared to those with normal blood pressure. The results showed that regardless of whether people have high blood pressure, low-sodium intake is related to more heart attacks, strokes, and deaths compared to average intake. “These are extremely important findings for those who are suffering from high blood pressure. While our data highlights the importance of reducing high salt intake in people with hypertension, it does not support reducing salt intake to low levels. Our findings are important because they show that lowering sodium is best targeted at those with hypertension who also consume high sodium diets,” said Dr Andrew Mente, lead author of the study, a principal investigator of PHRI and an associate professor of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics at McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. Current intake of sodium in Canada is typically between 3.5 and 4 grams per day and some guidelines have recommended that the entire population lower its sodium intake to below 2.3 grams per day, a level that fewer than five per cent of Canadians and people around the world consume. Previous studies have shown that low-sodium, compared to average sodium intake, is related to increased cardiovascular risk and mortality, even though low sodium intake is associated with lower blood pressure. This new study shows that the risks associated with low-sodium intake – less than three grams per day was consistent regardless of a patient’s hypertension status. The findings show that while there is a limit below which sodium intake may be unsafe, the harm associated with high sodium consumption appears to be confined to those with hypertension. Only about 10 per cent of the population in the study had both hypertension and high sodium consumption (greater than 6 grams per day). Dr Mente said that this indicates that the majority of individuals in Canada and most countries are consuming the right amount of salt and suggests that targeted salt reduction in those who are most susceptible (those with hypertension and high salt consumption) may be preferable to a population-wide approach to reducing sodium intake in most countries except those where the average sodium intake is very high, such as parts of central Asia or China. He added that what is now generally recommended as a healthy daily ceiling for sodium consumption appears to be set too low, regardless of a person’s blood pressure level. Dr Mente continued: “Low sodium intake does reduce blood pressure modestly, compared to moderate (or average) intake, but low sodium intake also has other effects, including adverse elevations of certain hormones associated with an increase in risk of death and cardiovascular diseases. The key question is whether these competing physiologic effects result in net clinical benefit or not.” The study was funded from more than 50 sources, including the PHRI, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. -Ends-

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Registration is now open for The Mary Robinson Centre International Symposium 2016, organised in partnership with NUI Galway’s Centre for Global Women’s Studies. The Symposium will take place in Ballina, Co. Mayo, on 1-2 July. Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, who currently serves as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, explains: “The Mary Robinson Centre International Symposium 2016 will bring together in Ballina an outstanding group of sustainable development champions from Ireland and around the world. It will begin a very important international conversation that puts human rights, peace, tackling inequalities, and promoting women’s leadership at the heart of our collective efforts to implement the new UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.” In addition to Mary Robinson, keynote speakers and panellists will include: Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of UN Economic and Social Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Dr Paul Gillespie, Irish Times columnist and former Foreign Policy Editor Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, Gender Envoy for the African Development Bank Heather Grady, Vice-President, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, San Francisco, USA Peter Power, Executive Director, UNICEF Ireland, former Minister of State for Overseas Development Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director, Amnesty International Ireland Mouna Ghanem, Member of Women’s Advisory Board to UN Envoy on Syria Jacqueline Pitanguy, Founder and Executive Director of CEPIA (a human and civil rights NGO), Brazil Monica McWilliams, Co-founder of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition political party Ray Murphy, Acting Director of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights. Niamh Reilly, Co-director of the Centre for Global Women’s Studies at NUI Galway and Academic Advisor to The Mary Robinson Centre, said: “This exciting Symposium opens up global policy discussion and academic research to local communities – for anyone who is interested in issues of development, peace, human rights and equality, it is fantastic opportunity to participate in an agenda-setting discussion.” A reduced registration fee of €75 is available until Tuesday, 31 May, which includes the conference buffet dinner. A full registration fee of €95 applies after this date. A special concession rate of €30 is available to postgraduate students and others subject to eligibility. To register visit www.conference.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

The University will mark the bequest with a public lecture on the Battle of Aughrim 1691 NUI Galway has received a significant donation of books about the Williamite War (1689-91) in Ireland and its aftermath from Colman Morrissey, son of a graduate of the University. Over a period of 45 years Colman assembled the collection of over 200 volumes which contains all the known contemporary accounts of the war. For example, the collection includes a copy (one of only 200) of John T Gilbert’s 1892 edition of the early eighteenth century manuscript ‘The Light to the Blind’. A highlight of the collection is a List of Claims  printed in 1701 of the Court  held in Chichester House (now the Bank of Ireland on College Green) Dublin where lands confiscated from the Irish Catholic losers were granted to the winners. This massive tome contains details of the former owners and the actual judgements on the claims written by hand and so is a unique record of the land confiscations and transfers. Other highlights include: the first biography of William of Orange/William III published in 1703 in original binding; the first biography of King James II by J S Clarke published in 1816 also in original binding; the English 1759 translation of the Memoirs of the Duke of Berwick (natural son of James and a celebrated general in French service); a signed copy of William King’s influential State of the Protestants in Ireland… published in 1691; and its refutation by Charles Leslie in 1692. A framed copy of the 1688 Proclamation by Richard Talbot, Duke of Tyrconnell, proscribing persons in the province of Ulster and the town of Sligo as traitors is also included. In addition there are copies of most of the publications by subsequent authors, including definitive Army Lists of the Jacobite Army, together with numerous shorter contemporary manuscripts describing parts of the conflict in various regions of the country, both North and South. In addition, the collection contains most of the publications from the 20th century dealing with the conflict, including some rare items. Most items are in their original bindings and where repairs or rebindings have been necessary they have been carried out in a most professional manner. John Cox, University Librarian at NUI Galway, said: “This is a wonderful collection and it is a real honour to receive it and to add it to the Library’s special collections. Colman has brought all his passion for this period of Irish history to bear on the collection, making great efforts to assemble it and often tracking down books in unusual places.” Colman’s fascination with the Jacobite War was inspired by a boyhood visit to the Aughrim battle site. He was brought by his father, a friend of Martin Joyce, the local schoolmaster, historian and guardian of the memory of Aughrim. This passion was subsequently reawakened by Richard Murphy’s 1965 epic poem on the Battle of Aughrim. The decision to donate the collection to NUI Galway in memory of the donor’s father, Joseph H. Morrissey, was taken because the Battle of Aughrim, the bloodiest and most decisive battle in Irish history, was fought in Connacht and because the donor’s father was a graduate of NUI Galway, or UCG as it was known then, where he attained a BA degree (with Martin Joyce) in 1935. To mark the bequest of the Morrissey Collection a public lecture, entitled ‘Myth and Memory: the Battle of Aughrim 1691’will be given by Dr Pádraig Lenihan, Discipline of History, NUI Galway, in the Aula Maxima on Tuesday, 31 May at 8pm. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “This is a most generous donation by Colman Morrissey, representing a lifetime of collecting and interest in the Battle of Aughrim. In receiving it we are delighted to honour the memory of his father, a proud alumnus of our University. The Morrissey collection will be of great value to researchers now and in the future.” NUI Galway’s Dr Pádraig Lenihan commented: “The collection will provide a wonderful resource to those interested in a time when the west was awake and events of continental reverberations took place on our doorstep.” The Morrissey Collection will be included in the Special Collections of the Library and located in the Hardiman Research Building. ENDS

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

An international conference at NUI Galway will examine how constructed and natural wetlands perform important ecological and environmental functions including flood control, wastewater treatment, and ecological management. The Natural and Constructed Wetlands conference will take place from 21-22 June in the Engineering Building. Following the recent flooding events, there is growing interest in the important role that wetlands can fulfil in water management. In addition, constructed wetlands are gaining in popularity as an eco-friendly method of treating wastewater and have featured in many television programmes, including EcoEye. Topics covered throughout the conference will include: Wetlands in watershed management and flood control Ecological and environmental management Experimental modelling Wetlands for water pollution control Environmental and economic assessments New developments in wetland design Wetland ecology and conservation Wetlands and climate change Numerous high profile international delegates will deliver presentations at the conference, including: Professor Jan Vymazal, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague; Professor Matthijs Schouten, Wageningen University, The Netherlands; and Professor Margaret Greenway, Griffith University, Australia. In addition, presentations will also be given by experts in the area, who will represent engineering and ecological perspectives. Dr Mark Healy, conference co-organiser and Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering at NUI Galway, said: “This is a great opportunity to bring together experts in the fields of ecology, engineering, water and wastewater treatment, and environmental policy and management, to discuss recent developments in wetlands research.”  Further information is available on www.conference.ie or by contacting Dr Healy at mark.healy@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Friday, 20 May 2016

