Wednesday, 31 January 2024

Legal experts from around the world are to take part in a conference at University of Galway which aims to explore the options for conducting trials for terrorism and organised crime in Ireland. The two-day event - entitled Replacing the Offences Against the State Acts: The challenge of jury trials for terrorism and organised crime - will hear from legal academics and leading barristers from Ireland, the US, Australia and the UK. It is being hosted by University of Galway’s School of Law in association with Birmingham Law School on February 16th and 17th. Professor Donncha O’Connell, who was member of the Independent Review Group on the Offences Against the State Acts chaired by retired Court of Appeal Judge Michael Peart, which reported in June 2023, said: “Following on from the work of the Review Group – which published a majority and minority report but was unanimous in recommending repeal and replacement of the Offences Against the State Acts – this conference aims to explore the options open to Ireland when conducting trials for terrorism and organised crime, bearing in mind the priority attached to the right to trial by jury under the Irish Constitution.  “We hope to draw on the comparative expertise of academics and practitioners and relevant international standards in considering the likely shape of legislation to replace the Offences Against the State Acts at some stage in the future.” The conference will have a keynote address from Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin MRIA KC, Regents Professor and Robina Chair in Law, Public Policy & Society at the University of Minnesota and Professor of Law at Queen’s University Belfast.  Professor Ní Aoláin, who has just completed her mandate as UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism, is a member of the International Commission of Jurists and was made an honorary King’s Counsel in recognition of her outstanding work. The conference will also hear from leading criminal barristers in Ireland and Scotland - Brendan Grehan SC, Alice Harrison BL and Ronnie Renucci KC - in a session focused on practitioner perspectives chaired by Supreme Court judge, Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley.  Mr Grehan - a graduate of University of Galway - has defended and prosecuted in the Special Criminal Court, most recently acting as defence counsel for Gerard Hutch who was acquitted of murder following the notorious Regency Hotel gun attack in 2016.  Ends

Tuesday, 30 January 2024

Professor Fidelma Dunne appointed Interim Director and John Kilmartin as Adjunct Professor   World-leading research academic Professor Fidelma Dunne has been appointed Interim Director of the Institute for Clinical Trials at University of Galway. Professor Dunne has an extensive background in clinical trial management and is ranked number 1 in Ireland and number 6 in the world for her research into gestational diabetes. The University has also announced John Kilmartin, former Vice-President of Regulatory Affairs at Medtronic and an independent medtech regulatory expert, joins the Institute for Clinical Trials as Adjunct Professor.  Mr Kilmartin has more than 30 years’ experience in the medtech industry, with a particular focus on the emerging regulatory and clinical frameworks in Europe. Professor Martin O’Donnell, Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and Consultant Geriatrician at Saolta University Health Care Group, said: “We are honoured to have both Professor Fidelma Dunne and Mr John Kilmartin join the Institute for Clinical Trials. Their combined expertise in clinical trials, medical research and regulatory affairs will significantly contribute to our mission of advancing impactful clinical research. They will help to advance our clinical research goals and will make meaningful contributions to healthcare outcomes.” Professor Dunne said: “Clinical trials in new medicines and devices are vital to improving the health of people living in Ireland and worldwide. Improving health also has economic and societal benefits. Engaging in clinical trials allows patients in Ireland to receive new medicines and devices early. We have a track record of designing and delivering impactful clinical trials at University of Galway and I am delighted to lead the Institute for Clinical Trials which will have a pivotal role in further enhancing the clinical research landscape in Ireland.” Mr Kilmartin said: “The medtech industry is of huge importance to Ireland and Europe for the benefit of our patients, health systems and society. I believe that the Institute for Clinical Trials at University of Galway can play a key role in helping to support innovation in medtech by strategically targeting barriers within the Irish ecosystem. It aims to strengthen and further promote growth in the medtech sector, expand treatment options for patients and ultimately contribute to the advancement of healthcare on a broader scale." Bios Professor Fidelma Dunne is the immediate past President of the International Association Diabetes in Pregnancy Study Groups and President of the Irish Endocrine Society (2021-2024). Professor Dunne has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to advancing research and improving outcomes in the critical area of diabetes and pregnancy.  Her research interests, focused on diabetes and pregnancy, have resulted in an impressive portfolio of over 240 peer-reviewed publications, 12,000 citations, and significant grant funding.  Professor Dunne was honoured with the Jorgen Pedersen award in 2021 for her exceptional work in Diabetes in Pregnancy. She is the Principal Investigator of the EMERGE randomised controlled trial, funded by the Health Research Board, with ground-breaking results published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) in October 2023 which showed that the drug metformin provided a safe and effective way to treat gestational diabetes. John Kilmartin has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the medtech industry, having led global regulatory teams in the development and implementation of clinical and regulatory strategies for various medical devices and drug/device combination products. He is actively involved with various medtech industry associations, including MedTech Europe and the Irish MedTech Association (IMA), where he served as the Chair of the IMA Regulatory Steering Committee for a number of years.  Mr Kilmartin has a strong focus on the evolving regulatory and clinical frameworks around the world, having collaborated with regulatory agencies such as FDA, European Notified Bodies, Competent authorities and other international regulators. Mr Kilmartin’s areas of interest and focus include the development of the next generation of Regulatory and Clinical Affairs professionals, creating co-operative links between third-level institutions, the medtech industry, regulatory authorities, and government agencies to ensure that the medtech ecosystem continues to thrive in Ireland and in Europe.  Ends

Tuesday, 30 January 2024

University of Galway’s 2024 Postgraduate Open Day will focus on opportunities to improve employability and increase earning potential with a comprehensive insight of study options on offer. The Postgraduate Open Day will take place on Tuesday February 6, 2024 from 12pm-3pm in the Bailey Allen Hall. The event will showcase the suite of full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes available at the University, including taught and research masters, as well as doctoral research options.  Visitors will have the opportunity to explore the latest employability and industry trends, scholarship and funding opportunities, as well as tips on making a successful application. As part of University of Galway’s strategic focus on recognising excellence and success, all EU postgraduate students with a first class honours in their undergraduate degree are eligible to apply for a €1,500 scholarship towards their taught Masters at the University in 2024. Sarah Geraghty, Director of Student Recruitment and Outreach at University of Galway, said: “A postgraduate qualification is an investment in your career. We especially encourage visitors to explore the opportunities to improve their employability by expanding their knowledge, skills and expertise in their field. Insights from industry continuously demonstrate the significant financial value of a postgraduate qualification in the starting salary after graduation, and importantly it’s a benefit that can be realised right throughout the lifetime of a career.” University of Galway introduces new innovative postgraduate programmes annually, many of which are unique offerings and designed to meet industry needs and market-demand.  Recently announced new programmes include MSc Fintech (Economics and Financial Technology) welcoming applications from graduates of business, economics and finance degrees, or computer science and engineering graduates with a background in economics, and a relaunch of the MSc (Management and Sustainability) designed to shape future business leaders who will drive positive change, contribute to responsible business practices, and make a lasting impact on the world.  The School of Law has launched a new LLM in Criminology, Criminal Justice and Human Rights leading to possibilities in national, regional and international criminal justice agencies, NGOs, inter-governmental organisations and courts. The upcoming event is also an opportunity to explore the expanding range of flexible, part-time and online learning programmes designed for learners who are returning to study, pivoting their career to a new industry to upskilling in their current job. Bookings are now open for the event and visitors and book their place at Ends

