Monday, 28 August 2023

Cancer researchers at University of Galway and Notre Dame’s Harper Cancer Research Institute have come together to establish the Biseach Initiative, a strategic cancer research collaboration, which aims to build on the ideas, talent and infrastructure of both universities for global cancer impact.   Thousands of Notre Dame alumni and fans visited Ireland last week for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic between Notre Dame and US Navy. With a tagline of “Much more than a Game”, the event aims to strengthen existing relationships and form new ones between Ireland and the US.   It is fitting then that this week Professor M. Sharon Stack, Director of the University of Notre Dame Harper Cancer Research Institute, and Professor Michael Kerin, Director of the Saolta-University of Galway Cancer Centre, signed a memorandum of understanding at University of Galway to build interdisciplinary cancer research collaborations and strengthen links between both institutions through student and faculty exchange programmes.    To date there have been collaborative successes with joint Naughton Fellowships in the areas of bone metastasis and kidney cancer. Further research collaborations are planned with researchers in the Lambe Institute, Centre for Chromosome Biology, and the Apoptosis Research Centre at University of Galway.    Notre Dame undergraduates are hosted annually by research academics in University of Galway’s Colleges of Science and Engineering, and Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, as part of the Study Abroad in Galway  Programme. These students help to form a collaborative bridge between both institutions.   Professor M. Sharon Stack, Director, University of Notre Dame Harper Cancer Research Institute, said: “We know research cures cancer and we are stronger together. There is a wealth of scientific and clinical research expertise at the Harper Cancer Research Institute and University of Galway. The Biseach Initiative, enabled by the Notre Dame Kylemore Global Centre, harnesses the appetite for collaboration, to further translational cancer research and provide educational and development opportunities for our students and research leaders.”   Professor Michael Kerin, Director, Saolta-University of Galway Cancer Centre, said: “The west and northwest of Ireland have some of the worst outcomes from cancer nationally. We aim to change this by developing a comprehensive, research-led cancer centre for our region. This research collaboration with the University of Notre Dame will allow us to make a real difference to cancer outcomes.”   Lisa Caulfield, Director, University of Notre Dame Global Centre at Kylemore, said: “The Kylemore Global Centre situated in the heart of Connemara is a place where the University of Notre Dame engages with the landscape and the wider Irish community in meaningful and authentic ways. Together with our local partners such as the University of Galway - we strive to provide multi-disciplinary programming for leaders, thinkers, and creators with a focus on advancing research, forming community, and nourishing collaborations such as the Biseach Initiative.”   The Biseach Initiative began in 2019 when a delegation from the Harper Cancer Research Institute visited University of Galway. Students and academics from both Universities have visited each other to develop the collaboration, supported by the University of Galway International Office and the Notre Dame Kylemore Abbey Global Centre. In 2021 both Universities hosted online research symposia, and this was followed up by a cancer research retreat at the Kylemore Global Centre in 2022.  Ends   

Monday, 28 August 2023

Biomedical Engineering student begins preparations for the Walker Cup – the pinnacle of the sport for amateur players    University of Galway has heralded the achievement of student Liam Nolan as he prepares this week for the Walker Cup – the pinnacle of the sport for amateur golfers.   Liam Nolan is one of 10 players to have been selected for the Great Britain & Ireland team to compete against the US in the 49th Walker Cup match at St Andrews on the weekend of September 2 & 3, 2023.   He is also playing in the renowned competition at the home of golf as he embarks on his fourth year in Biomedical Engineering at University of Galway.    Deputy President and Registrar Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh said: “On behalf of our University community, I’d like to send a message of congratulations and best wishes to Liam Nolan for the Walker Cup. Our University takes great delight and a deep sense of pride in celebrating the achievements of our students, as well as our staff, whether that’s in research breakthroughs, community engagement, volunteering, academic achievement and competing, as Liam is, at the top of their game on a world stage. We look forward to many more sporting achievements at the University in the year ahead.”    Liam Nolan said: “I’m over the moon on the pick. It’s nice following all the work over the last few years to see it pay off and get given the chance to represent GB&I in the Walker Cup. The Americans have an amazing team but the fact that we’re so used to links golf, growing up on it, gives us a great chance against them. I am really looking forward to the week.”    Mike Heskin, Director of Sport at University of Galway, said: “Liam Nolan is a great role model and an ambassador not only for University of Galway but also Galway Golf Club and the west of Ireland. We are delighted to have been able to support Liam through the University’s High Performance Unit. Along with many other sports and athletes at the University and their achievements, Liam’s selection for the Walker Cup demonstrates the unique value of being able to support, coach and mentor students at a high level of sport and competition.”    Liam Nolan is a Galway native and his home club is Galway Golf Club. He won the South American Amateur Open in January of this year and the Brabazon Trophy in May. He has also represented Ireland in the European Team Championships and Home Internationals this year.    He is one of only four Irish golfers to have made the Walker Cup team, joining St Andrews Links Trophy winner Alex Maguire (Laytown & Bettystown); US Mid-Amateur champion Matthew McClean (Malone); and 2021 Walker Cupper Mark Power (Kilkenny) have been named in Stuart Wilson’s squad.   The biennial challenge is taking place over the Old Course at St Andrew’s in Scotland, just over a week from now, on Saturday and Sunday, September 2 and 3, marking 100 years since it was first played at the home of golf.   Ends 

Monday, 28 August 2023

International research team, led by University of Galway, reveal previously unknown source of powerful climate change driver black carbon  Air quality studies show pollution levels in Dublin have rivalled those in Beijing    An international team of researchers from Ireland, China and India, led out of University of Galway, has exposed previously unrealised health and climate impacts from the use of domestic firelighters.   The research was published in the prestigious scientific journal npj Climate and Atmospheric Science – Nature, and is part of the pilot AEROSOURCE initiative - funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications - that aims to supports climate and air pollution policies in Ireland. The study found that firelighters used for open fires and stoves in the home - even if used in small quantities and for a short period of time - emit more black carbon than all biomass fuels put together.  Professor Jurgita Ovadnevaite, deputy director of the Ryan Institute Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies at University of Galway and coordinating scientist of the international research project, said: “Black carbon is one of the main pollutants that affect air quality, acting as a climate forcer or driver, second only to carbon dioxide. While the effect was revealed in Ireland, the impact of it is relevant to other European countries, the UK, and worldwide, especially now with a rebound in the use of solid fuel stoves due to the energy crisis.” The research team describe the impact of firelighter use in home heating and the release of black carbon as a significant and previously overlooked source of air pollution. Firelighters are kerosene-based and contain hydrocarbon alkane. They noted that there are an estimated 70 million wood burning stoves, open fires and other solid fuel heating appliances in homes across Europe alone, while an EPA report from 2022 indicates an increase in the number of households switching to solid fuel fires, rather than a decline - a trend which may become more acute in the midst of the energy cost crisis. Professor Jurgita Ovadnevaite added: “The potentially toxic particulate air pollutants, like black carbon, not only affect people’s health but play a significant role in climate change and uncertainty of climate predictions. Unfortunately, there is no silver lining in this cloud over human health and climate change until the promotion of solid biomass fires and the use of firelighters for ignition is replaced by a co-benefit policy.” The analysis of air quality took place in south Dublin in 2016 and subsequent years, and included data recorded by the monitoring stations controlled by the EPA.  The research showed: In 2016, average black carbon levels in Dublin, supposedly a clean European city, rivaled those in Beijing. Data on concentrations showed disconcerting and comparable figures for black carbon in particulate matter - in Dublin: >7 micrograms of black carbon per cubic metre of air (μg m−3); in Beijing 5.5 μg m−3; and in Dehli: 15.9 μg m−3. More recent data from the AEROSOURCE network shows that black carbon concentrations in Dublin in winter 2022/23 are just below 1 μg m−3, while in Beijing it is on the order of 1-2.5 µg m-3.  The mixture of pollutants emitted by kerosene-based firelighters and solid fuel burning results in a strong localised air heating effect, reducing the volume in which pollutants are dispersed (aka boundary layer height), further leading to high self-amplified air pollution levels. Black carbon, which is emitted by firelighters, and organic aerosol, which is produced by solid biomass burning, combine to result in a more powerful climate warming effect. Despite generally good air quality in Ireland thanks to Atlantic weather patterns, the AEROSOURCE research revealed that extreme air pollution events, spanning most populated areas across the country, occur frequently in wintertime and during these times concentrations of air pollutants exceed levels recommended for health.  The research identified extraordinarily high concentrations of some particulate matter – classed as submicron – which are smaller than 1 micrometre. The research team noted that air pollution is also the single biggest environmental health risk, causing more than 7 million premature deaths per year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.  Dr Chunshui Lin, a lead author of the paper who conducted the study while at University of Galway, said: “This study demonstrates how critical it is to augment regulatory air quality networks with sophisticated instrumentation that can provide information on air pollution sources and can identify the main air pollution culprits and reveal their effects on both air quality and climate.” Professor Colin O'Dowd, Director of the Ryan Institute Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies at University of Galway, said: “Compounds consisting of carbon are known to be diverse in source and nature resulting in more complex challenges in terms of understanding their contributions to air pollution and climate, and in determining their sources. Without this, effective pollution control and climate change mitigation strategies cannot be developed. However, these carbonaceous compounds are not routinely measured in regulatory air quality networks." To read the full scientific paper, visit: http://rdcu.be/dhI82 Ends 

Tuesday, 22 August 2023

Professor Martin O’Halloran secures record level of prestigious research awards   University of Galway researcher Professor Martin O’Halloran has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Proof of Concept grant worth €150,000.  This latest accolade for Professor O’Halloran brings his total ERC awards to seven with a combined value of €4.25million in funding since 2015, making him the joint-highest ERC awardee in Ireland. The ERC Proof of Concept is being awarded for his research work on NeuroProtect - a novel therapy to prevent peripheral neuropathy in patients undergoing chemotherapy. The side-effect results in nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves) being damaged and can lead to weakness, numbness and pain, usually in the hands and feet which can cause significant disability and pain for cancer patients. Professor O’Halloran is Techrete Professor of Medical Electronics, Executive Director of the University of Galway-Enterprise Ireland funded BioInnovate Ireland and Director of the Translational Medical Device Lab at the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at University of Galway. His research projects to have been awarded ERC grants include: BioElecPro - Examining the electrical properties of human tissue as a platform for new medical devices Realta - Microwave ablation for the treatment of adrenal tumours Draiocht - Medical device for the treatment of varicose veins Hydrolieve - A long-lasting drug-free effective treatment for chronic Trigeminal Neuralgia pain EndoSolve - A novel medical device for the treatment of Endometriosis Arth-Alleve - Development of novel therapies for osteoarthritis pain Speaking about the ERC Proof of Concept award for NeuroProtect, Professor O’Halloran said: “This represents our seventh European Research Council grant since 2015, and addresses a medical problem significant to cancer patients - to minimise the long-term side effects of chemotherapy. It builds on ever growing collaborations between engineering and medicine at the University, and we hope to have an impact in the clinic in the very near future.” Professor Jim Livesey, Vice-President Research and Innovation at University of Galway, said: “The record ERC awards for Professor O’Halloran are a striking recognition of the quality and level of research he and his teams are leading at University of Galway, as well as the potential for impact on people’s quality of life. The ERC awards also demonstrate the role which our University plays regionally, nationally and internationally and its value in the medtech sector on a global stage.” Proof of Concept grants are awarded to ERC grant holders as top-up funding to explore the commercial or innovation potential of the results of their ERC-funded research. Ends