NUI Galway researcher launches final report on home evictions in the 28 EU Member States, including Ireland, and calls for better legal protection for those at risk Few EU Member States (including Ireland) monitor and record evictions in a systematic or holistic way - preventing an effective response In Spain, Ireland and the UK, most evictions are from private rented housing Limited reliable public data on legal evictions in half of EU Member States Courts should be obliged to involve social support agencies in repossession cases Significant absence of research, data or reports on illegal evictions from the informal or ‘black’ private rented housing market, particularly in relation to documented and undocumented migrants, asylum-seekers, Roma, Travellers, and some people with disabilities NUI Galway today launched the results of an EU-wide study on home evictions across all tenures. The report shows that evictions arising from increased rents are often greater than mortgage evictions, even in Ireland. The report also highlighted the lack of human rights impact in eviction cases and calls for an EU-wide adoption of best practices, such as Poland’s ‘No evictions to nowhere’ policy. The two-year research pilot, ‘Promoting protection of the right to housing - Homelessness prevention in the context of evictions’ was led by Dr Padraic Kenna, Project Director and lecturer in the School of Law and Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy at NUI Galway. It was a collaborative project with a number of European Universities and agencies, including FEANTSA – the European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless. Commenting on the Final Report, Dr Padraic Kenna said: “The findings of this research show the need to integrate accepted eviction-related housing rights standards into national and EU legal and policy norms. Creating a legal obligation on courts and other agencies, involved in possession proceedings, to promptly engage with housing and social support agencies would be a valuable first step in preventing homelessness.” In 2008 the financial crisis had a major impact on housing systems across Europe, with dramatic increases in mortgage arrears, debt, rental costs and utility arrears. EU Member States responded in different ways, within both their financial and housing systems. This research covered the period after the crisis. The Final Report examines and analyses available data and trends on evictions, identifying risk factors, links with homelessness, and the availability and effectiveness of preventative interventions. National experts across the 28 EU States provided all available local data and information. The Report found that constitutional, human rights and consumer law protection on the inviolability of and respect for home, is applied in a fragmentary and inconsistent manner, thus denying EU citizens equal access to their rights. An unknown number of evictions take place outside the judicially supervised process, affecting many people with deficits in the local language, support networks or resources, particularly those in the informal or ‘black’ rental market. There is a significant absence of research, data or reports on illegal evictions from the informal or black rental market, particularly in relation to documented and undocumented migrants, asylum-seekers, Roma, Travellers, some people with disabilities, and others. Contrary to popular assumptions, in Spain, Ireland and the UK, most evictions are from private rented housing rather than mortgaged properties. EU data showed that the highest housing cost overburden in 2013 among poor households occurred in Greece (91%), while some 50% or more of poor households had utility arrears in Bulgaria and Croatia, with over 60% in Greece and Hungary, a significant eviction risk factor. The most comprehensive analysis of eviction risk factors is found in Denmark, with studies on risk of eviction among one million households in private and public rented housing. This and other research shows that evicted households initially seek help and support from family and friends. Up to one quarter may eventually rely on homeless services, which are only widely available in north and western European countries and cities. The critical issue is preventing those evicted from becoming homeless. The Final Report suggests that access to rapid rehousing schemes, protected minimum incomes and the possibility of “fresh start” options are key factors. Debt advice and legal assistance are most effective measures in preventing rental evictions. In terms of effective preventative interventions, the report highlights adequate supply of affordable housing, legal advice and debt restructuring as significant. The Final Report sets out eighteen recommendations for Member States and the EU, ranging from protection and promotion of housing rights, improved housing policies, responsible lending and areas requiring further research. (See Notes to Editors below). To read the full report visit: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=738&langId=en&pubId=7892&type=2&furtherPubs=yes ENDS

Friday, 20 May 2016

NUI Galway’s societies recently celebrated a very successful year with the President of NUI Galway Dr Jim Browne in a presentation acknowledging their numerous national successes during the college year. Riona Hughes, NUI Galway Societies Officer, said: “NUI Galway societies continue to bring new life to the University, surpassing the achievements of previous years and playing a vital role in shaping students as capable, contributing and active citizens able to play key roles in our world’s future. Evidently the unique work of societies not only enriches campus life but also within the community at a local and national level.” Dr Browne praised the societies on the four awards that they brought home from the Board of Irish College Societies (BICS) National Society Awards in April, where they topped the leader-board with 40 wins since the inaugural awards ceremony in 1996. Winners from NUI Galway this year were: the Medical Society for ‘Best Society in an Academic, Cultural and Social Field’; The French Society’s Ciaran Mac Choncarraige for ‘Best Fresher’; The Draíocht Society for ‘Best Society in a Civic and Charity Field’; and PotterSoc’s Triwizard Cup for ‘Best Intervarsity’. The Rover Society was commended on their win at the National Rover Scouts Intervarsities, and on their ‘Community Achievement Award’ from Scouting Ireland. The society has received praise in recent months for their work helping the homeless, in association COPE. Other national awards this year included two wins for Dramsoc at the Irish Student Drama Awards. Dylan McCormack won the award for ‘Best Actor’ for his role in ‘Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me’, which also brought home the prize for ‘Best Production’. Neil Delaney of Galway University Musical Society (GUMS) won Best Male Performance at the first Musical Intervarsities in UCD in April. The Choral Society also had a hugely successful year with their three choirs taking home trophies at the Cork Choral Festival, Kiltimagh Choral Festival, Sligo Choral Festival and at Choir Factor 2016, as well as winning RTÉ’s Lyric FM’s Choirs for Christmas Competition. NUI Galway has 116 Student Societies, offering students and staff opportunities to meet people with similar interests, try new things and have fun. The societies range from artistic and performing groups to academic ones linked to university departments, as well as many with social, cultural or political focuses. This year the Societies Office has been cultivating a new emphasis on health and wellbeing, with the creation of a new sub-branch of societies promoting positive lifestyle choices. -Ends-

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Mary McPartlan, Teacher, Traditional Artist in Residence, Director of the successful Arts in Action programme at the Centre for Theatre and Performance, has been appointed 2016-2017 Fulbright Ireland Ambassador at NUI Galway. A high profile professional singer, her albums include, the award winning ‘The Holland Handkerchief’, ‘Petticoat Loose’ and the newly release ‘From Mountain to Mountain’ Mary was a Fulbright Scholar to the Institute of Irish American Studies, Lehman College City University of New York in 2012-2013. While in New York, she taught a module on Irish Women Traditional Singers since the 1950s in Ireland and undertook research in Irish song material in New York and Kentucky. She also gave a series of lectures on Irish contemporary playwrights and plays. As part of her research, Mary visited Berea College, Kentucky, to explore the work of American folk music singer, songwriter, and Appalachian dulcimer player Jean Ritchie, who was a central figure in the history of the American Folk revival from the 1950’s onward. A Fulbright scholar herself, Jean visited Ireland on her 1952 Award to trace the links between American ballads and Irish songs. While on her own Fulbright scholarship in the US, Mary had the opportunity to visit Jean’s home in Kentucky where she sang and played music with Jean’s family and friends. Mary’s recent album ‘From Mountain to Mountain’ pays tribute to Jean Ritchie and the Ireland-Appalachian connection. Commenting, Silas House, novelist and writer in Kentucky, USA, said: “Mary’s own Fulbright journey culminated in the recording of the CD Mountain to Mountain. Mary’s journey in search of the evolution from across the Atlantic to Appalachia mirrored that of Jean Ritchie’s during her Fulbright in 1952, which also culminated in her album ‘Field Trip’.” Building on the Ritchie-Pickow archive housed in NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library, and Mary’s Fulbright research, the ‘Jean Ritchie Scholarship’ was officially launched in 2015 by the University’s International Office celebrating its growing links with Berea College, Kentucky in the US. Since returning to Ireland, Mary has continues to teach and develop the Creative Arts at NUI Galway. Her ‘Fulbright Ireland Ambassador’ role is geared at growing awareness and understanding of Fulbright opportunities on campus so that other NUI Galway students, researchers and staff may follow in her footsteps and venture to the US to undertake study or research in their own area of expertise. Dr Dara FitzGerald, Executive Director, Fulbright Commission, said: “The Fulbright Commission is delighted that Mary McPartlan will act as NUI Galway Fulbright Ireland Ambassador. Mary is fully aware of the Fulbright experience, process and value. I know that she will bring her passion for Fulbright to engage with ‘Fulbrighters’ in the University and applicants wishing to apply for a Fulbright Award. Mary will also work with University officers and academic staff to promote NUI Galway and Fulbright links both in Ireland and the USA.” Several NUI Galway students and staff have been successful in their application for a Fulbright award in recent years. These include 2015-2016 Awardees: Gerard Wall, a lecturer in Microbiology at NUI Galway who recently returned from his Award at the University of Wyoming where he was developing detection devices for environmental monitoring; Méabh Ní Choileáin an NUI Galway graduate of Applied Communications, currently teaching Irish language at the Catholic University of America, Washington D.C. as a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA); Síle Dolan a graduate of Irish at NUI Galway, currently a Fulbright FLTA at Elms College, Chicopee, Massachusetts; and Emma Lowry, a graduate of the Master’s in Language Education at NUI Galway, currently a FLTA at the University of Montana. As Fulbright Ambassador at NUI Galway, Mary will be available to take queries from those who would like to apply for 2017-2018 Fulbright Awards. She will be organising Fulbright activities on campus to increase awareness of these scholarship opportunities. If you wish to contact Mary in this capacity you can reach her at mary.mcpartlan@nuigalway.ie. The 2017-2018 Fulbright Irish Awards application period will open on 31 August 2016 with a deadline of 28 October 2016. See www.fulbright.ie for further details. -Ends-

