Not all of the content is available in Irish. Where this is the case English content is displayed.

Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland to Perform at NUI Galway

Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland to Perform at NUI Galway   -image

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland to Perform at NUI Galway

NUI Galway Announce Unique Postgraduate Scholarships

NUI Galway Announce Unique Postgraduate Scholarships-image

Thursday, 2 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about NUI Galway Announce Unique Postgraduate Scholarships

Inaugural Martin Reilly Lecture Series Announced by NUI Galway

Inaugural Martin Reilly Lecture Series Announced by NUI Galway-image

Friday, 3 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about Inaugural Martin Reilly Lecture Series Announced by NUI Galway

Twelfth Annual NUI Galway Arts Festival Opens

Twelfth Annual NUI Galway Arts Festival Opens -image

Monday, 6 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about Twelfth Annual NUI Galway Arts Festival Opens

Forward Planning To Make Coastal Risks a Thing Of The Past

Forward Planning To Make Coastal Risks a Thing Of The Past-image

Monday, 6 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about Forward Planning To Make Coastal Risks a Thing Of The Past

NUI Galway and ‘Haiti Connect’ Hold Ireland’s First Crisiscamp

NUI Galway and ‘Haiti Connect’ Hold Ireland’s First Crisiscamp-image

Monday, 6 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about NUI Galway and ‘Haiti Connect’ Hold Ireland’s First Crisiscamp

Engineering in Hurling Focus of Next NUI Galway Sports Technology Talk

Engineering in Hurling Focus of Next NUI Galway Sports Technology Talk -image

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about Engineering in Hurling Focus of Next NUI Galway Sports Technology Talk

NUI Galway Research Produces Guidelines for Communication between GPs and Migrants

NUI Galway Research Produces Guidelines for Communication between GPs and Migrants   -image

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about NUI Galway Research Produces Guidelines for Communication between GPs and Migrants

NUI Galway Nurtures Next Generation of Technology Users

NUI Galway Nurtures Next Generation of Technology Users-image

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about NUI Galway Nurtures Next Generation of Technology Users

President Browne Pays Tribute to John Cunningham

President Browne Pays Tribute to John Cunningham-image

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about President Browne Pays Tribute to John Cunningham

Development Education Day at NUI Galway

Development Education Day at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about Development Education Day at NUI Galway

NUI Galway Win Award in HSA National Competition

NUI Galway Win Award in HSA National Competition-image

Monday, 13 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about NUI Galway Win Award in HSA National Competition

Research Breakthrough Shows Promise in Offsetting Cornea Transplant Rejection

Research Breakthrough Shows Promise in Offsetting Cornea Transplant Rejection-image

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about Research Breakthrough Shows Promise in Offsetting Cornea Transplant Rejection

Mick Loftus Launches Sigerson Cup Finals Weekend at NUI Galway

Mick Loftus Launches Sigerson Cup Finals Weekend at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about Mick Loftus Launches Sigerson Cup Finals Weekend at NUI Galway

NUI Galway and Druid Announce Director-in-Residence

NUI Galway and Druid Announce Director-in-Residence -image

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about NUI Galway and Druid Announce Director-in-Residence

Major €14 million European Initiative to Develop the Potential of Seaweed as Biofuel

Major €14 million European Initiative to Develop the Potential of Seaweed as Biofuel-image

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about Major €14 million European Initiative to Develop the Potential of Seaweed as Biofuel

NFB Researchers Receive Prestigious Travel Awards in Distinguished Laboratories

NFB Researchers Receive Prestigious Travel Awards in Distinguished Laboratories-image

Thursday, 16 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about NFB Researchers Receive Prestigious Travel Awards in Distinguished Laboratories

NUI Galway Host Genetic Discrimination Seminar in European Parliament

NUI Galway Host Genetic Discrimination Seminar in European Parliament-image

Thursday, 16 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about NUI Galway Host Genetic Discrimination Seminar in European Parliament

NUI Galway Hosts Reception for Eleven US Fulbright Scholars

NUI Galway Hosts Reception for Eleven US Fulbright Scholars  -image

Friday, 17 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about NUI Galway Hosts Reception for Eleven US Fulbright Scholars

NUI Galway Law Lecturer Appointed To Law Reform Commission

NUI Galway Law Lecturer Appointed To Law Reform Commission-image

Friday, 17 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about NUI Galway Law Lecturer Appointed To Law Reform Commission

NUI Galway Host Free Family Events for National Engineers Week

NUI Galway Host Free Family Events for National Engineers Week -image

Monday, 20 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about NUI Galway Host Free Family Events for National Engineers Week

Risks of Social Exclusion for Rural Older People Explored in New Report

Risks of Social Exclusion for Rural Older People Explored in New Report-image

Monday, 20 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about Risks of Social Exclusion for Rural Older People Explored in New Report

GPS Technology in Improving Sport Focus of NUI Galway Sports Talk

GPS Technology in Improving Sport Focus of NUI Galway Sports Talk-image

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

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

>> Read full story about GPS Technology in Improving Sport Focus of NUI Galway Sports Talk

Top Experts Come Together at NUI Galway to Discuss Best Way of Putting Energy to Work for Ireland

Top Experts Come Together at NUI Galway to Discuss Best Way of Putting Energy to Work for Ireland-image

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

As part of  NUI Galway Energy Night experts from the fields of business, enterprise and investment, innovation and energy technology will come together to debate ‘Putting Energy to Work for Ireland’ on Tuesday, 6 March. The Energy Night will run from 2pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway, with the panel discussion commencing at 6pm.NUI Galway’s Energy Night is the only event of its kind in Ireland, and it reflects the central role the student organisers believe energy must play in the economic recovery of Ireland.  Organised by the NUI Galway’s Chemistry, Energy and Physics Societies, Energy Night will also feature an Industry and Career Fair featuring some of the most prominent energy employers including Eirgrid, Cylon, Enerit, Nutherm, Shell, AER Sustainable Energy, United Technologies Research Centre Ireland, HDS Energy and Kingspan Renewables.The week prior to NUI Galway Energy Night, 27 February to 4 March, organisers will be running targeted CV and professional development workshops for students interested in careers in the energy sector. These will be organised in conjunction with the Career Development Centre at NUI Galway. The Industry and Career Fair will run concurrently with a Poster Showcase of cutting-edge and multi-disciplinary energy research that is currently being undertaken in Irish universities. With presenters working in areas such as biofuels, wave energy, smart buildings, smart grids and data efficiency, the Career and Industry Fair and Research Showcase will provide an invaluable opportunity for students, academics and business people from around the country to network, exchange thoughts and ideas and set up new and exciting collaborations.The centrepiece of Energy Night will take place at 6pm with the Panel Discussion, ‘Putting Energy to Work for Ireland’. RTÉ’s The Business presenter, George Lee, will moderate the discussion that features energy executives and experts from Ireland and abroad including: Gabriel D’Arcy, CEO, Bord na Móna; Norman Crowley, founder of Crowley Carbon; Brian O’Cathain, CEO of Petroceltic; Serial Entrepreneur George Polk, who has worked with Richard Branson and George Soros; and Tom Kelly, Clean Tech Divisional Manager with Enterprise Ireland.“The NUI Galway Energy Night is an entirely student run event with the aim of enhancing understanding, interaction and collaboration between energy stakeholders in the policy, business, technological and academic spheres as well as the public. It is a hugely exciting event as it brings local community, students, researchers, lecturers, industry representatives and experts in the energy field together to discuss where we are at, what needs to be done and what can be done”, said Rory Monaghan, Lecturer in Energy Systems Engineering at NUI Galway.The NUI Galway Energy Night is made possible by the generosity of sponsors, including Galway-based Enerit Ltd and Shell. The Energy Night has been awarded EXPLORE funding from NUI Galway, which is funding for projects that build a culture of innovation on campus. NUI Galway Energy Night is also an Engineers Ireland Continuing professional development (CPD) approved event.This event is open to members of the public. For more information visit the events website www.nuigenergynight.com, or contact Sinéad Burke at director@nuigenergynight.com.-ENDS-