Tuesday, 22 August 2023

University of Galway and University of Galway Students’ Union have launched a pilot programme distributing free period products across campus to tackle the issue of period poverty among students and staff. The pilot stems from an initiative that was launched by the Students’ Union in 2017 to address the serious financial pressures and taboos faced by students who menstruate. The University is now funding and supporting the pilot programme to supply more free items in locations across campus for those who need them. The high cost of period products and the societal stigma which can still be attached to menstruation can lead to exclusion, mental health impacts and the use of unsuitable alternatives by those who menstruate. This programme aims to combat these issues and foster an inclusive, open campus with access for all. Students’ Union Vice President/Welfare Officer Izzy Tiernan said: “Period poverty and hygiene poverty are very real issues for our 19,000 student members. We are delighted that the University is supporting this pilot programme. We are calling on the Government to act now on the “Period Poverty in Ireland Report” from February 2021. Students have enough financial worries as it is with the cost of living crisis and spiraling rents, and we firmly believe the Government needs to mitigate the cost of these essential healthcare products for all.” Josephine Walsh, Head of Student Engagement at University of Galway, said: “Student Services at the University are delighted to be able to support the Students’ Union on this important initiative and policy for students. It is symbolic recognition by the University of the very real issues that our students face and even moreso we know it will make a very real difference in their lives.” University of Galway Deputy President and Registrar Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh said: “We are proud of the initiative that was taken by our students and their representatives, and as a University we are delighted that we are able to follow their lead and support efforts to alleviate cost and the effects of period poverty. Our new policy of free period products at University of Galway is a strong symbol of progress and how we can work together, with our students, to ensure better outcomes and respond to need.” Ends   

Tuesday, 15 August 2023

Almost 2,000 students are being conferred by University of Galway this week as part of the Autumn Conferring ceremonies.  The celebrations for undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD degrees take place from today until Friday August 18. Professor Maria Byrne was also conferred with a Doctor of Science (DSc) on Published Work. Degrees on published work are higher doctorates and are the highest qualifications awarded by the University. They are awarded to scholars who have, over a sustained period, published a substantial body of ground-breaking and influential work in a field of specialisation and who have achieved outstanding distinction internationally in that field. An alum of University of Galway, Maria is Professor of Marine Biology at the University of Sydney, a member of the Sydney Environment Institute, and former Director of the university's research station on One Tree Island. She is the co-editor of Australian Echinoderms which won the 2018 Whitley Medal. Professor Byrne has been publishing her research on Echinodermata since the early 1980s and was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2019. Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, University of Galway President, said: “I am delighted to be able to meet so many graduates of University of Galway who are returning to our campus for this celebration. This is an exceptional place, and our graduates are exceptional people. Reflecting our values of respect and excellence, I would like to congratulate each of them for their dedication, resilience, and determination over the course of their studies with us. Graduation is a special day for students and I am pleased that we are able to celebrate their achievements with their family, friends, fans and our staff members. We wish them the very best for the future, their future.” Over the four days a range of degrees will be awarded to graduates from the College of Science and Engineering, College of Business, Public Policy and Law, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. The full schedule for the University’s Autumn Conferring ceremonies is available at https://www.universityofgalway.ie/conferring/  Ends

Tuesday, 15 August 2023

Tá beagnach 2,000 céim á mbronnadh ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe an tseachtain seo mar chuid de shearmanais Bhronnta an Fhómhair.  Beidh an ceiliúradh d'fhochéimeanna, iarchéimeanna agus céimeanna PhD ar siúl ó inniu go dtí Dé hAoine, an 18 Lúnasa. Bronnadh Dochtúireacht Eolaíochta (DSc) as Obair Fhoilsithe ar an Ollamh Maria Byrne freisin. Is ard-dochtúireachtaí iad céimeanna a bhronntar as saothar foilsithe, agus is iad na cáilíochtaí is airde a bhronntar san Ollscoil iad. Bronntar iad ar scoláirí a bhfuil bailiúchán de shaothar úrnua agus cumhachtach i réimse speisialtóireachta foilsithe acu, thar thréimhse áirithe, agus a bhfuil aitheantas den scoth bainte amach acu go hidirnáisiúnta sa réimse sin. Is céimí de chuid Ollscoil na Gaillimhe í Maria, agus tá sí ina hOllamh le Bitheolaíocht Mhara agus Fhorbarthach in Ollscoil Sydney, ina ball d’Institiúid Timpeallachta Sydney, agus ina hiar-Stiúrthóir ar stáisiún taighde na hollscoile ar One Tree Island. Tá sí ina comheagarthóir ar Australian Echinoderms a bhuaigh Bonn Whitley in 2018. Tá an tOllamh Byrne ag foilsiú a cuid taighde ar Echinodermata ó thús na 1980idí agus toghadh ina Comhalta d’Acadamh Eolaíochta na hAstráile in 2019 í. Dúirt an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe: “Tá lúcháir orm bualadh leis an oiread sin céimithe de chuid Ollscoil na Gaillimhe atá ag filleadh ar ár gcampas don cheiliúradh seo. Is áit eisceachtúil í seo, agus is daoine eisceachtúla iad ár gcéimithe. Agus ár luachanna measa agus barr feabhais á léiriú againn, ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh le gach duine acu as a dtiomantas, a neart agus a ndíograis le linn a gcuid staidéir linn. Is lá speisialta é bronnadh na gcéimeanna do mhic léinn agus tá áthas orm go bhfuilimid in ann a gcuid éachtaí a cheiliúradh lena dteaghlach, lena gcairde, lena lucht leanúna agus lenár gcomhaltaí foirne. Guímid gach rath ort amach anseo.” Déanfar raon céimeanna a bhronnadh i rith na gceithre lá ar chéimithe ó Choláiste na hEolaíochta agus na hInnealtóireachta, Coláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí agus an Dlí, Coláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte agus Coláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh. Tá sceideal iomlán shearmanais bhronnta an Fhómhair le fáil ag https://www.universityofgalway.ie/conferring/ Críoch

Thursday, 3 August 2023

Tá fáilte mhór curtha ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe roimh chead pleanála a bheith faighte d’Ionad Foghlama nua i gcroílár an champais. Foirgneamh spreagúil nua, inbhuanaithe, nua-aimseartha, aitheanta atá beartaithe agus beidh leabharlann na todhchaí lonnaithe ann. Tiocfaidh Ionad Foghlama Ollscoil na Gaillimhe in áit na Leabharlainne atá ann faoi láthair agus is spás foghlama agus cruthaitheachta nua ardteicneolaíochta a bheidh ann dírithe ar rochtain a sholáthar ar leabhair, ar fhaisnéis agus ar na teicneolaíochtaí foghlama is déanaí do theagasc agus d’fhoghlaim na mac léinn, don taighde agus don fhoireann. Seo mar a labhair Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Is iad na luachanna meas, oscailteacht, barr feabhais agus inbhuanaitheacht bunchloch phlean straitéiseach Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Tá leabharlanna lárnach i saol agus i bhfoghlaim na n-ollscoileanna, agus beidh ár leabharlann nua ina ‘lárlann’ i saol nithiúil agus coincheapúil na hollscoile, léiriú ar ár luachanna ar mhaithe le leas an phobail. “Tá lúcháir orainn go bhfuil cead pleanála faighte againn d’fhorbairt a bheidh ina lárionad den scoth dár mic léinn, dár bhfoireann agus dár gcuairteoirí.  “Is mian linn a bheith inár gcomharsana maithe agus is eiseamláir rannpháirtíochta é leibhéal agus caighdeán na pleanála agus na rannpháirtíochta atá curtha isteach san Ionad Foghlama seo. Tá moladh mór ag dul dár gcomhghleacaithe a stiúir é, agus as an mbealach ar oibrigh siad le sainchomhairleoirí, chomh maith le páirtithe leasmhara inár n-ollscoil agus inár bpobal níos leithne. Táimid buíoch freisin de lucht pleanála Chomhairle Cathrach na Gaillimhe as oibriú linn lenár bhfís a thabhairt chuig an bpointe seo.” Tógadh Leabharlann reatha Ollscoil na Gaillimhe in 1973 agus tá sí i gcroílár Áras Uí Argadáin i lár an Champais Theas. Rinneadh an athfhorbairt mhór is déanaí ar an Leabharlann in 1999. Beidh an tIonad Foghlama nua lonnaithe in aice le Bóthar na Drioglainne, díreach ó dheas d’Ionad Spóirt na hOllscoile. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag John Cox, Leabharlannaí na hOllscoile: “Is í an fhís atá ann don Ionad Foghlama ná forbairt pobail agus rannpháirtíocht chomhoibríoch sna disciplíní ar fad. Déanann an plean seo acmhainní teicneolaíochta agus intleachtúla a uasmhéadú chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar dhúshláin a sháraíonn acmhainn aon disciplín ar leith, mar shampla athrú aeráide, inbhuanaitheacht agus rialú galair, dúshláin atá lárnach do Spriocanna Forbartha Inbhuanaithe na Náisiún Aontaithe.” Dúirt Niamh Burke, Stiúrthóir RKD Architects: “D’oibríomar go dlúth leis an Ollscoil chun an ailtireacht chathartha seo a chruthú a shuíonn go compordach i suíomh uathúil an champais ar thírdhreach tábhachtach cathrach. Tá an foirgneamh simplí ó thaobh crutha de, agus tá laindéar gloine cruthaithe aige i dtreo na habhann ionas go seasfaidh an tIonad amach. Taobh istigh, tá na spásanna staidéir deartha chun an leas is fearr a bhaint as na radharcanna iontacha amach ar an abhainn agus ar an mbaile mór.” Is foirgneamh é an tIonad Foghlama, a dhear RKD Architects, a bhfuil idir ceithre agus sé stór ann. Tá spás staidéir ann, lena n-áirítear limistéir chiúin, aonair agus chomhoibríocha; spásanna le haghaidh taispeántais; cruthaitheacht dhigiteach; Cúinne na Cruthaitheachta, ionad don léann digiteach; spásanna do thaighde/staidéar iarchéime, teagasc agus imeachtaí, rannpháirtíocht phobail agus limistéar fáilte, deasc chabhrach, bailiúcháin, próiseáil leabhar; Bookbot; folláine na mac léinn lena n-áirítear spásanna céadfacha, scíthe agus lasmuigh. Críoch

