All 2006

NUI Galway to Host Biodiversity Workshop

Monday, 9 October 2006

NUI Galway will host a workshop entitled, 'Building a Biodiverse Galway: Practical, Social, and Environmental Considerations', on Wednesday 18 October, from 9am – 1pm. Five experts will discuss the planning and building aspects, and the human and environmental importance, of sustainable living and maintaining biodiversity in Galway City. The morning promises to be lively and informative, admission is free and open to all, but participants need to register in advance by emailing The event will take place at the Environmental Change Institute (ECI), The Orbsen Building, NUI Galway. Sarah Knight, Communications and Outreach Officer, ECI, NUI Galway commented: "Galway is growing rapidly, but we must ask whether we are creating a city we will want to live in. Recent years have seen a rapid rate of change from rural to urban land use in Galway city, but at the expense of our natural landscape. The social and environmental benefits of preserving some of the amazing biodiversity in Galway city are often overshadowed in the push to build to meet population demand". 'Building a Biodiverse Galway: Practical, Social, and Environmental Considerations'will feature the following speakers and topics: 'The social consequences of not considering a whole system approach to waste management', with Dr. Niamh Clune, Social Entrepreneur. 'How planners can incorporate natural landscapes', with Hendrik W. van der Kamp, Town Planner & President of the Irish Planning Institute. 'Building a green home in Ireland: design and materials', with Doug Johnson, Advocate of Alternative and Sustainable Technologies. 'Construction activities and their impact on the environment and communities', with Gerry Carty, Director, RPS Consulting Engineers, Galway. 'Community-derived green mapping in Galway city', with Dr. Frances Fahy, Department of Geography, NUI Galway. For members of Engineers Ireland, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points for participation in this workshop are available. The workshop takes place during the annual Biodiversity Week for Galway City, 'Go Wild in the City!', which has been initiated to further the awareness of the wealth of biodiversity in the city, by the Habitats Sub-Group of the Galway City Development Board's Natural Environment and Waterways Mechanism. As well as the general promotion of public awareness of environmental issues in the city, the second main objective of this week is to provide a platform for informative interactions between city council staff, planners, developers, environmental researchers and campaigners, and interested members of the public, on the subjects of sustainable development and biodiversity in the city. - ends -

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Plans Unveiled for Ulster-Connacht Medical School

Monday, 2 October 2006

Plans for a medical school shared between the University of Ulster s Magee campus and NUI Galway were recently unveiled at a conference in Sligo. Academics, politicians and medical experts from the north and west of the island of Ireland came together to back a proposal that would put the Ulster-Connacht region on Ireland s medical education map. The proposal draws on the strengths of both institutions to create a compelling proposition that will open up new opportunities in cross-border healthcare service provision, medical research and economic development, as well as medical education itself. The initiative will also addresses the problem of attracting GPs to the region, as research has shown that graduates are more likely to seek employment in the area where they were educated. As part of the proposal, NUI Galway and the University of Ulster will each provide a four-year programme for graduate entrants, with an additional five-year option available at NUI Galway. While the final three years of each programme will be interchangeable, the UU programme will have more emphasis on Primary Care. Hospitals and primary care centres involved will include, in the North - Derry, Omagh, Enniskillen, and Coleraine, and in the South - Ballinasloe, Mayo, Sligo, Letterkenny and Roscommon. The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at NUI Galway will adopt a mentoring role for the School at UU s Magee campus, providing academic expertise in programme development, sharing courses and, where appropriate, clinical teachers, and also developing the student assessment process in order to achieve the highest standards. Common, jointly developed, distance learning packages will be used to deliver curricular content at affiliated sites. This will be facilitated by the University of Ulster s world-leading strength in web-based distance learning. Clinical placements in affiliated hospitals and practices, and special study modules will be shared, and interchangeable, giving students experience of two health care systems, and facilitating inter-professional learning opportunities. According to Professor Gerry Loftus, Dean of Medicine and Health Sciences, NUI Galway, "Our science, technology and research capabilities have developed and expanded over the past number of years and in building this partnership with Ulster University, we are adding to the facilities available at NUI Galway and strengthening our position as a world-class university. The Government's Fottrell Report, specifically addressed medical education and underlined the need to provide further opportunities for medical education both at undergraduate and graduate entry level. Working together, the medical experts and institutions in this Ulster-Connacht region have the potential to create a significant critical mass which will open up many new educational and research opportunities for students." Professor Loftus went on to say that NUI Galway are working towards a total intake of 160 undergraduate and graduate entry medical students at NUI Galway in the coming years. With closer ties and the support of the local hospitals in the Ulster/Connacht region, clinical placements for such numbers of students could be achieved. Professor Bernie Hannigan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Ulster, said: "The north-west region of the island of Ireland presents many challenges to the delivery of high quality medical services. One solution is to ensure a supply of well-educated doctors who have received their training in the region, and so developed a connection with the area. "Together, the University of Ulster and NUI Galway are proposing a model of a joint medical school to do just that. All students in the Ulster-Connacht Medical School would experience the same excellent foundation in medical sciences, and undergo training in the hospitals and primary care centres on both sides of the Border." "This is a single, highly creative, cost-effective solution to problems that affect people identically, whether in Northern Ireland or in the Republic." Professor Hannigan added that the university partners to the project are working closely with project supporters and are hoping soon to get the green light to proceed to more detailed planning stages. Their current conviction is that the many benefits it would bring to the community must make the project a high priority for future spending plans. - ends -