>> Read full story about Top Experts Come Together at NUI Galway to Discuss Best Way of Putting Energy to Work for Ireland

Compact Imaging Reaches Agreement on Research Collaboration with Irish Universities

Compact Imaging Reaches Agreement on Research Collaboration with Irish Universities   -image

Thursday, 16 February 2012

National University of Ireland Galway, University of Limerick to Provide Biophotonics Expertise, Gain Stake in Emerging Silicon Valley Technology CompanyCompact Imaging (CI) today announced an innovative research collaboration with National University of Ireland Galway and University of Limerick.The two-year agreement, in the scientific field of biophotonics, specifically optical coherence tomography (OCT), will explore and further develop CI’s novel technologies. OCT is an imaging technique similar to ultrasound, but employing light rather than sound.The project will combine National University of Ireland Galway’s globally-recognised body of OCT research in medical and biological imaging with CI’s development and intellectual property in the area of multiple-reference OCT.  The focus will be on Compact Imaging’s MRO™, multiple-reference OCT, architecture.CI is an early stage technology company focused on the rapidly expanding market for non-invasive optical imaging, measurement and analysis. The Company’s MRO™ technology makes possible very small (cell phone size), low-cost, robust OCT-based devices for these applications. CI, based in Silicon Valley, holds a portfolio of US patents covering multiple-reference optical coherence tomography (MRO™).The collaboration makes the extensive scientific research capabilities of National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) and University of Limerick (UL) available to CI. The agreement has been led by and supported by Galway University Foundation and University of Limerick Foundation. The agreement will lead to the University foundations receiving equity in CI. Additional financial details are confidential, for commercial reasons.NUI Galway’s Professor Martin Leahy will direct the research efforts. Professor Leahy is Chair of Applied Physics at NUI Galway, Scientific Director of the National Biophotonics Imaging Platform Ireland (NBIPI) www.nbipireland.ie and Director of the University’s Tissue Optics and Microcirculation Imaging Laboratory (TOMI) http://tomi.nuigalway.ie.“Physics has delivered extraordinary advances in almost every facet of modern life,” said Professor Leahy. “From the humble thermometer and stethoscope to X-Ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, PET and radiotherapy, our health has been transformed by these advances. Photonics promises to bring healthcare to the next level, as it is the only means to see cells and molecules in small, accessible, low cost and safe imaging systems.“Compact Imaging’s multiple-reference OCT technology has the potential to harness all these advantages, delivering solutions to health and security markets with a distinct edge,” added Professor Leahy. “Our proprietary MRO™ technology has a broad set of biological imaging and measurement applications in fields from medical to security,” said Don Bogue, CEO of CI. “By embarking on this collaboration with Professor Leahy and the laboratories at National University of Ireland Galway, Compact Imaging gains access to outstanding research capability with a group that has the right scientific expertise and research focus to move MRO™ well beyond where our startup-level resources would otherwise allow. We expect that this collaboration will accelerate our development and delivery of small low-cost solutions to a variety of markets,” he said.The underlying imaging technology, optical coherence tomography (OCT), was first commercialised more than a decade ago for use in ophthalmic and medical diagnostic imaging. CI’s MRO™ is a very different architecture from that used in conventional OCT systems. The architecture enables design of small form factor (cell phone size), low cost devices ideally-suited both to integration with large multi-purpose instruments for office or clinic use and to higher volume mobile or remote applications.“Leveraging knowledge to support innovation is an important part of the mission of universities. For NUI Galway and UL to partner in this way with an emerging company in Silicon Valley is a very exciting development. NUI Galway is delighted to be part of this collaboration which brings mutual benefit to all partners – academic and commercial,” said Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway.Speaking about the alliance, UL President, Professor Don Barry said: “This alliance and this pioneering commercial agreement highlight what can be achieved with some innovative thinking from supporters of the University. It demonstrates ways in which commercially astute universities and their foundations can benefit through creative collaborations with industry.”-ends-

>> Read full story about Compact Imaging Reaches Agreement on Research Collaboration with Irish Universities

New Discovery in Fight against Huntington’s Disease

New Discovery in Fight against Huntington’s Disease-image

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Researchers at National University of Ireland Galway have made a significant scientific discovery in the fight against Huntington’s disease. The novel findings are published today (21 February) in the online, open access journal PLoS Biology. Huntington’s disease is an incurable, inherited, neurodegenerative disorder that causes uncontrolled movements, emotional disturbances, and severe mental deterioration. It affects over 100,000 people worldwide, with another 300,000 likely to develop symptoms in their lifetime. There is currently no way to halt progression of the disease, and available treatments are designed only to manage the symptoms.The new research identifies specific enzymes called HDACs, or histone deacetylase complexes, as positive agents for the mutation that underlies Huntington’s disease. When HDACs are active, they exacerbate the disease-causing mutation in cells, possibly contributing to the severity of the disorder. The new research found that blocking these HDACs with experimental drugs greatly reduced the risk of further mutation.“Ongoing mutations in the brain of Huntington’s patients are thought to drive progression of the disease,” said Professor Robert Lahue of National University of Ireland Galway’s Centre for Chromosome Biology, and lead author on the new research paper. “Our discovery suggests that inhibiting HDAC function slows down the mutation process, and thereby could slow disease progression. A key finding of the research was to pinpoint specific HDACs for selective inhibition.”Several laboratories in the United States of America are currently testing new HDAC inhibitors in laboratory models for efficacy and safety in related fields. Professor Lahue and his research group hope to work with these labs to evaluate the effect of HDAC inhibitors on the mutational process. “Huntington’s is a particularly cruel disease, as it is passed from parent to child, often with increased severity or earlier onset,” Professor Lahue adds. “With modern genetic testing, people can now establish whether they received the mutant gene from their parent, but then they live a waiting game for the onset of symptoms, which usually appear around the age of 40.”Professor Lahue emphasised that the HDAC inhibitors are still experimental, and that their development to potential drugs is still some way off. “It is very exciting that basic research at National University of Ireland Galway, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, has created a new possibility for helping Huntington’s patients and their families.”The findings may also have implications for research into certain other neurological disorders, such as myotonic dystrophy type I, a type of muscular dystrophy caused by the same sort of mutation as seen in Huntington’s.-ends-

