Tuesday, 25 September 2018

  NUI Galway Conference Will Look at How Ireland has Changed Since the Financial Crisis  “More reforms are needed to reduce economic and financial vulnerabilities. Ten years on, it is important that we debate what has really changed, and what else needs to change.” Professor Alan Ahearne, NUI Galway NUI Galway’s Whitaker Institute and Moore Institute will host a conference ‘10 Years On: How Ireland Has Changed since the Financial Crisis’ in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society at NUI Galway on Friday, 28 September.  In the fateful decade since the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the Bank Guarantee of September 2008, much has happened in Ireland – financial crisis, deep recession, bailout by the ‘Troika’, a protracted period of austerity followed by vigorous economic recovery. But what has really changed over the last ten years? What developments in the financial and political system have taken place and what has been the cultural effect of the crisis? Will we repeat the same mistakes or find ways to avoid them? This major public event convened by the Whitaker Institute and the Moore Institute will examine these questions with a high profile group of participants, including keynote speeches by former Central Bank of Ireland governor, Patrick Honohan and playwright and author, Colin Murphy whose new two-part TV drama The Bailout on TV3/Virgin Media One, is based on his play of the same name, it looks back at how Ireland’s government had to seek a €64 billion EU/IMF bailout following the crash, and is a follow-up to Colin’s hugely successful The Guarantee. Professor Alan Ahearne, Director of the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway, said:“During the bubble years in the mid-2000s, Irish banks ballooned their lending to an overheated housing market, funded by short-term borrowing from international money markets. The Irish economy and government finances became dangerously dependent on the property sector. This time ten years’ ago, the chickens were coming home to roost. The financial crisis that followed prompted policymakers around the world to change the rules by which banks are regulated, government budgets are managed, and economic imbalances are identified and corrected.  But many of these new systems are untested. Effective early-warning systems are not yet fully developed. New challenges have surfaced over the past decade which may require new global multilateral institutions. And more reforms are needed to reduce economic and financial vulnerabilities. Ten years on, it is important that we debate what has really changed, and what else needs to change.” Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, said: “The Financial Crisis has defined a decade of Irish life. This event gives us a chance to think of the impact of the crisis and the changes it has brought, in economic, cultural and political life. Have we created the conditions to prevent a repeat of this experience? Can we recover from the shadow of austerity without launching into a new crisis? Looking back at the last ten years of global economic crisis, how has Ireland coped with this calamity compared to other countries? The UK responded by going back to its elites, vesting confidence in Eton and Oxbridge-educated politicians and then plunging into Brexit. The US took another course, with people tearing one another apart politically as their financial fortunes eroded. In Ireland, different cultural resources came into play. A certain dose of fatalism, low expectations from the political process, and memories of a country without money proved an unexpected resource. Ireland was the envy of Europe in how accepting we have been of retrenchment and austerity. (Water charges became the unexpected scapegoat!) Will all of this make us better prepared to avoid a repeat experience or more liable to slip into old errors and simply shrug when things are going wrong? What are the psychological effects of going from a Tiger to a lamb in need of outside protection?” Guest panelists include: Angela Knight CBE, former Chief Executive, British Bankers’ Association; Fiona Ross, Chair, CIÉ; Professor John McHale, College of Business, Public Policy and Law, NUI Galway; Frances Ruane, former Director, Economic and Social Research Institute; Stephen Collins, former Political Editor, The Irish Times; Professor Kate Kenny, Queen’s University Belfast and Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Emeritus Professor of History, NUI Galway. The conference will take place on Friday, 28 September, 2018 in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society lecture theatre, North Campus, NUI Galway from 2pm-6pm. The conference is free and open to the public but advance registration is essential at: http://whitakerinstitute.ie/event/10-years-on-how-ireland-has-changed-since-the-financial-crisis/ -Ends-

Monday, 24 September 2018

  NUI Galway to Co-Host Major International Conference in Dublin in 2019  Minister Creed welcomes the awarding of First Annual Scientific Meeting of the One Health European Joint Programme to Ireland Monday, 24 September, 2018: NUI Galway’s Centre for Health from Environment, Ryan Institute is delighted to announce that they will co-host a major international conference, the First Annual Scientific Meeting of the One Health European Joint Programme, which will take place in Dublin from 22-24 May 2019. The event was welcomed by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed. People and animals have a lot in common. We depend on each other to survive. We share the same environment and sometimes the same couch. What’s good for the health of one is usually good for the health of the other. What is bad health for one is also very often bad for the other. For example, both humans and animals use a lot of antibiotics. This has led to the problem of antibiotic resistance which impacts not only humans, but also animals and our environment. The critical link between the health of people, animals and the environment is seen as increasingly important on a very crowded planet. This is captured in the global concept of ‘One Health’ promoted by UN agencies, including the World Health Organization, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organisation. The One Health European Joint Programme (EJP) is a European Commission co-funded scientific collaborative research programme to help prevent and control food-borne and environmental contaminants that affect human health and is co-funded under the EU Research and Innovation Framework Programme, Horizon 2020. The One Health European Joint Programme will strengthen cooperation between its 40 partners (including the Med-Vet-Net Association) from 19 Member States. NUI Galway are one of only five Universities in the One Health European Joint Programme consortium. Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, said: “The hosting of this prestigious meeting arises out of the participation of my Department, Teagasc and NUI Galway in the EU Research and Innovation funded (Horizon 2020) - European Joint Programme on One Health, Zoonoses and Emerging Threats, which is coordinated by the French Agency ANSES.  The One Health project commenced on the 1st January 2018 and represents a significant coordinated investment by participating EU Countries and the EU Commission to combat foodborne zoonoses, antimicrobial resistance and emerging risks.” Dr Dearbháile Morris, lecturer in the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, Deputy Director of the Ryan Institute’s Centre for Health from Environment, and Co-Chair of the organising committee, said: “We are delighted to welcome our European partners to Ireland for the first annual scientific meeting of the One Health EJP. Adopting a One Health approach is key to managing existing and emerging risks to human health. Hosting the first Annual Scientific Meeting of the One Health European Joint Programme in Ireland provides an ideal opportunity to showcase national and international research in the One Health area, foster and enhance ongoing relationships with major research institutes across Europe and build the capacity of Irish researchers to participate in ‘One Health’ research.” NUI Galway and Teagasc are the Irish scientific partners in the One Health European Joint Programme and were jointly successful in a bid to host the first Annual Scientific Meeting in Ireland. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine strategically participates in the project and has established an Irish EJP Mirror Group for strategic dissemination and exploitation purposes. Professor Charles Spillane, Director of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway highlighted: “NUI Galway are delighted to be working with Teagasc under our Strategic Research and Education Alliance to co-host this important conference on One Health. There is an urgent need for more integrated research, innovation and implementation measures on One Health to ensure that zoonotic diseases and antimicrobial resistance do not compromise the health of our societies, both in Ireland and globally.” The programme has been built upon the principle of co-funding from the participating institutes and the European Union Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. As the largest European Joint Programme investment, it will cost €90 million, where 50% of its funding will come from the European Commission and 50% from the participating Member States.   For more information about the Centre for Health from Environment at NUI Galway, visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/cheonehealth/. -Ends-

Monday, 24 September 2018

NUI Galway Announce 2018 Honorary Degrees Recipients Catherine Corless, Sharon Shannon, Helen Rochford Brennan, Brendan Dunford    NUI Galway today announced the names of those to be conferred with Honorary Degrees at the 2018 Autumn Conferring. The four individuals to be conferred during the week of 15 October are:  Catherine Corless, local historian, campaigner on behalf of survivors and deceased of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home Sharon Shannon, internationally-recognised traditional Irish musician Helen Rochford Brennan, activist for rights of people with dementia Brendan Dunford, biodiversity campaigner and founder of BurrenBeo Trust. Speaking on the announcement, NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group. Each one has made an outstanding and distinctive contribution in their field.  In honouring these exceptional individuals, we signal what we value in areas that matter to us and to our society - local history, disability rights, music and environmental sustainability. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals.  Each of those we honour also have a special bond with our region - drawing on the unique experiences, strengths and challenges with which we as a University also engage – history, environment, social policy and creative arts. On behalf of NUI Galway I am delighted to honour them and their achievements in this way.”   Catherine Corless is a local historian known for her research into the Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co. Galway and advocacy work on behalf of the survivors and the children who lost their lives.  She has been awarded the Bar of Ireland Human Rights Award in recognition of ‘exceptional humanitarian service’, and a Rehab Group People of the Year Award in 2018.   Sharon Shannon is a renowned traditional Irish musician from Co. Clare based in Galway who has influenced a generation of musicians.  With over 10 multi-award winning albums she has received many awards including Hot Press and Meteor Awards, and was the youngest ever recipient of the Meteor Lifetime Achievement Award.   Helen Rochford Brennan has been at the forefront of developing new ideas and human rights strategies for people with dementia in Ireland and Europe since her diagnosis with dementia in 2012.  Currently Chair of the EWGPWD in Alzheimer Europe she has an international track record as activist for people with dementia.   Brendan Dunford has been instrumental in re-invigorating biodiversity within the Burren through his initiative around Burren LIFE and the Burren programme.  He has applied science to a societal problem of biodiversity and heritage loss, working with communities to produce more sustainable food systems.  He was an instigator of The Burrenbeo Trust – a landscape charity dedicated to connecting all of us to our places and highlighting our role in caring for them.   -ends-     Céimithe Oinigh 2018 Fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh Catherine Corless, Sharon Shannon, Helen Rochford Brennan, Brendan Dunford Inniu d’fhógair OÉ Gaillimh ainmneacha na ndaoine a mbronnfar Céimeanna Oinigh orthu ag Bronnadh an Fhómhair, 2018. Seo a leanas ainmneacha an cheathrair a mbronnfar céim orthu an tseachtain dar tús an 15 Deireadh Fómhair:  -          Catherine Corless, staraí áitiúil, feachtasóir ar son na ndaoine a bhásaigh in Áras Máithreacha agus Naíonán Thuama agus ar son iad siúd a tháinig slán as -          Sharon Shannon, ceoltóir traidisiúnta Éireannach a bhfuil cáil dhomhanda uirthi -          Helen Rochford Brennan, gníomhaí do chearta daoine a bhfuil néaltrú ag gabháil dóibh -          Brendan Dunford, feachtasóir bithéagsúlachta agus bunaitheoir Iontaobhas BurrenBeo. Ag labhairt dó faoin bhfógra, dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Tá an t-ádh ar OÉ Gaillimh céimithe oinigh den scoth a bheith aige in imeacht na mblianta agus is cinnte gur grúpa ar leith iad céimithe oinigh na bliana seo. Tá a c(h)ion féin déanta ag gach céimí oinigh daoibh ina réimse féin.  Trí chéim oinigh a bhronnadh ar na daoine iontacha seo, táimid ag tabhairt aitheantais do na nithe a bhfuil meas againn orthu i réimsí atá tábhachtach dúinn féin agus dár sochaí - stair áitiúil, cearta míchumais, ceol agus inbhuanaitheacht comhshaoil. Tá an-áthas ar OÉ Gaillimh a bheith in ann aitheantas a thabhairt do na daoine eisceachtúla seo.”  Tá ceangal ar leith ag gach duine a bhfuilimid ag bronnadh céim oinigh orthu lenár réigiún – agus cleachtadh acu ar an taithí, na láidreachtaí agus na dúshláin uathúla a bhaineann linne mar Ollscoil chomh maith - stair, comhshaol, polasaí sóisialta agus na healaíona cruthaitheacha. Thar ceann OÉ Gaillimh tá áthas orm ceiliúradh a dhéanamh orthu agus ar a gcuid éachtaí.” Is staraí áitiúil í Catherine Corless agus tá cáil uirthi mar gheall ar an taighde a rinne sí ar Áras Máithreacha agus Naíonán Thuama, Co. na Gaillimhe agus mar gheall ar an obair abhcóideachta a rinne sí ar son na ndaoine a tháinig slán as agus ar son na leanaí a bhásaigh ann.  Mar aitheantas ar a ‘sársheirbhís dhaonnúil’ bronnadh Gradam Chearta an Duine de chuid Chomhairle Bharra na hÉireann uirthi agus bronnadh Gradam Rehab do Phearsa na Bliana uirthi sa bhliain 2018. Is ceoltóir traidisiúnta Éireannach cáiliúil í Sharon Shannon as Co. an Chláir atá ag cur fúithi i nGaillimh agus chuaigh sí i gcion ar ghlúin ceoltóirí.  Tá gradaim amach bainte amach ag 10 n-albam dá cuid agus is iomaí duais atá buaite aici lena n-áirítear Gradaim Hot Press agus Gradam Meteor, agus bhí sí ar an duine ab óige riamh ar bronnadh Gradam Saoil Meteor uirthi. Tá Helen Rochford Brennan ar thús cadhnaíochta maidir le smaointe nua agus straitéisí chearta an duine a fhorbairt do dhaoine a bhfuil néaltrú ag gabháil dóibh in Éirinn agus san Eoraip ón uair a dúradh léi go raibh néaltrú ag gabháil di féin in 2012.  Faoi láthair tá sí ina Cathaoirleach ar EWGPWD in Alzheimer Europe agus tá a cion déanta aici ar leibhéal idirnáisiúnta mar ghníomhaí do dhaoine a bhfuil néaltrú ag gabháil dóibh. Bhí Brendan Dunford lárnach i mborradh in athuair a chur faoi bhithéagsúlacht i mBoirinn trína thionscnamh Burren LIFE agus trí chlár Bhoirne.  Bhain sé úsáid as eolaíocht chun dul i ngleic le fadhb shochaíoch bhithéagsúlachta agus caillteanas oidhreachta, agus é i mbun oibre le pobail chun córais bhia níos inbhuanaithe a tháirgeadh.  Bhí sé ar dhuine den dream a chur tús le hIontaobhas Burrenbeo - carthanas tírdhreacha dírithe ar muid ar fad a cheangal lenár n-áiteanna agus aird a tharraingt ar an ról atá againn maidir le haire a thabhairt do na háiteanna sin. -críoch-