Wednesday, 2 August 2023

University of Galway has warmly welcomed planning approval for a new Learning Commons at the heart of its city campus.  The proposed development will create an exciting new, sustainable, modern, iconic building which will be home to the library of the future.  University of Galway’s Learning Commons will replace the existing Library and offer a new, high-tech space of learning and creativity with a focus on providing access to books, information and the latest learning technologies for student teaching and learning, for research and for staff. President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “Values are the bedrock of University of Galway’s strategic plan – openness, excellence, respect, sustainability. Libraries are central to the life of, and learning in universities, and our new leabharlann will be a ‘lárlann’ in the concrete and conceptual life of our university, a manifestation of our values for the public good.   “We are delighted that we have secured planning permission for a development that will be a new, state-of-the-art, focal point for our students, staff and visitors.  “We wish to be good neighbours and the level and standard of planning and engagement that has gone into our proposal for a new Learning Commons is a model of engagement. Enormous credit goes to our colleagues who have led and driven it, and for the manner in which they have worked with consultants, as well as stakeholders in our university and in our wider community. We are also grateful to the planners in Galway City Council for working with us in bringing our vision to this stage of its fruition.” University of Galway’s current Library was constructed in 1973 and sits at the heart of the Hardiman Building in the centre of the South Campus. The most recent major redevelopment in the Library took place in 1999. The proposed new Learning Commons development will be located off Distillery Road, immediately south of the University’s Sports Centre. John Cox, University of Galway Librarian, said: “The vision for the Learning Commons is for community building and collaborative engagement across disciplines. This ambition maximises technological and intellectual resources in order to address challenges which exceed the capacity of any one discipline, for example climate change, sustainability and disease control, challenges which are central to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.” Niamh Burke, Director with RKD Architects, said: “We have worked closely with the University to create a piece of civic architecture that sits comfortably within the unique campus setting along an important city vista. The form is simple in its massing, with the creation of a glass lantern to the river Corrib, signalling the building’s presence. Internally the study spaces are designed to optimise the impressive views out to the Corrib and wider city context.”  The Learning Commons, designed by RKD Architects, is a building ranging in height from four to six storeys with study space, including quiet, individual and collaborative areas; spaces for exhibitions; digital creativity; Makerspace, digital scholarship centre; areas dedicated to research/postgraduate study, teaching and events, community engagement and welcome zone, helpdesk, collections, book processing; Bookbot; student wellbeing including sensory, relaxation and outdoor spaces. Ends 

Thursday, 28 September 2023

Tá Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ag tabhairt cuireadh do mhic léinn ionchasacha agus do thuismitheoirí, múinteoirí gairmthreorach agus múinteoirí eile freastal ar laethanta oscailte fochéime an fhómhair, áit a mbeidh imeachtaí speisialta nua ina dtabharfar deis do dhaoine taithí a fháil ar roinnt de na háiseanna teagaisc agus foghlama is nuálaíche dá bhfuil ann. Beidh laethanta oscailte an fhómhair ar siúl Dé hAoine agus Dé Sathairn, an 6 agus an 7 Deireadh Fómhair, ó 9am go 3pm agus an-deis atá iontu do dhaltaí meánscoile tús a chur lena n-ullmhúchán do CAO 2024. Cuireann an Ollscoil os cionn 60 cúrsa fochéime ar fáil a aithnítear go hidirnáisiúnta i réimsí cosúil le Leigheas, Altranas, na hEolaíochtaí Sláinte, na Dána, Eolaíocht, Innealtóireacht, Gnó, Dlí agus Bainistíocht Óstáin agus tugann breis agus 90% de na cúrsaí deis do mhic léinn tabhairt faoi shocrúchán oibre agus/nó staidéar thar lear, rud a chinntíonn go mbeidh céimithe réidh don ionad oibre agus go mbeidh tóir ag fostóirí sa bhaile agus thar lear orthu. Tá cúig thaispeántas i gceist leis an imeacht dhá lá agus beidh an clár cainteanna is mó riamh againn, níos mó ná 100 caint, ar chúrsaí, ábhair, gairmeacha agus tacaíochtaí do mhic léinn. Gné speisialta de na laethanta oscailte seo is ea rochtain a bheith ar fáil ar roinnt de na háiseanna teagaisc agus foghlama is nuálaíche dá bhfuil ag an Ollscoil, agus taithí phraiticiúil a fháil orthu, lena n-áirítear: -       Beidh spéis acu siúd atá ag féachaint le leigheas a dhéanamh sa todhchaí, agus ag a dtuismitheoirí, sa turas idirghníomhach de na háiseanna ionsamhlúcháin cúraim sláinte den chéad scoth atá lonnaithe i bhfoirgneamh na hInstitiúide Eolaíochta Cliniciúla. Beidh an turas idirghníomhach seo ar siúl ar an Satharn amháin, agus tá teorainn leis an méid daoine ar féidir leo dul air. Is féidir le cuairteoirí áit ar an turas a chur in áirithe ag an seastán Leighis sa Zón Dearg, agus cuirfear tús leis ag 9:45am ón Zón Dearg. -       Beidh Bréagchúirt Scoil an Dlí oscailte do chuairteoirí, agus reáchtálfar cúig thuras an dá lá. An aidhm atá leis an mBréagchúirt eispéireas éisteachta cáis cúirte a mhacasamhlú dár gcuid mac léinn. Ní mór clárú roimh ré ag Seastán 4 sa Zón Oráiste. -       Tá zóin idirghníomhacha á dtairiscint ag Coláiste na hEolaíochta agus na hInnealtóireachta chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoi chonairí oideachais agus cúrsaí ó 9am go dtí 3pm ar an Aoine agus ar an Satharn sa Zón Glas (Innealtóireacht) agus sa Zón Corcra (Eolaíocht agus Ríomheolaíocht). -       Fearfar fáilte roimh chuairteoirí a bheith páirteach i Máistir-Rang Drámaíochta, ar ceardlann drámaíochta phraiticiúil atá ann trínar féidir blaiseadh a fháil de chéim na hOllscoile i Léann na Drámaíochta, na hAmharclannaíochta agus an Taibhléirithe. Tá teorainn leis an méid spásanna agus ní mór clárú roimh ré ag an seastán Drámaíochta sa Zón Oráiste. -       D’fhéadfadh spéis a bheith ag na daltaí sin a bhfuil luí acu leis an gceol i Máistir-Rang Ceoil leis an ConTempo Quartet, a n-aithnítear é a bheith ar cheann de na grúpaí ceoil aireagail is bríomhaire dá bhfuil ann i láthair na huaire.Beidh an máistir-rang ar siúl ar an Aoine amháin ag 1pm in Amharclann Shiobhán Nic Cionnaith sa Zón Bándearg. Áirítear le sceideal na laethanta oscailte freisin sraith cainteanna a chabhróidh le daltaí agus le tuismitheoirí ullmhú don choláiste agus ina measc tá cainteanna ar Shaol na Mac Léinn, Spórt, Staidéar Thar Lear, Gairmeacha agus obair dheonach ALIVE. Eagróidh an tIonad Rochtana seisiúin ar bhealaí iontrála eile, ar thacaíochtaí do mhic léinn lánfhásta agus ar an mbealach iontrála QQI/FETAC/PLC. Tugtar cuireadh do thuismitheoirí freastal ar Chaint na dTuismitheoirí a bheidh ar siúl ag 11.30am (ar an Satharn amháin) áit a mbeidh comhairle agus treoir le fáil ar an gcaoi ar féidir le tuismitheoirí tacú lena gclann agus iad ag dul ar aghaidh chuig an tríú leibhéal.  Leag Sarah Geraghty, an Stiúrthóir Earcaíochta Mac Léinn agus For-rochtana, béim ar an tábhacht a bhaineann le deiseanna a sholáthar do dhaltaí chun an campas a fheiceáil agus smaoineamh ar a gcuid staidéir amach anseo: "An aidhm atá ag na laethanta oscailte blaiseadh de shaol an choláiste a thabhairt do dhaltaí agus tá súil againn go dtuigfidh siad go mbeidh deiseanna iontacha acu sa todhchaí má roghnaíonn siad staidéar san ollscoil seo. Rangaíodh ár nOllscoil  i measc an 2% is fearr d'ollscoileanna ar domhan, i measc an 100 ollscoil is fearr san Eoraip chomh maith le bheith sa 34ú háit ar domhan, agus sa chéad áit in Éirinn, de réir Ranguithe Tionchair Times Higher Education (THE) as an dul chun cinn atá déanta aici i dtreo Spriocanna Forbartha Inbhuanaithe na Náisiún Aontaithe (SDGanna) a chur chun cinn. Tá ár léachtóirí, comhaltaí foirne agus mic léinn ag súil le bualadh leis na daltaí meánscoile atá ag cuimhneamh ar staidéar anseo agus cabhrú leo cíoradh a dhéanamh ar na conairí éagsúla staidéir agus gairme atá rompu san ollscoil seo. Is gá clárú roimh ré, agus tá tuilleadh eolais agus an clár iomlán ar fáil ag www.universityofgalway.ie/opendays, nó trí ríomhphost a sheoladh chuig opendays@universityofgalway.ie. Críoch

Wednesday, 27 September 2023

Audiovisual kits available to borrow in six libraries in Offaly, Mayo, Cork and Galway as young people take part in ReelLIFE SCIENCE video competition    The University of Galway based STEM programme ReelLIFE SCIENCE has presented six libraries around Ireland with audiovisual equipment to help young people in schools and youth groups take part in the innovative science video competition.  Now in its 11th year, ReelLIFE SCIENCE challenges young science enthusiasts and filmmakers across the island of Ireland, north and south, to produce fun short science videos to educate and entertain the public.  With a prize fund of more than €5000, the best videos from primary schools, secondary schools and youth organisations will each win €1000 and will be screened for the public at the Galway Science and Technology Festival at University of Galway on November 12, 2023. Videos can be up to three minutes in length and can communicate any aspect of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), including topics like: Climate Action, How Things Work, Emerging Technology and Marvels of Medicine.  Filming can be on smartphones, tablets or cameras. The closing date for entries is Friday, October 13.  Through the Digital Libraries partnership with Foróige, the audiovisual kits were presented to libraries in Tullamore, Co Offaly, Castlebar and Ballina in Co Mayo, Castletownbere and Youghal in Co Cork, and Westside Library in Galway City.  The kits can be borrowed by young people to help them with their productions. Speaking about the collaboration, ReelLIFE SCIENCE Founding Director Dr Enda O’Connell, said: “We are very excited to launch this pilot project with these six libraries, to enable more young people to engage with science and technology in a creative way. Having a scientifically engaged public from all regions and backgrounds has never been more important, and through the support of Science Foundation Ireland, we plan on expanding this initiative to more libraries around the country in the coming years.” Since launching in 2013, more than 23,000 young people in 700 schools and youth organisations in Ireland have taken part in the ReelLIFE SCIENCE programme, producing over 2,500 short science videos.  ReelLIFE SCIENCE is supported by Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Programme, University of Galway’s College of Science and Engineering, the CÚRAM SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices, and the Cell EXPLORERS science outreach programme. More information about taking part can be found at www.reellifescience.com. An introductory video on ReelLIFE SCIENCE is also available in English or Irish.  Ends