>> Read full story about New Discovery in Fight against Huntington’s Disease

NUI Galway Celebrates the Dramatic Arts with Third Annual Theatre Week

NUI Galway Celebrates the Dramatic Arts with Third Annual Theatre Week-image

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Theatrical forces will once again merge on campus for NUI Galway's Theatre Week. Celebrating NUI Galway’s commitment to the dramatic arts, Theatre Week will run from Monday, 27 February until Friday, 2 March. Now in its third year, the event showcases through theatre, literature and film, the many talents of NUI Galway students, societies and alumni. The launch of Theatre Week will take place in The View, Áras na Mac Léinn at 12.30pm on Monday, 27 February.One of the highlights of the week is the Jerome Hynes One Act play series which features eight new one-act plays written by NUI Galway students. The plays will be performed during lunchtimes and evenings in The Cube, Áras na Mac Léinn. All eight can be seen at the Omnibus Edition on Friday, 2 March from 6pm, followed by an awards ceremony. Three student playwrights have also been working closely with NUI Galway’s radio station, Flirt FM which will broadcast these three radio plays during the week.Throughout the week, Dramsoc will present two plays, Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues, proceeds in aid of the Galway Rape crisis centre, and a production of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Many of NUI Galway’s societies are getting involved in Theatre Week, including the Philosophy Society who will present a reading of Plato’s Republic, a philosophical discussion of justice written over 2,000 years ago. There will also be a politically motivated Flash Mob wedding party on campus celebrating an unholy union. On Tuesday, 28 February, the Music and RockSoc will present a night of music performance at the Witless Showcase in the College Bar. FilmSoc will also present a selection of films based on a theatrical theme throughout the week.Continuing its commitment to the arts, NUI Galway recently launched a new four-year degree programme, BA degree in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, which is designed for students with a keen interest in all aspects of drama and performance. Students on this new programme will have the opportunity to benefit from the dynamic partnerships forged by NUI Galway with key arts organisations including Druid Theatre Company, the Galway Arts Festival and Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe. The first intake of students for the new BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies will be in September 2012. Applications will be accepted via the CAO process, on which the new course code is GY118.Ríona Hughes, NUI Galway Societies Officer and Theatre Week Director, said: “Theatre Week in NUI Galway is a collaboration between the Societies and very talented drama students to show case the University's vibrant drama scene on campus and a demonstration of NUI Galway's commitment to producing professional dramatists of the future and supporting the tradition of high quality theatre of which Galway is justifiably proud.”For full details on the programme of events visit www.socs.nuigalway.ie or http://www.socs.nuigalway.ie/download/file/34354/theatre%20week%20programme%20a3.pdf. Tickets for all events are available from the Socsbox in Áras na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway.-Ends-

>> Read full story about NUI Galway Celebrates the Dramatic Arts with Third Annual Theatre Week

New Platform to Gather Views on EU Policy

New Platform to Gather Views on EU Policy-image

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Researchers at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) in NUI Galway are leading a European Union, multi-million euro initiative aimed at government transparency and giving citizens a voice in creating policies.The project, entitled ‘Puzzled by Policy’, has now launched as an online platform, with the focus on immigration in the EU. The website is customised for Greece, Hungary, Italy and Spain, profiling users based on national and European immigration policy.The Puzzled by Policy platform allows users to graphically compare their views on immigration with national and EU immigration policies, as well as with the opinions of relevant stakeholders. Users are then encouraged to join discussions on particular aspects of immigration policy they feel strongly about.The platform is also available in English and discussions can be automatically translated into any language. To ensure accessibility to all users, the Puzzled by Policy widget can be embedded on any social media site, blog or website.The Puzzled by Policy project aims to help end the detachment and disillusionment of citizens in the policy making process of the EU by improving information resources and tools.Current ways of informing citizens and allowing them to participate can be difficult to access, time consuming to use and yield little results. Experts at DERI are deveoping IT tools to acquire, share, reuse and process vast amounts of relevant data from multiple and divergent information sources.DERI’s Deirdre Lee, who is leading the Puzzled by Policy Project, comments:“ DERI is providing the models, technologies and tools for more effective and efficient public administration systems. This is all part of a larger move toward eGovernment, which embraces the world wide web for better governence. eGovernment offers the ability to transform not only the way in which most public services are delivered but also the fundamental relationship between government and citizen.”With over 140 researchers, DERI is one of the world’s leading international web science research institutes, established as a CSET in 2003 with funding from Science Foundation Ireland.Its researchers have a specific focus on the Semantic Web and Networked Knowledge, which provides the framework to link information in a way that allows us to use, analyse and retrieve this information more efficiently.-ends-

>> Read full story about New Platform to Gather Views on EU Policy

Older Women Lose out in Pension Provision

Older Women Lose out in Pension Provision-image

Friday, 24 February 2012

New research looks at older women workers’ access to pensions Fewer than one in three female pensioners in Ireland receive the maximum contributory pension and two-thirds rely on the non-contributory pension, leaving many women disadvantaged in later life, says a new report today. The report Older Women Workers’ Access to Pensions: Vulnerabilities, Perspectives and Strategies was written by Dr Nata Duvvury, Dr Áine Ní Léime and Aoife Callan of NUI Galway, and Dr Linda Price and Mark Simpson of Queens University Belfast, with funding from the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI). The research highlights the issue of gender inequality in pension provision in Ireland, north and south. It underlines the vulnerability of older women and examines the factors that contribute to lower pension incomes among women, including level of labour force participation and time spent caring for dependants. The report also looks at strategies used by older women and finds many depend on partners’ or husbands’ incomes for a secure future, even though they may well outlive them as women tend to have longer life expectancies. Inez McCormack, who was the first female president of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, will officially launch the report at the National University of Ireland Offices in Merrion Square today: “This report comes at a crucial time in light of the changes to pensions recently announced in the Republic of Ireland[i] and Northern Ireland. It makes the issue of women and pensions visible – a crucial step towards the state living up to its obligation to protect the most vulnerable with regard to social security, which is a human right.” Key findings: Older women workers experience limited access to pensions because of low pay, poor conditions of work and their primary role in caring. Women account for only 27% of those receiving the maximum contributory pension. Women are likely to be involved in non-pensionable employment and/or in seasonal, part-time and short-term contracts, making it difficult for them to contribute regularly to pensions. Reliance on partners’ income is common, but is a risky strategy in the event of separation, divorce, widowhood, illness or redundancy. The economic crisis, with the imposition of the government levies and charges, has further reduced women’s ability to pay into pensions. Typically, women were not aware of the importance of personal pension provision until quite late in life or in situations of change such as husband’s job loss or family disruption. For some women who could afford to contribute to private pensions, the failure of the banking system resulted in significant losses to the value of their pension funds. Dr Nata Duvvury, co-Director of the Global Women’s Studies Programme at NUI Galway, one of the lead investigators of the report commented: “Women are often the holders of low pay and part-time jobs which will dramatically affect their ability to build pensions. With the economic crisis, this particular group in society is being put under even more financial pressure and the long-term result looks set to be financial insecurity in older age.” Roger O’Sullivan, Director of CARDI, said: “Gender inequality in pension incomes is an important issue affecting many tens of thousands of older people in Ireland, north and south – and the number of women aged 65+ will rise by more than half a million in the next 30 years. This research underlines the gender gaps in the pension systems in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and makes an important contribution to understanding how such gaps might be closed by policy makers to ensure all older people can enjoy a secure and healthy old age.” Dr Áine Ní Léime, co-principal investigator at the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway, commented: “While pension policy in Ireland, north and south, has begun to address some of the obstacles to women’s access to pensions, there is a clear need for a coherent approach across the policy areas of employment, taxation and social welfare, as well as pensions to ensure that women have an adequate income in later life.” Dr Linda Price, Lecturer in Spatial Planning, who led the research at Queen’s University, Belfast commented: “The life course approach taken in the research has led to an appreciation of the continuing impact of gender relations, caring responsibilities and fragmented and often low-paid employment on women’s ability to retire in our society in an era when popular conceptions are that gender equality has been achieved.” -ends-