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

NUI Galway Conference to feature banking, business and financial experts NUI Galway’s Whitaker Institute and Moore Institute will host a conference ‘10 Years On: How Ireland Has Changed since the Financial Crisis’ in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society at NUI Galway on Friday, 28 September.  In the fateful decade since the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the Bank Guarantee of September 2008, much has happened in Ireland – financial crisis, deep recession, bailout by the ‘Troika’, a protracted period of austerity followed by vigorous economic recovery. But what has really changed over the last ten years? What developments in the financial and political system have taken place and what has been the cultural effect of the crisis? Will we repeat the same mistakes or find ways to avoid them? This major public event convened by the Whitaker Institute and the Moore Institute will examine these questions with a high profile group of participants, including keynote speeches by former Central Bank of Ireland governor, Patrick Honohan and playwright and author, Colin Murphy. Guest panelists include: Angela Knight CBE, former Chief Executive, British Bankers’ Association; Fiona Ross, Chair, CIÉ; Professor John McHale, College of Business, Public Policy and Law, NUI Galway; Frances Ruane, former Director, Economic and Social Research Institute; Stephen Collins, former Political Editor, The Irish Times; Professor Kate Kenny, Queen’s University Belfast and Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Emeritus Professor of History, NUI Galway. The event will be hosted and chaired by Professor Alan Ahearne, Director of the Whitaker Institute and Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway. President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh will provide opening remarks. The conference will take place on Friday, 28 September, 2018 in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society lecture theatre, North Campus, NUI Galway from 2pm-6pm. The conference is free and open to the public but advance registration is essential at: http://whitakerinstitute.ie/event/10-years-on-how-ireland-has-changed-since-the-financial-crisis/ -Ends-

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

A new European-wide training network for early stage researchers in the field of disability rights has received €4.1m in funding from the European Commission’s Marie Curie programme. This network is known as the DARE Project (Disability Advocacy and Research for Europe) and will be co-ordinated by the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, with the collaboration of seven partner institutions: the Institute for Social and Political Sciences, Portugal; Maastricht University, Netherlands; University of Leeds, UK; the European Disability Forum; the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities; the University of Iceland; and Swiss Paraplegic Research. Dr Eilionóir Flynn, Principal Investigator at NUI Galway, said: “The primary aim of DARE is to equip a new generation of researchers to respond to global challenges facing persons with disabilities and policy makers. Its goal is to give legitimacy, through research, to the lived experience of persons with disabilities, as a basis for law reform.” Fifteen Early Stage Researchers will be recruited across the network on a full-time basis over three years starting in September 2019 and will explore and develop recommendations for disability law and policy reform in light of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  All of the researchers will also have the opportunity to gain invaluable and funded work experience with leading civil society and public service organisations such as; JUSTICE, UK; AGE Platform Europe, Belgium; the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Switzerland; the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, USA; the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions, Belgium; Pi Consultancy, Netherlands; University of Limerick, Ireland; Lumos, UK; Christian Blind Mission, Ireland; European Social Network, Belgium; European Association of Palliative Care, Belgium; and Vision Sense, UK. -Ends-

Monday, 17 September 2018

NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights has formed a new collaboration with GLAN (Global Legal Action Network), which sees the creation of a placement scheme linking the Centre’s students to GLAN's high profile international legal actions. The collaboration is the first of its kind in Ireland and involves GLAN relocating some of its operations from London to Galway. The collaboration will be officially launched with a public seminar on ‘Transnational Lawyering in the Public Interest’ on Tuesday, 18 September in the Aula Maxima. The event is free and open to the public, including students and legal practitioners, and the audience will be able to hear the reflection of two guest senior practitioners, Kirsty Brimlow, QC and Colm O’Dwyer, SC on the potential for GLAN’s innovative strategy and their own experiences. GLAN’s collaboration with the Irish Centre for Human Rights will develop a legal education exchange where the Centre’s students can gain valuable experience working directly on legal actions tackling issues such as climate change, war crimes, torture and modern-day slavery. This collaboration follows on foot of a successful pilot scheme over the past summer. The event will be a chance for people to learn about GLAN’s unique line of work, taking legal actions across borders challenging powerful actors involved in human rights violations. Keynote speaker at the seminar, Kirsty Brimlow, Queen’s Counsel (QC) of Doughty Street Chambers in the UK, Chair of the UK’s Bar Human Rights Committee and a member of GLAN’s Advisory Committee, will talk about her own legal work on overseas human rights issues in Nigeria, Colombia, Iraq and Iran to name but a few. Kirsty practices in international human rights, public law and criminal law and has led trainings of Nigerian Bar Association barristers in the rights and protections of Internally Displaced People and Environmental Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Niger Delta. Kirsty will speak about her role in work on Guantanamo Bay cases before the United States Military Commission and on behalf of the Yazidis to the International Criminal Court. Colm O’ Dwyer, Senior Counsel (SC) will moderate the event. Colm is an Irish barrister who specialises in human rights, asylum, immigration and public law. He regularly pleads before the Superior Courts in Ireland and has appeared for the applicants/plaintiffs in a number of significant and frequently cited cases in the areas of asylum, protection, citizenship, EU and immigration law. Colm is a former member of the Bar Council and was the first chair of the Bar of Ireland Human Rights Committee. He is currently chair of the non-governmental organisation, Ruhama, which assists and supports women affected by prostitution and victims of trafficking. Other speakers include Professor Siobhan Mullally, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights in NUI Galway and Dr Gearóid Ó Cuinn, Director of GLAN, whose team will be working directly with LLM and PhD students at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, on a range of transnational lawyering projects. Welcoming the new collaboration, Dr Gearóid Ó Cuinn, Director of GLAN, said: “This unique collaboration will provide GLAN with an Irish base to continue exploring new ways of tackling international human rights violations. As the Irish Centre for Human Rights has a track record of attracting highly capable students we have no doubt this placement scheme will strengthen our goal of identifying and pursuing impactful legal actions.” Professor Siobhán Mullally, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to launch this project with GLAN, to ensure that our graduates develop the legal skills necessary to secure accountability for human rights violations. GLAN’s work on the rights of migrants, climate change and air strikes in Yemen, addresses some of the most pressing issues of human rights and international humanitarian law today.” The event will take place in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway from 5pm-6.30pm on Tuesday, 18 September 2018. For more information about GLAN, visit: https://www.glanlaw.org/our-work -Ends-

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

4,000 students, parents and teachers expected from 5-6 October as new courses attract attention NUI Galway is launching a number of new degree courses in 2019 and will be showcasing them at NUI Galway’s up-coming Open Days on Friday, 5 and Saturday, 6 October. There is a packed programme of events lined up for the two days, including over 100 talks and masterclasses designed to give students a real insight into their options. Among the new courses on offer are BA (History and Globalisation), BA Education (Computer Science and Mathematical Studies), Law and Human Rights, and a new Law and Business degree amongst others. Lecturers and current students will be available at subject-specific stands in the main exhibition area in the Bailey Allen Hall. They will answer questions on courses, CAO points, employability, career progression routes, study abroad opportunities and other information such as accommodation and fees. SUSI, the grant awarding body will also be there to help answer any questions around eligibility and the application process. Advising students and parents on the search for the right course Caroline Duggan, Student Recruitment Officer has six top tips: “Start your research online and get a copy of the NUI Galway prospectus. Once you have reviewed course structure and content it is vital to attend an Open Day, talking to those lecturing on the course and those who are already studying on the course gives students and parents an invaluable insight into what the content of the course is like, but also what university life is like in Galway.” Stressing the importance of being completely informed Ms Duggan recommends making the most of Open Days by asking as many questions as possible: “Ask lots and lots of questions. NUI Galway hosts a special information session for parents which is an invaluable forum to get information on student supports, fees and accommodation.” Lastly Caroline Duggan recommends parents and students get off campus: “Remember you are not just choosing a course you are choosing where you are going to live for the next three to four years so it’s important that you can see yourself living there and being happy.” The information session for parents will be hosted by John Hannon, Director of Student Services, and will take place in the Aula Maxima on Saturday, 6 October at 11am, and will be repeated again at 1pm. To get the most out of the Open Days, which run from 9am to 3pm, visitors are encouraged to view the timetable of talks and full programme in advance at http://www.nuigalway.ie/opendays/programme/. To find out more visit www.nuigalway.ie/opendays, phone 091 494398 or email visit@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