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Expert Speaks on Spinal Cord Repair at NUI Galway

Monday, 2 October 2006

Anthony Windebank, an expert in spinal cord regeneration and Professor of Neurology at the prestigious Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, will give a free public lecture in Galway on research into spinal cord injury repair on 10th October. Windebank leads a research alliance which brings together expertise from the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, and the Mayo Clinic. During the lecture, Professor Windebank, who came to REMEDI last year on a Science Foundation Ireland Walton Fellowship, will outline the collaborative research which combines adult stem cell expertise at REMEDI with a novel tissue engineering breakthrough pioneered at the Mayo Clinic. "Think of the injury as a break in an electrical circuit – the big challenge for us is to get the circuit reconnected," Professor Windebank said. "The scaffold acts as the bridge for the stem cells to make the reconnection." The research is already showing encouraging results in spinal cord injury repair according to Windebank. "We have had some success in terms of the peripheral nervous system and the next step is the spinal cord. I would be hopeful that a person who sustained a spinal injury this year, through, say, a sporting injury, could expect that within seven-to-ten years, we will have made progress." Possibly the most well known advocate for research in spinal cord injury, and in particular, stem cell research, was Christopher Reeve. In the years following his injury, he did much to promote research on spinal cord injury and the Reeve-Irvine center at UC Irvine, California was established in his name. Two members of the REMEDI team have already spent time at the Reeve-Irvine Center to conduct research in the area. During his lecture, Professor Windebank will explore spinal cord injury in detail, from how and why it happens, to the consequences for victims and the hopes now being raised by cutting-edge research. He will discuss the various approaches worldwide in stem cell research, why false hopes must not be promoted by the scientific community and why, spinal cord injury victims and their relatives may have legitimate reason to believe that treatments may be closer than ever. Although he warns that caution is necessary when discussing possible cures for such a life-shattering injury, Professor Windebank believes that within the coming decade, the difficulties associated with spinal cord repair may be solved. The lecture will take place on Tuesday October 10th at 7.30 pm in the Westwood House Hotel, Newcastle road, Galway. Admission is free and members of the public are invited to attend. Information from or by phoning 091-495198 - end -

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Tugann OÉ Gaillimh aitheantas do Lorna MacMahon ag Searmanas Bronnta Céimeanna a