>> Read full story about Older Women Lose out in Pension Provision

50 Years in the Making - President Higgins Returns to Alma Mater to Launch Autism Centre

50 Years in the Making - President Higgins Returns to Alma Mater to Launch Autism Centre-image

Friday, 24 February 2012

The Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research at NUI Galway to be launched by Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, 50 years after he enrolled as a mature student President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins will make his first official visit to NUI Galway to launch its new Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research on Friday, 24 February, 2012. The visit takes place 50 years after he was initially enrolled as a mature student at the University. The Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research (ICAN) is dedicated to ensuring improvements for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families not only through scientific research but also through education and providing services to the community. Co-funded by Galway University Foundation, the Centre is the first centre of its kind outside North America that uses an integrated approach to the delivery of postgraduate education, research and the delivery of autism support services. NUI Galway’s Dr Geraldine Leader is the Director of ICAN: “A diagnosis of autism can have a devastating effect on a family. The lack of autism services in Ireland places an enormous burden on parents. Yet parents and families are the true advocates for those diagnosed. Our Centre aims to support families by training highly-skilled practitioners in the management and care of persons with ASD, conduct research that will provide practical solutions for parents and by providing support services for families.” Dr Leader added: “Neurological disorders such as autism affect individuals and their families across the life span. Our centre aims to target many of these challenges by conducting research into social and communicative deficits, adaptive behaviour needs, restricted interests and repetitive/challenging behaviours.” Autism is a complex disorder that inhibits a person’s ability to communicate, form friendships and relate to the outside world.  It is characterised by restrictive and sometimes repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests and activities.  It may also be accompanied by behaviour problems.  The prevalence of autism is on the rise.  In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 110 children will be diagnosed with autism.  Among boys the incidence is 1 in 70.  Although there are no comparable studies on autism in Ireland, it is believed the prevalence is similar to that found in the US.  Ita Fitzgibbon, is the parent of a 12 year old son with autism and Chairperson of Abalta Special School Galway, said: “Abalta has a very strong relationship with the MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis in NUI Galway, providing placements to many students on the programme, each year. Our school has seen the benefits of receiving the very best expertise first hand and the impact it has had on the lives of our students and their families. There is a lack of understanding of autism in Ireland and it is only through research that we can hope to generate a greater awareness of this condition. The opening of ICAN at NUI Galway will bring leading international experts together to use their knowledge, insight and research to enhance the lives of those affected and touched by autism in Ireland. This centre will help those diagnosed with autism in Ireland to reach their potential and achieve their goals.” ICAN offers both an MSc and PhD programme in Applied Behaviour Analysis at NUI Galway. These programmes are preparing students to become highly skilled practitioners in the care and management of ASD and related neurodevelopmental conditions.  Students are making an important contribution to services as they are placed in either Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention programmes that are home and school based, ASD Units within mainstream schools, special schools and adults services. Neurological disorders such as Autism affect individuals and their families across the life span.  Our centre aims to target many of these challenges by conducting research into social and communicative deficits, adaptive behaviour needs, restricted interests and repetitive/challenging behaviours. A major international conference recently hosted by NUI Galway, Autism Speaks and the American Ireland Fund, highlighted new technologies and practical strategies for managing challenges faced in schools for helping children on the autism spectrum. Key international experts in the field discussed treatment of associated medical conditions and presented the latest research on early signs of autism and the use of medication for people on the autism spectrum. President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said the establishment of this new centre highlights NUI Galway’s commitment to autism research and underscores the translational dimension of the University’s work.   He said, “This Centre will be a landmark for those concerned with ASD.  Students will benefit from research-led teaching at a centre which is affiliated with the best international centres in this field.  The Centre’s outreach programme will ensure that the latest research and educational strategies will reach those families living with ASD. I believe that the launch of this Centre by President Higgins will be an important landmark for families affected by autism.”   ENDS For further information visit www.nuigalway.ie/ican 50 bliain ag teacht – Filleann an tUachtarán Ó hUiginn chuig a Alma Mater chun Ionad Uathachais a sheoladh Seolfaidh Uachtarán na hÉireann, Micheál D. Ó hUiginn an tIonad Éireannach um Thaighde ar Uathachas agus ar Néar-Fhorbraíocht in OÉ Gaillimh, 50 bliain i ndiaidh dó féin clárú mar mhac léinn lánfhásta. Tabharfaidh Uachtarán na hÉireann, Micheál D. Ó hUiginn, a chéad chuairt oifigiúil ar OÉ Gaillimh chun an tIonad nua Éireannach um Thaighde ar Uathachas agus ar Néar-Fhorbraíocht a sheoladh Dé hAoine, an 24 Feabhra 2012. Tagann an chuairt seo 50 bliain i ndiaidh dó féin clárú den chéad uair mar mhac léinn lánfhásta san Ollscoil. Tá an tIonad nua Éireannach um Thaighde ar Uathachas agus ar Néar-Fhorbraíocht (ICAN) tiomanta feabhsúcháin a chinntiú do dhaoine aonair a bhfuil neamhord ar speictream an uathachais (ASD) ag gabháil dóibh agus cúnamh a thabhairt dá dteaghlaigh. Déanfar é seo ní hamháin trí thaighde eolaíoch ach trí oideachas agus trí sheirbhísí sa phobal a chur ar fáil. Tá an tIonad á chómhaoiniú ag Fondúireacht na hOllscoile, agus is é an chéad ionad dá leithéid é taobh amuigh de Mheiriceá Thuaidh a úsáideann cur chuige comhtháite maidir le hoideachas iarchéime, taighde agus seirbhísí tacaíochta uathachais a sholáthar.  Deir an Dr Geraldine Leader, comhalta foirne in OÉ Gaillimh agus Stiúrthóir ICAN:  “Nuair a fhaigheann teaghlach amach go bhfuil uathachas ag gabháil do dhuine acu is féidir leis tionchar uafásach a bheith aige orthu. Cuireann an easpa seirbhísí uathachais atá ar fáil in Éirinn ualach mór millteach ar thuismitheoirí. Ach is tuismitheoirí agus teaghlaigh a sheasann an fód dóibh siúd le huathachas. Tá sé mar aidhm ag an Ionad seo tacú le teaghlaigh trí oiliúint a chur ar chleachtóirí a bhfuil ardscileanna acu maidir le daoine le ASD a bhainistiú agus aire a thabhairt dóibh. Tabharfar tacaíocht do theaghlaigh freisin trí thaighde a dhéanamh a thabharfaidh freagraí praiticiúla do thuismitheoirí agus trí sheirbhísí tacaíochta a chur ar fáil do theaghlaigh.” Chomh maith leis sin dúirt an Dr Leader: “Bíonn tionchar ag neamhoird néareolaíocha cosúil le huathachas ar dhaoine aonair agus ar a dteaghlaigh i rith a saoil. Tá sé mar aidhm ag an ionad seo díriú ar go leor de na dúshláin seo trí thaighde a dhéanamh ar easnaimh shóisialta agus chumarsáide, riachtanais iompraíochta oiriúnaitheacha, leasanna srianta agus iompraíochtaí athchleachtacha/dúshlánacha.” Is neamhord casta é an t-uathachas a chuireann bac ar chumas duine cumarsáid a dhéanamh, cairde a dhéanamh agus tuiscint a bheith aige ar an domhan mórthimpeall. Bíonn pátrúin shrianta agus uaireanta athchleachtacha iompraíochta, leasanna agus gníomhaíochtaí i gceist le huathachas. Is féidir go mbeadh fadhbanna iompraíochta i gceist chomh maith. Tá forleithne uathachais ag méadú. Sna Stáit Aontaithe, measann na hIonaid um Ghalar a Rialú go mbeidh páiste amháin as gach 110 páiste diagnóisithe le huathachas. I measc buachaillí, is buachaill amháin as gach 70 buachaill a bheidh diagnóisithe le huathachas. Cé nach bhfuil aon staidéar comparáideach ar uathachas in Éirinn, creidtear go mbeidh na figiúirí mórán mar a chéile is atá sna Stáit Aontaithe. Dúirt Ita Fitzgibbon, a bhfuil mac 12 bhliain d’aois aici a bhfuil uathachas ag gabháil dó agus atá ina Cathaoirleach ar Scoil Speisialta Ábalta, Gaillimh: “Tá caidreamh thar a bheith láidir ag Ábalta leis an gclár MSc in Anailís Iompraíochta Fheidhmeach in OÉ Gaillimh, agus tagann mic léinn ar shocrúchán oibre chugainn gach bliain. Feiceann scoil sin againne na buntáistí a bhaineann leis an saineolas is fearr a fháil ar an láthair agus an tionchar a bhíonn aige sin ar ár scoláirí agus a dteaghlaigh. Tá easpa tuisceana ar an uathachas in Éirinn agus caithfear taighde a dhéanamh ionas go mbeidh feasacht níos leithne ag daoine. Le hoscailt ICAN in OÉ Gaillimh tabharfar saineolaithe idirnáisiúnta le chéile chun a n-eolas, a léargas agus a dtaighde a úsáid chun feabhas a chur ar an saol dóibh siúd a bhfuil uathachas ag gabháil dóibh in Éirinn. Cabhróidh an tIonad seo leo siúd a bhfuil uathachas ag gabháil dóibh in Éirinn a bpoitéinseal agus a spriocanna a bhaint amach.” Cuireann ICAN clár MSc agus clár PhD in Anailís Iompraíochta Fheidhmeach ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá na cláir seo ag cur oiliúna ar mhic léinn go mbeidh siad ina gcleachtóirí ardoilte i gcúram agus i mbainistiú ASD agus riochtaí néarfhorbartha lena mbaineann.  Tá mic léinn ag cur go mór le seirbhísí mar go mbíonn siad ag obair ar chláir Luathdhian-Idirghabhála Iompraíochta atá bunaithe sa bhaile nó sa scoil, nó in Ionaid ASD laistigh de scoileanna príomhshrutha, scoileanna speisialta agus seirbhísí d’aosaigh. Bíonn tionchar ag neamhoird néareolaíocha cosúil le huathachas ar dhaoine aonair agus ar a dteaghlaigh i rith a saoil.  Tá sé mar aidhm ag an ionad seo díriú ar go leor de na dúshláin seo trí thaighde a dhéanamh ar easnaimh shóisialta agus chumarsáide, riachtanais iompraíochta oiriúnaitheacha, leasanna srianta agus iompraíochtaí athchleachtacha/dúshlánacha. Ag oll-chomhdháil a chuir OÉ Gaillimh, Autism Speaks agus an American Ireland Fund i láthair le déanaí, tarraingíodh aird ar theicneolaíochtaí nua agus ar straitéisí praiticiúla chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar na dúshláin a bhíonn i scoileanna chun cabhrú le páistí ar speictream an uathachais. Labhair príomh-shaineolaithe idirnáisiúnta sa réimse faoin gcóireáil a úsáidtear do riochtaí cosúla leighis agus chuir siad an taighde is déanaí i láthair maidir le luathchomharthaí uathachais agus úsáid chógais ar speictream an uathachais. Dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, go léiríonn bunú an ionaid nua seo tiomantas OÉ Gaillimh do thaighde ar uathachas agus leagann sé béim ar an ngné aistritheach d’obair na hOllscoile.   Dúirt sé, “Is áit cheannródaíoch a bheidh san Ionad seo do dhaoine a mbaineann ASD leo.    Gheobhaidh mic léinn buntáiste as an teagasc taighde-bhunaithe san ionad a bhfuil baint aige leis na hionaid idirnáisiúnta is fearr sa réimse seo.  Cinnteoidh clár for-rochtana an Ionaid go mbeidh an taighde agus na straitéisí oideachasúla is déanaí ar fáil do theaghlaigh atá ag maireachtáil le ASD. Creidim gur ócáid cheannródaíoch a bheidh sa seoladh seo a dhéanfaidh an tUachtarán Ó hUiginn ar an Ionad seo do theaghlaigh a mbaineann ASD leo.”   CRÍOCH