International planning consultants BDP to support development plan for Nun’s Island lands NUI Galway today (Tuesday 18th September) announced the appointment of master planning consultants to assist in the preparation of a plan which will result in a strategy for a structured approach to regeneration of the lands at Nun’s Island in Galway City. The former industrial area in Galway City currently contains a number of uses including residential, education, commercial, civic and cultural as well as a number of disused buildings in the ownership of NUI Galway, unused spaces and a valuable public realm which includes a number of waterways. The University and Galway City Council are collaborating to develop a master plan to investigate the potential to optimise the use of this underutilised city centre space through the appropriate mix of redevelopment and public realm spaces. International planning and design consultants BDP have been appointed as master planners and bring global experience in planning, urban design, landscape architecture and community engagement. BDP were the master planner and lead architect for Liverpool’s city centre urban renewal scheme and have also developed the master plan for the River Lagan area of Belfast in recent years.   The first phase of the process which will commence over the coming months will involve a programme of consultation with the public, including focused engagement with local residents, community and business groups as well as other interested parties. This consultation process will inform the development of an integrated masterplan scheduled to be completed next summer. Speaking today President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “This piece of Galway City has the potential to generate a range of community, economic, social, environmental and educational benefits and this master planning exercise will deliver fresh perspectives on the development of University lands and properties on Nun’s Island. “Our advancement as a University is influenced strongly by the strengths of our hinterland and we welcome all views that will contribute to the long-term development of Nun’s Island for the betterment of our community. This process will result in a plan with options for regenerating the area and we look forward to hearing the ideas of local residents, businesses, community groups and other interested parties as we collectively look to the future for this part of the city.” The plan will be developed in partnership with Galway City Council as part of the commitments in Policy 5.1 of the Galway City Council Development Plan 2017-2023. Brendan McGrath, Chief Executive of Galway City Council said: “Nun’s Island is a significant land bank within Galway City Centre. A visionary plan for its regeneration that takes account of the objectives of the City Development Plan is paramount to the future of Galway City. Galway City Council looks forward to collaborating with NUI Galway to secure a high quality redevelopment of this important area to the benefit of the city and its people”. The outcome of the process will be a developed strategy for regeneration, taking into account the current social and economic environment, so the plan can be fully realised. It will take cognisance of the statutory City Plan and the measures included in the Galway Transport Strategy. This appointment will complement and shortly coincide with the Galway City Council’s appointment of consultants to prepare a Public Realm Strategy for the city centre and will see all parties coordinating to deliver the best options for regeneration and rejuvenation for the city. The University will shortly publish details of its public consultation plan which will afford opportunities for all to have an input to shape the process. The first community meetings on the subject will happen in during October & November. All local residents and businesses will be contacted directly and invited to participate in the process.  Other interested parties can email nunsisland@nuigalway.ie to be kept informed.  ENDS

Monday, 17 September 2018

A lecture series hosted by the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway, will continue with the University’s new Established Professor of Modern Irish Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin. The event will take place on Thursday, 4 October at 5pm, in Room GO10 in the Moore Institute. Drawing on work among speakers of Irish and the other Gaelic languages, Professor Ó hIfearnáin’s talk will discuss three concepts at the core of minority language sociolinguistics; nativeness, anonymity and language transmission. Maintenance and revival in minority languages have emphasised nativeness, dúchas, the inherent link between a language, its community of speakers and the unique place they are from. In contrast, while widely spoken languages also have their historic homelands, their modern standard varieties owe their power to their anonymity – they are advanced as being the languages of order, reason, commerce and development, international culture and communication. They are seen as the languages of everywhere and yet of nowhere in particular. Language policy and practice for minoritised language revival has to negotiate a path that values traditional language and culture but moves beyond nativeness alone to make the language more ‘anonymous’ - available to everyone for all normal uses in contemporary society. Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin is Established Professor of Modern Irish in NUI Galway. He was previously at the University of Limerick from 1996-2017, and with the Department of Breton and Celtic at University of Rennes 2 from 1990, after periods as a lecturer and research student in the University of Ulster at Coleraine and Utrecht University. He holds a BA and PhD in Irish from the University of Ulster at Coleraine. His research and teaching mostly focuses on questions of language and society, from the 17th century to date, and in particular the contemporary linguistics and sociolinguistics of Irish and other minoritised languages. Dr Seán Crosson, Vice-Dean College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to continue this lecture series which provides a great opportunity for the University to make the general public more aware of the world-leading innovative research being undertaken in the college.” Upcoming speakers in the New Professors’ Inaugural lecture series will include: Professor Molly Byrne, School of Psychology, on Thursday, 8 November, at 5pm Professor Enrico Dal Lago, History, on Thursday, 13 December, at 5pm -Ends-

Monday, 17 September 2018

Commitment to six-point plan to achieve a sustainable, competitive university system  for Ireland’s future talent  Ireland’s seven universities have today (September 17th, 2018) committed to a Charter to grow and develop the university education system for this and future generations of students. Ireland’s Future Talent - A Charter for Irish Universities commits to transform capability and performance across a range of key criteria to deliver a sustainable, competitive university system for Ireland’s foreseeable needs. Professor Patrick O’Shea, President of UCC and Chair of the Irish Universities Association said: “Ireland has long extoled the virtue of our indigenous talent, nurtured by our education system. However, a decade of under-investment by the State, the demographic bulge and a dynamic, competitive international education environment forces us all to confront stark realities. It is incumbent on the State, on universities and on society to implement initiatives to develop and fully realise our national talent. The time for talking is over. The time for change has come.”              “The importance of the Charter is that it underpins a commitment to substantial change. It calls out the challenges. It identifies solutions. It puts meat on the bones of the Government’s ambition. As a society, we must commit to and enable this change. This Charter captures our commitment and it is now incumbent on the Government to meet the challenge,” he concluded.    The Charter identifies six central objectives and commits to delivering a fit for purpose university system for the evolving demands of society. Its target is to enable the Irish education system to become the best in Europe by 2026, thereby achieving the Government’s ambition for the national education sector. The development of the Charter, the first of its kind in third level education history, has been engineered by the Irish Universities Association and was launched at an event in Dublin today. Jim Miley, Director General of the Irish Universities Association said: “Universities worldwide are transforming and the Charter to which we have committed today is designed to move Irish universities to the forefront of that change by jointly committing to a range of measures that better support students, staff and research and that will deliver in the national interest. This is a mission-critical initiative for the combined universities. The political community now needs to step up to the challenge and match the ambition and commitment demonstrated by the universities.” He added: “We require a transformation of how university education is controlled including freeing universities from the grinding levers of State to allow them innovate and grow. This requires more flexible structures combined with strong governance and accountability.” “Every politician is aware of the major funding deficit for third level, yet no progress has been made on re-vamping the overall structure, despite clear options proposed by the Government-appointed expert group. Too many are hiding behind the fig leaf of the option they don’t like.  Meanwhile, the scale of funding deficit continues to grow as more and more students enter our universities. We share the government’s ambition for education but that ambition needs to be matched with a commitment to provide the structures and funding required to deliver it. It’s time to get real on this,” he concluded.               Ireland’s Future Talent - A Charter for Irish Universities can be accessed in full at: https://www.iua.ie/iua-launch-irelands-future-talent-a-charter-for-irish-universities-17-sept-2018/ The Charter sets out six core commitments by universities, which will work in partnership with government and other stakeholders, to fully deliver. In summary they are: 1.       Build on the quality of the student experience in a digital age. The student population in Irish universities will surge by 25,000 by 2030, coinciding with rapid advances in digital learning and a need to expand lifelong learning opportunities. To meet these challenges, universities commit to: Developing a national programmein digital learning in partnership with government; Increasing lifelong learning for people aged 25 to 64 from the current 6.5% to the EU average of 10.7% by 2030; Increasing our international reach by increasing international student numbers to 15%of the overall student population and enabling 20% of students to undertake study or placement abroad by 2025. This requires investment to refurbish decaying infrastructure, build capacity and provide the systems needed for an increasingly digital and flexible learning environment. 2.       Increase the scale, scope and impact of investment in research and innovation. While sustained public investment in R&D continued through the recession, Ireland still lags behind the OECD average of 2.4% of GDP at just 1.2%. To build capacity for world-class research, universities commit to: Expanding engagement between universities and industry on knowledge transfer and innovation; Increasing the output of PhD graduates by at least 30% over the next 10 years. Growing R&D investment to at least 2% of GPD will require an investment of €680 million per annum. Securing additional EU funds from the Horizon Europe EU Research Programme should be a core Government priority. 3.       Expand student access and increase engagement with communities and industry. The Disability Access Route to Education programme has resulted in a 70% increase in new entrants with disabilities, while the Higher Education Access Route programme has grown the numbers from priority socio-economic target groups by 31%. Universities will further grow these numbers, address progression rates and build on the success of Campus Engage. Universities commit to: Increasing access numbers by a further 30% by 2025; Providing better opportunities for students to work with civoc society organisations through accredited learning, growth in engaged research and promotion of studentvolunteer.ie; Strengthening and deepening industry links to align with workforce demands and build more partnerships. 4.       Support a programme of staff development and increased equality and diversity. University staff numbers and pay scales are controlled by central government, which limits universities’ capacity to respond flexibly to rapidly changing needs. All seven Irish universities have now been awarded Athena Swan Bronze status, a key indicator of progress on equality and diversity. To build on this, universities commit to: Implementing a professional development framework for university staff; Implementing the recommendations of the Gender Equality Taskforce on Higher Education to advance diversity, inclusion and equality. Securing agreement on a Researcher Career Development and Employment Framework to provide a secure basis for researchers to develop a career path. To allow delivery of these commitments, the rigid and centralised control on university staffing should be changed to allow greater flexibility for each university to develop bespoke HR plans. 5.       Create more flexible and accountable structures. International evidence points to the fact that the most successful universities are those with the greatest levels of independence coupled with strong governance and accountability. Universities are committed to: Working with government on legislative reform to deliver a more flexible operating structure, with a better capacity to respond to the needs of the economy and society in general. Improving accountability through better governance structures, in accordance with best international practice. To deliver a more effective and efficient university system we need the removal of restrictive measures in relation to employment, in line with the principles set out in the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030; 6.       Secure the investment and resources to achieve our ambitions. While the Government has commenced reversing the funding decline, long-awaited policy decisions on revamping the overall structure of funding have been delayed. A definitive decision on a sustainable funding model for higher education is urgently required to prevent risks to our economic competitiveness. A more sustainable university system can be delivered by: Increasing State investment in Higher Education in each of the next three budgets by €150m, €180m and €230m respectively. A more detailed plan for the capital investment in higher education, referenced in Project Ireland 2040, is required and should include a dedicated refurbishment programme.  Ends