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

28 Samhain 2006: Bhronn Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh céim Mháistreachta sna Dána (honoris causa) ar Lorna MacMahon inniu. Gairneoir agus gníomhaire pobail as Gaillimh í Lorna, a bhfuil aithne ag go leor de mhuintir na Gaillimhe uirthi. Bronnadh an chéim uirthi le linn shearmanas Bronnta Céimeanna an Gheimhridh OÉ Gaillimh, searmanas ar bronnadh céimeanna agus dioplómaí ar os cionn 650 mac léinn as na Dámha éagsúla. Tá os cionn 35 bliain caite ag Lorna MacMahon ag dearadh gairdíní, a gairdín féin Ard Carraig san áireamh, gairdín a bhfuil duaiseanna bronnta air. Bhíodh Ard Carraig oscailte don phobal gach uile bhliain. Chomh maith leis sin, chaith Lorna blianta fada ag obair mar theiripeoir gairneoireachta san Aonad Síciatrachta in Ospidéal na hOllscoile, Gaillimh. Bhí sí ar dhuine de bhunaitheoirí Craobh na Gaillimhe de Mental Handicap Ireland, agus bhí sí ina Cathaoirleach agus Stiúrthóir ar an Galway Mental Health Association Ltd. Seo a leanas a bhí le rá ag an Dr Gerry Beggan, Léachtóir le hOideachas in OÉ Gaillimh tráth, le linn dó a bheith ag labhairt ag an searmanas: "Is cinnte go bhfuil an chéim seo tuillte go maith ag Lorna mar gheall ar an méid oibre atá déanta aici ar mhaithe le heolaíocht gairneoireachta a chur chun cinn agus chomh tiománta agus a bhí sí d obair charthanachta". Bhí trí shearmanas ar siúl i rith an lae agus bronnadh céimeanna ar chéimithe ó Dhámh na nDán, Dámh na Tráchtála, Dámh na hEolaíochta, Dámh na hInnealtóireachta, Dámh an Leighis agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte agus Dámh an Dlí. Seo a leanas a bhí le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, le linn dó a bheith ag labhairt ag na searmanais: "Is é atá mar aidhm ag OÉ Gaillimh feabhas a bhaint amach sa teagasc, taighde den scoth a chur chun cinn, a bheith tiomanta do agus baint a bheith againn leis an gceantar mórthimpeall ar an Ollscoil, tacú le hoideachas tríú leibhéal trí mheán na Gaeilge, agus thar ní ar bith eile, a chinntiú go bhfuil baint ag na mic léinn leis na gníomhaíochtaí ar fad atá ar siúl san Ollscoil. " Bronnadh céimeanna ar mhic léinn ó chúrsaí nua den chéad uair ag an searmanas freisin, cúrsaí cosúil le Céim Onórach Baitsiléara Eolaíochta Altranais; Máistreacht Eolaíochta (Córais Bhogearraí agus Faisnéise) (Cianfhoghlaim) i gcomhar le hOllscoil Regis, Denver SAM; agus Máistir Dlí sa Dlí Poiblí. - críoch -

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NUI Galway Honours Lorna MacMahon during Winter Conferrings

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

28 November 2006: NUI Galway President Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh conferred the award of a Master of Arts (honoris causa) on well-known Galway horticulturalist and community activist Lorna MacMahon today. The award took place as NUI Galway hosted its Winter Conferring ceremony with over 650 students from across the faculties receiving their degrees and diplomas. For more than 35 years Lorna MacMahon has been involved in garden design, including her own award-winning garden 'Ardcarrig', which was open annually to the public. Lorna has also spent many years working as a horticultural therapist in the Psychiatric Unit of University College Hospital Galway. She was a founder member of the Galway Branch of Mental Handicap Ireland, and has been the Chairperson and Director of Galway Mental Health Association Ltd. Dr. Gerry Beggan, a former Lecturer in Education at NUI Galway, speaking at her conferring, said: "For her dedicated promotion of horticultural science and for her unselfish and untiring commitment to a very worthy charitable cause, it is most appropriate that Lorna should be the recipient of this award." Three ceremonies took place during the day with graduates from the faculties of Arts, Commerce, Science, Engineering, Medicine and Health Sciences, and Law, receiving their scrolls. Speaking at the conferrings, NUI Galway President Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, said; "NUI Galway aims for excellence in teaching, the promotion of world-class research, commitment to and engagement with our region, support for third level education through Irish, and above all ensuring the University places the student at the centre of all its activities." Some students at the conferring ceremony were the first to graduate from certain new courses, such as Honours Degree of Bachelor of Nursing Science; Master of Science (Software and Information Systems) (Distance) in association with Regis University, Denver USA; and Master of Laws in Public Law. -ends-

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