>> Read full story about 50 Years in the Making - President Higgins Returns to Alma Mater to Launch Autism Centre

UCB and DERI’s Linked Data Research Centre to enhance open source RDB2RDF mapper D2RQ through joint collaboration

UCB and DERI’s Linked Data Research Centre to enhance open source RDB2RDF mapper D2RQ through joint collaboration   -image

Friday, 24 February 2012

UCB and The Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway are pleased to announce the start of a collaboration to enhance the D2RQ open source software project. D2RQ has long been the software of choice when exposing relational data sources as Linked Data. UCB is pleased to be able to fund the next evolution of D2RQ with the main aim of the project to enhance some core enterprise features and introduce new and exciting product features including alignment with the latest R2RML W3C standards. Linked Data principles are key to enable efficient data integration by providing a common format and language for data exchange and alignment. Enterprise spends billions globally dealing with data integration. The Linked Data approach seeks to drastically reduce this cost and greatly increase data effectiveness within an organisation. However traditional enterprise systems do not expose data in this universal format and third party applications such as D2RQ are required to achieve this. We believe the D2RQ enhancements will enable the enterprise to expose Linked Data in the most efficient and appropriate manner for their business. This is increasingly important as the Linked Data movement gains increasing momentum across the enterprise community. This project is the first step in helping D2RQ to become the de-facto standard that is used across the enterprise, no matter if they are looking at Linked Data for the first time or implementing a quality solution. -ends-

>> Read full story about UCB and DERI’s Linked Data Research Centre to enhance open source RDB2RDF mapper D2RQ through joint collaboration

International Housing Conference at NUI Galway

International Housing Conference at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 27 February 2012