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway has carried out one of the first studies to utilise a ‘person-based approach’ to bring forward the key benefits and barriers involved in developing a ‘mHealth’ technology application for patients with hypertension, that has the potential to support many different chronic diseases. Results from the study show clear evidence that well-designed mHealth app interventions can effectively change patient health-related behaviour, improve patient knowledge and confidence for self-management of health, and lead to better health outcomes. The ‘mHealth’ policy brief written by Dr Jane Walsh and Dr Liam Glynn from the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway, found that ‘one size fits all’ apps to promote patient self-management of their own chronic disease are undesirable and that patients would prefer a personalised programme from an app. This would enable patients to set their individual priorities such as medication regimen, desired adherence format, lifestyle changes and goals. mHealth can play a key role in meeting HSE policy objectives to empower patients to self-manage their health, providing them with better access to personalised information and support for active involvement in self-management and lifestyle change. Newer technologies such as mobile devices and the internet are omnipresent in modern society. Health related behaviour change, driven by such technologies has grown exponentially in recent years, with downloads for health and lifestyle related mobile applications or ‘apps' expected to exceed €25 billion in 2015 and €50 billion in 2017. This presents a unique opportunity for healthcare providers to harness these technologies to deliver a more efficient service for the prevention of chronic disease. Mobile technologies and wearable technologies such as technology driven watches, represent the ideal forum to facilitate patient self-management. Among the world’s population of 7 billion there are over 5 billion mobile devices and over 90% of those users have their mobile device nearby 24 hours a day. The use of such devices allow for the provision of ongoing monitoring and support of both individuals and healthcare professionals, whilst improving services by giving patients convenient access to detailed, personalised feedback. The study found that mobile technology is best ‘prescribed’ by a ‘trusted source’ such as a doctor. A profile of barriers should be identified for each patient, and self-management programmes should be tailored according to individual patient’s needs. The introduction of a new technology or platform for engagement requires concerted efforts to alleviate patient concerns and to create confidence in terms of quality and security.  Co-author of the mHealth policy brief, Dr Jane Walsh from the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway, said: “Due to the novel nature of the technology, it is best used to provide a neutral space in which patient and healthcare providers can discuss and negotiate a management plan around often challenging issues such as concordance, sub-optimal control and lifestyle change.” For further information on the Policy Brief visit: http://whitakerinstitute.ie/read/policy-briefs/   ENDS

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

DairyWater, a multi-stakeholder research project led by NUI Galway is developing innovative solutions for the efficient management of water consumption, wastewater treatment and the resulting energy use within the country’s dairy processing industry NUI Galway-led research project, ‘DairyWater’ recently hosted a workshop on achieving sustainability within the dairy processing industry. Since the abolition of quotas at the end of March 2015, the Irish dairy industry has seen an unprecedented rise in milk production. This increase, coupled with low milk prices, has instigated an immediate need for increased efficiencies and sustainability within the Irish dairy processing industry. The workshop brought together experts from national and international research institutes and the Irish dairy processing industry. Along with the invited guest speakers, representatives from a number of major Irish dairy companies, including Arrabawn Dairies, Aurivo Co-Op, Dairygold, Glanbia, Lakeland Dairies and Nestle’s Wyeth Nutritionals, and the EPA attended the event. DairyWater, a multi-stakeholder research project funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, is developing innovative solutions for the efficient management of water consumption, wastewater treatment and the resulting energy use within the country’s dairy processing industry. DairyWater is led by Professor Xinmin Zhan in Civil Engineering at the College of Engineering and Informatics and the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway. The project also involves leading research groups at University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, Athlone IT and Teagasc. The aim of the workshop was to discuss the main environmental concerns of the Irish dairy processing industry and identify strategic research areas, concurrently offering an opportunity to showcase the work being performed within the DairyWater project. Dr Mark Fenelon from Teagasc gave an overview of the current status of the industry, while Rory Farrell from Lakelands Dairies discussed his experiences as the Environmental Manager of a dairy plant located in Killashandra, Co. Cavan. The main issues identified by the two speakers related to water footprint, energy and chemical inputs to wastewater treatment, the lack of water reuse within plants and sludge management options. The environmental impacts associated with the industry as a result of dairy plant operations was also discussed. Willie Murphy from Auriol Co-Op introduced the recently installed biomass boiler, which is located at their Ballaghaderreen site, and the benefits, both environmentally and financially, that they have seen since the commencement of its operation. The use of life cycle assessment to quantify the environmental impacts of the industry was then discussed by Dr Mingjia Yan from UCD and Dr William Finnegan from NUI Galway who presented the initial assessment results performed within the DairyWater project. The life cycle assessment quantifies a number of environmental impacts, including climate change and eutrophication of water. One of the greatest challenges of the industry when treating the large volumes of wastewater generated is the removal of phosphorus. Dr Kees Roest from the KWR Watercycle Research Institute in The Netherlands, presented his experiences in the removal and recovery of the nutrient. Emma Tarpey from NUI Galway presented a novel technology that is being explored in the DairyWater project, which uses biological phosphorus removal mechanisms. These mechanisms are significantly cheaper than the chemical technologies currently employed by the industry. Kelly Fitzhenry from NUI Galway looked at the reuse of water within dairy processing plants. Additionally, the development of tertiary treatment technologies, including a novel pulsed UV system, which would help facilitate water reuse by ensuring it is free from any harmful micro-organisms, was presented. If Ireland is to remain one of the largest exporters of dairy products in the world, strategic measures to reduce the industry’s environmental impacts need to be adopted now. This will be even more essential as the emission limits of plants, currently imposed by the EPA, are predicted to become increasingly more stringent over the coming years. Additionally, dairy companies will need to increase their influence on farm-based activities so as to reduce their environmental impacts, particularly with regard to greenhouse gas emissions. For further details on the workshop and to follow the progress of the project, visit: www.dairywater.ie ENDS

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

‘The Economic and Political Implications of Brexit on Ireland and the UK’   NUI Galway is delighted to announce the inclusion of the British Ambassador to Ireland, Dominick Chilcott in the programme of the public event on Britain’s EU Referendum. The event will take place on Wednesday, 18 May at 2pm in the Aula Maxima on campus. The UK is facing a momentous decision on 23 June on whether to remain in or leave the EU.  Not surprisingly, the 'Brexit' debate is being followed with particular interest in Ireland – the only EU country with which the UK shares a land border.  The British Ambassador to Ireland, Dominick Chilcott said: “By almost any measure, Ireland is among the UK’s most important and closest partners. A leave vote in this referendum would have serious political and economic implications for British-Irish relations. It is therefore right for those with an interest in the debate in Ireland to continue to make their voices heard. I would like to offer my thanks to NUI Galway for facilitating this panel debate.”     The public event will bring together a distinguished panel to debate the economic and political implications of Brexit on both the UK and Ireland. The panelists include: Mairéad McGuinness (MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament); Dan O’Brien (Institute of International and European Affairs), David Begg (TASC), Noelle O’Connell (European Movement Ireland), John McHale (NUI Galway) and Conall Mac Coille (Davy).  MC for the event will be TG4 news anchor Eimear Ní Chonaola. President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: “I am delighted to welcome the British Ambassador and this debate to NUI Galway and especially pleased to see such a strong panel of speakers taking part. Many Irish graduates choose to work and live in Britain - in fact NUI Galway has over three thousand graduates based in the UK with almost 1,000 based in London alone. For our alumni and for students and staff, the relationship between Britain and the EU has real significance. For the university sector in Ireland the possibility of a change to Britain’s relationship with EU will have an impact on our research partnerships in Britain, as well as affecting a range of other academic issues. Britain’s EU referendum is an important historic moment and this public event at NUI Galway will ensure that many relevant voices can contribute to the debate on the economic and political implications of ‘Brexit’ here in Ireland as well as in the UK.” Places are limited and those wishing to attend the public forum are required to register in advance at: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/debating-brexit-tickets-25156337282 The forum, which is being hosted in association with the British Embassy in Ireland and the University's Whitaker Institute, and in collaboration with European Movement Ireland, will take place in the Aula Maxima (Lower), Quadrangle Building, NUI Galway on Wednesday, 18 May from 1.30pm - 4.15pm. The event begins at 2.00pm and a light lunch will be provided beforehand. ENDS