Monday, 17 September 2018

NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights has formed a new collaboration with GLAN (Global Legal Action Network), which sees the creation of a placement scheme linking the Centre’s students to GLAN's high profile international legal actions. The collaboration is the first of its kind in Ireland and involves GLAN relocating some of its operations from London to Galway. The collaboration will be officially launched with a public seminar on ‘Transnational Lawyering in the Public Interest’ on Tuesday, 18 September in the Aula Maxima. The event is free and open to the public, including students and legal practitioners, and the audience will be able to hear the reflection of two guest senior practitioners, Kirsty Brimlow, QC and Colm O’Dwyer, SC on the potential for GLAN’s innovative strategy and their own experiences. GLAN’s collaboration with the Irish Centre for Human Rights will develop a legal education exchange where the Centre’s students can gain valuable experience working directly on legal actions tackling issues such as climate change, war crimes, torture and modern-day slavery. This collaboration follows on foot of a successful pilot scheme over the past summer. The event will be a chance for people to learn about GLAN’s unique line of work, taking legal actions across borders challenging powerful actors involved in human rights violations. Keynote speaker at the seminar, Kirsty Brimlow, Queen’s Counsel (QC) of Doughty Street Chambers in the UK, Chair of the UK’s Bar Human Rights Committee and a member of GLAN’s Advisory Committee, will talk about her own legal work on overseas human rights issues in Nigeria, Colombia, Iraq and Iran to name but a few. Kirsty practices in international human rights, public law and criminal law and has led trainings of Nigerian Bar Association barristers in the rights and protections of Internally Displaced People and Environmental Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Niger Delta. Kirsty will speak about her role in work on Guantanamo Bay cases before the United States Military Commission and on behalf of the Yazidis to the International Criminal Court. Colm O’ Dwyer, Senior Counsel (SC) will moderate the event. Colm is an Irish barrister who specialises in human rights, asylum, immigration and public law. He regularly pleads before the Superior Courts in Ireland and has appeared for the applicants/plaintiffs in a number of significant and frequently cited cases in the areas of asylum, protection, citizenship, EU and immigration law. Colm is a former member of the Bar Council and was the first chair of the Bar of Ireland Human Rights Committee. He is currently chair of the non-governmental organisation, Ruhama, which assists and supports women affected by prostitution and victims of trafficking. Other speakers include Professor Siobhan Mullally, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights in NUI Galway and Dr Gearóid Ó Cuinn, Director of GLAN, whose team will be working directly with LLM and PhD students at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, on a range of transnational lawyering projects. Welcoming the new collaboration, Dr Gearóid Ó Cuinn, Director of GLAN, said: “This unique collaboration will provide GLAN with an Irish base to continue exploring new ways of tackling international human rights violations. As the Irish Centre for Human Rights has a track record of attracting highly capable students we have no doubt this placement scheme will strengthen our goal of identifying and pursuing impactful legal actions.” Professor Siobhán Mullally, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to launch this project with GLAN, to ensure that our graduates develop the legal skills necessary to secure accountability for human rights violations. GLAN’s work on the rights of migrants, climate change and air strikes in Yemen, addresses some of the most pressing issues of human rights and international humanitarian law today.” The event will take place in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway from 5pm-6.30pm on Tuesday, 18 September 2018. For more information about GLAN, visit: https://www.glanlaw.org/our-work -Ends-

Monday, 17 September 2018

Culture Night will return on Friday, 21 September with a large number of venues and public spaces across Ireland opening their doors to host a programme of free entertainment, as part of an all-island celebration of arts, heritage, science and culture. Now in its thirteenth year, the free annual event encourages more people of all ages to visit cultural venues and to experience culture in their own locality. Following a very popular collaboration on Culture Night 2017, staff and students of NUI Galway will partner with the Galway Music Residency again this year. Together, they will kick off Culture Night with a lunchtime experience of music, song, sculpture and performance on the theme of ‘Space’. On the O’Donoghue Centre stage and in the adjacent buildings at 1pm, the ConTempo Quartet, NUI Galway Staff Singers, NUI Galway Drama and Performance Studies students and sculptor James Fleming will present an audio-visual show that invites viewers to look to the sky and reimagine the space around them. CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Medical Devices at NUI Galway, is also teaming up with the National Aquarium (Galway Atlantaquaria) to showcase the science behind the shores of Galway Bay. ‘Sea-search: Marine Inspired Research’ is an interactive, educational science investigation of the links between marine science and medical devices. Researchers taking part in the event will talk about a range of research across these two fields currently underway in Galway, from microplastics and animal regeneration, to drug delivery and barnacle inspired glues! Participants will meet at 5:45pm on Grattan beach for a walk through the Salthill seascape, followed by a trip to the Galway Atlantaquaria to learn about how marine life has inspired modern advances in medicine and technology. Sea-search is an ideal family event where participants of all ages get to experience the worlds of medical and marine science and discover amazing facts and experiments designed to inspire the next generation of ‘Sea-searchers’. To book a place on this free event visit www.seasearch.ie. The Computer and Communications Museum of Ireland at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics will open its doors from 6-8pm. The public are invited to enjoy the sights and sounds of the early days of computer gaming from the 1970s and 1980s with classics such as Pacman, Tetris, the commodore Vic-20, and many more. Canadian poet, Chad Norman, will also perform a special poetry reading in the James Hardiman Library from 1-2pm. Chad will be joined at this lunchtime event by local poets Celeste Auge, Gerry Hanberry and Mary Madec. Admission to these events are free and open to all and early arrival is recommended. For further information on all the events taking place for Culture Night 2018 visit https://culturenight.ie/. -Ends-

Friday, 14 September 2018

NUI Galway researchers lead air pollution study showing that solid fuels including ‘climate friendly’ biomass residential solid fuels lead to extraordinarily high levels of air pollution An air pollution study, led by researchers at NUI Galway’s School of Physics and Ryan Institute’s Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies have found that Dublin’s PM2.5 air pollution (Particulate Matter airborne smog, smoke and haze particles smaller in size than 2.5 microns) can surpass the World Health Organisation’s recommended 24-hour Air Quality Guideline. Over the 2-month winter period from late November 2016 to late January 2017, the daily Average Quality Guideline (AQG) was breached every one in five days and during the main emission period of these events (late evening), hourly levels were frequently 10 times higher than the 24-hour AQG threshold (25 µg m-3). The Average Quality Guideline is more-strict than current regulatory levels but is not to be regarded as a safe level since adverse health impacts can still occur well below the AQG threshold. This research, which was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency Research Programme 2014-2020, was published today (14 September 2018) in the international journal, Nature Sustainability. The research team, led by NUI Galway’s Dr Jurgita Ovadnevaite, deployed a pilot air pollution network (AEROSOURCE), comprising highly-sophisticated, next-generation air pollution fingerprinting technology, with the capability of identifying specific sources of even the smallest amounts of air pollution. AEROSOURCE, the first national network of its kind, attributed 70% of the extraordinarily-high pollution levels during these events to peat and wood burning, despite only a small percentage of residential homes using peat or wood as a primary fuel type (13% based on the closest census data). Irrespective of the different timescales of these events and census data, all of the exceedance levels were driven by peat and wood rather than coal or oil, or even non-residential sources such as traffic. The contribution from coal use is strikingly low and highlights the success of the Smoky Coal Ban which was first introduced in Dublin in 1990 and has since been introduced in many towns and cities across the country. Like most severe air pollution events, they are associated with cold and generally stagnant winter days when fuel consumption is high and dispersion is low. However, the study found these exceedance levels are driven by solid fuels, some of which are marketed as more ‘climate-friendly’ than fossil-fuels. The climate policy shift from fossil fuels to ‘low-carbon’ or ‘carbon-neutral’ fuels is aimed at mitigating the atmospheric accumulation of greenhouse gases responsible for driving global warming, but in terms of residential heating, this shift is often towards wood (including pellets), considered as ‘low-carbon’ or ‘carbon-neutral’ biomass fuels and other solid fuels, which can lead to disproportionately poor air quality. That is to say, what is considered climate-friendly is not necessarily environmentally friendly across the board. Professor Colin O’Dowd, Director of NUI Galway’s Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies, said: “The disproportionate sensitivity of air pollution levels to solid fuel, including climate-friendly ‘low-carbon’ solid biomass fuel is quite concerning since fuels like wood are one of the most popular choices of ‘low carbon’ biomass fuel and consumption of this fuel type is set to double across Europe by 2020 (from 2016), and to triple globally by 2030. The results from this study suggest that along with promoting low-carbon or carbon-neutral solid fuels, it is especially important to fully consider the health impact from any associated air pollution emission. “The EU is currently conducting a major review of its Clean Air for Europe directive with a view to delivering on the aim of its 7th Environment Action Program to adopt World Health Organisation air quality values by 2020. It is important that this innovative research, which highlights the disproportionate impact of solid fuels on air quality, is fully considered in developing future EU legislative and regulatory frameworks to protect public health and the environment. The smoky coal ban did its job where it was applied and the nationwide extension in 2019 will be of further benefit but we need to remain vigilant and consolidate those victories by developing policies that continue to reduce air pollution and improve public health.” Professor O’Dowd added: “These striking results also illustrate the importance of considering the wider impacts of climate policy to avoid negative health impacts, as occurred with diesel vehicles, and ensure positive co-benefits and win-win outcomes, so that actions to mitigate against climate change benefit air quality and vice versa.” The study, comprising an international team from NUI Galway, University College Cork, Italian CNR-ISAC in Bologna and the Chinese Academy of Science in Xi’an was funded by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency, Science Foundation Ireland-MaREI Centre and the Chinese Academy of Science. To read the full study entitled ‘Extreme Air Pollution from Residential Solid Fuel Burning’ in Nature Sustainability, visit: https://www.nature.com/natsustain/ -Ends-

Monday, 3 September 2018

His Excellency Paolo Serpi, Ambassador of Italy to Ireland, and Professor Brian Hughes, Dean of International Affairs, NUI Galway, will officially open a new exhibition, Cover Revolution! Illustrators and the New Face of Italian Publishing, at NUI Galway on Wednesday, 26 September. The exhibition, curated by Melania Gazzotti, will run in the Hardiman Building from 26 September to 28 October. A revolution is taking place on Italian book­stores shelves, and more and more often illus­trators are being asked to use their colour palettes and distinctive marks to update publishers’ visual identities or redefine an author’s image. A handful of publish­ers, talented art directors, and a group of internationally acclaimed Italian illustra­tors, known for their original and powerful work, are responsible for this change. The idea to document this propitious moment in Italian illustration came to life after ob­serving this phenomenon, and this exhibition brings to light the work of some of the most loved and respected Italian illustrators: Fran­co Matticchio, Lorenzo Mattotti, Emiliano Ponzi, Guido Scarabottolo, Gianluigi Toc­cafondo, and Olimpia Zagnoli. Professor Paolo Bartoloni, Established Professor and Head of Italian at NUI Galway, said: “This exhibition provides a unique opportunity to observe the synergy between the creative practices of visual artists and those of authors, and the ways in which the written word evokes incredibly powerful and captivating images. The colours in this exhibition are vibrant, and the echoes of various styles, especially surrealism and modernism, uncanny.” The exhibition launch, which is open to the public, will take place in G010, Hardiman Building, NUI Galway from 6-8pm. -Ends-

Friday, 14 September 2018

Applauds local newspapers’ successes – they remain trusted brands in their regions Urges local newspaper editors to be ‘brave and innovate’ in the digital space Recommends Oireachtas Committee on Communications hold hearings into the future of local journalism and its funding Suggests new public broadcasting charge be used to support local journalism Timely reform of the libel laws in Ireland are needed to protect local newspapers against frivolous defamation action according to the new Head of Journalism at NUI Galway, Tom Felle. He made his remarks in a keynote address to local newspaper editors from across the country this week at a conference in NUI Galway marking the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Press Council and Office of the Press Ombudsman in Ireland.  “Ireland’s arcane libel laws were eventually reformed in 2009. A lot has happened in the meantime and the legislation is now completely outdated in terms of dealing with defamation on social media. It’s also now timely to look at updating the legislation, in particular the balance between protecting a person’s right to a good name, and allowing the media to conduct robust journalism in the public interest.  “The high costs of legal fees in defending defamation actions is also a major difficulty for local media. In some cases litigants are bypassing the Press Ombudsman’s office completely and launching expensive litigation seeking damages for often minor mistakes in print, or worse still in an attempt to silence the truth in cases where a newspaper has done an excellent job in exposing wrongdoing of some kind.  Felle warned that investigative journalism in local communities is under threat because of the high costs of defending libel actions.   “Defending defamation actions even when a newspaper is 100 per cent in the right comes at a huge cost in terms of stresses on often very small editorial teams, and in legal fees. Editors and owners need to make a judgement call not on the merits of the case, but whether it would be cheaper to settle rather than risk huge costs in a trial. This is having a chilling effect on good quality local investigative journalism because editors and their owners cannot afford to defend libel claims, even if certain their journalism is factually accurate. Democracy will suffer if this balance is not redressed,” he said.  Felle also commended editors at the helm of local newspapers for their collective commitment to local journalism, and also urged them to be brave and innovate more.  “It’s really important to acknowledge the work you have done in staying afloat during the economic crisis from 2008 on. You remain trusted brands in your local communities and a focal point for news, information, entertainment, blow by blow details of wars won and lost on the sporting battlefields, in that all important role of holding local government to account, and in recording that first rough draft of local history.  “Your journalism has never been more popular, but the funding model to support that journalism is certainly in difficulty. It’s time to innovate, to be brave, to think about how your quality journalism can be sustained and supported in the local community. The UK Houses of Parliament produced a report on the future of local journalism. In the UK the BBC supports 150 local democracy journalists a year who work for local newspapers, funded by the licence fee. We certainly need Oireachtas Committee hearings to look at options for supporting local journalism in Ireland,” he added.  ENDS