Tuesday, 26 September 2023

University of Galway are inviting prospective students, parents, guidance counsellors and teachers for the autumn undergraduate open days – with new special events offering hands-on experiences of some of the most innovative teaching and learning facilities. A perfect opportunity for students to start preparing for CAO 2024, the autumn open days take place Friday and Saturday, October 6 and 7, from 9am to 3pm. The University offers over 60 internationally recognised undergraduate degrees courses in areas such as Medicine, Nursing, Health Sciences, Arts, Science, Engineering, Business, Law and Hotel Management and over 90% of courses offer students a work placement and/or study abroad opportunity ensuring graduates are work place ready, and much sought after by employers at home and abroad. The two-day event is spread across five exhibitions and the schedule includes the largest ever programme of talks with over 100 course, subject, career and student support talks on offer. A special feature of this open day will be exclusive access to some of the University’s most innovative teaching and learning facilities and hands-on experiences including: -       Future medical students and their parents will not want to miss the interactive tour of new world-class healthcare simulation facilities located in the Clinical Science Institute Building. The interactive tour takes place on Saturday only and places are limited. Visitors can book a place on the tour at the Medicine stand in the Red Zone and the tour commences at 9:45am from the Red Zone. -       The School of Law’s Moot Court will be open to visitors with five tours taking place each day. The Moot Court is designed to replicate the experience of a real court hearing for our students! Registration is required in advance at Stand 4 in the Orange Zone. -       The College of Science and Engineering are offering interactive zones for future students to explore pathways and courses from 9am to 3pm on both the Friday and Saturday in the Green Zone (Engineering) and Purple Zone (Science and Computer Science). -       Visitors are invited to join a Drama Masterclass, a practical drama workshop that gives a taste of the University’s degree in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. Spaces are limited and registration is required in advance at the Drama stand in the Orange Zone. -       Music students will be interested in a Music Masterclass by the ConTempo Quartet, recognised as one of the most exciting and vibrant chamber ensembles performing today. The masterclass is taking place on Friday only at 1pm in the Siobhán McKenna Theatre in the Pink Zone. The open day schedule includes a series of talks that will help students and parents prepare for college life with talks on Student Life, Sport, Study Abroad, Careers and ALIVE volunteering. The Access Centre will host sessions on alternative pathways, mature student supports and the QQI/FETAC/PLC entry route. Parents are invited to attend a Parents’ Talk taking place on at 11:30am (on the Saturday only) with advice and guidance on how parents can support the progression to third level.  Sarah Geraghty, Director of Student Recruitment and Outreach, highlighted the importance of providing students with opportunities to explore the campus and think about their future studies: “The aim of our open days is to give students a taste of college life and hopefully a sense of great possibility for their future university studies. Our University is ranked in the top 2% of universities globally and in the top 100 in Europe in addition to being ranked 34th in the world and number one university in Ireland by the THE Impact Rankings for its efforts in progressing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Our lecturers, staff and students are looking forward to meeting future students to help them navigate their way through the many diverse and exciting study and career pathways that await them.” Advance registration is required, with further information and the full programme available at www.universityofgalway.ie/opendays, or by emailing opendays@universityofgalway.ie. Ends

Monday, 25 September 2023

Higher Education Authority announces Performance Funding in recognition of work of Active Consent   University of Galway has been awarded a special €1.3million fund in respect of efforts to develop research, education and awareness around consent. Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris T.D. announced the Performance Funding at an event at SETU Carlow as part of dedicated investment by the Higher Education Authority which recognise innovative programmes to help create a better society. University of Galway is one of only 5 institutions to be awarded funding under the HEA initiative. The €1.3million fund was secured following the submission of a case study which outlines the pioneering and innovative work of the Active* Consent programme, from its inception in 2013 as a consent education and research initiative, through to it being scaled up from 2019-2022, and its place as a national programme promoting healthy relationships and fostering a culture of respect.  The programme has worked with nearly all Irish higher education institutions, addressing student needs on consent, sexual violence and harassment and upskilling the staff who support them.  University of Galway has been successful in securing HEA performance funding in all four rounds of allocation, totalling almost €4 million. Projects supported highlight areas of strength and development such as gender equality; research excellence - on the back of a very strong performance in the Horizon 2020 programme for European research; and Access - enabling university opportunities for students from non-traditional backgrounds including students with disabilities, Irish Travellers and students from further education. President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “The award of €1.3m in Government funding to help progress the consent agenda is both a recognition of the success of the work done to date in research, education and awareness, as well as being a signal of what more can be achieved. The work has always been firmly embedded in one of our University’s core values – respect. I would like to pay tribute to the work of all those involved in Active* Consent and those who support its endeavours every day.”  Caroline Loughnane, Secretary for Governance and Academic Affairs at University of Galway, said: “Huge credit goes to all those who have been involved in the pioneering work of Active* Consent. We are delighted to see the recognition for the academic work, as well as the impact that the team and their initiatives are having in wider society. This allocation of performance funding for the fourth successive year further demonstrates the impactful, progressive nature of initiatives at University of Galway.” Dr Pádraig Mac Neela, Head of Psychology at University of Galway and co-director Active Consent, said: "The Active* Consent programme works with young people and staff in universities, further education, post-primary schools, and we have established evidence-based resources, training and education that open up conversations about consent and help young people build the skills that they need. We prepare staff to support positive developmental transitions and to manage disclosures of assault or harassment. The HEA Performance Funding award will enable us to continue our ten-year story of research, training and education to meet our ambition of having integrated Consent education from post-primary schools into Further and Higher Education.”  As highlighted in the submission to the HEA, Active* Consent has had a wide-ranging impact in higher education, on national policy, and as part of the national discourse on consent. 22,000 first year students participated in workshops (2022-23)  90% recommend workshop participation and 91% learned something useful 2,800 students attended live consent drama (2022-23); with 75% agreeing their understanding of consent improved  1,500 HE staff and students trained as consent workshop facilitators since 2016 170 staff completed 12-hour First Point of Contact disclosure skills training since 2021 Earlier this year, Active* Consent marked the launch of its 2023-27 programme with the publication of a report reviewing the scale of work undertaken during its first large scale programme, 2019-2022, and an outline of goals to expand the work over the next five years. Active* Consent is now acknowledged as the sectoral standard and leading national programme for consent, with a wide range of stakeholder partnerships including Union of Students Ireland, Galway RCC and Rape Crisis Network Ireland, and SOLAS/Education & Training Boards Ireland. In 2021 the HEA adopted the Active* Consent campus climate survey tool to assess student and staff experiences. Ends    

Monday, 25 September 2023

Researchers from the University of Galway and the Western Development Commission are calling on employees to share their experiences regarding remote and hybrid work by participating in the annual National Remote Working Survey.   This is the fourth annual survey and seeks to build on the valuable insights garnered from the previous three surveys.   The 2023 survey will offer a comprehensive view of how remote and hybrid work is shaping work experiences and employment dynamics in Ireland.   The National Remote Working Survey is led by Professor Alma McCarthy, Dr Meave O’Sullivan, Professor Eoin Whelan and Dr Luke McGrath at University of Galway, alongside Allan Mulrooney and Deirdre Frost at the Western Development Commission.   Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, warmly welcomes this initiative and encouraged workers to participate, stating: "In recent years, we have witnessed remarkable progress in supporting remote workers and employers. It is of utmost importance that we maintain this momentum. Our Rural Development Policy, 'Our Rural Future,' clearly acknowledges the pivotal role of remote working in achieving balanced regional development. Remote workers contribute to local economies and sustain communities, and I am committed to fostering remote work. This survey will provide us with essential data to make informed decisions in this vital area."   Professor Alma McCarthy, Professor of Public Sector Management and Dean of J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at University of Galway, emphasised the significant impact of previous surveys on policy-making: "Our previous annual surveys have played a crucial role in shaping the national remote working strategy. The way we work has undergone a dramatic transformation since the Covid-19 pandemic. It is opportune to document the trends, preferences, and the impact on employment three years on."   Allan Mulrooney, Chief Executive of the Western Development Commission, highlighted the enduring popularity of remote work following Covid-19: "Remote working has proven highly attractive to both employees and employers post-pandemic with an impact on relocation and regional development. While some have returned to the office, many continue to work remotely either full or part-time. This survey examines the experiences of remote workers at this juncture. The development of the National Hub Network, Connected Hubs, which now numbers over 300 hubs, underscores the sustained demand for remote and hybrid work solutions, as well as suitable work facilities close to home."   After analysing the findings from the 2023 National Remote Working Survey, the team will publish the results both the University of Galway and the Western Development Commission websites at the end of October 2023. Additionally, comprehensive reports and key statistics from previous annual surveys are accessible on these websites.   The survey, which is open until open until Monday October 2, is available at https://bit.ly/RemoteWorkSurvey4   Ends