Tuesday, 30 January 2024

Díreofar ar dheiseanna chun infhostaitheacht a fheabhsú agus a chuirfidh ar chumas an fhostaí tuilleadh airgid a dhéanamh ag Lá Oscailte Iarchéime 2024 Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, áit a mbeidh léargas cuimsitheach ar na roghanna staidéir atá á dtairiscint. Beidh an Lá Oscailte Iarchéime ar siúl i Halla Bailey Allen Dé Máirt, an 6 Feabhra 2024 ó 12pm-3pm. Beidh eolas le fáil faoi na cláir iarchéime lánaimseartha agus pháirtaimseartha atá á dtairiscint ag an Ollscoil, lena n-áirítear máistreachtaí múinte agus taighde, chomh maith le roghanna taighde dochtúireachta. Tabharfar deis do chuairteoirí iniúchadh a dhéanamh ar na treochtaí fostaíochta agus tionscail is déanaí, ar dheiseanna scoláireachta agus maoinithe, chomh maith le comhairle a fháil faoin gcaoi iarratas rathúil a dhéanamh. Mar chuid d’fhócas straitéiseach Ollscoil na Gaillimhe maidir le haitheantas a thabhairt don tsárfheidhmíocht agus do rathúlacht, tá gach mac léinn iarchéime de chuid an AE a bhfuil céadonóracha bainte amach aige nó aici ina f(h)ochéim i dteideal cur isteach ar scoláireacht €1,500 i dtreo cúrsa Máistreachta múinte san Ollscoil in 2024. Bhí an méid seo le rá ag Sarah Geraghty, Stiúrthóir Earcaíochta Mac Léinn agus For-rochtana in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe: “Is infheistíocht i do ghairm bheatha í cáilíocht iarchéime. Molaimid do chuairteoirí iad féin a chur ar an eolas faoi na deiseanna atá ann iad féin a dhéanamh níos infhostaithe trí chur lena gcuid scileanna agus saineolais ina réimse oibre féin. Tagann fianaise ón saol oibre go leanúnach gurbh fhiú go mór don fhostaí cáilíocht iarchéime a bheith aige nó aici nuair atá an tuarastal tosaigh á ríomh i ndiaidh na céime, agus leantar leis an mbuntáiste sin i rith shaol gairmiúil an fhostaí.” Cuireann Ollscoil na Gaillimhe tús le cláir iarchéime nuálaíocha gach bliain, ar cláir foghlama uathúla go leor acu agus iad deartha go sainiúil chun freastal ar riachtanais an ionaid oibre agus ar a bhfuil á éileamh ag an margadh. I measc na gclár nua atá fógartha le déanaí tá an MSc Teicneolaíocht Airgeadais (Eacnamaíocht agus Teicneolaíocht Airgeadais) a bheadh feiliúnach dóibh siúd a bhfuil céim acu i ngnó, eacnamaíocht nó airgeadas, nó céimithe ríomheolaíochta nó innealtóireachta a bhfuil cúlra san eacnamaíocht acu, agus tá an MSc (Bainistíocht agus Inbhuanaitheacht) seolta an athuair, ar clár é a bhfuil sé d’aidhm aige ceannairí gnó a sholáthar a spreagfaidh athruithe chun feabhais, a chuirfidh le cleachtais ghnó fhreagracha agus a mbeidh tionchar buan acu ar an domhan. Tá LLM nua seolta ag Scoil an Dlí sa Choireolaíocht, sa Cheartas Coiriúil agus i gCearta an Duine as a dtiocfaidh féidearthachtaí i ngníomhaireachtaí ceartais choiriúil ag an leibhéal náisiúnta, réigiúnach agus idirnáisiúnta, chomh maith le heagraíochtaí neamhrialtasacha, eagraíochtaí idir-rialtasacha agus sna cúirteanna dlí. Deis atá sa lá oscailte seo chomh maith tuilleadh a fhoghlaim faoin raon clár solúbtha, páirtaimseartha agus ar líne a dearadh d’fhoghlaimeoirí atá ag filleadh ar an staidéar nó ag féachaint le hathrú gairme nó le scileanna breise a shealbhú a rachaidh chun tairbhe leo ina bpost reatha. Is féidir leo siúd ar spéis leo freastal ar an imeacht seo áirithint a dhéanamh anois ag Críoch

Monday, 29 January 2024

One of the world’s foremost experts on genocide, Professor William Schabas, will deliver a public lecture at the University on how the international legal system addresses racism and racial discrimination. The lecture will be given in the Aula Maxima, in the Quadrangle, on Wednesday January 31, at 4pm. Professor Schabas is the former director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at University of Galway. He is the author of numerous works on human rights, international crimes and genocide and he is currently based at Middlesex University.  Professor Schabas has appeared before the International Court of Justice and was formerly appointed to a UN commission of inquiry on Gaza. Organised by the Irish Centre for Human Rights in the School of Law, the lecture will see Professor Schabas discuss how the international legal system addresses racism and racial discrimination, drawing on his new book The International Legal Order’s Colour Line.   Professor Shane Darcy, Deputy Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, said: “We are delighted to host this lecture at a crucial time for the protection of human rights. With atrocities continuing in Gaza, Ukraine and elsewhere, and with international law itself in jeopardy, Professor Schabas’ insights on the strengths and weakness of the international legal system in this domain will prove invaluable.” Professor William Schabas’ new book The International Legal Order's Colour Line (Oxford University Press, 2023) narrates how prior to the 20th century, international law was predominantly written by and for the “civilised nations” of the white Global North. It justified doctrines of racial inequality and effectively drew a colour line that excluded citizens of the Global South and persons of African descent from participating in international law-making while subjecting them to colonialism and the slave trade. The book charts the development of regulation on racism and racial discrimination at the international level, principally within the UN. Most notably, it outlines how these themes gained traction once the Global South gained more participation in international law-making after the First World War. It challenges the narrative that human rights are a creation of the Global North by focussing on the decisive contributions that countries of the Global South and people of colour made to anchor anti-racism in international law. The lecture is open to the public. Ends

Thursday, 25 January 2024

University of Galway has heralded the appointment of Professor Michael O’Flaherty as Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe.   Professor O’Flaherty is a renowned human rights expert and previously held the position of Established Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the University.    He has had a long and distinguished career with the United Nations spanning 18 years, including setting up human rights field operations in conflict-affected states such as Sierra Leone and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as serving as a member of the UN Human Rights Committee.   Professor O’Flaherty was also Chief Commissioner the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, an institution set up under the auspices of the Good Friday Agreement. Most recently, he served as Director of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency from 2015-2023.   Originally from Galway, he was elected to the position of Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe by vote in the Council’s Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg.   President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, paid tribute to Professor O’Flaherty following the announcement of his appointment: “Professor O’Flaherty has an internationally respected reputation for dedication to human rights and leadership in the field both on the island of Ireland but also in Europe and around the world. On behalf of University of Galway, I wish to extend congratulations. The ideals and principles which Professor O’Flaherty has pursued and promoted throughout his career are under considerable strain in Europe and it is these qualities that will be at the core of his work in the coming years.”   Professor Siobhán Mullally, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the University, said: “On behalf of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, I am delighted to congratulate Professor Michael O’Flaherty on his election as Council of Europe Commissioner of Human Rights.  Michael is an outstanding human rights lawyer and advocate, and distinguished academic. As the former Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, he helped to build the Centre’s global reputation for human rights research, teaching and international engagement. His election comes at a challenging time for human rights protection in Europe and globally, as core values of democracy, equality and solidarity are under threat. Michael has prioritised the defence of democracy, protection of the rights of minorities, and vindication of the rights of the Ukrainian people. We look forward to supporting this critical and urgent work and wish him every success.”    Professor O’Flaherty will take up the position of Commissioner on 1 April 2024 for a six year term.   The Council of Europe was founded in 1949 as an international organisation dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law across Europe. The Council comprises 46 member states, including Ireland as a founding member.   The Commissioner for Human Rights was established by the Council of Europe in 1999 with a mandate to promote awareness of and respect for human rights across the 46 members states.   Ends

Thursday, 25 January 2024

Academics at the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) and University of Galway have played a key role on the first comprehensive report on our scientific understanding of climate change and its effects on Ireland. Ireland’s Climate Change Assessment Report (ICCA) was officially launched by Minister for the Environment, Communications, Climate and Transport Eamon Ryan T.D. at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin. The objective of the ICCA Report is to deliver a comprehensive report on our understanding of climate change; the option to respond to the challenges it poses; to identify opportunities that may arise from the planned transition to a climate neutral, biodiversity-rich, environmentally sustainable and climate resilient economy and society. ICHEC's Dr Paul Nolan, alongside Dr Liam Heaphy, and Dr Enda O'Brien worked in partnership with Professor Conor Murphy and Dr Tara Quinn of Maynooth University to research existing science and write an extended report on adaptation research and policy in Ireland. Dr Liam Heaphy, University of Galway ICHEC, said: “This has been an immense undertaking, which will serve as a reference point on climate change for Ireland, helping people to surmise the present state-of-the-art in research and policy, identify knowledge and policy gaps, and coordinate their own work with those of others.” Dr Paul Nolan, University of Galway ICHEC, said: "The assessment report delivers a first comprehensive Ireland-focused, state of scientific knowledge report on our understanding of climate change, the options to respond to the challenges it poses, and the opportunities that may arise from the planned transition to a climate neutral and climate resilient economy and society.” Also contributing to the ICCA Report from University of Galway were Dr Eugene Farrell and Dr Nessa Cronin, School of Geography, Archaeology, and Irish Studies, Dr Jurgita Ovadnevaite, Ryan Institute, Kirsten Fossum, Damien Martin, ad Dr James McGrath, School of Natural Sciences, and Clare Noone, School of Physics. Dr Farrell provided knowledge on research and policy gaps in Ireland, cross-cutting issues framing adaptation in Ireland, and practical steps required to build community involvement and participation to deliver a more climate resilient Ireland. Dr Cronin's contribution argues that culture and Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences research can help bridge the policy gap between climate ambition and climate action. She outlines how culture should be regarded as the 4th pillar of sustainability and as a core national infrastructure in accelerating transformational eco-social change. The report was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with the research undertaken by academics at a number of institutions - University of Galway ICHEC, Maynooth University, University College Cork, Dublin City University and Trinity College Dublin. The report consists of four volumes the underlying science; climate neutrality and decarbonisation; climate resilience and adaptation; and just transitions and transformative change. Volume 3 – Being Prepared for Ireland’s Future Climate – runs to 10 chapters covering biodiversity, agriculture, forestry, land-use, coastal and inland water, settlements, heritage, critical infrastructure, health, business, and tourism. Key findings from the ICCA Report found that Ireland's climate is changing with impacts being felt both in Ireland and elsewhere and it will be the reality until excessive greenhouse gases cease and a new climate equilibrium is achieved. The report also states that although early concerted action can limit global temperatures by the end of the century, sea levels will continue to rise beyond 2100. The report also found how climate impacts interact with and intensify other environmental impacts from human activity, such as we see in our biodiversity crisis. A synthesis report and the volumes from the ICCA Report are available from the EPA's website. Ends