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Ruth Cormican, from Clarinbridge, Co. Galway and LLB student at NUI Galway’s School of Law, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study for an LLM in International Human Rights Law at the University of Notre Dame in the United States. This is one of the most prestigious programmes of its kind in the United States.  Ruth is especially interested in studying the application of human rights laws and norms to transnational corporations. Following her studies, she hopes to engage in field-work with a human rights NGO or with the Human Rights Unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs. Ruth graduated with first-class honours from the BA (Law) programme at NUI Galway in 2015, during which she spent a year at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. She has received academic prizes for her fluency in French, and was the recipient of the Thomson-Reuters-Round Hall Law Prize in 2012, and the Lexis Nexis Butterworths Law Prize in 2015.  Ruth will graduate from the LLB programme at NUI Galway in October. She is spending the summer on a summer internship programme, now in its third year, run by the School of Law at NUI Galway in partnership with the Suffolk University Law School in Boston. Ruth will spend the summer working with two criminal justice NGOs: Prisoner Legal Services and the New England Innocence Project. Congratulating Ruth on the Scholarship, Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Law, said: “It is a great credit to Ruth, and my colleagues who taught her, that her academic accomplishments have been recognised in this way. The Fulbright scheme is the gold standard of academic recognition and for someone as young as Ruth to be the recipient of a Fulbright award augurs extremely well for her future. We are immensely proud of her and wish her continued success.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway, a joint venture between Galway University Hospitals, Saolta and NUI Galway launch clinical trials awareness campaign The Health Research Board (HRB) Clinical Research Facility Galway (CRFG) is inviting local researchers, health and social care professionals and patients to highlight the ‘It’s OK To Ask’ campaign to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day, which takes place on Friday, 20 May. The ‘It’s OK To Ask’ about clinical research message from the public awareness campaign aims to encourage patients, carers, and the public to ask healthcare professionals if there is a clinical trial study they might be suitable for. The HRB CRFG is a joint venture between Galway University Hospitals (GUH), Saolta and NUI Galway, and has been in operation since March 2008. The HRB CRFG provides the infrastructure, physical space, facilities and expertise needed to optimally support biomedical research, and focuses on studies aimed at understanding a range of diseases and speedily translating the knowledge obtained through this research work into reimbursed, regulatory approved advances in patient care. On the 20 May, 1747, James Lind, a naval surgeon initiated the first known clinical trial, and discovered that giving sailors fruit improved their scurvy. Lind’s trial provides a focal point to raise awareness of the importance of research to healthcare and highlights how partnerships between patients and healthcare practitioners are vital for high-quality, relevant research. Clinical trials have developed quite a bit since Lind's discovery and it is important to remember his work and acknowledge the need for research in healthcare. People in Ireland have access to high quality clinical trials across a range of bioscience areas and primary care. The HRB CRFG brings together health and social care professionals, academics, industry, patients and members of the public. The work they undertake seeks to provide evidence on the best outcomes for patients, but also attracts major funding and economic investment into Ireland. It is essential that clinical research and trials are undertaken to question whether there may be better, safer and more effective ways of doing things within healthcare than how things are currently being done. Supporting the awareness campaign, Professor Martin O’ Donnell, Director of the HRB CRFG, commented: “Clinical trials are crucial to identifying new and better approaches to prevent, treat and diagnose clinical conditions. Effective clinical research requires the collaborative partnership of patients and healthcare practitioners, in an effort to improve the future health of others.” For further information contact Danielle Nicholson, Clinical Research Engagement Associate at HRB-CRFG on 091 493918 and crfg@nuigalway.ie or visit www.nuigalway.ie/hrbcrfg/ ENDS

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The Inish: Island Conversations festival will take place on Inishbofin from 2-5 June and will feature the best in literature, poetry, film and music. Now in its second year, the cultural festival will see world-class performers, writers and artists convene in this special, secluded place for performances, talks, and conversations.   Leading academics from NUI Galway speaking at the event will include Professor Daniel Carey, Dr Philip Dine and Dr Brendan Flynn. Dr Rebecca Barr will be moderating a session on “Identity in transition”, a discussion about the nature of identity and the movement of people. Author Kevin Barry said: “The Inish Festival is one of the most innovative, original and downright entertaining events I'd been to in a long time. It uses the place of Inishbofin itself as a springboard for all sorts of musical, literary and intellectual escapades.”  Barry returns this year to perform, and to host, with Olivia Smith, a series of featured artists and writers from their Winter Pages Irish arts anthology. Others writers, poets and artists who will feature include Michael Longley, Theo Dorgan, Bernard O’Donoghue, Vincent Woods, Andrew McNeillie, Claire Kilroy, Alan McMonagle, Edna Longley, and actor Olwen Fouéré. Legendary English artist Norman Ackroyd will be on hand to talk about an exhibition of his work which will be on display at the festival. Musical treats throughout the festival will be a concert by Martin Tingvall, acknowledged as one of the world’s top jazz pianists, and musicians such as Steve Wall, Jack L., Larry Beau, Doug Paisley, and Elisa Rodrigues. The multi-instrumentalist Poppy Ackroyd will also perform and one of the festival highlights will be a performance by Máirtín Ó Connor, Garry Ó Briain, Cathal Hayden, and the ConTempo String Quartet. For Film lovers there will be a screening of Paula Kehoe’s Deargdhil: Anatomy of Passion, a critically acclaimed study of the Irish poet Máire Mhac an tSaoi, and the multi-award winning A Turning Tide in the Life of Man, as well as Atlantic, winner of the Best Documentary category at the Dublin International Film Festival in 2016. Returning to perform at Inish this year, poet and academic Bernard O’Donoghue, said: “Surely there is no better place for a festival of music and writing than Inishbofin in June, the light of the summer evenings, the corncrakes crexing by every roadside, the foam-washed shorelines and the quiet roads, and the best of cultural company and friendship. It was the best weekend of everyone’s year in 2015.” Full programme and details are available at www.inishfestival.com. Accommodation is limited so early booking is advised. For further information contact festival organiser and NUI Galway graduate, Peadar King at 087 2171146 or peadarking@hotmail.com. -Ends-

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Project to have transformative impact on Irish Theatre Research and will preserve the Gate’s archive for future generations  NUI Galway and the Gate Theatre today (Thursday, 12 May) announced that they are joining forces to digitise the Gate’s archive, a major resource for theatre scholars and artists. When completed in 2018, the Gate Theatre Digital Archive will be exclusively available at NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library, where users will be able to access hundreds of videos, scripts, show programmes, and many more treasures from the Gate’s history.  Michael Colgan, Director of the Gate Theatre, stated: “The Gate Theatre is full of admiration for NUI Galway and we congratulate them for having the vision and courage to provide this extraordinary resource for generations to come. Long may their work continue and long may it be supported.” Founded in 1928 by Hilton Edwards and Micheál MacLiammóir, the Gate Theatre has played a leading role in the production of Irish and international theatre, launching the careers of such actors as Orson Welles and Michael Gambon, staging the premieres of major plays like Brian Friel’s Philadelphia Here I Come! and presenting major international festivals dedicated to the Nobel laureates Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter – among many other major achievements. The Gate Theatre’s archive is drawn mainly from the years since 1980, and includes information about many of the Gate’s major national and international successes during that period. The Gate has a long tradition of working with some of the world’s great actors; the archive features material relating to Orson Welles, Michael Gambon, John Hurt, Penelope Wilton, Stephen Rea, Ian Holm, Liam Neeson, Charles Dance, and many others. As a multimedia archive, this resource demonstrates the Gate’s enormous contribution not only to the art of playwriting but also to acting, design, direction and production. Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, stated that the Gate Theatre project will have a transformative impact on Irish theatre research. “The Gate is one of the major European theatres, and has played an enormous role in the development of our theatrical culture, especially in the areas of design, direction and acting, but also in playwriting, as shown by its long association with Brian Friel. This archive will allow NUI Galway researchers and students to learn from these achievements and, we hope, to build on them into the future as well.”  NUI Galway is the home to numerous Irish theatre archives, all of which are stored in custom-built facilities at the University’s James Hardiman Library. These include the archives of Druid Theatre, the Lyric Players Theatre, Thomas Kilroy, John Arden and Margaretta D’Arcy and Siobhán McKenna, as well as online access to the Abbey Theatre Digital Archive. These resources make available almost 1,000 videos of Irish theatre productions since the 1980s and thousands of scripts, photographs and other files. Archival material from prior to that period is currently stored at Northwestern University, Illinois. To mark this exciting project with the Gate, NUI Galway is announcing the establishment of a new MA in Irish Theatre History and Archives. Students on this course will have full access to resources like the Gate Theatre Digital Archive, and will get hands-on training in the use of theatre archives, including internships. Professor Lonergan added that the digitisation process will preserve the Gate’s archive for future generations. “Digitisation allows us to use archival material in new ways, to search through it quickly, to cross-reference it, and so on. But crucially it also protects the Gate’s material, ensuring that this national treasure will be available in Ireland for future generations.” John Cox, University Librarian at the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway, said: “By connecting the Gate collection to its existing archival material on the Abbey, Druid and other theatres, NUI Galway’s status as the leading international centre for the study of Irish theatre will be further enhanced. The University will also have access to an extraordinarily large dataset for several major Irish cultural institutions, opening up opportunities for new research through text and data mining.” The digitisation of the Gate Theatre archive commenced on February 1, 2016 at the James Hardiman Library. Digitisation will take 18 months. The project will encompass 200,000 pages, 20,000 images, 150 hours of audio and 750 hours of video, representing a comprehensive archive of material since 1983. The digital archive will be available for use in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room at NUI Galway. For further details visit: www.nuigalway.ie/gatetheatre  ENDS