Friday, 22 September 2023

University of Galway has officially launched its newest research unit - the Centre for Creative Technologies.   The aim of the new centre is to foster and support research and teaching activities that explore and develop links between creative practice and technology and creativity as a principle and practice that extends beyond the arts.    Building on the University’s strong relationships with the creative community in the western region and beyond, including the Strategic Education Partnerships with Galway International Arts Festival and Druid, the Centre for Creative Technologies will explore the impact on the traditional creative industries of rapid technological change in areas such as immersive reality, artificial intelligence and virtual production processes.    The Centre’s newly launched PhD in Creative Technologies brings together research that combines critical enquiry with technological and artistic practice to investigate important developments in this field.   University of Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh officially launched the Centre for Creative Technologies at a special event on campus in the O’Donoghue Centre on Thursday September 21, 2023.   Professor Ó hÓgartaigh said: “University of Galway, our city and our region all have strong bonds with the world of the arts and creativity. These ties have afforded us opportunities that enable our university to grow and develop in special ways, in line with our values of openness, excellence and sustainability. The new Centre for Creative Technologies is symbolic of that and we wish every success to all of those who will tap into this important research entity and the new opportunities it brings.”   Professor Rebecca Braun, Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, said: “The Centre for Creative Technologies is an exciting initiative that will support research and teaching initiatives that explore the intersections between creative practice and technology within and beyond the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. It draws on existing strengths in the areas of creativity across the College and will support the kind of interdisciplinary research needed to tackle the key societal challenges we face today.”   University of Galway Vice-President Research and Innovation Professor Jim Livesey said: “We are living at a time when the pace and scale of change in the world of technology is seismic. Now we have an exciting opportunity to harness some of that in the areas of research, teaching and learning by bringing together bright minds in an environment which promotes excellence across our academic disciplines.”    Conn Holohan, Director of the Centre for Creative Technologies at University of Galway, said: “We look forward to supporting exciting collaborations between researchers, industry and artists that explore the many ways that creativity and technology intersect with our daily lives.”   The Centre for Creative Technologies is the first research centre of its kind in Ireland, exploring the intersection of creativity and technology across disciplines from within the traditions of the arts.    As creative engagement with technology is an increasingly central element of our responses to global challenges, the centre will enable researchers, academics and those involved in the arts to bring their expertise and insight to a diverse range of areas of activity, from healthcare to manufacturing to the societal responses to climate change.    Ahead of the launch of the Centre for Creative Technologies, James Riordan, Brú Theatre, took on a two week Digital Artist-in-Residence where he and his interdisciplinary artist collaborators explored opportunities for technology and creativity, including showcasing the centre's new technologies such as augmented reality virtual reality and motion capture.    Ends

Thursday, 21 September 2023

Gabriel Makhlouf, Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, today delivered an address focusing on inflation and the labour market as part of University of Galway’s Thinking Beyond series.   Organised by the University’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, the event took place in the Aula Maxima, Quadrangle Building.   The event offered the opportunity to provide valuable insights into the causes of the current period high inflation in Ireland and what it means for monetary policy. Following Governor Makhlouf’s address, a Q&A session was held with Alan Ahearne, Professor of Economics at University of Galway and Adviser to the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin.   Gabriel Makhlouf was appointed Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland in 2019, and is Chair of the Central Bank Commission, a member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank, the European Systemic Risk Board, and is Ireland's Alternate Governor at the International Monetary Fund.   Prior to joining the Central Bank, he was Secretary to the New Zealand Treasury and the NZ Government's chief economic and financial adviser. Mr Makhlouf also led reviews of New Zealand's three macroeconomic pillars (monetary, financial stability and fiscal policy) and the development of a new framework for the development of economic and public policy focused on intergenerational wellbeing. In addition, Governor Makhlouf was New Zealand's Alternate Governor at the World Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Asian Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He was also co-chair of the Trans-Tasman Banking Council.   Professor Alan Ahearne said: “The Irish economy is operating at full employment, with the unemployment rate having dropped to record lows and many businesses reporting shortages of labour. Against this backdrop, I very much look forward to the Governor’s perspective on how developments in the labour market might affect the outlook for inflation, the cost of living and the future path of interest rates.”   Governor Makhlouf also addressed students of University of Galway’s Economics Society during his visit.    Governor Makhlouf said he welcomed the opportunity to visit University of Galway as part of the University’s Thinking Beyond: “It is always a pleasure to meet with students and discuss these important issues, and I look forward to welcoming some of them as colleagues in the future.   “If I were to sum up post-pandemic labour market dynamics in one word, it would be resilient. The slowdown in growth this year has yet to show up in employment levels, with wage growth continuing to be strong, reflecting the combined effects of a tight labour market and catch up to inflation. We will continue to closely monitor wage developments as a potential source of future inflation. The outlook for wage growth will depend in large part on how labour demand develops. Forward-looking indicators indicate that some of the strong momentum we saw during 2022/23 may begin to ease in the coming months.”     Professor Alma McCarthy, Dean of J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics said: “We are delighted to host Governor Makhlouf as part of our Thinking Beyond event series in the School. The series features insights from thought leaders on current issues impacting business and society across a broad array of industries and sectors.”   Ends

Wednesday, 20 September 2023

Tá Ollscoil na Gaillimhe sa 50 is Fearr maidir le hInbhuanaitheacht freisin   Tá Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ainmnithe mar cheann de na hOllscoileanna is fearr san Eoraip, de réir Ranguithe Ollscoile QS an Domhain: An Eoraip 2024. Seo an chéad uair a ndearnadh rangú Eorpach agus tháinig Ollscoil na Gaillimhe sa 98ú áit as 690 institiúid i 42 suíomh ar fud na hEorpa. Rangaíodh Ollscoil na Gaillimhe freisin i rangú QS na hEorpa de na 50 ollscoil is fearr maidir le hInbhuanaitheacht, agus an nuacht sin ag teacht ar na sála ar an bhfógra gur ainmnigh Ranguithe Tionchair Times Higher Education (THE) an Ollscoil seo mar an ollscoil is fearr in Éirinn, agus i measc na 50 ollscoil is fearr ar domhan, as dul chun cinn a bheith déanta i dtreo Spriocanna Forbartha Inbhuanaithe na Náisiún Aontaithe (SDGanna) níos luaithe i mbliana. D’ainmnigh Rialtas na hÉireann Ollscoil na Gaillimhe mar churaidh náisiúnta SDG i mí Bealtaine, agus an tseachtain seo tá a céad Seachtain Spriocanna Forbartha Inbhuanaithe á óstáil ag an Ollscoil a bhfuil sé mar aidhm léi feasacht, rannpháirtíocht agus gníomhartha a spreagadh féachaint le cabhrú le baint amach 17 Sprioc Forbartha Inbhuanaithe na Náisiún Aontaithe. Seo mar a labhair Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Tá pobal agus cultúr na hollscoile le moladh go hard as bheith rangaithe i measc na 100 ollscoil is fearr san Eoraip sa chéad rangú QS seo agus as an gcéad áit a bhaint amach in Éirinn maidir le hinbhuanaitheacht sna Ranganna Tionchair THE. Léiriú atá ann den iarracht leanúnach a dhéantar ar fud na hOllscoile a bheith ina hollscoil ar mhaithe le leas an phobail, agus muid dílis dár luachanna, mar atá meas, barr feabhais, oscailteacht agus inbhuanaitheacht. Táimid meáite, ón áit seo agus ar mhaithe leis an áit seo, cur lenár gclú agus ár dtionchar, agus muid ag freastal ag an am céanna ar ár gcuid mac léinn agus ár bpobal. Ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghabháil lenár mic léinn agus lenár bhfoireann as a gcuid oibre crua agus a dtiomantas, agus lenár gcuid alumni as a bheith ina n-ambasadóirí den scoth.” Tá tuilleadh eolais ar na Ranguithe Ollscoile QS: An Eoraip 2024 ar fáil ag www.topuniversities.com/europe-university-rankings. Críoch

Wednesday, 20 September 2023

University of Galway also ranked in Top 50 for Sustainability   University of Galway has been named as one of the top Universities in Europe, according to the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024. The first Europe-wide rankings have placed University of Galway 98th in Europe out of 690 institutions across 42 locations. University of Galway was also ranked in the QS European ranking’s Top 50 for Sustainability, building on the announcement that the University was named number one university in Ireland, and in the world’s top 50, for progress towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings earlier this year. In May, the Government of Ireland designated University of Galway as a national SDG Champion, and this week the University is hosting its inaugural Sustainable Development Goals Week to increase awareness, engagement and action to help achieve the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. President of University of Galway Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “Being ranked in the top 100 universities in Europe in these inaugural QS rankings and number one for sustainability in Ireland in THE Impact Rankings is a tremendous endorsement of the people and culture of our university. It is a reflection of the continuous effort across our University to be a university for the public good, true to our values of respect, excellence, openness and sustainability. From this place and for this place, we are determined to further enhance our international reputation and reach, while serving our students and community. I want to thank our students and staff for their hard work and commitment, and our alumni for being such outstanding ambassadors.” More information on the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024 is available at www.topuniversities.com/europe-university-rankings.  Ends

Wednesday, 20 September 2023

New research has found that 40% of healthcare workers say they would worry, at least a little, about drawing blood from a person living with HIV. Findings from the report HIV-related Stigma in Healthcare Settings in Ireland found that one in five healthcare workers report using special measures they would not use with other patients. The research was led by Dr Elena Vaughan at the Health Promotion Research Centre in the University of Galway, in collaboration with HIV Ireland, with funding provided by the Irish Research Council. “A positive finding of the research is that healthcare workers do not hold negative attitudes towards people living with HIV,” said Dr Vaughan, speaking in advance of the launch. “However, a significant proportion still fear acquiring HIV through routine procedures, such as dressing wounds, and this appears to be driving stigmatising behaviours,” she said. “Where suspected exposure to HIV does occur, there is also post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which can prevent the virus from taking hold”, continued Ms Vaughan. “Efforts to better translate this knowledge to healthcare workers should help reduce healthcare worker anxieties and lessen stigmatising behaviours towards people living with HIV,” she added. The findings from the report were produced following a joint national survey and interviews with both healthcare workers and people living with HIV. More than 400 people took part in the research, including 298 healthcare workers and 89 people living with HIV from across Ireland. The survey, conducted in 2022, was the first of its kind to be carried out in Europe as the researchers sought to learn both from people living with HIV and those who provide them with healthcare. Of the 89 people living with HIV who took part in the survey, 24% reported having been told to come back later, made to wait, or put last in a queue when attending for appointments. More than half (54%) reported having avoided healthcare for worry about how they will be treated by healthcare workers. “The findings show how stigma experienced in healthcare settings can put people off engaging in vital care, which can have negative consequences for both individual and public health,” said Stephen O’Hare, Executive Director of HIV Ireland. “People living with HIV who are on successful courses of treatment, as the vast majority are in Ireland, are healthy and well, and have an undetectable viral load, meaning they cannot transmit the virus to others,” he added. Reflecting on Government’s own target of reducing HIV-related stigma in line with international goals, including the global Fast Track Cities initiative, Mr O’Hare added: “This report helps us identify areas where we can provide information and support to both healthcare workers and people living with HIV, so we can reduce HIV stigma in our healthcare system in line with our global commitments.” The report, which is available to download on the website of HIV Ireland, will be launched today by Ms Sinead Gibney, Chief Commissioner of Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission at its headquarters on Green Street, in Dublin.    