Wednesday, 24 January 2024

An international research team led by University of Galway is working in partnership with stakeholders in Vietnam to enable marginalised urban populations to be able to access healthier, more affordable and more sustainable food and diets. The EcoFoodSystems project is conducting research on city regional dietary transitions with food systems organisations and institutions in the south-east Asian country. Vietnam has a population of 99 million – half of whom now live in urban areas, including 8 million in Hanoi. It is estimated that by 2050 three quarters of the country’s population will be living in urban areas. The EU and UN funded project is specifically focused on working with partners to help improve the health of people and communities that are nutritionally marginalised as a result of their diets. EcoFoodSystems is led by Professor Charles Spillane, Director of the Ryan Institute at University of Galway, in partnership with Alliance Bioversity - The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Vietnam and Cali, Colombia; Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands and the international NGO Rikolto in Vietnam. Professor Charles Spillane, Director of the Ryan Institute, University of Galway, said: “Vietnam has made impressive strides in food security and nutrition over the past decades. “Healthy diets lead to healthy people. But there is a challenge for all organisations in the Hanoi city region’s food system to ensure that all people, young and old, rich and poor, have access to healthy diets that are affordable, where the foods within the diet are produced and supplied with the lowest environmental impact.” “Our project aims to conduct research with partner organisations to better navigate this dietary transition to ensure that current and future generations are healthy.” EcoFoodSyetsms is funded by the European Union and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The research group held a multi-stakeholder consultation workshop in Hanoi, which brought together key representatives and experts from over 50 organisations. The event was opened by Dr Nguyen Do Anh Tuan, Director General, International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Vietnam who highlighted the importance of taking a foods systems approach across ministries, sectors and stakeholders. The research priorities identified at the EcoFoodSystems workshop will help to inform sustainable food systems transformations and dietary transitions in Vietnam. Mark Lundy, Co-Investigator, EcoFoodSystems project and Leader of Global Food Environments & Behaviour at the Alliance Bioversity-CIAT, said: “The Alliance of Bioversity-CIAT is excited to participate in the EcoFoodSystems project given its focus on linking sustainable, agro-ecological production systems with diverse and healthy diets for consumers. “We hope to help identify clear market signals from consumers to incentivise farmer adoption of clean production practices, for traders to improve traceability of products and retailers to ensure good access and affordability for all consumers.” Dam Trong Tuan, EcoFoodSystems partner Rikolto - Vietnam, said: “Change on a global, national and city-regional scale demands that urban food markets become more inclusive and offer value to all actors in the food chain.” “We empower farmer groups to become solid business partners and implement future-proof, sustainable practices within our urban food systems.” The EcoFoodSystem project’s activities are aligned with Vietnam’s national policies and the National Action Plan on Food System Transformation, which aims for Transparency, Responsibility, and Sustainability by 2030. Ends

Tuesday, 23 January 2024

University of Galway joins ÉireComposites and ORPC Ireland for successful analysis of renewable energy technology for rivers and tides University of Galway has announced successful testing of a next generation marine hydrokinetic turbine foil for renewable energy. The technology was designed by US-headquartered global leader in marine energy ORPC Ireland and fabricated by ÉireComposites, based Inverin, Co Galway.  The testing programme is part of the €3.9 million European Commission’s Horizon 2020-funded CRIMSON project and involved 1.3 million fatigue cycles on the turbine foil – the highest number ever reported on a full-scale marine energy component in dry laboratory conditions. The tests were led by the Sustainable and Resilient Structures Research Group at University of Galway, which is part of the Enterprise Ireland-supported technology centre Construct Innovate and the University’s Ryan Institute. The 5m long foil is made from high-performance, carbon fibre reinforced polymer. It is shaped similarly to an airplane wing. When placed perpendicular to river or tidal currents, the foils spin under that force and the technology sends clean, renewable energy via an underwater generator. Three of these foils combine in each of two turbines in the 80kW RivGen marine hydrokinetic energy device. The technology underwent intense stress testing in the University’s Large Structures Testing Laboratory to demonstrate its ability to withstand operational loads over its design lifetime.  Prior to completing the testing campaign, a destructive static test was performed on the foil in order to demonstrate its structural integrity at loads well in excess of what is expected during operation in the marine environment.  Dr William Finnegan, Assistant Professor and Principal Investigator of CRIMSON at the University of Galway, said: “The findings from this full-scale structural testing programme help to de-risk ORPC’s technology and give insights that can be used for structural health monitoring and inform the next generation of testing standards. The combination of such high-level design and manufacturing with University of Galway’s state-of-the-art testing will improve the reliability of river and tidal energy devices as they move closer to commercial viability.” Tomás Flanagan, Chief Executive of ÉireComposites, said: “ÉireComposites is delighted that the turbine foils we manufactured have performed so well during testing. The foils have a complex helical shape and are challenging to manufacture; they are a credit to the engineers and technicians who worked on the project. We’re delighted to see our work with ORPC Ireland, University of Galway, and the other partners coming to fruition and we’re excited about the commercial potential for marine hydrokinetic devices in delivering clean, sustainable energy. At a time when global interest is focused on achieving a net-zero emission future, it is great to be making advances in the technology that supports this global shift.” Patrick Cronin, Director of European Operations at ORPC Ireland said: “ORPC are bringing clean, predictable, emission-free tidal and river energy to markets around the globe, and this important research is helping to maximise design efficiency and minimise power system costs as global demand for underwater renewable power systems continues to be strong. We are delighted to collaborate with our Irish research partners, University of Galway and ÉireComposites, to move our next-generation power systems to market, and we look forward to the next stage of the project.” The test foil was designed by the team at ORPC Ireland and manufactured from a high-performance carbon fibre reinforced polymer by ÉireComposites, which are leading the CRIMSON Project, and incorporates recycled carbon-fibre material from Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials, Germany. The next phase of the project will trial the complete turbine in operational conditions at Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche’s large towing tank in Rome, Italy.  Ends

Thursday, 18 January 2024

Researchers at University of Galway have marked one year of a project designed to tackle healthcare myths and help the public to quickly and easily check the reliability of popular health claims through the online resource  Using scientific evidence, such as trusted health sources and peer-reviewed studies, the research team analyses information in order to support or refute a healthcare claim. Over the last year, more than 4,500 users have visited; more than 150 questions have been submitted; and the researchers have assessed, answered or are analysing 60 claims about things that can improve our health. Some of the questions analysed include:  Do collagen supplements make a difference in skin ageing? Does working long hours help to prevent dementia? Do drinks containing aspartame increase the risk of cancer in the future? Does taking omega 3 or omega 6 fatty acids - either as supplements or through diet - improve brain health or cognitive function?  Do UV lamps in nail bars cause skin cancer? Does lavender improve sleep/does listening to radio, music or podcasts make a difference to sleep? is funded by the Health Research Board and the Health Service Executive and supported by University of Galway. Its aim is to help people to think critically about health claims and make well-informed choices.   Professor Declan Devane, Professor of Health Research Methodology, University of Galway and Principal Investigator with, said: “Some people find themselves overwhelmed with information, particularly information about what they can do to improve or protect their health. Increasingly, health information spreads faster and further thanks to the web, social media, instant messaging, television and radio, but unfortunately much of it is unreliable. This can lead to poorly informed choices, under- or overuse of health interventions, or treatments, and avoidable waste and human suffering. This is what we aim to tackle.” Dr Philip Crowley, GP and National Director of Strategy and Research with the HSE, said: “Providing trusted health information and advice is one of the HSE’s most important duties. People trust as an online source of health advice, and our healthcare teams are highly trusted by patients to share advice and information. Our work with aims to explore ways to tackle health misinformation circulating on social media, and to reinforce the value of getting health advice that is evidence-based, from a safe source.” Dr Paula Byrne, lead researcher with and post-doctoral researcher with Evidence Synthesis Ireland and Cochrane Ireland, said: “We are delighted with the level of interest from the public in iHealthFacts. Thousands of people have accessed our website and read our reviews. We hope this information helps people make informed health decisions and become more skilled in distinguishing reliable health information from that which is unreliable." Deirdre Mac Loughlin, Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) representative on iHealthFacts, said: “PPI, in partnership with iHealthFacts, facilitates informed health decisions through the wealth of lived experience it brings, thus, ensuring a high standard of relevance, rigour, and accountability. This aspect is particularly vital in the realm of publicly funded research, ensuring that the outcomes are not only scientifically robust, but also resonate with and are accountable to the community it serves." Initially set up to debunk misinformation surrounding COVID-19, the research and engagement project was relaunched in late 2022 with further suppot from the HSE and HRB to focus on more general health information and to answer some of the myths around health claims scientifically. The public can submit a question at and read through the findings of the research into each health question. People are urged to consider the questions and all of the analysis in full in order to get the best information in relation to healthcare claims and questions which have been analysed.  Some findings of a sample of questions analysed so far: Do UV lamps in nail bars cause skin cancer? We found very few studies about skin cancer and UV lamps in nail bars.   Some studies reported a link between UV lamps and skin cancer, but others found that there was no link. All the studies we found were either of low quality or not based on humans, so we can’t be sure of their findings or how relevant they are to the general public.  Does lavender improve sleep/does listening to radio, music or podcasts make a difference to sleep? Claims have been made that lavender oil, made from the flowers of the lavender plant, is calming and may help people sleep better.  One good quality study suggests that lavender may help women with insomnia fall asleep quicker and stay asleep. However, this study only had a small number of people in it.  Three other studies have observed improvements in sleep in people using lavender, but we are less certain of the findings of these studies. Does cycling damage men’s genitals?  Research on the relationship between cycling and circulation or nerve damage to men’s genitals is very limited.  One study found some evidence to suggest a possible link between cycling and erectile dysfunction (caused by poor circulation or nerve damage) when age and some diseases were taken into consideration. The majority of studies in this area are of low quality, so we can’t be sure of this finding.   Ends