Thursday, 13 September 2018

The UNESCO Child and Family Centre at NUI Galway has finalised a four-year study that has found significant improvements in Tusla’s Prevention, Early Intervention and Family Support services. The reports were launched with Tusla-Child and Family Agency today (13 September 2018) in Dublin. In 2016, 47,399 child protection and welfare referrals were made to Tusla-Child and Family Agency, and 6,267 children and young people were in its care in 2016. More and better prevention and early intervention is needed to reduce these numbers.    Key Report Findings Overall, the research shows Tusla is getting better at providing early help for children, young people and their families. Significantly, the research is showing that Tusla’s flagship new programme for providing early help, Meitheal, is welcomed by families and is making a positive difference to their lives. When fully in place, the system may help reduce the numbers entering the child protection system. Importantly Meitheal is improving outcomes for children and young people over time, particularly from the perspective of mothers. Maternal well-being was the most significant predictor of family outcomes suggesting that supporting mothers is key to supporting families. The study also demonstrates good work by Tusla, benchmarked against international best practice, in listening to and including children, in its policies and the capacity of the front-line workers. There is strong evidence of children and young people’s participation being embedded across Tusla. The research results indicate promising results from Tusla’s work in supporting parents through its innovative Parent Support Champions programme. Overall, while the public’s awareness of Tusla increased over the four-year study, the research findings have shown that in the main, families turn to and depend on family and close friends for help and support. The NUI Galway research reports concluded that the culture of Tusla is changing and that it is becoming more preventative in focus and inclusive of parents and children. This is demonstrated across the work of the Prevention, Partnership and Family Support programme. The research also identified areas for improvement across the programme. Ongoing organisational support and funding is needed to ensure that the PPFS is fully operational across all Tusla areas.  There is a need for greater awareness of programme components (Meitheal, children’s participation, parenting support) across the wider organisation. The general public need to be made more aware of Tusla’s prevention, early intervention and family support within its full service offering. More is to be done on integrating the programme fully within Tusla’s organisation and in day-to day-operations, and in connecting the Meitheal programme in particular with other agencies and government departments. The individual research reports indicate changes, adaptations and improvements in each of the programme areas. The research is contained in six research reports (see link below): Meitheal and Child and Family Support Networks Children’s Participation Parenting Support and Parental Participation Commissioning Public Awareness Systems Change Dr John Canavan, Associate Director and Senior Lecturer from the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: “Our research demonstrates that Tusla has developed and implemented a national programme of work that should increase the numbers of children and families receiving early help to prevent problems they face getting worse. It also demonstrates that Tusla is putting in place systems, training and procedures to ensure that its meets its responsibility to listen to and act on the views of children.” Dr Carmel Devaney, lead researcher from the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: “With regard to help-seeking for a parenting or family problem, personal support networks, family and friends, were the main source of support for the public. Members of the public turned to their local GP primarily if they could not manage a parent or family problem, while increasing numbers of people are asking a teacher for assistance in this area. Family members also reported their appreciation of being included in the process of identifying their needs and in deciding on a helpful response to these. Children and young people highlighted that they felt listened to with some noting improvements in their lives as a result of taking part in Meitheal. “Our findings also suggested that both the public and the media do not clearly differentiate the concept of family support from child protection, and children in care. And 98.5% of the population confirmed they had received services from Tusla when they sought them this year.” Speaking at the launch, Tusla Chief Executive Fred McBride, stated: “The Prevention, Partnership and Family Support (PPFS) programme is growing, and with our Tusla National Child and Family Support Week promotional campaign underway from September 17-23, we hope that even more people will seek help from our range of family support services. Staff at the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre have been at our side to develop, and critically assess the PPFS programme. This work provides us with a rich understanding of the PPFS programme and it’s potential. The research carried out by NUI Galway has been executed in an academically robust and systematic manner, and provides us with a clearly defined body of knowledge that allows us to examine what we are doing, and why we are doing it.” To read and download the full research reports and key findings, visit: http://www.childandfamilyresearch.ie/cfrc/mainstream/ourworktodate/ -Ends-

Thursday, 13 September 2018

The over-arching goal of the water sector reform programme was to establish a water utility that could independently borrow to finance a heavy programme of investment in water infrastructure For this to happen, the water utility had to be classified outside the general government sector by passing the so-called ‘Eurostat test’ which was a treacherous basis for policy There was a serious disconnect between policy design and implementation NUI Galway’s Whitaker Institute will today (13 September 2018) host a conference on ‘How (Not) To Do Public Policy’, and launch a report which examines the failure of water charges and the success of the Local Property Tax in Ireland. The conference will gather senior policymakers, public servants, academics, and other experts to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the policy-making process in Ireland with a view to suggesting how the quality of policy-making might be improved, including how policies are conceived, designed, implemented, communicated, and reviewed.  The new report, meticulously researched and based on exceptional access to senior policymakers, looks back forensically at a recent policy success, the Local Property Tax (LPT) and a recent policy failure, water charges, and explores what it was about the policy-making process in each case that contributed to success or failure. The aim of the report is to better understand this recent episode in the history of public administration in Ireland and to extract appropriate lessons for policy-making. Economist Jim O’Leary, author of the report and Senior Research Fellow at the Whitaker Institute in NUI Galway, said: “A sense of trying to achieve too much too soon is suggested by the approach to the overall water sector reform programme. All in all, in examining policy on water, our reading of the evidence is that it was driven by a vision that would have been more appropriate for a 7–10-year timeframe than a 3–5-year period. “Passing the so-called ‘Eurostat test’ was a treacherous basis for policy. It is a curious fact that, while the Commission of Taxation’s proposals in 2009 in relation to property taxation provided the blueprint for the Local Property Tax, its proposals on water charges were ignored and were in several essential respects the antithesis of what government chose to do. At the end of the day, the government decisively lost the battle for the hearts and minds of the people.” Alan Ahearne, Director of the Whitaker Institute in NUI Galway, said: “Through meticulous desk research and interviews with many of those who were insiders in the policymaking process, Jim O’Leary has produced an extremely well-informed, thorough and compelling study. This is a report that I am confident will have impact on how policy is made. What we have learned is that good policymaking requires all options and all aspects of the options to be investigated and that policymakers should be careful not to let perfect be the enemy of good.” Key findings from the research in relation to the relative success of the Local Property Tax versus the failure to introduce water charges: The over-arching goal of the water sector reform programme was to establish a water utility that could independently borrow to finance a heavy programme of investment in water infrastructure. For this to happen, the water utility had to be classified outside the general government sector by passing the so-called ‘Eurostat test’. This was a treacherous basis for policy. Policy choices such as the universal free allowance and universal metering were made before their implications were properly understood and without the alternatives being rigorously assessed. There was a serious disconnect between policy design and implementation. The Local Property Tax was successfully introduced because its design was infused with a keen awareness of the importance of anticipating implementation challenges. In this regard, a key moment was the decision to give responsibility for collection and administration to the Revenue Commissioners. Comments and discussion of the report will be provided by: Josephine Feehily, Chairperson, Policing Authority and former Chairman, Revenue Commissioners. Maria Graham, Assistant Secretary, Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. Eamon Ryan TD, Leader of the Green Party. Don Thornhill, former Secretary General, Department of Education and Science. The conference will also feature a broad discussion of the policy-making process in Ireland and ways to make it more effective, including a keynote speech by: Robert Watt, Secretary General, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. Panel and open discussion of the policy-making process moderated by Dave O’Connell, Group Editor of the Connacht Tribune to include: Richard Boyle, Head of Research, Institute of Public Administration. Joan Burton, TD, former Tánaiste and Leader of the Labour Party Kevin Cardiff, former Secretary General, Department of Finance Jill Rutter, Programme Director, Institute for Government, London This research project was supported by Galway University Foundation. To read the full report, visit: http://whitakerinstitute.ie/ -Ends-

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Four NUI Galway graduates and students were recently recognised at the Civil Engineering Research in Ireland (CERI) Conference. The conference is organised by the Civil Engineering Research Association of Ireland (CERAI), and aims to nurture early-career researchers and offer opportunities wherever possible to the next generation of leaders in research and industry. Two researchers and NUI Galway graduates were recognised at the conference for their outstanding contribution to research and practice at an early stage in their careers. Dr Magdalena Hadjukiewicz, a postdoctoral researcher at NUI Galway, specialising in the use of computational fluid dynamics in building energy performance. Having successfully competed for and won seven significant research contracts amounting to some €13m over the last five years, including two substantial Horizon 2020 projects, she demonstrates an ability to work closely with industry, converting research into practice. NUI Galway graduate Declan Gavigan lead a multi-disciplinary team of 12 engineers at Openhydro Ltd conducting research into tidal energy and collaborated with third level institutions in winning H2020 funding amounting to some €18m in the last three years and had a patent filed last year.  During the conference awards were also presented for the best papers with a student as lead author in a number of streams of civil engineering. The NUI Galway award winners included Alan Carty for his paper on ‘An investigation into hydrodynamic effects on vortex drop structures liners using fluid-structure interaction techniques’; and Jennifer Kirkpatrick on ‘The Effect of Climate Change on Flooding in Cork City’. Professor Peter McHugh, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “It is fantastic to see young researchers who are alumni of NUI Galway being recognised in this way by the Civil Engineering research community in Ireland. The success of both Magdalena and Declan at attracting significant funding from the European Commission Horizon 2020 programme is testament to the regard our peers in Europe have for the high quality research going on in NUI Galway and Ireland. Both have a very bright future, one which I have no doubt will have a very positive impact on our society in Ireland and beyond. I would also like to congratulate Alan Carty, a PhD candidate in Civil Engineering, and Jennifer Kirkpatrick, who recently completed a taught MSc in Water Resource Engineering, on winning best papers with a student as lead author. There were also papers presented at the conference whose lead authors were students who completed the work as part of their undergraduate degree in NUI Galway, which is reflective of the research lead teaching approach that we embed in our college.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