Monday, 18 September 2023

Cuirfidh Máirín Mhic Lochlainn, Ealaíontóir Cónaithe Scéalaíochta, tús leis an dara sraith de cheardlanna scéalaíochta in Ionad Léann na hÉireann, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe.    Tá na cúig ceardlanna saor in aisce agus beidh fáilte roimh chách. Beidh na ceardlanna ar siúl Dé Céadaoin ag 7pm, ag tosnú ar 27 Meán Fómhair, in Ionad Léann na hÉireann ar Bhóthar na Drioglainne, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe.   Ceapadh Máirín mar Ealaíontóir Cónaithe Scéalaíochta in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe i mí Eanáir 2023. Tá sí tiomanta chun ceird na scéalaíochta a fhorbairt agus cleachtadh aici ar cheardlanna scéalaíochta a stiúradh ar fud na hÉireann. Ba aoi speisialta í ag an bhFéile Idirnáisiúnta Scéalaíochta ar Oileán Chléire i mbliana.    Bhí an méid seo le rá ag an Ollamh Louis de Paor, Stiúrthóir Ionad Léann na hÉireann: “Tá Máirín i measc na n-ealaíontóirí is cumasaí dá bhfuil ag plé leis na healaíona béil in Éirinn. Is deis iontach é seo mar sin d’éinne a bhfuil suim acu sa scéalaíocht dúchais.”   Is iad Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta, An Chomhairle Ealaíon, agus Ionad Léann na hÉireann, Ollscoil na Gaillimh, a mhaoiníonn an tionscnamh seo.   Tuilleadh eolais ó Samantha Williams ag 091 512428 nó samantha.williams@universityofgalway.ie.    Críoch

Monday, 18 September 2023

University of Galway’s Storyteller-in-residence Máirín Mhic Lochlainn will deliver the second series of story-telling workshops at the University.    The five workshops, which will be delivered through Irish, are free and open to the public and will run every Wednesday, beginning on September 27, at 7pm at the Centre for Irish Studies, 4 Distillery Road, University of Galway.     Máirín has won several awards for story-telling including Corn Neidí Frainc at the Oireachtas festival. Developing the craft of story-telling is a mission for Máirín and she has conducted workshops in story-telling throughout Ireland, Wales and Denmark. She was a special guest at this year’s Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival.    Professor Louis de Paor, Director of the Centre for Irish Studies at University of Galway, said: “Máirín is one of the most accomplished performers working in the vernacular arts tradition here in Ireland. This is a marvelous opportunity therefore for anyone interested in the Irish language storytelling tradition.”   This project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and The Arts Council, in association with the Centre for Irish Studies at University of Galway.   Further information available from Samantha Williams at 091-492051 or samantha.williams@universityofgalway.ie.    Ends

Monday, 18 September 2023

Researchers have developed a new interactive game to explain to cancer patients how they can contribute to life-saving research.   The game brings the player or patient on a journey through the processes involved in donating samples, the recording and confidentiality of data and the types of research supported by the Cancer Biobank - an initiative of University of Galway and Saolta University Health Care Group, supported by the National Breast Cancer Research Institute.   The Cancer Biobank is located at University of Galway. It houses samples from patients which can be used in research to study how cancer develops and progresses and how cells respond to treatment.   The new Cancer Biobanking Game is designed as a fun, engaging and interactive way for people to better understand why the donation of samples is important.    Throughout the game, users will learn how the process works and how research using donated, or biobanked, samples may support improvements in healthcare, helping scientists to discover new and better treatments and ways of detecting diseases earlier.   Dr Nicola Miller, Co-Director Cancer Biobank and lecturer with University of Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, said: “Despite improvements in survival, cancer remains a very common and complex disease, and participating in biobanking is a way to contribute to research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.    “Patients and members of the public who participate in biobanking trust that their samples are used in high quality research. Only through working together, sharing our expertise and communicating with patients can we provide this high-quality resource for essential research. We need - and want - patients, clinicians, and researchers to be informed, supported, and valued for their role in biobanking.    “The value is in the information that comes with the samples. How we communicate with patients and healthy donors can influence their understanding around informed consent to use their samples and clinical information. How we manage the information and donated samples with respect to data protection and research ethics is vital to ensuring high-quality, reproducible research. No one can do it alone – and no one should.   “Taking samples is a routine part of investigating and treating many diseases, including cancer and the biobanking game describes how they can be used for future research. All patient data is anonymised, and no data is used without the consent of the participant, including access hospital records and patient treatment plans.”    The Cancer Biobanking Game is complimented by several videos, available in English and Irish, which introduce the Cancer Biobank, explaining how samples and data are collected, stored and used in research and outlining consent and data protection.    For more information visit or to access the game visit https://www.universityofgalway.ie/biobank/   Ends   

Wednesday, 13 September 2023

University of Galway has been awarded funding for 29 postgraduate scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships under the Irish Research Council’s flagship Government of Ireland programmes. The successful projects were announced by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris T.D., as part of a €24.6m funding investment to support rising researchers and pioneering projects.  The IRC’s Government of Ireland scheme supports top early-career researchers who are based in Ireland’s higher education and research institutions.  The University of Galway projects, which included 19 scholarships and 10 fellowships, will conduct research on a wide range of topics, including: An investigation into technology-facilitated sexual violence and emergent violence against women The protection of irregular migrants in immediate return cases What factors impact on Irish post-primary teachers’ understandings of intercultural education? Risk factors and blood biomarkers for preclinical dementia Investigating chromosome segregation and fertility in Drosophila male germline Fingerprinting abrupt climate change in the West of Ireland Assessing the socio-cultural effects of noise from offshore windfarms on coastal soundscapes Biomaterial enhanced cellular brain repair for Parkinson's disease Professor Jim Livesey, Vice-President Research and Innovation at University of Galway, said: “I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to our postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers for their innovative projects. I have no doubt that our talented group of 29 postgraduate scholars and postdoctoral fellows will contribute greatly to critical societal needs through their multi-disciplinary research that will have a positive impact across all sectors of society.” Three of the projects awarded scholarships are made in collaboration with and funded by partner agencies including Environmental Protection Agency and Met Éireann. Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme awardees and projects from University of Galway include:  Audrey Walsh  - Women, Natural Sciences and Art in Nineteenth Century Ireland’s Botanical Heritage                                        Clara Bosch March - The protection of irregular migrants in immediate return cases: the judicial dialogue around Article 4 of Protocol No. 4 ECHR between the European Court of Human Rights, Spain and Italy  Federica Brescia - Gold(III)-glycoconjugates as antiviral agents against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2): from rational design to biological evaluations  Francesca McDonagh - Oral colonisation with pathobionts amongst patients with a diagnosis of treatment resistant schizophrenia.  Gregory Harris - What factors impact on Irish post-primary teachers’ understandings of intercultural education? Lorraine Hayman - Technology-Facilitated Sexual Violence: A Multi-Site Case Study in Ireland of Emergent Violence Against Women  Maria Redmond - Investigation of the endocannabinoid system as a novel therapeutic target for anxiety, depression and impaired cognition associated with chronic wounds  Martin Mulligan - Risk factors and blood biomarkers for preclinical dementia Moman Khan – Generating the Haploid inducer line in perennial ryegrass using CRISPR/Cas9, targeting the MATL gene Nazanin Fereidouni - A systematic study on the structure-property relationships of multi-component pharmaceutical materials  Oliver Brockmann - Operationalising Critical Pedagogy in Irish and German Social Work Classrooms: An International Comparative Ethnographic Study Paris Weavers - Mechanisms of Senescence-Induced Somatic Cell Reprogramming Rachel Keegan - Investigating chromosome segregation and fertility in Drosophila male germline Saoirse Ryan - Biomaterial enhanced cellular brain repair for Parkinson's disease  Shauna Mulligan - Wartime Slavery and Race in the United States and Nazi Germany during the 1860s and 1940s: A Comparison of Robert Allston’s Chicora Wood Plantation in South Carolina (1861-1865) with Hans Aumeier’s Klooga Concentration Camp in Nazi Estonia (1941-1945) Sofiia Tretiak - Optimization the existing and developing novel techniques for the extraction and separation of the seaweed-derived polysaccharides and polyphenols Christopher Stewart, in collaboration with Met Éireann - Fingerprinting abrupt climate change in the West of Ireland: A high-resolution timeline of deglaciation and landscape evolution in West Mayo Eugene McKeown, in collaboration with Environmental Protection Agency - Assessing the socio-cultural effects of noise from offshore windfarms on coastal soundscapes Garreth Gibney, in collaboration with Environmental Protection Agency - Climate Change, Health Outcomes and Adaptation: A micro-econometric analysis of factors mediating the health impacts of extreme temperatures in a temperate climate and implications for health inequalities under various climate change scenarios.  Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme awardees and projects from University of Galway include:  Amir Abdo - Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species-shielding and carbon monoxide  generating microgels for the treatment of triple negative breast cancer Christian Schweizer - Dicuil – an Irish and Carolingian Universalist and his Intellectual Legacy (DICUIL) Christopher McCann - Ag seinm a rúnphort/Playing his secret tune: Music in the fiction of Máirtín Ó Cadhain Clíona de Bhailís - Exploring young people who use non-traditional communication opportunities to access supported decision making under the Assisted Decision Making Capacity Act 2015 Ilze Skujina - First in vitro comparison of time-dependant DNA damage response in short-lived Molossus molossus and long-lived Myotis myotis bat fibroblasts to ionizing radiation exposure and comparison to model organisms Lara Rodríguez Outeirino - Therapeutic modulation of miR-106b-5p in muscle stem cells in ageing and motor neuron disease Omnia Zayed - Glór: A Holistic Approach to Social Media Language Analysis Patrick Mahoney - Cowboys, Colonialism and Ceol Tíre: Consuming American Western Culture in Ireland since 1922 Shaima Magdaline - Modelling Shear Shock Waves in the Brain with Machine Learning Sogol Moradian - State-of-the-art early-warning flood prediction system for Ireland: design, implementation and computational modules For more information about the Irish Research Council, visit www.research.ie. Ends