Monday, 15 January 2024

A new research project being pioneered by University of Galway is to develop solutions to ensure the seamless delivery of regular and elective patient care in a health emergency such as a pandemic. The RAPIDE research project (Regular and Unplanned Care Adaptive Dashboard for Cross-border Emergencies) is being undertaken following the award of a €6 million grant through Horizon Europe and involves a consortium of 13 partners from Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Italy, Slovenia, Malta and Estonia.  One of the aims of the research project is to set new standards for fostering resilience and preparedness for future health emergencies, including how digital technologies can offer solutions for care in the home and outside of hospitals and clinics. Researchers will also measure the impact of delayed or unmet care during a health emergency such as a pandemic. The University of Galway team is led by Professor Máire Connolly, Established Professor of Global and Environmental Public Health at the School of Health Sciences with Professor Jim Duggan, Professor of Computer Science at the School of Computer Science. Professor Connolly said: “Our research and what we learn from the RAPIDE project will contribute to national preparedness in Ireland and it will also have an impact within the EU and at a global level.” RAPIDE’s multidisciplinary team of experts in pandemic preparedness, public health, primary care, community care, hospital planning, and computer science will analyse solutions to overcome the challenges of overwhelming patient numbers during a pandemic or health emergency. The research will look back on the COVID-19 pandemic to measure the impact of delayed or unmet care for conditions such as strokes, heart attacks, diabetes and cancer treatment. It will also assess the delivery of regular care across hospital, primary care and home-based settings.  Professor Connolly said: "During the COVID-19 pandemic regular healthcare across Europe was disrupted with long-term consequences for patients. The RAPIDE project offers a valuable opportunity to learn from this, to build in healthcare optimisation and forecasting and to create more flexible and adaptable ways to deliver healthcare. It builds on the success of PANDEM-2 project, which was all about developing systems for countries, governments and their health services to plan and prepare responses when the next pandemic hits. “The RAPIDE research will have applicability for winter surges in hospital admissions due to respiratory illnesses, including influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV as it is better known. This winter these illnesses have put hospitals under pressure with increased hospital and ICU admissions in children under 5 and adults aged 65 years and over. It is one of the aims of this project to help hospitals plan for such surges.” Professor Duggan's team will develop a cutting-edge decision support system to forecast surges in demand for patient care during health emergencies. Professor Duggan said: “Our novel technical solution will use state of the art simulation and mathematical methods to model epidemiological and patient pathways in order to evaluate flexible healthcare solutions. The goal is to help mitigate the impact of increased patient demand during pandemic emergencies. The work will be informed by stakeholder requirements and insights across different healthcare scenarios, including hospital, primary, and community care settings, and in collaboration with partners in the Netherlands, Italy, Slovenia and Malta.” RAPIDE will also research digital technologies and the impact on home-based care in rural communities, by evaluating progress made during the pandemic on remote consultations and health monitoring, electronic prescribing and health apps. It will also learn from partners in the research consortium, in particular Norway and the Netherlands, which are both very advanced in these areas.  As the project nears completion, the Global Health team at University of Galway will evaluate performance of the decision support system and hybrid-care delivery tools in a pandemic simulation exercise. Stakeholders including the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety will take part in the stress test.  Professor Connolly added: “We also acknowledge the recent establishment of Ireland’s new emerging health threats agency, as announced by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly T.D. This underscores the importance of building capacity for managing public health threats.” Ends

Tuesday, 9 January 2024

University of Galway has unveiled a sponsorship deal for the Hurling Club - medical device and pharmaceutical consultancy firm Trinzo. The partnership was marked at a special on-campus get-together at the Quadrangle ahead of this season’s Fitzgibbon Cup. University of Galway Hurling are the League Champions for 2023 and have made it to the final of the Fitzgibbon for the last two years, having last lifted the historic trophy in 2010. The University’s Dean of Students Professor Ciara Meehan joined Liam Turley, chief executive of Trinzo, to mark the sponsorship, along with club players Eoin Lawless, Colm Cunningham, Gavin Lee and Ian McGlynn, and club representatives Michael J O’Connor, GAA Officer, Feargal O'Callaghan, acting Director of Sports, Michael Molloy, Club Chair, Barry Murphy, Club Secretary, and Jeff Lynskey, Club Coach. University of Galway’s Dean of Students, Professor Ciara Meehan, said: “University of Galway has a great history in the Fitzgibbon and we are delighted to bring that to a partnership with Trinzo, a Galway-based company that shares our vision for excellence and community development. Sport can be such an important contributor in the growth and health of individual, and having a supportive sponsor makes a real difference. We look forward to a successful journey with Trinzo and to seeing the partnership flourish in the future as we wish all the players, staff and volunteers every success in the Fitzgibbon in 2024.” Liam Turley, chief executive of Trinzo, said: “We are delighted to sponsor the University of Galway Hurling Club and we hope that our partnership will help the hurlers and all those involved with the club to reach great heights. People are at the heart of everything we do – from our clients and their patients, to our local community. That’s why we’re proud to support University of Galway’s hurling team, promoting sport at a local and national level and giving us the chance to support students who are competing at elite level and taking to the field for University of Galway. We wish them every success.” Speaking at the get-together, Michael Molloy, Chair of University of Galway’s Hurling Club, said: “We are delighted to be able to celebrate the great sponsorship and support that we have from Liam Turley and everyone at Trinzo and we hope it will lead to many other celebrations as we head into the fierce competition of this year’s Fitzgibbon Cup.” Trinzo is a medical device and pharmaceutical consultancy firm based in Galway that solves quality, compliance, business development and product development issues to support healthcare globally. The Fitzgibbon Cup starts on January 17, 2024, with 10-time winners University of Galway drawn in Group D along with SETU Carlow and UCD. Ends