A new book, Civil War and Agrarian Unrest: The Confederate South and Southern Italy, has been published by NUI Galway historian, Professor Enrico Dal Lago. The book will be officially launched by distinguished historian Professor Nicholas Canny, former President of the Royal Irish Academy and member of the European Research Council, in the Moore Institute, NUI Galway on Wednesday, 19 September at 5pm. Civil War and Agrarian Unrest: The Confederate South and Southern Italy analyses the American Civil War and the effects of slave emancipation in comparative perspective with another, little-known, civil war fought prevalently by southern Italian peasants against the Italian government in the same years 1861-65. The 150th anniversary of the American Civil War (2011-15) sparked renewed interest all over the world in the violent end of slavery in the United States. The effects of the conflict still remain, with numerous films, books, and series exploring Abraham Lincoln’s effort as President to end slavery and the defeat of the Southern Confederate forces.  Professor Dal Lago takes a comparative approach in order to challenge assumptions about the nature of Confederate nationalism. The elitism and intolerance of the Southern states’ social order, based on hierarchy, makes it very comparable to nineteenth-century Italian nationalism. He compares the resistance activity of American slaves with the rebellion staged by southern Italian peasants. The goal of both groups was the acquisition of land, not just freedom. Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, said: “This major study establishes Professor Dal Lago as the leading historian charting new ways of thinking about American slavery. His use of comparison casts new light on this painful legacy, reminding us that conflicts of this kind were not isolated affairs but part of a wider struggle among ordinary people in what might be called the agrarian world.” For more information contact Professor Dal Lago at enrico.dallago@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 10 September 2018

Encouraging multidisciplinary approaches to teaching science The Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Medical Devices (CÚRAM), at NUI Galway is now enrolling for its third ‘Teachers in Residence Programme’ with applications being accepted up to 19th October 2018. Teachers in residence work with CÚRAM researchers to develop high quality content for the classroom that is relevant, exciting, practical and easy to use. During the residency, teachers work directly with world class researchers and get private tours of CÚRAM laboratories in the Biomedical Sciences building at NUI Galway, to learn about the medical device research and its impact on healthcare in Ireland and globally. The residency runs from October 2018 until March 2019 for nine evenings. As part of the residency, teachers and their students are invited to attend interactive workshops run by CÚRAM, and participants of the programme will be granted a small honorarium to assist with any travel costs. Teachers from all disciplines are invited to participate, in support of encouraging multidisciplinary approaches to teaching science. The CÚRAM Teachers in Residence Programme has ten places available for five primary and five secondary school teachers this year, with priority placement given to teachers from DEIS schools.  Participants will learn about and receive resources for the classroom including science engagement activities, science capital teaching approaches, and lesson plan kits developed by teachers for teachers, that are linked with the primary and junior cycle science curricula. Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM at NUI Galway, said: “We have been delighted with the innovation and creativity shown by the primary and secondary teachers who have participated in the first two years of the programme. The lesson plans and resources developed for both primary and secondary school classrooms have now been fully evaluated and are available to primary and secondary teachers nationwide. If we can inspire our teachers by providing access to current, cutting edge Irish research and work with them to incorporate it into classroom activities, our hope is that they in turn can inspire their students for years to come.” In 2018, CÚRAM has also partnered in the Department of Education and Skills’ Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT) STE(A)M to develop a continuing professional development workshop for Junior Cycle teachers around MedTech research and career opportunities. The JCT STE(A)M workshops will allow for interdisciplinary responses to societal challenges in subject-specific and cross-curricular contexts. Lesson plan kits developed from previous years’ teachers can be downloaded at: http://www.curamdevices.ie/curam/public-engagement/teachers-in-residence/. To apply for a place in the Teachers in Residence Programme or find out more information, please contact sarah.gundy@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 10 September 2018

NUI Galway’s International Affairs Office and College of Science have just announced a tailor-made programme in Marine Science and Biology for international students coming to Galway for a semester or year for a study abroad experience. The practice-based programme focuses on marine life and environments, and the biological principles that underlie the science of the sea. Students will gain an understanding of how marine life is distributed and evolves, and how it is affected by human activity in the unique marine environment of Galway Bay and further afield. J.B. Terrins, International Mobility Manager at NUI Galway’s International Office, said: “The marine environment is all around us in Ireland, and Galway is internationally renowned for its marine research and teaching. NUI Galway has been hosting visiting university students, most typically from the US, for over 30 years, and this programme recognises an increasing demand for science courses in specialisms for which it is known globally.” Professor Mark Johnson from the Ryan Institute and Head of the Marine Science programme at NUI Galway, says: “We are the only university in Ireland to offer an undergraduate degree in Marine Science, and Galway has the highest concentration of marine scientists in Ireland. This includes researchers in NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, our Marine Research Station in Carna, County Galway, and colleagues in the Marine Institute in Oranmore. The work ranges from studying the science of marine ecosystems to co-operation with industry and state agencies on how to work with the sea.” For more information about the new Marine Science and Biology Study Abroad programme, contact Dr Cyril Reddington, International Affairs Office, NUI Galway at cyril.reddington@nuigalway.ie or 091 492105. To read more about the Study Abroad course for visiting international students, visit: www.nuigalway.ie/science/international-students/studyabroad/marinescience/index.html -Ends-

Monday, 10 September 2018

NUI Galway will host the annual conference of the European Network for Research on Supplementary Pensions (ENRSP) from 20-21 September.  Pensions are a major area of social policy and spending, and affect all residents who contribute to and benefit from a country’s pension system, currently or in the future. Currently pension systems in Ireland and around the world are undergoing radical changes. These reforms raise questions about inclusion, communication, and accountability, such as: the best way to include unpensioned groups (young, female, low paid, disabled, ethnic minorities and/or SME employees) in a pension system? Or, in a defined contribution and privatised pensions world, can communication and education encourage individuals to make better financial decisions to improve their future financial security? And, as governments move to reduce over-reliance on public pensions, who is accountable for ensuring that future old age income is not eroded by fees and poor pension decisions? These are the topics which will be covered throughout the two-day conference. The conference will be opened by Brendan Kennedy, the Chief Executive of the Pensions Authority. Brendan has spent almost his entire career in pensions.  Before joining the Authority in 2004, he held a variety of life insurance and consulting positions. Brendan is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland, of the Institute of Actuaries and of the Irish Institute of Pensions Management. He is a former chair of the Occupational Pensions Committee of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority.  Susan Kiuvalainen, Head of Research at the Finnish Centre for Pensions, will deliver the keynote address. Susan will speak about Finland’s recently implemented pension reforms intended to secure the financing of earnings-related pensions (ERPs), promote sufficient retirement income and achieve intergenerational fairness. Kiuvalainen oversees the research in support of the evaluation and development of ERPs in Finland. The European Commission presents Finnish reforms as a model for a sustainable European pension solution. Maureen Maloney, Lecturer in Management at NUI Galway and one of the conference organisers, said: “There could be no better time to welcome academics from Europe and the US to discuss pension issues. The last major change to the pension system in Ireland was in 2003. Understanding the experiences from other countries will help us to make the right changes that will benefit all of us when we retire.” The conference is hosted by NUI Galway and the Pension Policy Research Group. Contributions were received from The Pensions Authority, the Pension Policy Research Group, and NUI Galway’s Registrar's Office, The Irish Centre of Social Gerontology and the Discipline of Management. For more information on the conference contact Maureen Maloney at maureen.maloney@nuigalway.ie or visit http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=563. -Ends-

Friday, 7 September 2018

Beidh an cnuasach aistí Ag Caint leis an Simné? Dúshlán an Traidisiúin agus Nualitríocht na Gaeilge le Louis de Paor, Stiúrthóir An Léann Éireannach, á sheoladh ag Michael Cronin, Cathaoir na Fraincise 1776, Coláiste na Tríonóide. Beidh an ócáid ​​ar siúl ar an Déardaoin, 13 Meán Fómhair  ag 5pm sa Institiúid de Móra, OÉ Gaillimh,. Cén gaol is ceart, nó is féidir, a bheith idir an scríbhneoir aonair is an traidisiún a tháinig roimhe, agus conas a bheidh léitheoirí a linne féin ag freagairt don ngné sin dá shaothar? Sa mhéid gur traidisiún scoilte é traidisiún na Gaeilge, cuid mhaith, is go bhfuil go leor dá cuid scríbhneoirí agus dá cuid léitheoirí scoite le traidisiún béil na Gaeltachta, agus leis an tseanlitríocht a bheag nó a mhór, tá an cheist níos casta ná mar a bheadh i dteangacha nach bhfuil stair choilíneach laistiar díobh. Leis sin, tá míshuaimhneas éigin ag baint le ceist an traidisiúin ó tosnaíodh ar litríocht na Gaeilge a athchóiriú aimsir na hathbheochana agus freagraí éagsúla tabhartha ag scríbhneoirí ar an dúshlán a bhaineann le teanga mhionlaithe agus cultúr coilínithe a chur in oiriúint dóibh féin agus dá gcuid léitheoirí. Sa leabhar seo téann an t-údar i ngleic leis an gceist seo trí ghnéithe éagsúla de shaothar fhilí agus scríbhneoirí móra próis na Gaeilge a scrúdú – leithéidí Sheáin Uí Ríordáin, Liam S Gógan, Mháire Mhac an tSaoi, Mháirtín Uí Dhireáin, Mháirtín Uí Chadhain agus Bhriain Uí Nualláin (Myles na Gopaleen) – féachaint conas mar a tháinig siad féin ar réiteach ar an gceist, má tháinig ar chor ar bith. -Críoch- NUI Galway to Launch a New Collection of Essays A new collection of essays, Ag Caint Leis an Simné? Dúshlán an Traidisiúin agus Nualitríocht na Gaeilge by Louis de Paor, Director of NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies, will be launched by Michael Cronin, Chair of French 1776, TCD. The launch will take place on Thursday, 13 September at 5pm in the Moore Institute, NUI Galway. What relationship exists, or could exist, between the individual writer and the tradition that the writer follows? And how do readers respond to that aspect of the writer's work. Insofar as the literary tradition in Irish is splintered, for a good part, and as many Irish-language writers and readers are separated from the oral tradition of the Gaeltacht and with the old literature, more or less, the question is more complicated than it would be in other languages that do not have a history of colonialism behind them. With that, there is a certain discomfort with regard to the question of tradition since the adaptation of Irish language literature during the revival and different writers have responded in various ways to the challenge of adapting a minority language and colonised culture for themselves and their readers. In Ag Caint leis an Simné? Dúshlán an Traidisiúin agus Nualitríocht na Gaeilge, Louis de Paor tackles this question by analysing the work of major poets and prose writer in the Irish language - works by Seán Ó Ríordáin, Liam S. Gógan, Máire Mhac an tSaoi, Máirtín Ó Direáin, Máirtín Ó Cadhain and Brian Ó Nualláin (Myles na gCopaleen) - to see how they resolved this question in their own work, and whether, indeed they succeeded in resolving it. -Ends-

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

NUI Galway are inviting science enthusiasts and filmmakers of all ages to apply for the competition  Wednesday, 5 September, 2018: NUI Galway is challenging science enthusiasts and filmmakers of all ages to produce an engaging and educational short science video for this year’s ReelLIFE SCIENCE competition. This year, winning videos will be selected by guest judge Irish comedian and television presenter Dara Ó Briain. Launched in 2013, the contest is inviting all primary and secondary schools, and participants from community groups and clubs around Ireland to show their passion for science and technology. Videos can be produced on smartphones or cameras and can communicate any aspect of science, including its impact on individuals, society and the environment. Supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover programme, the Community Knowledge Initiative, the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science, ReelLIFE SCIENCE will award more than €5,000 for the best science videos. Winning videos will be selected by a panel of special guest judges including aeronautical engineer and astronaut-candidate Norah Patten, BT Young Scientist and Technologist of the Year 2018, Simon Meehan and comedian and TV presenter Dara Ó Briain, who said: “ReelLIFE SCIENCE is a wonderful project, which encourages people to connect with science and technology in a fun way, and share their knowledge and creativity with the public via video. I’m delighted to be one of the judges and am very excited to see this year’s videos.” Closing date for submissions is Friday, 19 October and the best videos at each level (primary school, secondary school, community) will be announced during Science Week 2018, which runs from 11-18 November. The winning filmmakers will be invited to attend a public screening and awards ceremony hosted at the Galway Science and Technology Festival on 25 November. More than 9,000 people in 300 schools and community groups all around Ireland have previously taken part in the ReelLIFE SCIENCE programme, which is organised by Dr Enda O’Connell and a team of science communication enthusiasts from NUI Galway. Previous year’s winning videos and more information about the 2018 competition can be found at www.reellifescience.com. -Ends-