Wednesday, 13 September 2023

University of Galway is next week hosting its first SDG Week to increase awareness, engagement and action to help achieve the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).   Organised by the University’s staff and students, SDG Week will run from September 18 to 23, as part of the wider European Sustainable Development Week, which this year, will be held from September 18 to October 8.   The inaugural SDG Week has been organised on the back of national and international recognition of the progress being made in the University in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals including being ranked 34th in the world and number one university in Ireland by the THE Impact Rankings for its efforts in progressing the SDGs. The University was also ranked 5th in the world for its progress on SDG 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production. Earlier this year, the Government of Ireland designated University of Galway as a national SDG Champion.   Events next week include a mix of student and staff-led events, from seminars to seed sowing, an environmental summit, poster presentations, workshops, a quiz night, a guided walk and a community recycling day.   As part of SDG week, the University are also launching a new SDG Trail for the campus to showcase, share and promote efforts made to develop the campus as a living lab for best practice in embedding the SDGs. By walking the trail, participants can learn about the 17 SDGs and gain insights into the scale and breadth of projects and initiatives taking place across the University that are progressing the SDGs. The SDG Trail demonstrates that action is needed at local, national and international level to achieve the SDGs.    SDG Week is an opportunity for the university to act as an advocate and promoter of the SDGs, to raise awareness internally among the community of over 20,000 students and staff, and to demonstrate by example that everyone can contribute to the UN SDGs.   University of Galway's Sustainability Officer Michelle O’Dowd Lohan said: “At University of Galway, we are critically aware of the leading role that universities can play in the achievement of the SDGs and our vision is to be a leader in the transition to a sustainable future. SDG Week is an opportunity to raise awareness of the SDGs and share our learnings and experiences with others so we can all make a difference by integrating them into our work and daily activities. The week belongs to everyone and is open to all, including students, staff and community partners.”   For more information on the range of events happening throughout the week visit www.universityofgalway.ie/sdgweek.   For more information on the SDG Trail visit www.universityofgalway.ie/sdgtrail.   Ends

Tuesday, 12 September 2023

University of Galway has been praised for the standards of cleanliness and upkeep of the campus as part of the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) survey. Carried out by An Taisce, the IBAL review takes place each year with spot checks across the country and towns and cities ranked for their appearance, the presence of litter and the impression created for visitors and tourists. The IBAL report scored University of Galway’s campus a Grade A, noting: “A beautiful environment which was not just excellent with regard to litter but lovingly tended and maintained. All aspects within the campus were in very good order eg picnic tables, bicycle parking, paving, planted areas etc. It was great to see the opportunity to recycle with recycling bins incorporated into regular litter bins. Clearly this is a very well-respected environment.” Galway City Council, Director Services, Patrick Greene, has written to the University to share the appreciation of the local authority for supporting the city to achieve an enhanced IBAL rating and positive publicity for the city as a location for business and leisure. President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “Our University community makes great effort to showcase our beautiful riverside, city campus and we are thrilled that these endeavours are recognised by IBAL, Galway City Council and An Taisce. One of our core values is openness and a key element of that is ensuring that our campus is welcoming and somewhere for people to visit and enjoy, whether they are students, visitors or tourists or those living and working in and around the city. University of Galway is well regarded as one of the most biodiverse university campuses and it is great credit to the teams of people who manage, maintain and tend to our environment that their efforts are marked in the IBAL survey and report. I would like to congratulate all the University staff, particularly those in our Buildings and Estates team, for their hard work and the pride they take in making our campus look and feel so welcoming.” Ends

Monday, 11 September 2023

CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices at University of Galway, in collaboration with the National Breast Cancer Research Institute, will mark World Cancer Research Day with a special screening of the documentary ‘The People There to Catch Us’.  The screening will take place on Sunday September 24 at the Town Hall Theatre, Galway at 4.30pm. ‘The People There to Catch Us’ tells the story of Tom Hope and Rachel O’Mahony, two cancer survivors who work alongside researchers at CÚRAM, SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices at University of Galway and Precision Oncology Ireland (POI), to help improve the lives of others living with the disease. The documentary shines a light on the lived experience of cancer survivors, their contribution to research and the ongoing work of research centres like CÚRAM and Precision Oncology Ireland that will shape how cancer will be treated in the future. Speaking about the screening, Dr Róisín Dwyer, CÚRAM and POI Investigator, University of Galway, who features in the film, said: “I’m delighted that we are giving Galway audiences a chance to see this film, and to show them the research that is ongoing on their own doorstep. Our research is patient-focused and we are privileged to work so closely with patient advocates like Rachel who has contributed to our research at University of Galway over several years. This film is a celebration of the power of collaboration, highlighting that we can achieve so much more when we all work together.”   The documentary was produced by Ronan Cassidy of Carbonated Comet and directed by Luke Brabazon under CÚRAM’s Science on Screen public engagement programme.  The film features Dr Róisín Dwyer, CÚRAM and POI Investigator, University of Galway; Professor William Gallagher, POI Deputy Director, UCD Conway Institute and Co-Lead, All-Island Cancer Research Institute; and Professor Walter Kolch, POI Director, and Director of Systems Biology Ireland, UCD, all of whom are focused on personalised cancer research at Precision Oncology Ireland. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with film participants Dr Róisín Dwyer, patient advocates Tom Hope and Rachel O’Mahony, Consultant Breast Surgeon Professor Aoife Lowery, and the film’s director, Luke Brabazon. Claire Riordan, Public Engagement Manager with CÚRAM, said: “Screenings like this allow us to have important conversations about research outside of the lab with the people that will be affected by it. We want to provide opportunities for people to learn both about the research and the lived experience of the conditions that are highlighted in the film.” Patrick Casey, National Breast Cancer Institute Operations Manager, said: “National Breast Cancer Research Institute are thrilled to co-host the upcoming screening of ‘The People There to Catch Us’. We felt it important to be able to make the film freely accessible to the generous supporters and advocates of our charity. The documentary focuses on the real-life journey of cancer survivors, their valuable contributions to research, and the continuous efforts of research centres, and we believe this is a group opportunity for our stakeholders to come along and watch the film and partake in the interactive Q&A session. “The timing of this screening is no coincidence, as it takes place on World Cancer Research Day. This day serves as a global reminder of our shared responsibility to drive forward the frontiers and promote awareness of cancer research. This aligns with our vision to have a real and measurable impact on outcomes for breast cancer patients.” Admission is free but registration is required to secure a place at the event, https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/the-people-there-to-catch-us-a-screening-for-world-cancer-research-day-tickets-708819075937?aff=oddtdtcreator Ends

Thursday, 7 September 2023

A University of Galway academic has called for new Irish and EU laws, and billion euro fines, to criminalise social media companies who fail to tackle cyber violence against women.   Associate Professor Tom Felle, Discipline of Journalism at University of Galway, addressed the Oireachtas Taskforce on Safe Participation in Political Life today (September 7), citing research findings and recommendations from University of Galway research into cyber violence against female politicians. The research highlights the rampant prevalence of cyber violence, its impact and urgent policy responses which are needed to ensure a safe and inclusive political landscape.   Cyber violence against women, particularly those in the political sphere, has become alarmingly pervasive, fuelled by the mainstream integration of social media. This abuse ranges from derogatory comments to threats of violence and rape, significantly impacting mental well-being, participation, and representation of women in Irish public life.   Associate Professor Felle said: “International research shows that the overwhelming majority of perpetrators are male, often utilising the relative anonymity of the online environment to engage in aggressive behaviour. The lack of consistent platform policies and enforcement mechanisms complicates addressing this issue effectively.”   The University of Galway research is based on qualitative interviews with 78 participants, including current and former members of the Oireachtas and local councillors across political parties.    The research found:   Approximately 96 per cent received abusive social media or electronic messages containing hate speech, foul language, and inappropriate comments. 73 per cent faced threats of physical violence, with 38 per cent subjected to threats of rape or sexual violence. 28 per cent reported being verbally abused in public, including disturbing incidents like faeces being thrown and threats of acid attacks One in five say they have considered quitting politics due to online harassment, highlighting the chilling effect of cyber violence   Associate Professor Felle added: “We need a comprehensive approach, including educational initiatives that emphasise digital literacy, critical thinking, and appropriate online behaviour. This should extend to schools and society to promote respectful online engagement. There is an urgent need to enforce existing laws to hold perpetrators accountable for online abuse and threats.   “At national and EU level legislators need to make social media platforms criminally responsible for allowing misogynistic content and threats to thrive – including hitting them in their pockets with billion euro fines. Clear and consistent policies against hate speech and harassment should be enforced.   “Failure to address cyber violence against women in politics could lead to a perpetuation of inequality and silencing of women's voices, undermining gender equality and democratic principles.”   For more information on the Oireachtas Taskforce please see https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/members/office-holders/ceann-comhairle/task-force-on-safe-participation-in-political-life/.    Ends 

Thursday, 7 September 2023

University of Galway has heralded the achievements of students and alumna competing in the 2023 World Rowing Championships. The rowers have been taking to the water this week in Belgrade, Serbia as they chase medals and chart a path to the Paris Olympics in 2024. Brian Colsh has competed in the Men’s Quadruple; Fiona Murtagh and Aifric Keogh, alumna of the University, teamed up in the Women’s Pair; and Fionnán McQuillan-Tolan took to the water in the Men’s Four.  Deputy President and Registrar Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh said: “On behalf of our University community, I’d like to send a message of congratulations to all of our rowers competing in the World Championships and also as they set down a marker for the Olympics. Competing on the world stage is a truly remarkable achievement for any young athlete and our University is right behind them. We take great pride in celebrating the achievements of our students, as well as our staff, whether that’s in research breakthroughs, community engagement, volunteering, academic achievement and international competition. It is a great delight for us to herald such sporting achievements.”  Mike Heskin, Director of Sport at University of Galway, said: “Our rowers are fantastic ambassadors for University of Galway but also the sport of rowing and Ireland. We put huge effort into rowing at the University and making use of the Corrib in Galway, as well as the coaching and mentoring of the University’s High Performance Unit and our wider support staff. We are looking forward to a great academic year of competition and success for our students and we are thrilled to see so many of our students and alumna competing and challenging at the highest level in the sport of rowing. It is a great testament to their talent and dedication and the support they receive at the University.”  Racing commenced on September 3 and runs right through the week until Sunday September 10. The 2023 World Rowing Championships are the first opportunity for rowers to qualify Ireland for the 2024 Paris Olympics.  Ends 