Housing is at the root of the global financial crisis – but it is also at the heart of personal, social and community development. Resolving the conflict between these approaches, nationally and internationally, is a core element of contemporary housing law and policy and the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy at NUI Galway are delighted to announce an international conference exploring this challenge. ‘Key Contemporary Housing Issues in a Changing Europe’ will examine key issues of law, rights, regulation and policy relating to housing. The conference, which will also hear presentations on important aspects of people’s experiences, both positive and negative, in today’s housing systems, will take place at NUI Galway from 20 to 21 April.  The conference brings to Galway an unprecedented platform of speakers drawn from the legal, economic, political, and academic spheres at both national, European and international level. It will offer opportunities to participants and presenters to explore and exchange information on contemporary developments in housing finance, law, regulation, rights, policy and current thinking across Europe. Event organiser and Lecturer with the NUI Galway School of Law, Dr Padraic Kenna, said: “This conference brings to Galway the leading writers and researchers on housing law, finance, rights and policy in Europe. It will offer a valuable forum for an informed discussion of the nature and role of housing systems, both today and in the future. Can we bridge the gap between the competing paradigms of housing as a market and housing as a home? How do we create a fresh inspiration and model of housing for the future, in the midst of the current crisis? These are the types of issues that will be discussed during at the conference.” Speakers at this International Housing Conference at NUI Galway include: Professor Stefan Gerlach, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank; Miss Justice Mary Laffoy, High Court of Ireland; Jan O'Sullivan T.D., Minister for the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government with special responsibility for Housing and Planning; and Regis Brillat, Head of the Department of the European Social Charter, Council of Europe. Leading international housing researchers will also present papers within dedicated seminars on important contemporary housing issues, such as housing and independent living, public interest law and housing, tenures, housing rights and homelessness, contemporary issues in mortgage regulation and consumer protection, migration, housing education, development, planning and housing law. The conference will be of particular interest to those who are involved in housing law, finance, those involved in policy-making and implementation, academics, researchers, public officials and representatives, planners, NGOs, housing rights advocates and students. Fees for the conference will cover admission to all seminars and presentations, book of abstracts, copies of relevant papers, lunches and coffee. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points will be available for attendance. Full conference attendance (12 CPD points) is €175, and single day attendance (6 CPD points) is €95. To register online for this event please visit www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=135 For further information contact Dr Padraic Kenna at housingconference@gmail.com. -ENDS- Speakers at the conference will also include:  Ionnis Dimitrakopoulos, Head of Equality and Citizen’s Rights, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. Professor Sergio Nasarre-Aznar, Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Tarragona, Coordinator of Legal Aspects of Housing, Land and Planning Group, European Network of Housing Researchers. Professor Martin Partington, Law Commission of England and Wales, and Bristol University Law School. Jamie Burton, Barrister with Doughty Street Chambers, London. Mike Wright, Founder-Director of Keyring Housing Association. Professor Lorna O’Mahoney-Fox, Law School, University of Durham.

>> Read full story about International Housing Conference at NUI Galway

HP and NUI Galway Announce New Masters in Cloud Computing Research

HP and NUI Galway Announce New Masters in Cloud Computing Research-image

Monday, 27 February 2012

NUI Galway and Hewlett-Packard have announced a new Master of Science degree in Cloud Computing Research. Identified by the Government, Forfás and the IDA as one of the best potential high-value growth areas for Ireland, and a vehicle for future jobs, cloud computing is set to provide a new generation of infrastructure, services and solutions for businesses. Designed by the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway together with Hewlett-Packard Galway’s Cloud Services Innovation Centre, the new degree is the first of its kind in Ireland, in providing a programme of advanced research on high-value, business-focused aspects of cloud computing and services.Cloud computing allows businesses and individuals to use software and access data and services on service providers’ remote computers, usually connecting over the internet, and typically using a web browser or mobile application.Dr Chris Coughlan, Manager of Hewlett-Packard’s Worldwide Cloud Services Innovation Centre, said: “This innovative and international masters degree is a critical support component in developing and sustaining Ireland’s smart economy ahead of the curve, and in the creation of high value employment within Ireland.”The MSc in Cloud Computing Research is a one-year fulltime or a two-year part-time research-based course, commencing in September 2012.NUI Galway’s Dr Tom Acton, architect of the programme, said: “Through direct dialogue with key industry partners such as Hewlett-Packard, Information Mosaic and others, we constructed this degree to meet the needs of these and other companies moving into the cloud space, and to provide a vehicle for the realisation of knowledge-intensive research into cloud computing.” Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway added: “The course is evidence of what can be achieved through close ties between academia and industry, in building upon synergies both regionally and nationally, and provides an innovative degree capable of producing high calibre and much sought-after graduates.”  There are two routes of entry to the course: persons already working in the ICT sector or within a technology-related role in other sectors with a qualifying degree or related experience, or persons with an undergraduate degree containing information systems, technology management or equivalent.  The University also recognises degrees from other institutions for entry, including the Bachelor of Business Studies (Information Systems Management stream) and the BA in Information Systems Management degree programmes provided by GMIT. -ends-

>> Read full story about HP and NUI Galway Announce New Masters in Cloud Computing Research

NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Derry

NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Derry-image

Monday, 27 February 2012

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Derry on Thursday, 8 March. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the The Everglades Hotel, Prehen Road, Derry City.The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students.The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in part due to a suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market, including an Energy Engineering degree and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers.Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programme, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies which is brand new for 2012.“NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Derry, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Derry is a perfect opportunity to meet current students and our lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway.To find out more about the information evening in Derry, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Office, Gráinne Dunne, Schools Liaison Office on 087 2440858 or grainne.dunne@nuigalway.ie.-Ends-

>> Read full story about NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Derry