Friday, 13 May 2016

21 new projects funded by the NUI Galway/NUI Galway Students’ Union EXPLORE innovation initiative were showcased on Thursday, 12 May 2016 in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway. EXPLORE is a dynamic model for innovation delivery that has been piloted by NUI Galway and NUI Galway Students’ Union since early 2012. The first scheme of its kind in Irish higher education, EXPLORE facilitates NUI Galway students and staff to work as equal partners to trial new ideas. The EXPLORE process breaks down traditional hierarchies in higher education, and enables participants to work differently with each other. To date, EXPLORE has seed funded over 100 new projects involving more than 600 NUI Galway students and staff, and off-campus partners. EXPLORE projects have gone on to secure prestigious external funding of over €290,000. The EXPLORE projects showcased yesterday span a diverse range of themes, including health, schools outreach, creativity, local history, mediation, digital skills and much more. Tingyi Koh and Paul Choi, undergraduate medical students at NUI Galway, from the Do-It-Yourself Laparoscopic Trainer EXPLORE project talked at the event about how they developed a surgery simulation tool on a budget to improve the technical skills of undergraduate medical students with an interest in surgery as a career. Dr. Ray Butler from the NUI Galway Centre for Astronomy spoke about the Loss of the Night in Galway EXPLORE project, which aims to run Galway’s first light pollution/night sky quality measurement campaign, which may help Galway become Ireland’s first ‘dark sky city’, with improved lighting ordinances. According to Prof. Chris Curtin, Vice President for Innovation and Performance, NUI Galway,“EXPLORE is an ideal vehicle for students and staff to pilot new ideas and establish a proof of concept in a collaborative, low-risk environment. We are delighted that the EXPLORE programme won the Community Awareness Award at the National Student Achievement Awards 2016. These awards recognise the contribution of individuals and groups from third level education institutions across the island of Ireland.” NUI Galway Students’ Union President Phelim Kelly said: “EXPLORE is a proven model for enabling innovation. We’re proud to have been the first higher education institution in Ireland to run a programme such as EXPLORE. It’s encouraging that two concepts central to EXPLORE, namely ‘students as partners’ and ‘students as co-creators’, feature as key principles in the new Higher Education Authority report on student engagement.” (http://www.hea.ie/sites/default/files/enhancing_student_engagement_in_decision_making_1.pdf) The keynote address at the event was given by Dr Easkey Britton, world-renowned Irish big-wave surfer, scholar and social change-maker. Dr Britton is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Social Change at NUI Galway investigating nature-based solutions to health and wellbeing. She spoke about using one’s passion to bring about positive social change and the Waves of Freedom organisation that she co-founded (http://easkeybritton.com and http://wavesoffreedom.org/). Amber Walsh Olesen, EXPLORE Coordinator, NUI Galway Students’ Union said: “EXPLORE makes it easy for students and staff at NUI Galway to work together and bring new ideas to life. The wider community benefits from EXPLORE as many projects are specifically developed to address societal needs, and the reach of EXPLORE projects already stretches into the thousands both on and off campus.” ENDS

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

‘The Economic and Political Implications of Brexit on Ireland and the UK’ NUI Galway is delighted to announce it will host, in association with the British Embassy in Ireland, a public event on Britain’s EU Referendum on Wednesday, 18 May. The event is also in collaboration with European Movement Ireland’s national conversation. The UK is facing a momentous decision on 23 June on whether to remain in or leave the EU.  Not surprisingly, the 'Brexit' debate is being followed with particular interest in Ireland – the only EU country with which the UK shares a land border.  John McHale, Established Professor and Director of the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway, said: “The possibility of Brexit looms large as we scan the horizon for threats to the Irish economy and our trading partners. Even though the consequences are uncertain, it is critical that we rigorously debate the potential implications before this momentous decision is made.” The public event will bring together a distinguished panel to debate the economic and political implications of Brexit on both the UK and Ireland. The panelists include: Mairéad McGuinness (MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament); Dan O’Brien (Institute of International and European Affairs), David Begg (TASC), Noelle O’Connell (European Movement Ireland), John McHale (NUI Galway) and Conall Mac Coille (Davy).  MC for the event will be TG4 news anchor Eimear Ní Chonaola. Places are limited and those wishing to attend the public forum are required to register in advance at: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/debating-brexit-tickets-25156337282 The forum will take place in the Aula Maxima (Lower), Quadrangle Building, NUI Galway on Wednesday, 18 May from 1.30pm - 4.15pm. The event begins at 2.00pm and a light lunch will be provided beforehand. ENDS

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Professor Mark Tushnet, a world-renowned constitutional expert from Harvard Law School, will be the keynote speaker at the seventh Annual Conference of the Irish Society of Comparative Law (ISCL). This conference, organised by the NUI Galway’s School of Law in collaboration with the Irish Centre for Human Rights, will be held from 23-24 May at Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. The theme of the conference is ‘(Dis)Locating Comparative Law’ and will explore the role of space or place in the comparative law arena, in an increasingly interconnected world. The conference will question the traditional narratives of comparative law in the context of the increasing complexity of legal orders within, between and beyond states. Speaker panels will address various comparative topics such as: Privacy and Responses to Terrorism, Human Dignity, Comparative Constitutional Law, and a host of other topics stemming from private law, criminal law and criminal justice, public law, legal education and international law. Professor Mark Tushnet is a William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He is the co-author of four casebooks, including the most widely used casebook on constitutional law, has written numerous books, including a two-volume work on the life of Justice Thurgood Marshall and, most recently, Advanced Introduction to Comparative Constitutional Law, In the Balance: The Roberts Court and the Future of Constitutional Law, Why the Constitution Matters, and Weak Courts, Strong Rights: Judicial Review and Social Welfare Rights in Comparative Perspective, and has edited several others. Professor Tushnet was President of the Association of American Law Schools in 2003.  In 2002 he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His presentation for this year’s Irish Society of Comparative Law Conference is entitled The Boundaries of Comparative Law. Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway said: “It is a great honour for the School of Law to host the Annual Conference of the Irish Society of Comparative Law and, in particular, to welcome Professor Tushnet to NUI Galway. The comparative approach to law is of critical importance at this particular stage in the development of the rule of law nationally and internationally. The School of Law in NUI Galway and its research centres have always been outward-looking and internationally-aware and this event will provide a very rich opportunity for speakers and participants to make the most of that tradition.” For further information is available at http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=218 -Ends-