Monday, 8 January 2024

New research has revealed that using smartphones for personal purposes while at work can lead to reduced stress, as well as lower levels of conflict between work and personal life.  The study was conducted by University of Galway and University of Melbourne at the European branch of a global pharmaceutical company which underwent a transformative change in its phone policy - shifting from a restrictive approach to personal phones, to open access for non-work purposes. Led by Professor Eoin Whelan, at University of Galway’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, the research highlights the potential benefits of moderate mobile phone usage in the professional setting, with no discernible impact on worker performance. The company had originally banned personal use of phones in the 1990s for health and safety reasons, amid concerns of employees being distracted while working around dangerous chemicals.  Staff had since voiced dissatisfaction with the ban and reported feeling disconnected, while senior management felt the branch was viewed as technophobic because of the ban and that it was hampering competitiveness against other branches of the company. Prior to the study taking place, only senior management at the company could bring their personal mobile phone into the workplace.  Over the course of a year, the research tracked about 40 employees who availed of the new policy and used their personal smartphones when at work, and a similar number who maintained a self-imposed ban by leaving their phones behind them when they stepped inside the work premises.  The insights gained from the experiment were explored through qualitative interviews. The study found:  Despite fears of smartphone distraction and loss of focus, work performance did not decline when the ban was lifted Work-life conflict - the perceived conflict between the demands of work and personal life - significantly declined for workers who had access to their phones compared to those who did not Employees with access to phones reported being able to help with family issues during the day, helping to reduce pressure on their partner Spreading personal communications throughout the day also meant employees were not overwhelmed when they turned on their phone after work While previous research has primarily focused on the consequences of technology and work-related communications impacting on people outside of the workplace, this study stands out for its innovative approach in investigating the reverse scenario. The ground-breaking findings contribute to understanding of the interplay between technology and the sought-after work-life balance while also offering practical insights for organisations aiming to foster a healthier and more balanced work environment. Speaking of the findings, Professor Eoin Whelan, University of Galway J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, said: "Rather than enforcing a ban on smartphones in the workplace, our experiences in tracking the introduction of smartphones in this company suggest a more effective strategy would be to establish an organisational climate where the company expectation for smartphone behaviours are known – for example ensuring that they are not used in meetings or in the canteen, with adherence monitored by employees themselves. "Managers must realise the unintended consequences of forcing a smartphone ban. Preventing phones in the workplace can increase work-life conflict, which in turn has significant implications for work performance, job satisfaction, absenteeism, turnover intentions, as well as general wellbeing.” The research noted other studies into personal use of smartphone in the workplace, with some reports suggesting employees spent an average of 56 minutes during a working day on their smartphone for non-work related tasks, and that they check their phone an average of 150 times a day. The full paper is available to read here  Ends

Wednesday, 3 January 2024

Reáchtálfaidh Ionad Rochtana Ollscoil na Gaillimhe an oíche eolais bhliantúil sin a dhíreoidh ar riachtanais na mac léinn lánfhásta agus na bhfoghlaimeoirí fásta atá ag smaoineamh ar thabhairt faoi staidéar lánaimseartha nó páirtaimseartha don bhliain acadúil 2024. Beidh an oíche eolais ar siúl Dé Céadaoin, an 10 Eanáir, ó 6.30-9pm san Institiúid Cúrsa Saoil agus Sochaí, Bóthar an Chaisleáin Nua Uachtarach, Gaillimh. Tá an ócáid ceart dírithe go háirithe orthu siúd atá 23 bliain d’aois nó níos sine atá ag iarraidh tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoi na roghanna staidéir atá ar fáil in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Beidh deis ag an lucht freastail deiseanna a phlé le mic léinn lánfhásta reatha agus le saineolaithe na gcúrsaí, rud a chabhróidh leo cinneadh a dhéanamh faoi na roghanna is fearr a d’oirfeadh dá gcúinsí pearsanta agus dá riachtanais forbartha gairmiúla. Bhí an méid seo le rá ag Kathleen Hartigan, Oifigeach na Mac Léinn Lánfhásta in Ionad Rochtana Ollscoil na Gaillimhe: “Tá a dhíograisí is a bhíonn mic léinn lánfhásta feicthe againn i gcaitheamh na mblianta, agus cuireann a ndúil san fhoghlaim go mór lenár bpobal campais. Táimid tiomanta an t-eolas atá de dhíth orthu a chur ar fáil dóibh le go mbeidh siad in ann an rogha oideachais is oiriúnaí dóibh féin a dhéanamh in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe.” Déanfaidh Ionad Forbartha Gairmeacha na hOllscoile cur i láthair faoin gcaoi conairí gairme a fhiosrú agus plean oideachais agus gairme a chur i dtoll a chéile. Bhí an méid seo le rá ag Nuala McGuinn, Stiúrthóir an Ionaid Foghlama agus Forbartha Gairmiúla d’Aosaigh, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe: “Tabharfaidh saineolaithe san oideachas aosach ó réimsí na gcúrsaí fochéime, iarchéime agus páirtaimseartha léargas ar na cúrsaí atá ann, ar na sceidil sholúbtha agus na seirbhísí tacaíochta atá curtha in oiriúint do riachtanais na bhfoghlaimeoirí lánfhásta.” Beidh baill den Ionad Rochtana ar fáil chun ceisteanna a fhreagairt faoi chúrsaí réamh-ollscoile ar nós cúrsaí Rochtana/Bonnchúrsaí. Beidh na Seirbhísí Tacaíochta Míchumais, a bhfuil saineolas acu faoin gcaoi tacú le mic léinn a bhfuil riochtaí sláinte (fisiciúil nó meabhrach) fadtéarmach orthu, nó a bhfuil deacracht shonrach foghlama acu, i láthair chun treoir a thabhairt do mhic léinn ionchasacha.  Ní mór clárú don ócáid seo. Cláraigh anseo nó seol ríomhphost chuig Tá tuilleadh eolais le fáil ag Críoch

Wednesday, 3 January 2024

University of Galway’s Access Centre will hold its annual information evening, focusing on the needs of mature students and adult learners who may be considering full-time or part-time studies for the 2024 academic year. The information evening will take place on Wednesday, January 10th, from 6.30-9pm in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society, Upper Newcastle Road, Galway. The in-person event is designed particularly for those aged 23 or over who want to find out more about study options at University of Galway. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss opportunities with current mature students and course experts to help them decide which options best suit their personal circumstances and professional development needs. Kathleen Hartigan, Mature Student Officer at University of Galway’s Access Centre, said: “We have seen over the years that mature students bring an enthusiasm and a motivation to learn that enriches our campus community, and we are dedicated to providing them with the necessary information to help them choose the best educational option for their needs.” The University’s Career Development Centre will deliver a presentation on exploring career pathways and how to plan education and a career journey.   Nuala McGuinn, Director at the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development, University of Galway, said: “Experts in adult education from the undergraduate, postgraduate and part-time course areas will share insights on course offerings, the flexible schedules available to students and the support services that are tailored to the needs of mature learners.” Members of the Access Centre will be available to answer questions on pre-university courses in terms of Access/Foundation courses, and staff from Disability Support Services, who have expertise in supporting students who may have a long-term health conditions (physical or mental), or a specific learning difficulty, will also be in attendance to give guidance to prospective students. Registration for this event is essential. Please register here or email Further information is available at  Ends 

Thursday, 29 February 2024

Professor Siobhán Mullally has been elected chair of a newly-established body supported by the United Nations to enhance the protection and promotion of human rights of refugees and asylum-seekers. The Platform of Independent Experts on Refugee Rights (PIERR) was established by a group of UN and regional independent human rights experts in December 2023 and aims to better co-ordinate joint advocacy initiatives. Professor Mullally is Director of Irish Centre for Human Rights at University of Galway and UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children. Professor Mullally, said: “The platform is being launched at a time when persecution, conflict, violence, and human rights violations, have resulted in record numbers of people displaced and forced to seek protection. “At the same time, the rights of refugees and asylum seekers are increasingly threatened by a denial of the right to seek asylum. We are witnessing increasingly punitive measures adopted by states, collective expulsions, deprivation of liberty, limited access to asylum procedures, as well as hostility and xenophobia worldwide. “Against this background, it is urgent that we work together across international and regional human rights bodies, to mobilise the full potential of international law and the promised universality of human rights protections. “I hope that this global platform will be an effective advocate for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, recognising the fundamental right to seek asylum, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and a foundation of our shared responsibility to provide a place of refuge.”  The platform is supported by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. The expert panel includes Gehad Madi, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants; Siobhán Mullally, UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children; Priya Gopalan (Chair-Rapporteur), Matthew Gillett (Vice-Chair on Communications), Ganna Yudkivska (Vice-Chair on Follow-Up), Miriam Estrada-Castillo, and Mumba Malila of the UN Working Group on arbitrary detention; Claude Heller, Chair of the UN Committee against torture; Selma Sassi-Safer, Commissioner and Special Rapporteur on refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons and migrants in Africa of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights; José Luis Caballero Ochoa, Commissioner and Rapporteur on the rights of migrants of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Ends