Eight Research Projects for NUI Galway Announced by Minister Sherlock

Eight Research Projects for NUI Galway Announced by Minister Sherlock-image

Monday, 27 February 2012

Last Thursday, 23 February, Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD, announced Government funding via the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation of over €6.5 million covering 58 research awards.  NUI Galway received 8 of these awards to a total value of almost €1 million. The investment is made as part of Science Foundation Ireland’s Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) programme and will enable SFI-funded research groups to focus on the first steps of an applied research project which may have a commercial benefit if further developed. The eight NUI Galway projects under the Programme and their leaders are: Professor Terry Smith ‘Rapid molecular detection of pathogens from bio-pharmaceutical process water and sterile products’. Currently, process water monitoring is by microbiological methods which are slow.  This project will investigate the feasibility of an isothermal point-of-need device for the rapid detection of the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is the species most frequently isolated from pharmaceutical process water and water-for-injection. This is the bacteria which was responsible recently for several infant deaths in a Belfast hospital. Professor Rhodri Ceredig, ‘Personalised stem cell therapy for inflammatory diseases: a feasibility study of whole blood testing for optimising patient specific stem cell potency and efficacy’. In this project, researchers from NUI Galway’s Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) Immunology Group and additional collaborators will develop rapid-turnaround, whole-blood assays to measure the anti-inflammatory potency of therapeutic stem cell products for individual patients.  This is of relevance to the use of stem cell products for the treatment of diseases that cause inflammation. Professor Abhay Pandit, ‘Scale-up feasibility of a polymeric diatom replica as the next generation drug delivery system’. This project seeks to develop a novel drug delivery system for ‘hard-to-deliver’ therapies such as cannabinoid drugs. The system is based on a polymer (plastic) version of a naturally occurring structure in diatoms, which are algae. Diatoms are of interest because they are encased within a unique cell wall made of silica, which is ideal for drug delivery. Professor Paul Murphy, ‘Development of new anti-metastatic agents’. Tumour metastasis, or spread, is the primary cause of death of cancer patients. A molecule called migrastatin - which occurs naturally in some bacteria - and its analogues have potential as therapies against tumour spread. This project proposes to build on SFI-funded research to generate a wide range of new migrastatin analogues for biological evaluation. Professor Murphy’s group has a competitive new method to manufacture known tumour migration inhibitors and has the capability to extend this know-how to prepare the new analogues. Dr Andrew Flaus ‘Recombinant chromatin substrates for the epigenetics market’. Research that looks at DNA structure and stability can help shed light on biological processes and point to potential drug targets. This project proposes to undertake a feasibility study into the potential for building a comprehensive catalogue of molecules as reagents and kits to target the chromatin and epigenetics research and development sectors. The group has established methods for efficient large-scale production of recombinant molecules. Proof-of-concept demonstrations and a business plan will be produced. Professor Lokesh Joshi ‘Glycoprotein micelle mediated capture of bacteria’. Despite major advances in hygiene practices worldwide, outbreaks of bacterial gastroenteritis still occur with serious public health consequences and economic impacts. This project will demonstrate a low-cost, natural ‘glycelle’ (glycosylated micelle) strategy that can be used to prevent disease-causing bacteria from sticking to cells of the gut and can be used to remove pathogens from water. Dr Adrienne Gorman, ‘Host cell engineering approach to increase product titre in a mammalian cell expression system’. A major issue exists in the biopharmaceutical sector in the production of biologics and biosimilars, such as recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibodies. Current methods are expensive and yield low amounts of protein. This project explores the commercial potential of a recent finding by Dr Gorman’s group that a protein, Hsp70, could enhance survival and secretion of mammalian cells. The outcome of this project will be a system that increases protein production yields and enhances survival of the cells, leading to a decreased cost of protein production. Professor Robert J Woods, ‘Development of anti-adhesion therapeutics for the inhibition of influenza’. The flu is caused by an infection with an influenza virus, and a key step in this process is the virus sticking to cells in the host. That step is mediated by a molecule on the surface of the virus called hemagglutinin.  Professor Wood’s group is developing a new class of carbohydrate-based anti-influenza agents that block this initial hemagglutinin-mediated adhesion of the virus to host cells.  The proposed research is likely to lead to commercially exploitable results in the form of therapeutics for treating or preventing influenza A in both humans and livestock. Commenting on the awards, Professor Terry Smith, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, said: “The success of NUI Galway under the TIDA Programme represents an important endorsement of on-going research at NUI Galway and its potential for commercial and economic development.  We are excited about exploiting these opportunities, facilitated by SFI, to deliver research excellence with impact.” Making the announcement at Dublin’s RDS, Minister Sherlock said: “The TIDA Programme focuses on the first stages of an applied research project.  It provides financial support to research teams to enable them to get from concept to market.” Minister Sherlock also took the opportunity to urge the wider research community to support all endeavours towards commercialisation of research, stating: “While today is an endorsement of research endeavours, it is also very much a call to action for all higher education institutions to get behind and support their researchers in every way possible towards facilitating the commercialisation of their research.” The Minister concluded by saying “The spirit of convergence and collaboration that has characterised Irish scientific research over the past decade is not only the best way forward – it is the only way forward.” Welcoming the Minister’s announcement, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, Professor Mark Ferguson, said: “The TIDA awards being announced today will make a telling impact on how academia and enterprise intertwine towards commercialisation. The projects present significant opportunities for commercialization of research and potential treatments in diverse areas such as new drug delivery system, new transistor devices, 4G wireless communication, cornea repair, SMART needles, hay fever, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, biomass, wastewater treatment and acoustic sensors to detect damage in pipes. Enterprise Ireland has played a key role in the programme’s selection process, further underpinning the market potential of the award recipients.” ENDS

>> Read full story about Eight Research Projects for NUI Galway Announced by Minister Sherlock

Winners of NUI Galway Societies Bursary Announced

Winners of NUI Galway Societies Bursary Announced-image

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The winners of the UCG Spirit of 78/80 Socs Bursary were announced at a special ceremony at NUI Galway recently. Last year the UCG Spirit of 78/80 Socs Bursary was set up to celebrate and encourage outstanding students in NUI Galway. Each year six prizes, in the form of bursaries, worth €1000 each are rewarded to students with exceptional talent who wish to pursue their field of interest. The bursaries are a project which fosters co-operation and vision from the past and present to promote student creativity and empowerment within NUI Galway. The bursaries were divided into performance and non-performance categories. Performances included entrants from backgrounds in dance, alternative, jazz, traditional Irish and rock music as well as singing, juggling, theatre and performance. The recipients of the bursaries were: Soloist Category: Peter Berrill from Headford, Co. Galway. Groups Category: Joint winners: Choral Societies acapella group, ‘Sing n Tonics’, and Orchestra Society’s Colm O’Rourke from Walsh Island, Co. Offaly and Steven Conroy from Port Arlington, Co. Offaly. Performance Category: Sean Leonard from Galway City. Behind the Scenes/Event Management Category: Laura Donnelly from Galway City. Volunteering Category: Eva-Marie Costello from Ballyglunin, Co.Galway. Audience Choice: Oisín Minogue from Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. Speaking after the ceremony Riona Hughes, Societies Officer at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted with the outcome of the Bursaries Award which culminated in a wonderful night of top class entertainment. These bursaries help our very talented students to support them in realising their dreams.” The bursaries are jointly funded by NUI Galway’s societies and from sponsorship by NUI Galway Alumni from the class of 1978 – 1980. To find out more about the Societies Bursary visit www.socs.nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

>> Read full story about Winners of NUI Galway Societies Bursary Announced

NUI Galway Midlands Alumni Club Launch

NUI Galway Midlands Alumni Club Launch-image

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The launch of the Midlands Branch of the NUI Galway Alumni Association will take place on Tuesday, 13 March in the Custume Barrack in Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Hosted by the Officers Mess at the Custume Barracks, the launch will take place at 8.30pm and all graduates and friends of NUI Galway are welcome to attend. According to Sinéad Lenehan of the NUI Galway Midlands Alumni Club, “The Midlands Alumni Club will provide an outlet for graduates to keep in touch with other graduates and University staff, renew friendships and keep up-to-date with developments in the University.” Registration for the event is necessary and can be obtained online at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni or by contacting Máire Aherne on 091 492721. -ENDS-

>> Read full story about NUI Galway Midlands Alumni Club Launch

Leabhar Nua ar Impleachtaí an Dátheangachais don Ghaeilge á Sheoladh ag OÉ Gaillimh

Leabhar Nua ar Impleachtaí an Dátheangachais don Ghaeilge á Sheoladh ag OÉ Gaillimh   -image