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

How have the 1916 Rising and other revolutions – from France, to Greece, Romania, Russia and Cuba – being depicted in cinema? What impact did the Rising have on early Irish cinema? What role did women play in the emergence of this cinema? These are some of the questions to be examined as part of a major international conference on 1916, Cinema and Revolution to be held from 25-27 May at NUI Galway. The conference is part of NUI Galway’s programme of events to commemorate the 1916 Rising and will he hosted by NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media. 1916 marked the establishment of Ireland’s first indigenous film company, The Film Company of Ireland, whose co-founder James Mark Sullivan was arrested after the Rising and charged with complicity. Events in that year and subsequently have featured in a range of cinematic and televisual productions while there is also a significant international dimension to the relationship between revolutionary history and cinema. This conference will consider aspects of the representation of the Rising, as well as other revolutionary moments in Irish and world history. Plenary speakers will include leading experts on revolutionary and Irish cinema including: acclaimed filmmaker and academic Professor Michael Chanan, University of Roehampton; seminal film scholar Professor Charles Barr, Emeritus Professor, University of East Anglia; leading authority on early Irish cinema Dr Denis Condon, Maynooth University; and prominent contributors to Irish film, theatre studies, and visual culture such as Dr Díóg O Connell, Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology; Professor Adrian Frazier, Emeritus Professor, NUI Galway; and Dr Catherine Morris, University of Liverpool. In addition to the presentations, the conference will also feature screenings of relevant films from the revolutionary period in Ireland, including John Ford's adaptation of O’Casey’s classic play, The Plough and the Stars, as well as a special screening of the documentary 1916: The Irish Rebellion, which will be followed by an interview with the film’s writer and producer, Professor Bríona Nic Dhiarmada. The conference will also include a screening of the major production of the Film Company of Ireland, Knocknagow which will be accompanied by a specially arranged accompaniment by Irish pianist Morgan Cooke. The conference will close with a screening of Michael Chanan’s The American Who Electrified Russia, a film concerning the extraordinary story of Solomon Trone (1872-1969), the communist revolutionary who became a director for General Electric (first in Russia, then the USA). Conference co-director and Lecturer with NUI Galway’s Huston School for Film and Digital Media, Dr Seán Crosson said: “We are delighted with the response to our call for papers on the topic of 1916, Cinema and Revolution. The 1916 Rising coincided with a vibrant period of film production in Ireland and it is important for us to reflect on this legacy and indeed the impact of the Rising on film subsequently. This is the only conference in Ireland this year dedicated to the topic of 1916 and cinema and it provides a unique opportunity to consider not just depictions of the Rising but also on how this moment connects with depictions of other revolutionary moments internationally, including in the US, France, Russia and Latin America.” A full programme of events during the conference is available online at http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/menu.asp?menu=2080&Conference=463. Attendance at the conference and all related events is free and all queries should be directed to sean.crosson@nuigalway.ie or 091 495687. -Ends- 1916, an tÉirí Amach sna Scannáin - Comhdháil mhór idirnáisiúnta ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh Cén chaoi a léirítear Éirí Amach 1916 agus réabhlóidí eile – cosúil leis an Fhrainc, an Ghréig, an Rómáin, an Rúis agus Cúba – sna scannáin? Cén tionchar a bhí ag an Éirí Amach ar scannánaíocht luath-Éireannach? Cén ról a bhí ag mná i dteacht chun cinn na scannánaíochta seo? Sin roinnt de na ceisteanna a bheidh á scrúdú mar chuid de mhór-chomhdháil faoi 1916, an tÉirí Amach sna Scannáin a bheidh ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh idir an 25-27 Bealtaine. Tá an chomhdháil mar chuid de chlár imeachtaí atá leagtha amach ag OÉ Gaillimh chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar Éirí Amach 1916 agus is í Scoil Scannán agus Meán Digiteach Huston atá á reáchtáil. Is i 1916 a bunaíodh an chéad chompántas scannán in Éirinn, The Film Company of Ireland; gabhadh comhbhunaitheoir an chompántais, James Mark Sullivan, tar éis an Éirí Amach agus cúisíodh é i gcomhpháirteachas. Léiríodh imeachtaí na bliana sin agus ina dhiaidh sin i réimse léiriúchán scannán agus teilifíse; tá gné shuntasach idirnáisiúnta ag baint leis an gcaidreamh idir stair réabhlóideach agus scannánaíocht. Pléifidh an chomhdháil seo gnéithe den léiriú a dhéantar ar an Éirí Amach, mar aon le tráthanna réabhlóideacha eile i stair na hÉireann agus an domhain. I measc na gcainteoirí beidh saineolaithe mór le rá ar an scannánaíocht réabhlóideach agus ar scannánaíocht na hÉireann lena n-áirítear: an scannánóir agus an fear léinn clúiteach, an tOllamh Michael Chanan, Ollscoil Roehampton; an scoláire scannán ceannródaíoch, an tOllamh Charles Barr, Ollamh Emeritus, Ollscoil East Anglia; príomhúdarás ar scannánaíocht luath-Éireannach, an Dr Denis Condon, Ollscoil Mhá Nuad; agus daoine mór le rá i saol na scannán, i léann na hamharclannaíochta, agus sa chultúr físiúil cosúil leis an Dr Díóg O Connell, Institiúid Ealaíne, Deartha agus Teicneolaíochta Dhún Laoghaire; an tOllamh Adrian Frazier, Ollamh Emeritus, OÉ Gaillimh; agus an Dr Catherine Morris, Ollscoil Learphoill. Mar aon leis na láithreoireachtaí, taispeánfar scannáin chuí ón tréimhse réabhlóideach in Éirinn ag an gcomhdháil, lena n-áirítear athchóiriú John Ford ar dhráma clasaiceach O’Casey, The Plough and the Stars (1936), agus léiriú speisialta den chlár faisnéise 1916: The Irish Rebellion, agus beidh agallamh ina dhiaidh sin le scríbhneoir agus léiritheoir an scannáin, an tOllamh Bríona Nic Dhiarmada. Ag an gcomhdháil freisin taispeánfar oll-léiriú de chuid an Film Company of Ireland, Knocknagow (1918) agus beidh tionlacan leis atá cumtha go speisialta ag an bpianódóir Éireannach Morgan Cooke. Dúirt comhstiúrthóir na comhdhála agus Léachtóir i Scoil Scannán agus Meán Digiteach Huston, an Dr Seán Crosson: “Tá an-áthas orainn leis an bhfreagra a fuaireamar ar an ngairm ar pháipéir ar an ábhar 1916, an tÉirí Amach sna Scannáin. Tharla Éirí Amach 1916 ag am ina raibh beocht ar leith i léiriú scannán in Éirinn agus tá sé tábhachtach go smaoineoimis ar an oidhreacht seo agus go deimhin ar thionchar an Éirí Amach ar scannánaíocht ina dhiaidh sin. Is í seo an t-aon chomhdháil atá ar siúl in Éirinn i mbliana atá dírithe ar 1916 agus scannánaíocht agus tugann sé deis uathúil dúinn machnamh a dhéanamh ní hamháin ar an léiriú a rinneadh ar an Éirí Amach ach freisin ar phointí ama réabhlóideacha eile go hidirnáisiúnta, lena n-áirítear sna Stáit Aontaithe, an Fhrainc, an Rúis agus Meiriceá Laidineach.” Tá clár iomlán d’imeachtaí na comhdhála ar fáil ar líne ar http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/menu.asp?menu=2080&Conference=463. Tá an chomhdháil agus na himeachtaí gaolmhara ar fad saor in aisce agus ba cheart aon cheist a chur ar aghaidh chuig sean.crosson@nuigalway.ie nó 091 495687. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Cuirfear tús le páirtnéireacht nua idir Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh, agus RTÉ inniu (Dé Luain, 9 Bealtaine). Reachtálfar cúrsa cumarsáide san Acadamh ar an gCeathrú Rua dírithe ar dhaltaí idirbhliana ó cheann ceann na tíre. Mairfidh an cúrsa ar feadh seachtaine agus cuirfear oiliúint ar na rannpháirtithe i léiriú míreanna raidió agus teilifíse. Is ó scoileanna Gaeltachta agus Gaelscoileanna a thiocfaidh na daltaí.  Beidh an cúrsa faoi stiúr Kevin Burns, léiritheoir ar an gclár teilifíse Prime Time. Beidh baill foirne agus iarmhic-léinn an Acadaimh ar an gCeathrú Rua páirteach ann chomh maith. Le linn do na daltaí a bheith ar an gcúrsa, tabharfaidh siad cuairt ar na meáin i gConamara, ar roinnt comhlachtaí léiriúcháin, agus ar phríomhchampas OÉ Gaillimh, áit a dtabharfar léargas dóibh ar Léann na Meán mar ábhar ollscoile. Beidh deis acu bualadh le cuid de chraoltóirí na Gaeilge agus a bheith ag breathnú ar chláir teilifíse agus raidió a gcraoladh beo. Tá an pháirtnéireacht luaite sa cháipeis, ‘Meáin Ghaeilge RTÉ: Plean Gníomhaíochta 2015 – 2019’ a leag amach straitéis RTÉ i leith na Gaeilge do na blianta atá romhainn. Luaitear ceannródaíocht ó thaobh na cruthaitheachta agus na nuála sna meáin chumarsáide Ghaeilge mar chuid den chur chuige i bplean gníomhaíochta RTÉ. Cuideoidh an pháirtnéirecht idir an tAcadamh agus an craoltóir náisiúnta an plean a fheidhmiú trí acmhainní agus saineolas a roinnt. Chuir Príomhfheidhmeannach an Acadaimh, Dónall Ó Braonáin, fáilte roimh an pháirtnéireacht nua le RTÉ: “Tá roghanna úra ar fáil do mhic léinn tabhairt faoin gcéim GY122 Cumarsáid agus Gaeilge nó Léann na Cumarsáide a roghnú mar ábhar ar an gnáthchéim sna dána GY101. Tá súil agam go bhfeicfimid cuid de na daltaí a bheidh linn ar feadh seachtaine ag tabhairt faoi chuid de na roghanna seo sna blianta atá le teacht.” Dúirt Grúpcheannasaí Gaeilge RTÉ, Rónán Mac Con Iomaire: “Seo cuid thábhachtach de thiomantas nua RTÉ i leith na Gaeilge agus muid ag iarraidh an chéad ghlúin eile de chraoltóirí a fhorbairt i gcomhar le hAcadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. Fáiltíonn muid ach go háirithe roimh an gcomhoibriú seo leis an Acadamh agus súil againn cur leis sna blianta atá amach romhainn.” Tá súil an scéim phiolótach a fhorbairt agus a leathnú i dtreo is go rachaidh sí chun tairbhe daltaí dara leibhéal ar fud na tíre gur spéis leo Léann na Cumarsáide. Ar na cúrsaí cumarsáide a chuireann an tAcadamh ar fáil tá GY122 BA Cumarsáid agus Gaeilge; an t-ábhar Léann na Cumarsáide ar GY101 BA Dhá Ábhar Onóracha; GYA93 MA sa Chumarsáid (lánaimseartha) agus GYA50 MA sa Chumarsáid (páirtaimseartha). -Críoch- New Training Partnership Between Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge and RTÉ A new partnership between Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway and RTÉ will commence today (Monday, 9 May). A week-long communications course, aimed at Transition Year students, will take place in the Acadamh in An Cheathrú Rua. The participants, who will learn how to produce radio and television, will be drawn from Gaeltacht schools and Gaelscoileanna throughout Ireland. The training will be overseen by Kevin Burns, a producer with the RTÉ Prime Time programme. Staff members and past students of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge will also participate. While in Connemara, the students will have an opportunity to visit locally based Irish language media, they will be afforded a chance to observe live radio and television broadcasts and meet some of the broadcasters. Participants will also visit NUI Galway’s main campus, where they will learn about media studies as a university subject.  The new partnership is mentioned in ‘Meáin Ghaeilge RTÉ: Action Plan 2015 – 2019’ a document which sets out the national broadcaster’s Irish language strategy for the next number of years. The plan champions creativity and innovation in Irish language media and the partnership between the Acadamh and RTÉ will help to realise this. Dónall Ó Braonáin, Chief Executive of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway, said: “There are new choices available to students with GY122 Cumarsáid agus Gaeilge or Léann na Cumarsáide as a subject on GY101, the traditional arts degree programme in NUI Galway. I hope we will see some of the students attending the week-long course on these degree programmes over the coming years.” Rónán Mac Con Iomaire, RTÉ Group Head Irish Language, said: “This is an important part of RTÉ’s commitment to the Irish language as we endeavour, in association with Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, to develop a new generation of broadcasters. We especially welcome the cooperation with the Acadamh and hope to develop this in the years to come.” It is hoped to develop this pilot scheme as part of the new initiative to benefit students throughout the country who are interested in media studies and communications. Media courses offered by the Acadamh include GY122 BA Cumarsáid agus Gaeilge; the subject Léann na Cumarsáide on GY101 BA Arts (Joint-Honours); GYA93 MA sa Chumarsáid (full-time) and GYA50 MA sa Chumarsáid (part-time). -Ends-