Tuesday, 5 September 2023

Adam Harris, Founder and chief executive of Ireland’s national autism charity AsIAm, has today officially opened University of Galway’s new Multi-Sensory Room, designed to make the campus more inclusive and sensory-friendly. The Multi-Sensory Room was designed in consultation with students and specialist staff and in collaboration with an architect, and is equipped with interactive and integrated lighting, visual, vibroacoustic and sound effects that create an immersive and customisable sensory experience for students. The room is designed to be a safe space for students to self-regulate by adjusting their sensory environment. Users will be able to choose from a range of calming or stimulating, integrated lighting, sound and vibroacoustic arrangements, to suit their sensory needs, and unwind on comfortable furniture. Soft furnishings and sensory stress-relieving items complete the experience, enabling students to feel regulated and supporting their engagement in college life. Adam Harris said: “Autistic people, and other neurodivergent people, face barriers to accessing education which are often invisible to others but which prevent our community from enjoying the same chance. Some 3.38% of children in school today now have an Autism diagnosis and there is also a significant increase in the number of adults accessing assessment. It is so important that higher level education institutions are accessible for our community and that environmental barriers do not prevent students from thriving and contributing. AsIAm, Ireland’s National Autism Charity, is delighted to be working with HEIs across the country as part of our Autism Friendly HEI Award and we warmly congratulate the University of Galway on the launch of their sensory space - this investment will no doubt support more students to access the University, enrich the experience of those already enrolled and also act as an educational tool for all on campus in terms of understanding and accepting difference.” University of Galway Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Helen Maher, said:  “'Inclusivity is a priority for the University to create equal opportunities and conditions for all, and we are focused on assisting those most in need. This space is part of University of Galway’s wider efforts to accommodate and make the campus more accessible for students with additional needs.  “We need to ensure that our students experience at University of Galway is an enjoyable and positive one, and accessibility and student involvement were key considerations throughout the design of this space. Universities can be a crowded and noisy environment which can impact learning and work, especially for neurodiverse students, so the aim of the new Multi-Sensory Room is to provide a safe space where users can relax and stimulate their senses in a controlled manner.”  The opening of the multi-sensory room in the Arts Millennium Building forms part of University of Galway’s suite of indoor and outdoor initiates designed to provide sensory friendly spaces and to create a more inclusive campus. Previous initiatives on that theme include the Cubbie Sensory Hub, a multi-sensory, safe space for students and staff; the introduction of the JAM Card©, which allows people with communication challenges to discreetly and easily tell others they need 'Just A Minute'; outdoor study pods; sensory garden; relaxation room; and an initiative to map the accessibility of campus footpaths and building surrounds. Head of University of Galway’s Access Centre Imelda Byrne said: “The launch of the new multi-sensory room is another important step in University of Galway’s ongoing commitment to create an inclusive campus environment for our diverse student body. In the academic year 2022/23, there were over 1,600 students registered for support with the Access Centre’s disability support service. Inclusive spaces such as the new multi-sensory provide an important safe space for our neurodiverse students and ensure these supports are built into the very fabric of the University’s built environment.” Izzy Tiernan, Vice President/Welfare and Equality Officer, University of Galway Students’ Union, said: “The creation and opening of a new multi-sensory room in the Arts Millennium Building is sure to become a valuable asset for neurodivergent students, as well as the wider student body. In a world that is designed and built for neurotypical people, having safe, quiet and accessible spaces for students of different abilities is essential to creating an inclusive campus environment. As an autistic person myself, I am extremely excited to utilise the new space to take a few minutes out during the day to regulate my emotions, clear my mind and make life just that little bit easier.” The establishment of the multi-sensory room project was supported by the Higher Education Authority's Fund for Students with Disabilities (FSD) Strategic Project scheme (2021-2022) and the HEA PATH 4 Phase 1 funding scheme (2022-23).  Ends

Tuesday, 5 September 2023

Is é Adam Harris, bunaitheoir agus príomhfheidhmeannach AsIAm, arb é carthanas uathachais náisiúnta na hÉireann é, a d’oscail Seomra Ilchéadfach nua Ollscoil na Gaillimhe go hoifigiúil inniu, agus é de chuspóir ag an seomra nua go mbeidh an campas níos cuimsithí agus níos báúla dóibh siúd a bhfuil deacrachtaí acu le próiseáil chéadfach. Chuathas i gcomhairliúchán le mic léinn agus le sainchomhaltaí foirne le linn don Seomra Ilchéadfach a bheith á dhearadh, agus i gcomhar le hailtire, agus i measc an trealamh atá ann tá soilsiú idirghníomhach agus comhtháite, agus éifeachtaí físe, crithfhuaime agus fuaime. Fágann na gnéithe sin gur timpeallacht í ina gcuirtear eispéireas céadfach atá idir thumthach agus inoiriúnaithe ar fáil do mhic léinn.  Dearadh an seomra le bheith ina spás sábháilte féinrialála do mhic léinn ina mbeidh siad in ann a dtimpeallacht chéadfach a choigeartú. Beidh úsáideoirí in ann rogha a dhéanamh idir raon comhtháite soilse agus socruithe fuaime agus crithfhuaimíochta, idir shuaimhneach agus spreagúil. Beidh siad in ann freastal a dhéanamh ar an gcaoi sin ar a gcuid riachtanas céadfach féin agus a scíth a ligean ar throscán compordach. Tá feistis bhog agus míreanna céadfacha a thugann faoiseamh ó strus sa seomra chomh maith, rud a chuireann ar chumas na mac léinn iad féin a rialáil agus tacú lena rannpháirtíocht i saol an choláiste.   Bhí an méid seo le rá ag Adam Harris, Bunaitheoir agus Príomhfheidhmeannach AsIAm, carthanas náisiúnta uathachais na hÉireann:“Tá bacainní le sárú acu siúd a bhfuil uathachas orthu, agus ag daoine néar-éagsúla eile, agus iad ag iarraidh rochtain a fháil ar oideachas. Is minic nach bhfuil na deacrachtaí sin infheicthe do dhaoine eile ach cuireann siad bac ar ár bpobal na deiseanna céanna a thapú. Tá diagnóis an Uathachais faighte ag 3.38% de leanaí scoile an lae inniu agus méadú suntasach tagtha freisin ar líon na ndaoine fásta atá ag dul faoi mheasúnú. Tá sé chomh tábhachtach go mbeadh rochtain ag ár bpobal ar na hinstitiúidí ardoideachais agus nach gcuirfeadh bacainní comhshaoil srian ar mhic léinn ó bheith rathúil ná ó chion a dhéanamh do shaol na hinstitiúide. Tá an-áthas ar AsIAm, Carthanas Náisiúnta Uathachais na hÉireann, a bheith ag obair le hinstitiúidí ardoideachais ar fud na tíre mar chuid dár nGradam HEI do na hinstitiúidí sin atá báúil don uathachas. Déanaimid comhghairdeas ó chroí le hOllscoil na Gaillimhe as a spás céadfach a sheoladh - níl aon dabht ach go dtacóidh an infheistíocht seo le níos mó mic léinn rochtain a fháil ar an Ollscoil, go ndéanfaidh sí saibhriú ar eispéireas iad siúd atá cláraithe cheana féin agus go bhfeidhmeoidh sí chomh maith mar uirlis oideachais don champas trí chéile maidir le héagsúlacht a thuiscint, agus glacadh léi.” Dúirt Helen Maher, Leas-Uachtaráin Comhionannais, Éagsúlachta agus Cuimsithe Ollscoil na Gaillimhe:  “'Tosaíocht don Ollscoil is ea an chuimsitheacht le go mbeidh deiseanna agus riochtaí atá cothrom do chách, agus táimid dírithe ar chúnamh a thabhairt dóibh siúd is mó a dteastaíonn sé uathu. Gné amháin d’iarrachtaí Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ar bhonn níos leithne is ea an spás seo chun freastal ar mhic léinn a bhfuil riachtanais bhreise acu, agus an campas a dhéanamh níos inoiriúnaithe dóibh. “Ní mór dúinn a chinntiú go mbeidh eispéireas taitneamhach agus dearfach ag ár mic léinn anseo in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, agus féachadh go sonrach don inrochtaineacht agus do rannpháirtíocht mac léinn nuair a bhí an spás seo a dhearadh. Tá Ollscoileanna in ann a bheith ina dtimpeallachtaí plódaithe agus callánacha, rud atá in ann cur isteach ar chúrsaí foghlama agus oibre, go mór mór do mhic léinn néar-éagsúla. An aidhm atá ag an Seomra Ilchéadfach nua spás sábháilte a chur ar fáil do mhic léinn inar féidir leo a scíth a ligean agus a gcéadfaí a spreagadh ar bhealach rialaithe.” Áirítear oscailt an tseomra ilchéadfaigh in Áras Dán na Mílaoise leis an réimse tionscadal, idir faoi dhíon agus faoin aer, a dearadh chun spásanna a chur ar fáil dóibh siúd a bhfuil deacrachtaí acu le próiseáil chéadfach agus chun campas níos cuimsithí a chruthú.   I measc na tionscadail atá curtha i bhfeidhm cheana féin sa chomhthéacs sin, tá Spás Céadfach Cubbie, ar spás sábháilte ilchéadfach é do mhic léinn agus don fhoireann; tabhairt isteach an Chárta JAM© a ligeann dóibh siúd a bhfuil deacrachtaí cumarsáide acu insint do dhaoine eile go dteastaíonn nóiméad uathu; faighneoga staidéar lasmuigh; gairdín céadfach; seomra scíthe; agus togra ina ndearnadh inrochtaineacht cosán agus foirgneamh a mhapáil.   Seo mar a labhair Imelda Byrne, Ceann an Ionaid Rochtana in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe: “Fágann seoladh an tseomra ilchéadfaigh nua go bhfuil céim thábhachtach eile tógtha ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus an tiomantas leanúnach atá déanta aici timpeallacht campais cuimsitheach a chruthú dá cuid mac léinn éagsúil á chomhlíonadh aici. Bhí breis agus 1,600 mac léinn cláraithe le haghaidh tacaíochta le seirbhís tacaíochta míchumais an Ionaid Rochtana sa bhliain acadúil 2022/23. Spás sábháilte tábhachtach is ea an seomra ilchéadfach nua dár mic léinn néar-éagsúla agus cinntíonn forbairtí cosúil leis seo go bhfuil na tacaíochtaí seo ina gcuid de thimpeallacht thógtha na hOllscoile.   Dúirt Izzy Tiernan, Leas-Uachtarán/Oifigeach Leasa agus Comhionannais, Comhaltas na Mac Léinn Ollscoil na Gaillimhe: “Is cinnte go mbainfidh mic léinn néar-éagsúla, agus mic léinn na hollscoile trí chéile, an-leas as an seomra ilchéadfach nua in Áras Dán na Mílaoise. Is minic nach leagtar suntas sa ghnáthshaol ar riachtanais iad siúd atá néar-éagsúil agus is den riachtanas é go mbeadh spásanna sábháilte, ciúine agus inrochtana ar fáil do mhic léinn a bhfuil cumais éagsúla acu má tá uainn timpeallacht campais cuimsitheach a chruthú. Is duine le huathachas mé féin agus atá mé ag súil go mór leas a bhaint as an spás nua agus sos beag a bheith agam i rith an lae le go mbeidh deis agam mo mhothúcháin a rialú agus m’intinn a shuaimhniú, rud a fhágfaidh go ndéanfar an chuid eile den lá níos éasca orm.”   Fuair tionscadal an tseomra ilchéadfach tacaíocht ó scéim Tionscadail Straitéisigh (2022-23) an Chiste do Mhic Léinn faoi Mhíchumas (FSD) de chuid an Údaráis um Ard-Oideachas agus ó scéim mhaoinithe Chéim 1 de PATH 4 an ÚAO.   Críoch