Wednesday, 28 February 2024

Three University of Galway public engagement and education outreach initiatives have been awarded funding through Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Programme.   The projects are among 38 being supported with €5million investment announced by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris T.D., and Minister for Education, Norma Foley T.D. to encourage understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).   The funding will create greater public awareness of the impact of STEM on society and everyday life, generate opportunities for dialogue and encourage diversity in STEM-related disciplines.   Professor Jim Livesey, Vice-President for Research and Innovation at University of Galway, said: “Outreach and public engagement are integral to research at University of Galway and these innovative projects will help generate enthusiasm for STEM while inspiring young people to aspire to careers in the sciences. I thank Science Foundation Ireland for their continued support of these programmes and look forward to the events and activities that are planned.”   University of Galway’s funded projects include:   ReelLIFE SCIENCE ReelLIFE SCIENCE is a cross-border public engagement programme, which encourages young people and the public to discover more about STEM and its impact on individuals, society and the environment, while at the same time developing participants’ creativity, communication and digital skills.  Young people from primary schools, secondary schools and youth organisations are challenged to research a STEM topic and communicate it for the public via an engaging and educational 3-minute video. The best videos are awarded prizes of €1,000 and are screened for the public at the Galway Science and Technology Festival, at other public events, and online.  Led by Dr Enda O’Connell, ReelLIFE SCIENCE has enabled more than 23,000 young people from across the island of Ireland to directly engage with STEM in a novel way. The videos produced have had a secondary audience of over 570,000 online and at public screenings, increasing the public’s knowledge and engagement with science and technology.  Empathy Detectives The Empathy Detectives project is a collaboration between CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices hosted by University of Galway, and the University’s Ideas Lab and PPI Ignite Network, and patient representative Cameron Keighron, a member of the D1 Now Young Adult Panel, which aims to improve engagement between young adults with Type 1 Diabetes and their healthcare providers.   Led by Professor Abhay Pandit, the project will convene a patient panel to work alongside the project team to create 'empathy kits'; a series of short experiences that create empathy and understanding about the lived experience of diabetes for public audiences, with a particular focus on junior cycle students and families. These kits will be made available at Galway City Museum, through CÚRAM's public exhibit 'SUPERHUMAN' which is housed there. The kit will be co-created, tested and evaluated with a view to establishing a model for creation of further empathy kits representing chronic conditions targeted by current research at CÚRAM.    The project will deliver a series of design workshops that will incorporate the empathy kit experience and facilitate participants to use design thinking exercises to generate creative ideas and solutions for chronic illnesses. Workshop audiences will include teachers, students, researchers, patient groups and families. Key to the success of the project will be the involvement of patients, researchers and clinicians in the design of the empathy experience. The end goal of the project is to create meaningful educational resources that encourage and develop empathy alongside innovation, and that relate directly to the junior cycle science curriculum. START To Discover: Fuelling curiosity with trials and scientist interactionSTART To Discover aims to make STEM learning engaging and accessible for all primary school children in Ireland, fuelling a new generation of scientific curiosity and discovery. The project builds on two successful projects by University of Galway - the ‘START (Schools Teaching Awareness of Randomised Trials) Competition’ and the 'Meet the Scientist Webinar Series'.    The 'Meet the Scientist Webinar Series' lets children interact with real scientists, hearing about their jobs and careers, asking questions, and learning about the different paths in STEM. These webinars encourage children to see themselves in these roles, sparking curiosity and ambition.   The 'START Competition' gives children the chance to become scientists themselves. They work together to create, carry out, and report on their own science experiments, learning about how research works and experiencing the excitement of discovery.   The project team, led by Dr Sandra Galvin, aim to bring in a wider range of professionals for the webinars, providing more resources for schools participating in the competition, and finding new ways to involve and inspire more children.    Ends

Tuesday, 27 February 2024

Tá ainm dlíthiúil nua Ollscoil na Gaillimhe fógartha go foirmeálta anois – Ollscoil na Gaillimhe a bheidh uirthi i nGaeilge, agus University of Galway i mBéarla. Dheimhnigh an tAire Breisoideachais agus Ardoideachais, Taighde, Nuálaíochta agus Eolaíochta, Simon Harris T.D., an t-athrú le hordú tar éis athbhrandáil a tharla in 2022. Tháinig éifeacht leis an ainm dlíthiúil nua Dé Céadaoin, an 21 Feabhra 2024 agus fógraíodh inniu é trína fhoilsiú in Iris Oifigiúil an Rialtais. D’fhógair Uachtarán Ionaid agus Meabhránaí Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh, an t-athrú i dteachtaireacht chuig an bhfoireann: “Tá an-áthas orm a bheith in ann an nuacht a roinnt libh go bhfuil athrú tagtha ar ainm dlíthiúil na hOllscoile agus is mian liom aitheantas a thabhairt don tacaíocht a thug an tAire Harris dúinn an lá suntasach i stair agus oidhreacht na hOllscoile a bhaint amach. “Is ionann ainm dlíthiúil na hOllscoile anois agus ‘Ollscoil na Gaillimhe’ i nGaeilge, agus ‘University of Galway’ i mBéarla. Leanann ár dtiomantas mar ollscoil do phrionsabal an dátheangachais agus léiriú air sin is ea an t-ainm nua seo. Ba mhaith liom thar ceann na hOllscoile buíochas a ghabháil le gach duine a raibh baint acu leis an athrú go dtí an t-ainm nua. Aithnímid freisin iad siúd ar fad lasmuigh de phobal na hOllscoile a thacaigh lenár n-iarrachtaí féiniúlacht a bhunú atá chomh nasctha sin leis an áit ina bhfuilimid, agus a leanann leis an tacaíocht sin i gcónaí. Críoch

Tuesday, 27 February 2024

The new legal name of University of Galway has been formally announced – in Irish it is Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, and in English it is University of Galway.  The change was confirmed by order of the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris T.D. and follows a rebrand in 2022. The new legal name came into effect on Wednesday February 21, 2024 and was announced today by being published in Iris Oifigiúil – the official gazette of the Government. Deputy President and Registrar of University of Galway, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, announced the change in a message to staff: “I am delighted to be able to share the news of the change to our University’s legal name and I wish to acknowledge the support of Minister Harris in reaching this landmark date in our history and heritage.  “The University's legal name is now ‘Ollscoil na Gaillimhe’ in Irish and ‘University of Galway’ in English. As a university we remain committed to the principle of bilingualism illustrated by this new name.  “On behalf of the University I want to thank everyone who has played a part in the journey to the new name. We would also like to acknowledge all those outside of our University community who have supported and continue to support our efforts to establish an identity with such a close bond to our place.” Ends

Tuesday, 27 February 2024

Analysis of results from international trials question whether current aspirin recommendations apply to all patients    Data points to a need for further evidence on best practice among adults already taking aspirin for cardiovascular disease prevention    Heart disease researchers have identified a group of patients in whom international guidelines on aspirin use for heart health may not apply.  In a study published in the renowned medical journal Circulation, the findings of a review of data from three clinical trials challenge current best practice for use of the drug for primary prevention of heart disease or stroke - otherwise known as atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.    The research examined the results from clinical trials involving more than 47,000 patients in 10 countries, including the US, the UK and Australia, which were published in 2018.     The analysis focused on findings for a subgroup of 7,222 patients who were already taking aspirin before the three trials commenced. Those studied were at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and were taking aspirin to prevent the first occurrence of a heart attack or stroke.   The data showed a higher risk of heart disease or stroke – 12.5% versus 10.4% - for patients who were on aspirin before the trials and who then stopped, compared to those who stayed on the drug.    Analyses also found no significant statistical difference in the risk for major bleeding between the two groups of patients. The research was led by Professor J. William McEvoy, Established Professor of Preventive Cardiology at University of Galway and Consultant Cardiologist at Saolta University Health Care Group, in collaboration with researchers in University of Tasmania and Monash University, Melbourne.   Professor McEvoy said: “We challenged the notion that aspirin discontinuation is a one-size-fits-all approach.”   The research team noted results from observational studies which suggest a 28% higher risk of heart disease or stroke among adults who were prescribed aspirin to reduce the risk for a first heart attack or stroke, but who subsequently chose to stop taking the aspirin without being told to do so by their doctor.   Based in large part on three major clinical trials published in 2018, international guidelines no longer recommend the routine use of aspirin to prevent the first occurrence of heart attack or stroke.  Importantly, aspirin remains recommended for high-risk adults who have already had a heart disease or stroke event, to reduce the risk of a second event.   The move away from primary prevention aspirin in recent guidelines is motivated by the increased risk of major bleeding seen with this common medication in the three trials, albeit major bleeding is relatively uncommon on aspirin and was most obvious only among trial participants who were started on aspirin during the trial, rather than those who were previously taking aspirin safely.  These trials primarily tested the effect of starting aspirin among adults who have not previously been treated with the drug to reduce the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Less is known about what to do in the common scenario of adults who are already safely taking aspirin for primary prevention.   Professor McEvoy said: “Our findings of the benefit of aspirin in reducing heart disease or stroke without an excess risk of bleeding in some patients could be due to the fact that adults already taking aspirin without a prior bleeding problem are inherently lower risk for a future bleeding problem from the medication. Therefore, they seem to get more of the benefits of aspirin with less of the risks.  “These results are hypothesis-generating, but at present are the best available data. Until further evidence becomes available, it seems reasonable that persons already safely treated with low-dose aspirin for primary prevention may continue to do so, unless new risk factors for aspirin-related bleeding develop.”    Ends  