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

: Researchers from the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway and Queen’s University Belfast have found that people’s attachment to particular religious beliefs influenced their attitudes to euthanasia, and their attitudes to euthanasia influenced how they valued health, including health states considered worse than being dead. The study was recently published in the journal, Health and Quality of Life Outcomes. The researchers collected information on a group of 160 individuals’ religiosity (attachment to religious beliefs) and their attitudes to euthanasia in Ireland, using data collected as part of the Irish EQ-5D-5L valuation study - a study which measures the relative value that Irish residents attach to five different domains of health; mobility, self-care, ability to do usual activities, pain/discomfort and anxiety/depression, measured at different levels of severity. The study found that individuals who attended religious services frequently were less likely to be in support of a doctor ending a person’s life (euthanasia) due to having a painful incurable disease, in comparison to those who attended religious services less frequently. People who were less likely to support euthanasia were subsequently less likely to consider any health state as being worse than dead, regardless of severity.   Luke Barry from the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway and one of the lead researchers of the study, commented: “Ireland has undergone significant social and cultural changes in recent decades, this research points to the potential ramifications of such changes including in less obvious quarters such as the allocation of healthcare resources. How we compare alternative uses of healthcare resources, for example, one treatment over another, in terms of their relative value for money is contingent on how we ‘value’ health. Our research highlights that these values appear to be related to our beliefs and attitudes which can change over time.”  This NUI Galway research adds to the growing literature on the relationship between religious beliefs and health state values, including qualitative work undertaken by UAE University in collaboration with the Office of Health Economics, in Poland and the Netherlands. The study was funded by the Health Research Board and undertaken in collaboration with the EuroQol Research Foundation and the Office of Health Economics in the UK. To read the full study in Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, visit: https://hqlo.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12955-018-0985-9 -Ends-

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Seolann Uachtarán na hOllscoile, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh Scéim Teanga OÉ Gaillimh don tréimhse 2018-2021 Sheol Uachtarán na hOllscoile, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh an triú Scéim Teanga do chuid Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh. Beidh Scéim Chónaitheach do Mhic Léinn le Gaeilge i mBaile na Coiribe ar thalamh na hOllscoile i measc bhuaicphointí na Scéime. Tá neart tionscnaimh agus scéimeanna nua luaite sa phlean chun úsáid na Gaeilge a mhéadú san Ollscoil. I measc na mbuaicphointí: Tá Scéim Chónaitheach curtha ar bun ar bhonn piolótach ar champas ionas go mbeidh lóistín ar fáil do chainteoirí Gaeilge ar an gcampas in aon áras amháin. Ceapfar Comhordaitheoir Stráitéiseach do ghníomhaíochtaí feasachta na Gaeilge ar champas agus fearainn oibre eile de chuid na hOllscoile. Oibreoidh an duine seo ar phlean cuimsitheach d’imeachtaí cultúrtha agus sóisialta a eagrú trí Ghaeilge. Tá struchtúr nua curtha i bhfeidhm chun suíomh gréasáin na hOllscoile a chur ar fáil i nGaeilge agus cur le ábhar Gaeilge na suíomhe ag http://www.nuigalway.ie/gaeilgebheo/ agus leanfar ar aghaidh leis an obair seo a chur i gcrích. Déanfar Plean Institiúideach Teanga a réiteach a dhéanfaidh comhaireamh ar líon na gcainteoirí Gaeilge agus a leibhéil inniúlachta i measc fhoireann na hOllscoile. Bunófar Coiste Stiúrtha a bheas freagrach as an bplean institiúideach a phleanáil agus a fhaomhadh. Is é cuspóir na Scéime ná freastal níos fearr agus níos leithne a dhéanamh ar phobal Gaeilge na hOllscoile. Seo í an tríú scéim teanga atá foilsithe ag an Ollscoil faoi Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla agus tá réimse leathan de spriocanna ann a chuirfidh go mór le beocht na teanga ar an gcampas. Déanfar na spriocanna seo a bhaint amach sa tréimhse 2018-2021. Dúirt Uachtarán na hOllscoile, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Tá an Ghaeilge, agus cur chun cinn na Gaeilge lárnach i saol agus saothar na hOllscoile. Is cúis áthais ar leith dom go bhfuil tús á chur in athuair le Scéim Chónaitheach Gaeilge. Cuireadh an chéad scéim dá leithéad ar bun i mBaile na Coiribe breis agus cúig bliana fichead ó shin, agus is ceart, sa chomhthéacs sin, fáilte a chur roimh ghlúin nua mic léinn a bheidh ag teacht le chéile i gcomhluadar na Gaeilge i mBaile na Coiribe.” Tá an Scéim faomhaithe ag Príomh Aoire an Rialtais, an tAire Stáit sa Roinn Cultúir, Oidhreachta  agus Gaeltachta  Joe McHugh T.D. ó bhí mí Eanáir 2018 ann, agus an Scéim  curtha faoi bhráid Údarás na hOllscoile ó shin i leith.  Beidh teacht ar an Scéim ar shuíomh idirlín na hOllscoile ag http://www.nuigalway.ie/sceimteanga/. -Críoch- Irish Language Student Residences unveiled under New NUI Galway Irish Language Plan NUI Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh launches the NUI Galway Irish Language Scheme 2018-2021 Wednesday, 5 September, 2018: NUI Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh today (Wednesday, 5 September) launched the University’s third Irish Language Scheme. A Residential Scheme with designated spaces for Irish speaking students on campus is among the highlights of the three year plan. Highlights include: Irish Language Student Residences; designated accommodation with reserved places for Irish-speaking students. The first, and pilot group of students is already in residence for the academic year 2018/19. A Comhordaitheoir Stráitéiseach (Strategic Co-ordinator) will be appointed to work across NUI Galway campuses to prepare a comprehensive plan of cultural and social events through Irish. A focus on the University’s website, drawing all material and news as Gaeilge together across campus at http://www.nuigalway.ie/gaeilgebheo/ along with other work to develop and extend Irish language content online. An Institutional Language Plan / Plean Institiúdach Teanga will be prepared, based on, and appropriate for, the fluency level and number of Irish speakers on campus. A Coiste Stiúrtha / Steering Committee will be established to monitor the preparation and implementation of the Institutional Language Plan. The aim of the Scheme is to improve and broaden Irish language services for the University Community. This is the third Language Scheme under the Official Languages Act and there are a range of goals set out that will add significantly to use of the Irish language on campus. These goals will be achieved between 2018 and 2021. NUI Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “The Irish language and the promotion of the Irish language is a core value of the work and mission of the University. I am delighted to announce the re-opening of the Scéim Chónaitheach Gaeilge / Residential Language Scheme. This was a Scheme initiated in NUI Galway more than 25 years ago, and it is fitting, in that context, to welcome a new generation of Irish speaking students to a designated Irish speaking area in Corrib Village.” The Scheme was approved by the Government Chief Whip and Minister for State at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Joe McHugh TD in January 2018, and was brought through the approval processes of Údarás na hOllscoile / Governing Authority before its launch today. A copy of the Scheme is available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/sceimteanga/. -Ends-

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

A group of international female geoscientists from universities all over the world including NUI Galway, have taken a close look at their profession and discovered the barriers to success, while also pinpointing the sometimes simple changes that can be made to attract more women into innovative industries. The revealing results are published today (4 September) in Nature Publishing Group’s social sciences journal, Palgrave Communications. The researchers are part of the committee for the international network working for Women in Coastal Geoscience and Engineering (WICGE), spanning Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, France, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Spain. They found that although women make up almost a third of the coastal geoscience and engineering community, they represent only about one in five of its prestige roles. Coastal geoscience and engineering (CGE) encompasses professionals working on coastal processes, integrating expertise across physics, geomorphology, engineering, planning and management. This study presents novel results of gender inequality and experiences of gender bias in CGE, and proposes practical steps to address it. The study entitled ‘Steps to improve gender diversity in coastal geoscience and engineering’ saw the international team of researchers analyse the gender representation in the boards and committees of nine societies, 25 journals, and 10 conferences. Additionally, the scientists launched a global survey and obtained responses from 314 people. Co-author of the study, Dr Siddhi Joshi from the School of Geography and Archaeology at NUI Galway, said: “Robust data on gender diversity is often scarce and studies like this are key building blocks for change. As a new female post-doctoral researcher in coastal geosciences and engineering, it’s very important to get the support you need to deal with challenges such as microagressions (derogative comments or actions that are indirect). Networks such as WICGE and the Irish Association for Women in Geoscience, provides this support.” Key findings from the study: Women represent 30% of the international coastal geoscience engineering community, yet there is underrepresentation in prestige roles such as journal editorial board members (15% women) and conference organisers (18% women). Female underrepresentation is less prominent when the path to prestige roles is clearly outlined and candidates can self-nominate or volunteer instead of the traditional invitation-only pathway. By analysing the views of 314 survey respondents (34% male, 65% female, and 1% other), the study found that 81% perceive the lack of female role models as a key hurdle for gender equity, and a significantly larger proportion of females (47%) felt held back in their career due to gender in comparison with males (9%). Lead and corresponding author of the study, Professor Ana Vila-Concejo, Associate Professor and co-leader of the University of Sydney’s Geocoastal Research Group and deputy director of the One Tree Island Research Station on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, said the solutions and suggestions were relevant for women in science and more generally. Professor Ana Vila-Concejo, commented: “Our findings are important not only for our field of research but also for other fields in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and beyond. Reading the survey responses was harder than we had anticipated. We found flagrant examples of inequality that included dramatic decisions such as an early career researcher deciding to undergo an abortion out of fear of jeopardising her chances of securing an academic position.” Examples of What is Holding Women Back (further explanations in the link below to published paper): Gender stereotyping was amongst the most common manifestation of inequality in coastal geoscience and engineering roles. Stereotyping of women working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as not being as competent (or being incompetent), and not being taken seriously, is a key theme. The existence of the “boys club” - in the experience of one survey respondent: “During a job interview, the lead engineer (male) was explaining how they have the ‘boys club’ here at the office. They did offer me the job, but I didn’t want to work in that type of environment.” The “maternal wall” results from expectations that a woman’s job performance is affected by her having children. Microaggressions and harassment - being overlooked and ignored in favour of male colleagues was a key issue, for example, one respondent noted: “Getting my first big grant and employing a male post-doctoral - our project partners treated him as the boss.” While another recalled comments about looks, such as “comments on my ‘pretty face’ being an asset for attracting clients”. Solutions: Advocate for more women in prestige roles. Promote high-achieving females. Create awareness of gender bias. Speak up. Get better support for return-to-work. Redefine success. Encourage more women to enter the discipline at a young age. Shari Gallop from Macquarie University, said: “The first four steps we recommend can be successfully implemented immediately, while others need institutional engagement and represent major societal overhauls.” The contributing organisations for this study include the University of Sydney, Macquarie University, NUI Galway, University of Wollongong, Bournemouth University, University of Waikato, Edge Hill University, University of Seville, Flinders University, University of Baja California, University of Newcastle, University of Bordeaux, UNSW Sydney. To read the full study in Palgrave Communications, visit: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41599-018-0154-0 -Ends-