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Seolfaidh an Dr Éamon Ó Ciosáin leabhar nua, An Chonair Chaoch: An Mionteangachas sa Dátheangachas, san Aula Maxima, OÉ Gaillimh, Dé Luain 5 Márta ag 6pm. Tá an leabhar eagraithe ag Ciarán Lenoach, Conchúr Ó Giollagáin agus Brian Ó Curnáin. Sa leabhar seo tugtar aghaidh ar thaithí chomhaimseartha chainteoirí Gaeilge ar an dátheangachas comhuaineach. Pléitear go mion sa chnuasach aistí seo an taithí thrioblóideach atá ag cainteoirí mionteanga ar an dátheangachas sóisialta. Maíonn údair an leabhair go ndéanann an dátheangachas aontreoch (.i. aontreoch ón nGaeilge go Béarla) atá á chleachtadh sa phobal mionteanga leas sóisialta agus teangeolaíochta na mórtheanga agus aimhleas na mionteanga. Ach na tuiscintí is nua-aimseartha ar an taithí seo a chur ar fáil, leathnófar an díospóireacht acadúil agus an plé poiblí ar an dátheangachas agus díreofar aird ar na ceisteanna is cinniúnaí i leith inmharthanacht na Gaeilge agus na Gaeltachta mar phobal sainiúil teanga. Is Breac-Ghaeltacht atá fágtha anois den Ghaeltacht stairiúil, nach bhfuil inmharthana mar atá sí. Pléitear anseo mar sin cur chuige réadúil, fearacht na moltaí atá sa Staidéar Cuimsitheach Teangeolaíoch ar Úsáid na Gaeilge sa Ghaeltacht (2007), le dul i ngleic leis na dála seo, chun an Ghaeltacht mar phobal Gaeilge a athnuachan. Is é dea-scéala an phlé atá sa leabhar seo ná go dtuigimid gur drochscéala atá sa dátheangachas comhuaineach sa Ghaeltacht agus nach gcuirimid dallamullóg orainn féin i dtaobh impleachtaí na tuisceana seo don fhéiniúlacht Ghaelach. Le plé eolaíoch macánta agus le léargas fírinneach ar dheacrachtaí ár ndála is ea is féidir linn aghaidh mhisniúil a thabhairt ar an gcinniúint a shárú – coiscéim tosaigh an bheartais dóchais í an tuiscint. “Tá plé oscailte macánta ionraic le fáil sa leabhar seo ar bhuncheisteanna tráthúla (ach achrannacha agus conspóideacha) faoin nGaeilge, agus an plé sin suite i gcomhthéacs scolártha an léinn idirnáisiúnta. Cuirfidh an leabhar seo go mór leis na díospóireachtaí is na dioscúrsaí reatha ar an nGaeilge in Éirinn agus ar mhionteangacha an domhain chomh maith.” An tOllamh Roibeard Ó Maolalaigh, Roinn na Ceiltise is na Gàidhlige, Ollscoil Ghlaschú. D’eascair an leabhar seo as téamaí agus léargais éagsúla a pléadh le linn léachtaí, seimineár agus imeachtaí acadúla eile a reáchtáladh in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh. -CRÍOCH-

>> Read full story about Leabhar Nua ar Impleachtaí an Dátheangachais don Ghaeilge á Sheoladh ag OÉ Gaillimh

Éiríonn thar barr le OÉ Gaillimh i Rangú Nua Idirnáisiúnta

Éiríonn thar barr le OÉ Gaillimh i Rangú Nua Idirnáisiúnta -image

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Rátáil 5 Réalta Bronnta ag Réaltaí QS Bronnadh rátáil cúig réalta ar OÉ Gaillimh inniu i gcóras rátála Réaltaí QS is deireanaí. Bhain OÉ Gaillimh amach na marcanna ab airde sa rátáil nua idirnáisiúnta, a thiocfaidh in ionad ranguithe. Bhí trí ollscoil as Éirinn istigh ar an rátáil QS agus d'éirigh le OÉ Gaillimh agus le Coláiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh na cúig réalta a bhaint amach.   Bhain OÉ Gaillimh cúig as cúig amach san iomlán. Bronnadh na marcanna ab airde uirthi i roinnt réimsí cosúil le taighde, teagasc, idirnáisiúnú, áiseanna, rannpháirteachas agus nuálaíocht.  Ag labhairt dó faoin bhfógra, dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne:  “Is iontach go deo an nuacht í seo do OÉ Gaillimh a thugann an t-aitheantas cuí don dul chun cinn suntasach atá déanta san Ollscoil le blianta beaga anuas.  Dearbhaíonn cúig réalta go bhfuil OÉ Gaillimh ar cheann de na hollscoileanna is fearr in Éirinn, agus go bhfuil ag éirí go maith léi ar an ardán idirnáisiúnta.” Dúirt an Dr Browne chomh maith: “Léiríonn na cúig réalta seo bailíocht shuntasach idirnáisiúnta don teagasc, don taighde agus do ghníomhaíochtaí eile, agus cuireann sé ar chomhchéim muid le hollscoileanna idirnáisiúnta eile ar fud an domhain.  Tugann sé aitheantas d'fhís na hOllscoile infheistíocht leanúnach a dhéanamh i bhforbairt chaipitil agus cuireann sé béim ar láidreacht na gcomhpháirtíochtaí tionscadail agus na ngníomhaíochtaí tráchtála atá againn.  Tá OÉ Gaillimh bródúil as a bhfuil bainte amach againn i rannpháirteachas go mór mór agus táimid an-sásta aitheantas a fháil as an gceannródaíocht seo. Ó tharla go bhfuil an margadh seo chomh hiomaíoch anois táimid ríméadach cúig réalta a bheith againn in idirnáisiúnú mar go ndearbhaíonn sé seo ár seasamh san ardoideachas domhanda." Is iad Réaltaí QS an chéad mheasúnú idirnáisiúnta dá leithéid agus is í foireann taighde Ranguithe Ollscoileanna an Domhain QS a chur le chéile iad.  Déanann an scéim roghnach measúnú ar líon neamhtheoranta ollscoileanna i réimse níos leithne ná aon rangú idirnáisiúnta eile. Tá na réaltaí seo ann do réimsí atá taobh amuigh de shraith táblaí na n-ollscoileanna. Thug saineolaí ar ranguithe, an Dr Ellen Hazelkorn, as Institiúid Teicneolaíochta Átha Cliath “forbairt chliste agus dhosheachanta in earnáil an ardoideachais” ar an gcóras. Dúirt John O’Leary, eagarthóir an Times Good University Guide “D'fhéadfadh Réaltaí QS an bealach a dtomhaistear feidhmiú ollscoile a athrú ó bhonn. Clúdaíonn siad réimsí nach raibh i ranguithe idirnáisiúnta roimhe seo, cosúil le teagasc, rátaí fostaíochta agus rochtain, chomh maith le láidreacht i saindisciplíní.” Measann Réaltaí QS ollscoileanna de réir caighdeáin idirnáisiúnta, as 30 critéar, ní fearacht agus ranguithe. Chomh maith le rátáil iomlán náid go cúig réalta (agus rátáil 5+ do scoth na n-ollscoileanna), meastar na hollscoileanna a roghnaíonn a bheith páirteach i suas le hocht gcinn de réimsí cosúil le taighde, teagasc, infhostaitheacht céimithe, rochtain agus nuálaíocht. Dúirt Ceann Taighde QS Ben Sowter: “Mar gheall ar an imní a bhíonn ar mhic léinn faoi dhífhostaíocht i measc céimithe agus táillí teagaisc ag ardú, teastaíonn bealach níos cuimsithí uathu le comparáid a dhéanamh idir ollscoileanna seachas ranguithe. Tá fianaise níos leithne le fáil i Réaltaí QS faoi fheidhmiú líon neamhtheoranta ollscoileanna, ag cuidiú le mic léinn cinntí níos cliste agus níos eolaí a dhéanamh.” -Críoch- http://www.topuniversities.com/qsstars/ireland

>> Read full story about Éiríonn thar barr le OÉ Gaillimh i Rangú Nua Idirnáisiúnta