Monday, 26 February 2024

Tá Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ag iarraidh ar gach duine, idir óg agus aosta, ar mian leo a bheith ina n-innealtóirí, páirt a ghlacadh in imeacht teaghlaigh saor in aisce an deireadh seachtaine seo. Beidh ‘Innealtóirí na Todhchaí: Lá Spraoi Teaghlaigh’ ar siúl Dé Sathairn, an 2 Márta ó 10am go 4pm in Áras Innealtóireachta Alice Perry. Tá an imeacht eagraithe mar chuid de Sheachtain na nInnealtóirí 2024, a dhéanann ceiliúradh ar an innealtóireacht ar fud na hÉireann, agus beidh neart seónna eolaíochta agus innealtóireachta, taispeántais scannán, ceardlanna agus gníomhaíochtaí praiticiúla ar fáil a spreagfaidh daoine óga agus aosta. Mar aon le seónna beo, ar nós Fun Fantastic Physics, is féidir le teaghlaigh freastal ar dhá léiriú scannáin i rith an lae – Dream Big: Engineering Our World agus John Phillip Holland: Submarine Inventor. Dúirt an tOllamh Jamie Goggins, Scoil na hInnealtóireachta in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, gur innealtóirí nádúrtha iad leanaí mar gur breá leo rudaí a dhearadh agus a thógáil, ag baint úsáid as cibé rud is féidir leo a fháil: “Le heolas, nuálaíocht agus cruthaitheacht, athraíonn innealtóirí réaltacht agus todhchaí gach cine daonna. Ba mhaith linn an oiread teaghlach agus is féidir a bheith páirteach linn le haghaidh imeachtaí an lae chun Seachtain na nInnealtóirí a cheiliúradh agus chun an innealtóireacht a fhiosrú trí ghníomhaíochtaí agus seónna spraíúla, chomh maith le bualadh le hinnealtóirí chun níos mó a fhoghlaim faoin domhan mórthimpeall orainn, ról na hinnealtóireachta inár saol a thuiscint mar aon lena tionchar ar ár dtodhchaí.” I rith an lae beidh deis ag teaghlaigh a dtuirbín gaoithe féin a thógáil; tuiscint bhunúsach a fháil ar ról agus struchtúr ceall agus DNA le Taiscéalaithe na gCeall; bithábhar a thógáil ag baint úsáid as sláthach; spraoi le priontáil 3D; foghlaim conas rothair a dheisiú le cabhair ón Meitheal Rothar; breathnú ar an GEEC: Carr na Gaillimhe atá Tíosach ar Fhuinneamh; spraoi i limistéir shúgartha LEGO nó STEM; nó sos a ghlacadh sa seomra céadfach.  Is féidir le lucht freastail a gcuid scileanna tiomána agus braistintí guaise a chleachtadh ar ionsamhlóirí gluaisteán, gluaisrothair nó rothair den scoth a chuirfidh an tÚdarás um Shábháilteacht ar Bhóithre ar fáil. Beidh na gníomhaíochtaí seo agus go leor gníomhaíochtaí eile a thaispeánann saol na hinnealtóireachta sibhialta, comhshaoil, meicniúla, bithleighis, leictreonaí, fuinnimh agus ríomhaireachta ar fáil ar an lá.  Tá clár iomlán imeachtaí an Lae Spraoi Teaghlaigh ar fáil ag Tá ticéid saor in aisce, agus is féidir iad a chur in áirithe do roinnt seónna roimh ré ar an láithreán gréasáin. Moltar do theaghlaigh freisin teacht ar an lá, agus tabharfar tús áite dóibh siúd is túisce a bheidh i láthair. Críoch

Monday, 26 February 2024

University of Galway is calling all young and old wannabe engineers to participate in a free family event this weekend. ‘Engineering Our Future: Family Fun Day’ takes place on Saturday, March 2 from 10am to 4pm in the Alice Perry Engineering Building. Organised as part of Engineers Week 2024, which celebrates engineering across Ireland, the event will provide plenty of science and engineering shows, film screenings, workshops and hands-on activities that will inspire both the young and the old. Along with live shows, such as Fun Fantastic Physics, families can attend two film screenings throughout the day – Dream Big: Engineering Our World and John Phillip Holland: Submarine Inventor. Professor Jamie Goggins, School of Engineering at University of Galway, said that children are natural engineers as they love to design and build things, using whatever they can get their hands on: “With knowledge, innovation and creativity, engineers change the reality and future of all human beings. We want to see as many families join us for the day-long events to help mark and celebrate Engineers Week and explore engineering through exciting and fun, hands-on activities and shows, as well as meeting with practising engineers to better learn about the world around us, understand the role of engineering in our lives and its impact on our future.” Throughout the day families will have an opportunity to build their own wind turbine; gain a basic understanding of the role and structure of cells and DNA with Cell Explorers; build a biomaterial using slime; have fun with 3D printing; learn how to repair bicycles from An Mheitheal Rothar; explore the GEEC: Galway Energy Efficient Car; have fun in the LEGO or STEM play areas; or take some timeout in the sensory room.  Attendees can also practice their driving and hazard perception skills on state-of the art car, motorbike or bicycle simulators provided by the Road Safety Authority. These and many other activities showing the world of civil, environmental, mechanical, biomedical, electronic, energy systems and computer engineering will be available on the day.  The full programme of events for Family Fun Day is available at Tickets are free, and they can be booked for some shows in advance through the website. Families are also advised that they can turn up on the day, on a first come, first served, basis. Ends

Thursday, 22 February 2024

Teenagers in west of Ireland report decline in wellbeing and mental health Researchers at University of Galway have identified that young people who have suffered adversity in the home, among peers, or at school are substantially more at risk of self-harm. Academics at the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre and School of Psychology today published a report on mental health and wellbeing based on results from surveys of more than 15,000 young people in three counties – Galway, Mayo and Roscommon – between 2018 and 2022. The report, Adolescent Mental Health & Adversity - Profiles and Trends in the West of Ireland 2018-2022, examines statistics from Planet Youth surveys where pupils in 4th year in post-primary schools in the three counties self-report on a range of topics.  The research focused on patterns of adversity which young people experience across home, peer and school contexts to establish whether these are linked to mental health outcomes or self-harm behaviours. The researchers aim to use the study to identify protective factors and determine whether personal practices such as sleep and physical activity and whether friend or parental support and school safety are associated with better mental health outcomes and/or act as a buffer for adversity related risk. The full report can be viewed here Other key findings from the research are: Adversity increases risk of self-harm and is associated with poorer mental health outcomes among adolescents.  Health behaviours, like sleep and physical activity, and supports from parents, peers and schools, are associated with better mental health outcomes. Young people who experience adversity across multiple contexts (e.g., at home, in school, or with peers) are substantially more at risk of self-harm, compared to youth who do not experience adversity. Approximately 13% of the young people who had little likelihood/probability of experiencing adversity were likely to have self-harmed at some point in their life. This compared to 27% of the young people who experienced parental adversity; 37% of those who experienced adversity amongst peers; and 82% of those who experienced adversity in several ways. Depressive tendencies were highest for the group who experienced adversity across multiple contexts and lowest for the low adversity group. Girls and non-binary teens are more likely than boys to self-harm, and experience poorer mental health outcomes. Irish adolescents, and those from two-parent households, reported better mental health outcomes than adolescents from other family structures or cultural backgrounds. The research was conducted by Dr Charlotte Silke, Dr Bernadine Brady, Dr Caroline Heary and colleagues from the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre and School of Psychology at University of Galway. It was funded by the Health Research Board and undertaken in collaboration with Planet Youth, the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention and the National Suicide Research Foundation. Dr Charlotte Silke said:  "This research highlights an important link between youth adversity and mental health. Consistently, across each year, we found that experiencing adversity, in any setting - whether that's at home or at school - increases risk of self-harm and poor mental health, and youth who experience adversity across multiple contexts, for example, at home and at school, are at substantial risk. To fully understand the impact of adversity on young people we need to look at the contexts in which they are experiencing adversity." Dr Bernadine Brady said: “From a policy perspective, the link between adversity and poor mental health highlighted in this study underlines the need for prevention and early intervention services and supports to reduce adversity for children, young people and families. Key messages for young people, parents or guardians and schools are that factors such as sleep, physical activity, support from parents and friends and feeling safe at school are associated with better youth mental health.” Ends