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

The Royal Meteorological Society has announced that Professor Colin O’Dowd from NUI Galway and one of the world’s most highly cited and influential scientific minds in 2014 and 2015 as cited by Thompson Reuters, has been awarded the 2015 Mason Gold Medal award. The Society recognises excellence in meteorology and climate science through its medals, awards and prizes. The Mason medal is the most prestigious acknowledgement that the society can award. Throughout his career, Professor O’Dowd, Director of the Centre for Climate & Air Pollution Studies in the School of Physics at NUI Galway, has published several hundred scientific articles including 240 peer-reviewed publications. He has provided international leadership in the field of atmospheric aerosol particles. His work has focused on making detailed and careful observations of particles, particularly in the marine atmosphere, and providing novel insights into the advancement of our knowledge of many key processes. Of his many important contributions, Professor Colin O’Dowd is probably best known for establishing a physical basis for the formation of new particles in the marine atmosphere, first observed by John Aitken in 1898. He has also played a leading role in the establishment of the role of organic matter in new particles formation over terrestrial forests. These findings of new particle formation have provided a firm basis for explaining the re-population of small particles in the atmosphere and the role they subsequently play in cloud formation.  Professor O’Dowd has made many contributions to the production of sea spray aerosol into the atmosphere and has shown that small sea spray particles are not composed solely of salts but are greatly enriched in organic matter resulting from natural biological detritus on the sea surface. These advances have greatly improved our understanding of the role aerosols play in the atmospheric and climate system. In addition to his major scientific contributions, Professor O’Dowd has been responsible for developing the Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station on the west coast of Ireland into one of the best equipped and scientifically important World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Global Atmospheric Watch stations in the world. He has given considerable service to the international community through his editorship of Journal of Geophysical Research. Professor O’Dowd stated: “The Royal Meteorological Society is one of the longest established and most respected meteorological societies in the world and it is a great pleasure to receive their most prestigious award. It is particularly important for Irish climate research to see such an important institution acknowledge the efforts of Irish research in the topic of atmospheric composition and climate change. It is especially significant for me to receive the Mason Gold medal in honour of the late Sir John Mason who passed away in 2015. Sir John, as he was known in the community, is perhaps the single most influential atmospheric physicist in history having published the seminal works The Physics of Clouds in the 1950s and having spawned about five generations of atmospheric and climate scientists and meteorologists.”  The Mason Gold Medal is awarded to a Fellow of the Society for outstanding contributions to the understanding of the fundamental processes that determine the variability and predictability of weather and climate. The Medal is awarded biennially and will be presented to Professor Colin O’Dowd at the High Impact Weather and Climate Conference at the University of Manchester on 7, July 2016, followed by a lecture by Professor O’Dowd. ENDS

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

NUI Galway final years and graduates who are seeking employment are invited to a unique graduate support event in NUI Galway on Thursday, 12 May. The ‘Kick Start your Job Search’ is a free event and will run from 9.30am to 1pm in AC201 on the Arts/Science Concourse. Organised by NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre, the event will focus on effective CVs, interview skills, and being creative in the job search process, including a tailored workshop on using LinkedIn effectively. Interactive workshops will challenge and motivate participants to review their current approach to their job search and a panel discussion with employers from various sectors will give insights into job search strategy and what candidates can do to enhance their job prospects. A list of current vacancies will also be on display. Josephine Walsh, Head of the Career Development Centre, NUI Galway, said: “We look forward to working again with our recent graduates and strongly encourage those who are looking for new ways to market themselves to come along and get their job search on track.” Details of the full programme are available on www.nuigalway.ie/careers, where those who are interested in attending the event can also book a place. -Ends-

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

The Pint of Science International Festival is returning to Galway from 23-24 May in Oslo Bar, Salthill from 7pm. A fantastic line-up of scientists will engage the public with the latest in science research in an accessible format. Ten leading and developing scientists, mostly from NUI Galway and affiliated institutes and centres, will meet the general public to talk about the research advances in their fields. The Body Night on Monday, 23 May, will see researchers talk about recent progress in understanding human diseases, including cancer and diabetes, and the technologies to treat them. Tuesday, 24 May, will be a Marine Science themed night including topics such as the effect of climate change on our oceans and geological mapping of the seabed. ‘Pint of Science’ is the largest festival of science globally, running concurrently in multiple pubs across twelve countries in 50 cities. Created in 2012 by a group of UK postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers, ‘Pint of Science’ is a non-profit organisation involving scientists on a voluntary basis. Internationally it takes place across several countries in Europe, and in America, Brazil, Canada, South Africa and Australia.  Established in 2013 by Seán Mac Fhearraigh, Pint of Science Ireland is running for the third time in Dublin and for the second time in Galway. To view the detailed ‘Pint of Science Galway’ programme, and book your free ticket, visit www.pintofscience.ie. Follow ‘Pint of Science Galway’ on Facebook and @pintofscienceIE on Twitter to find out more. -Ends-