Monday, 3 September 2018

Marine scientists from NUI Galway returned home recently with yet more stunning footage of Irish deep-sea waters. The expedition, part of a Science Foundation Ireland and Marine Institute funded project to derive novel pharmaceuticals from deep-water organisms, explored waters off the edge of Ireland’s continental shelf, approximately 100 kilometres west of Belmullet in County Mayo, with the aim of both exploiting and conserving Ireland’s deep-sea genetic resources. Diving with the deep-water remotely operated vehicle, ROV Holland I, onboard the Marine Institute’s RV Celtic Explorer research vessel, the scientists mapped the biodiversity of the sea floor and collected samples of sponges (simple sessile animals that grow upwards from the seafloor) and octocorals (which lack the stony skeleton of tropical reef-building corals), to study their chemistry back in the laboratories. These organisms produce chemicals as part of their defensive systems, to stop, for example, other sponges and corals growing on top of them, and such chemicals, with their unique structures, can be the source of new drugs.  The chemicals extracted by NUI Galway chemists are being tested against a range of disease screens in NUI Galway, University of South Florida (USF) and with collaborators from around the world. The scientists are screening against various types of cancer, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and various pathogens such as Enterobacter bacteria species. Professor Louise Allcock from the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, and Chief scientist and Principal Investigator on the project ‘Exploiting and Conserving Deep-sea Genetic Resources’ emphasised the importance of Irish deep-sea fauna, saying: “We don’t need much material to work out the structure of a new compound, which can then be synthesized in the laboratory, but new diseases emerge every decade, and it’s really important to also conserve these unique habitats so that medicine can draw on them in the future. Our species distribution maps will help with that.” Professor Bill Baker, a chemist on the project from USF, said: “Naturally produced chemicals from marine organisms provide real opportunities for drug discovery. And the deep-sea, with its specially adapted fauna, is likely to yield a range of chemistry not known from shallow waters.” The team targeted the area surveyed because previous ROV dives in the area suggested there may be locations that were particularly sponge rich. Dr Joana Xavier, a researcher from CIIMAR (Portugal) and the University of Bergen (Norway), and Scientific Manager of the EU Horizon 2020 project SponGES, also joined the expedition, providing expertise in sponge taxonomy (identification). Dr Xavier, whose previous experience includes expeditions across the Atlantic, said: “The diversity of sponges, and particularly of glass sponges, whose tissues have a skeleton made of silica, in Irish deep-sea waters is absolutely incredible. Unusually large individuals, likely to be hundreds of years old, were also observed, attesting to the pristine condition of some sites. Other structural habitats such as cold-water coral reefs and gardens, also found during the cruise, help maintain the diversity in these areas.”    -Ends-

Thursday, 20 September 2018

NUI Galway’s School of Maths will hold its third Junior Mathematics Enrichment programme beginning Monday, 1 October. The programme will run for seven weeks (excluding the bank holiday) every Monday from 7.30 – 9pm until Monday, 19 November. The programme, part of a nationwide Irish Mathematical Trust initiative, is open to Junior cycle pupils, normally second or third year, who have an interest in and enthusiasm for mathematics. Through a series of weekly activities, designed to explore mathematical ideas in a supportive and engaging manner, the Junior Mathematics Enrichment aims to offer: A wider perspective on mathematics and its role in life and society An opportunity to develop problem-solving skills An environment centred on the enjoyment of discovery and investigation amongst like-minded peers. The programme is run by a dedicated collective of students from NUI Galway’s Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Education programme under the direction of Dr Aisling McCluskey. Dr McCluskey said: “There is a massive appetite amongst parents, pupils and teachers for this type of opportunity – and a great untapped talent at the junior level. The Junior Mathematics Enrichment programme exposes a rich and fertile seam of mathematical ability in junior cycle, supported by a strong network of parents, teachers, students and lecturers.” All County Galway secondary schools are invited to nominate Junior cycle students who have an interest in mathematics for the seven-week programme.  To register interest, please contact collette.mcloughlin@nuigalway.ie before Friday, 28 September. -Ends-

Friday, 21 September 2018

Tá tionscadal taighde lucht éisteachta bunaithe ag RTÉ i gcomhpháirt le hOllscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh.  Beidh sé d’aidhm ag Fios Físe tuairimí Phobal Labhartha na Gaeilge i leith RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta a fhiosrú.  Seo é an chéad uair a mbeidh tuairimí spriocphobal an chraoltóra á fhiosrú ar bhonn leanúnach.  Is faoi scáth Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge a bheidh an tionscadal á reáchtáil. Earcófar Painéal de 500 cuiditheoir a bheidh ionadach ar Phobal Labhartha na Gaeilge ar fud na hÉireann, thuaidh agus theas.  Áireofar critéir theangeolaíocha, thíreolaíocha agus dhéimeagrafacha i gcomhdhéanamh bhallraíocht an Phainéil.  Líonfaidh na cuiditheoirí suirbhé ar líne go seachtainiúil agus cuirfear torthaí an taighde faoi bhráid RTÉ go tráthrialta.  Beidh stórchiste luachmhar faisnéise ar fáil chun críche taighde d’Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, go háirithe i gcomhthéacs chlár léinn an Acadaimh sna Meáin Chumarsáide. Chuir Gearóid Mac Donncha, Ceannaire Gníomhach RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, fáilte mhór roimh an togra, agus dúirt sé gur mór an chabhair a bheadh ann ó thaobh pleanála agus stiúradh na seirbhíse de sna blianta amach romhainn. “Cuirfidh an t-aiseolas rialta faoin gcraoladh, agus an anailís ar an lucht éisteachta, a bheidh ar fáil dúinn anois a bhuíochas do Fios Físe go mór leis an obair a bhíonn idir lámha againn ó thaobh reáchtáil na seirbhíse de.  Tabharfaidh sé léargas níos fearr dúinn ar mhianta an phobail éisteachta, sa Ghaeltacht agus lasmuigh di, agus beidh muid in ann feidhmiú dá réir.  Is eolas é seo a bhí in easnamh orainn, go pointe, go dtí seo, agus tá sé i gceist againn anois leas a bhaint as chun tairbhe éisteoirí RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta." “Comhlánóidh an clár nua seo an taighde lucht féachana atá ar siúl againn ó 2013 do TG4 agus tógann sé ar an tsamhail oibriúcháin a bunaíodh i gcomhar le TG4 don taighde ag an am,” a deir Stiúrthóir an Tionscadail Séamas Ó Concheanainn.  Ceapadh an Dr Eilís Ní Dhúill mar Thaighdeoir Iardhochtúireachta le Fios Físe le gairid. Tá Meamram Comhthuisceana freisin sínithe idir OÉ Gaillimh agus RTÉ chun clár nua MA (Cleachtas Gairmiúil sna Meáin) a chur ar fáil, le béim ar an bhfoghlaim phraiticbhunaithe trí mheán na Gaeilge i stiúideonna éagsúla de chuid RTÉ. Cuirfidh an tAcadamh an MA ar fáil ó Mheán Fómhair 2018. Beidh sé ar fáil ar bhonn lán ama agus go páirtaimseartha. Clár léinn nuálach agus solúbtha é seo ina bhfuil meascán den staidéar acadúil ar líne agus tréimhsí suntasacha i mbun taithí oibre phraiticbhunaithe  in RTÉ san iriseoireacht, sa chraoltóireacht agus i gcruthú ábhair don raidió, don teilifís, agus d’ardáin éagsúla ar líne. “I measc na ndúshlán atá ag RTÉ i leith ár n-aschur Gaeilge, tá ár lucht éisteachta agus ar ár lucht féachana a aithint go soiléir, le gur féidir linn an freastal is fearr a dhéanamh orthu, agus freisin cumasú a dhéanamh ar dhaoine a bheidh ag obair sna meáin amach anseo le gur féidir linn an soláthar ar ard-chaighdeán a dhéanann RTÉ ar sheirbhísí Gaeilge a chinntiú don todhchaí.  Léiríonn an obair atá á déanamh ag RTÉ agus OÉ Gaillimh ina leith seo an luach ollmhór a bhaineann le comhpháirtíocht, agus an tábhacht a bhaineann le tógáil ar an deá-chaidreamh idir an dá eagraíocht.” a deir Grúpcheannasaí Gaeilge RTÉ, Rónán Mac Con Iomaire. Dúirt Riarthóir Aonad Léann na Cumarsáide, an Dr Uinsionn Mac Dubhghaill, go bhfuil “an clár léinn ag freastal ar éilimh ó mhic léinn ar chláir iarchéime a bhfuil naisc láidre acu le fostóirí agus leis an margadh.” CRÍOCH NUI Galway and RTÉ form a new partnership on a National Irish-Language Audience Research Programme and a new MA programme NUI Galway has established a new Irish language audience research initiative in partnership with RTÉ.  Fíos Físe will investigate the reach, satisfaction levels and listening habits of Irish speakers, on the island of Ireland, with regard to RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta. It is the first time that the views of Raidió na Gaeltachta’s core target audience will be investigated on a regular and ongoing basis. The project will be run by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. An audience research panel of 500 contributors, representative of the Irish speaking population throughout Ireland, north and south, will be recruited. Linguistic, geographical and demographic criteria will inform the composition of this panel. Participants will complete a weekly online survey,  the results of which will be submitted to RTÉ on a regular basis. This research will be of significant value to NUI Galway, particularly in the context of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge’s teaching and research programme in Irish-language broadcasting. Gearóid Mac Donncha, Acting Head of RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, welcomed the proposal, and said that it would assist greatly in the planning and management of the service in the coming years, "Regular feedback regarding the broadcast service, and audience analysis, which will be available to us now, will greatly enhance service delivery. It will give us a better insight into listener preferences, within the Gaeltacht and outside, and therfore assist us in devising our strategy going forward. Regular and detailed audience research data regarding our core audience has not been available to date, and we look forward to drawing on the research output for the benefit of RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta listeners." "This new research initiative  will augment the audience research we have been undertaking for TG4 since 2013, and builds on the audience research model established in conjunction with TG4 at that time," said Project Director Séamas Ó Concheanainn. Dr Eilís Ní Dhúill has been recently recruited to the position of Postdoctoral Researcher with the project. NUI Galway and RTÉ today also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a new MA (Cleachtas Gairmiúil sna Meáin) in professional practice in media, with an emphasis on practice-based learning through Irish at a number of RTÉ studios. This new MA programme will be offered by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge at NUI Galway from September 2018. It will be available on both a full-time and a part-time basis. This flexible and innovative programme combines online academic modules with significant periods of practice-based work experience in RTÉ in journalism, broadcasting and content creation for radio, television and online platforms.  “Among RTÉ’s challenges around Irish-language output are identifying clearly our audiences so that we may best serve them, and also ensuring that we enable future media practitioners to continue to provide the high-quality services provided by RTÉ as Gaeilge.  That RTÉ have been able to work with NUI Galway with the aim of fulfilling these two key challenges shows the enormous value of partnership, and the importance of building on the continuing relationship between our two organisations.” said RTÉ’s Group Head of Irish Language, Rónán Mac Con Iomaire. The programme director, Dr Uinsionn Mac Dubhghaill, noted "with its balanced mix of the theoretical study of media and practice-based learning the new MA programmeresponds to a demand from students for postgraduate programmes that have strong links to employers and the market”.   ENDS