Monday, 9 May 2016

NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences Bio-EXPLORERS programme, in collaboration with Kitchen Chemistry, is now taking bookings for its two Summer Science Camps, one running from 4-8 July and the second from 11-15 July. The camp is open to all young scientists aged between 8 and 13 years old and participants will get a chance to work as real scientists by performing and analysing experiments in a real research environment.  The Bio-EXPLORERS programme is composed of two science communication and public engagement initiatives: Cell EXPLORERS, directed by Dr Muriel Grenon and Eco-EXPLORERS, directed by Dr Michel Dugon. With Dr Dugon, the host of the RTÉ’s Bug Hunters, children will participate in activities such as discovering live local and exotic plants and animals, studying their habitats, and understanding how they interact with their environment. With the dynamic team of Cell EXPLORERS, children will learn how cells make our bodies work. They will run their own experiments, build models, observe their own cells under microscopes and extract DNA from cells. Each camp will also include a session with Kitchen Chemistry, from the School of Chemistry, who run fun, hands-on experiments that bring chemistry to life. The primary goal of these NUI Galway science outreach programmes is to inspire interest in science in the general public and to impact positively on science education. All three programmes run activities designed to engage children in a hands-on way and stimulate their interest in exploring science-related themes. They have engaged thousands of children in the West of Ireland and are very active during the Galway Science and Technology Festival. Since 2014 Bio-EXPLORERS has run successful Summer and Easter science camps, in addition to the very popular ‘Scientist for a Day’ one-day workshops during mid-terms, run in conjunction with Kitchen Chemistry. These camps provide a fun take on science where children can get involved and experiment as real scientists do. Small participant numbers, hands-on activities and a good ratio of well-trained, interactive demonstrators maximize the learning environment. Both camps will run over five days from 9.30am to 4.30pm each day and places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.. The cost is €160 per child, €145 for additional siblings for this course packed with fun and exciting activities. Pre-register your child on the camp Eventbrite page and secure the place by sending the completed registration form and payment within five working days to Bio-EXPLORERS, Dr Martina Wernecke, Biochemistry, School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway. Visit www.cellexplorers.com for more details on the camp and registration. For any queries email cellexplorers@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-      

Friday, 6 May 2016

Three NUI Galway choirs excelled at the recent 62nd Cork International Choral Festival, taking home three prizes. The choirs consist of NUI Galway students, staff and graduates. Sing‘n’Tonics were presented with the first prize for the National Competition for Chamber Choirs, receiving a massive score of 89.25%. It is the first victory by a university choir at the Cork Choral Festival since the 1980s. Pieces performed were ‘Baby Shark’ by Gordon Hamilton and ‘Fáilte don Éan’ by Derry composer Kevin O'Connell. The Sing‘n’Tonics also won the John Mannion Perpetual Trophy for the best piece at the festival for their performance of Fáilte don Éan. The award was particularly fitting as John Mannion used to sing with Galway-based choirs Cois Cladaigh Chamber Choir and Galway Baroque Singers. The nine member chamber choir won by 5% and the membership of the group includes four visiting American students and two German Erasmus students.  The NUI Galway Testostertones, which recently won ChoirFactor in Galway city, were placed a very close second in the National Male Voice Category finishing 0.25% behind the Portadown Singers. The group sang an ABBA medley and ‘Daemon’ by the Hungarian composer Orban. The NUI Galway Alumni Ensemble competed in the National Light Music section and finished in fifth place out of thirteen choirs. Peter Mannion, Director of each choir and NUI Galway graduate, said: “It’s been the accumulation of a year’s hard work for these amateur singers. They are great ambassadors for themselves and the University and it is wonderful to see groups made up of students, staff and alumni working so well together. It is the true community spirit of the University.”  Nearly 5,000 singers from all around the world participated in the 62nd Cork International Choral Festival. The Festival, which is the oldest in Cork and one of Europe’s most prestigious Choral Festivals, included gala concerts, schools concerts, national and international competitions, workshops and free outdoor performances. -Ends-

Friday, 6 May 2016

Experts from across Ireland gathered at NUI Galway today for a symposium on ‘Research, Development and Innovation in Marine and Renewable Energy in Ireland’. The symposium was hosted by MaREI, Ireland’s Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy. The demand for energy is growing relentlessly with the pressures of population growth and improved living standards. With a sea to land ratio of over 10:1, Ireland is ideally placed to address this challenge through our marine and renewable energy resources. The two-day symposium brings together experts to discuss the main scientific, technical and socio-economic challenges across the marine and energy spaces. The event provides an opportunity for researchers to disseminate their research, identify further opportunities for collaboration and discuss the future direction of marine and renewable energy in Ireland. Professor Jerry Murphy, Interim Director of MaREI, said: “MaREI's strategy is strongly aligned to national priorities and international roadmaps in marine and renewable energy and Ireland’s Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future. MaREI research achieves high impact by ensuring relevance and accessibility to academia, industry and policy makers. One of MaREI’s great strengths is its multidisciplinary approach to research and its engagement with stakeholders. By working collaboratively across all MaREI’s six institutions and with its 46 industry partners, it is possible to assemble the skill sets needed for impactful research.” Declan Meally, Head of Emerging Sectors in the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), commented: “The development of ocean energy technologies in Ireland, and in particular the SEAI Ocean Energy Programme, in 2015 has been the most successful year to date with more research and projects funded than any other year previously. Events like the MaREI symposium, not only demonstrate the breadth of research expertise in Ireland, but also how State Agencies and Government Departments are all working together with Industry and Academia to build the sector which will benefit all communities in Ireland in the future.” Dr Jamie Goggins, Chairperson of the MaREI Symposium and Senior Lecturer at NUI Galway, said: “The investment in world-class research facilities in Ireland for ocean energy is hugely important to bringing technology to market and helping Ireland to develop an export market for Ocean Energy Technologies. The recent State investment in the full scale structural testing facility for tidal turbine blades here at NUI Galway along with the one-quarter scale ocean energy test site and Ocean Observatory in Galway Bay position Ireland at the forefront of testing and development of ocean energy devices.” MaREI is a world leading research centre supported by Science Foundation Ireland. Its industry-led research programme provides innovative solutions that reduce the time to market, and reduce costs to a competitive level. The Centre has built upon the excellent track record of well-established marine and energy-based research groups across each of our academic partners, covering a wide range of cross-cutting topics across these spaces, including device design and modelling, energy conversion and storage, novel materials and structural testing, operations and decision support, energy policy and modelling, and environmental monitoring. MaREI is coordinated by the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) at University College Cork and has 130 researchers working across 6 academic institutions collaborating with over 45 industry partners.  -Ends-

Friday, 6 May 2016

NUI Galway will host a public seminar by Dr Díóg O’Connell, Lecturer in Film and Media Studies at the Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology from 4-5pm on Wednesday, 11 May in the Hardiman Research Building. Entitled Irish Women Screenwriters cast in the shadows - Knocknagow and Guests of the Nation, the seminar is organised by NUI Galway’s Gender ARC and the Centre for Global Women’s Studies Dr O’Connell’s will explore how Irish women screenwriters are often written out of the historical record, and cast in the shadows of male directors and novelists. In the case of Knocknagow and Guests of the Nation, two significant films in the early history of Irish cinema, very little is known about the screenwriters Mrs NF Patton (Knocknagow) and Mary Manning (Guests of the Nation). These films could be considered landmark films in early Irish cinema history at the level of narrative theme, historical significance and audience appeal. Both films were written by women but very little historical references are found for either writer. Yet much is written about the male directors of these films and more noticeably the male authors of the source material for both films. Knocknagow is based on a Charles Kickham novel of the same name (1873) and Guests of the Nation is based on a story of the same name by Frank O’Connor (1931). The nature of adaptation is closely examined without any mention of the scriptwriter. Examining the archive material of both these films, this study traces through the reviews of these films, the place awarded to the screenwriter in the documented history. Is this just a case of the screenwriter being cast to the periphery or is there further marginalisation happening at the level of gender? Drawing on theories around social capital, Dr O’Connell’s presentation will explore what the barriers are to recognition and record. Is the status of the male author privileged over that of the screenwriter, or is there a gender bias at work, relegating women screenwriters to the margins, on two levels, as screenwriters and as women? Dr Díóg O’Connell is the author of New Irish Storytellers: Narrative Strategies in Film and Documentary in a Changing State. She has written extensively on Irish cinema, television drama and screenwriting. She has also been a member of a Writers’ Team for Irish television drama. Gender ARC (Advanced Research Consortium on Gender, Culture and the Knowledge Society) is a research network linking more than fifty academics at NUI Galway and the University of Limerick who are engaged in gender-focused research across diverse disciplines. The network hosts a variety of seminars and public lectures throughout the year. To learn more about this event and future Gender ARC events contact Amie Lajoie, Gender ARC Postgraduate Research Associate, at a.lajoie1@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-