Tuesday, 20 February 2024

Student Sustainability Leadership Awards open for entries University of Galway has today hosted the Government of Ireland national Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Champions on campus. The 26 champions were selected by government to raise public awareness of the United Nations SDGs and include organisations such as the GAA, An Post, Tesco and the FAI.  University of Galway is the first university to hold the honour, recognising the leading role that it is playing in achieving and realising the ambitions of the 17 Goals, to improve human life and protect the environment. Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan T.D., sent a message of support to the SDG Champions: “I’m delighted to see University of Galway hosting today’s SDG champions’ meeting, on the themes of Climate Action (SDG 13) and Partnerships (SDG17). Further and higher education institutions play a critical role in helping society to achieve the SDGs, through Education for Sustainable Development, academic research and teaching, and also through everyday practices. To achieve the SDGs, there is also a need for greater collaboration and partnerships. Universities are important places for developing these. It is very encouraging to see University of Galway taking a lead role in this, embedding the SDGs in their research, teaching and operations, and building partnerships, many of which have been represented today. Today’s event was a great opportunity for the SDG Champions to collaborate, share knowledge and learn from best practice examples of activities and partnerships taking place across the country, to achieve Agenda 2030.” University of Galway Deputy President and Registrar, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, said: “University of Galway is delighted to host the national SDG champions on campus. Our university community has defined sustainability and openness as two of our core values, and in this spirit we are making good use of our SDG Champion status to highlight the importance of the SDGs for our students, our society and our planet. University of Galway is proud to be ranked in the top 50 universities of the world for addressing the SDGs and the leading university in Ireland for this work and hosting all 26 champions in Galway is symbolic of our intent to continue those efforts.” The University of Galway’s SDG Champion status acknowledges many years of hard work embedding the SDGs on multiple levels across the University.  Ranked as the top university in Ireland (and #34 in the world) by Times Higher Education Impact Rankings for performance on the SDGs  Received Gold rating in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS)  First in Europe to be awarded Green Lab certification Awarded the Green Campus Flag in 2019 and 2022 To advance SDG-related projects, the University has today launched the Student Sustainability Leadership Awards 2024. The awards recognise the leading role that students play in the transition to a sustainable future and aim to support student leaders that are dedicated and enthusiastic about developing a more sustainable campus and community.   Student Sustainability Leadership Awards are available for two current University of Galway students. Awardees will each receive an 8-week sponsored internship with the University’s Sustainability Office during summer 2024.  Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Deputy President and Registrar, said: “As SDG Champion, University of Galway advocates the UN Goals, and inspire others, especially those in higher education, to commit and contribute to Ireland achieving its targets. We are establishing a Sustainability Office to lead and promote sustainability in all aspects of University learning and research, culture, operations and governance structures, and to empower its diverse communities of staff, students and partners to co-create tomorrow's sustainable campus and deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. The Student Sustainability Leadership Awards represent an excellent learning and leadership opportunity for enthusiastic students to work with our new Sustainability Office during the summer.” The deadline for entries to the Student Sustainability Leadership Awards is midday on Monday March 4th. Further information is available at:  Ends  

Tuesday, 20 February 2024

University of Galway Professor in Pathology Sharon Glynn has been appointed Fulbright Ambassador for the university. In the Ambassadorial role, Professor Glynn will offer guidance to University of Galway staff and students who wish to apply for a Fulbright Scholarship to study, research or teach in the USA. She will also liaise with faculty and staff to grow new Ireland-USA networks and collaborations, through hosting Fulbright U.S. Scholars and Students. As a translational cancer researcher Professor Glynn is focused on identifying factors that influence cancer development and progression. During her 2022-2023 Fulbright Scholar Award, she visited Houston Methodist Research Institute and the University of Notre Dame Harper Cancer Research Institute to collaborate and learn from world-renowned experts in the field of triple negative breast cancer. Sharon also has an interest in early researcher career development and is the lead on a Marie Curie Sklodowska Actions (MSCA) doctoral training network. Fulbright Commission in Ireland Executive Director, Dr Dara Fitzgerald said:  “The Fulbright Commission is delighted to appoint Professor Sharon Glynn as Fulbright Ambassador for the University of Galway. As a Fulbright Alum, she will provide insight to students and staff who are considering visiting the U.S. through Fulbright scholarships. We look forward to reviewing applications from the University of Galway as part of the 2025-2026 Fulbright Irish Awards Competition.”   Fulbright-University of Galway Ambassador, Professor Sharon Glynn said: "I am delighted to be appointed as Fulbright Ambassador to University of Galway. In 2022, I was honoured to receive a Fulbright Scholar Award which granted me the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from the Houston Methodist Research Institute. Our focus was on developing collaborations between our two institutes around new spatial pathological imaging techniques for triple negative breast cancer, with a view to gaining a better understanding of the factors that influence patient outcomes. “The Fulbright commission also sponsored a visit the University of Notre Dame, where I had the opportunity to speak to undergraduate students and faculty about opportunities for studying and teaching abroad in Ireland, and to develop additional research collaborations. Additionally, I spent three wonderful days at the Spring 2023 Chicago Fulbright Scholar Enrichment Seminar with fellow Fulbright awardees, and had the opportunity to present on prostate cancer related public health aspects in Ireland. I look forward to supporting faculty and students from University of Galway to partake in the outstanding opportunities afforded by a Fulbright Scholarship." The 2025-2026 Fulbright Irish Awards competition will open in August 2024. Visit to learn more. The Fulbright Irish Awards provide grants and support for Irish citizens, and E.U. citizens who have been resident in the ROI for 5+ years, to research, study, or lecture in the USA. Opportunities are available in all disciplines. The Commission encourages applications from people from diverse backgrounds to all its schemes, programmes and activities. Ends

Monday, 19 February 2024

University of Galway has announced plans to celebrate Irish Traveller Ethnicity Week with a week-long series of events across campus. Irish Traveller Ethnicity Week starts on Monday February 27th and runs to Friday March 1st - marking the anniversary of the Government formally recognising Irish Travellers as a distinct ethnic group and celebrating their culture and heritage including music, craft traditions and language. The University is hosting a range of panel discussions, workshops and cultural exhibitions throughout the week, with a variety of opportunities for staff, students and the public to learn more about Irish Traveller culture, overcoming adversity in education and the experiences of Leaving Certificate students as members of the Irish Traveller community. Mary Warde Moriarty (Doctor of Laws (LLD)), a traveller, human rights activist, who recently received an honorary degree from University of Galway will officially open this year's series of events on Monday 26th February at 11am, The View, Áras na Mac Léinn.  Highlights from the programme of events include:  The Michael McDonagh Award - will be presented at the opening ceremony to a staff member who has shown leadership in promoting Irish Traveller History & Culture, promoting the full participation of Irish Travellers in education and advancement of Irish Traveller human rights. Traveller Living Exhibition - The exhibition showcases the rich cultural heritage of Irish Traveller life in the 1950s. A fully restored barrel-top wagon, a traditional tent and a working tinsmith are amongst the many features. Monday, February 26th from 10am–4.30pm, Áras na Mac Léinn. Traveller Education and Anti-racism - Dr Hannagh McGinley, a member of the Irish Traveller community, will talk about her journey through education and working life. After completing a BA in English and Philosophy and H Dip and MA in Community Development, Hannagh went on to be awarded a doctorate at University of Galway. Dr McGinley’s research expertise is Irish Traveller education, anti-racism, culturally responsive and intercultural approaches to education. Monday, February 26th from 3pm–4pm, THB-G010 Hardiman Research Building. Galway Traveller Movement - A document titled Going for our dreams in a racist society will be on display, which shares stories of five Leaving Certificate students and their school experiences as members of the Irish Traveller Community. Tuesday February 27th from 11am–12pm, THB-G010 Hardiman Research Building. Story Telling and Music – Trish Reilly, an Irish Traveller activist and singer-songwriter, inspired by her heritage and strong family musical tradition, will perform songs and tell a few stories. Wednesday, February 28th from 3pm–4pm, The Space, Áras na Mac Léinn. Mincéirs Whiden Society, Coffee Morning – Join members of the Mincéir (Irish Traveller) Students Society over a cup of a coffee as they share their stories. Thursday, 29th February from 10am-12pm Meeting Room 2, Áras na Mac Léinn. Traveller History and Culture – Anne Marie Stokes, Traveller Education Officer at University of Galway will discuss the history of Irish Travellers. Friday March 1st from 10:30am–11:30am, The Space, Áras na Mac Léinn. The week will also see a series of events being held to highlight the supports available to students, including sessions on the University of Sanctuary programme and information on pathways into and through education.  Dr Helen Maher, Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at University of Galway, said: “Each year the Irish Traveller Ethnicity Week at the University marks our commitment to openness, diversity and inclusion as we build and strengthen connections with the wider community. We welcome and encourage all students, including Irish Traveller students, to seize the opportunities that education offers and that this week brings. Our University is open to all and works to ensure equality for all our students by providing supports to overcome barriers and establish a sense of belonging and the week-long celebration of Irish Traveller ethnicity affords us the opportunity to reflect on where we have come from on that journey and where we should look to as a community.” Imelda Byrne, Head of University of Galway’s Access Centre, said: “The Access Centre is proud to host University of Galway’s Irish Traveller Ethnicity Week activities and to collaborate with our students, the Office of the Vice-President for Equality and Diversity, and Irish Traveller Organisations in the region. Year on year we see the progress that is being made to increase the diversity of our student population and the increased commitment to providing supports, resources, and a welcoming sense of community to ensure that all of our students, including Irish Traveller students, have an equal opportunity to participate and succeed.” The week's events are organised by University of Galway’s Access Centre, in collaboration with Irish Traveller Organisations, local schools, Mincéirs Whiden Society, Galway Traveller Movement and Cell Explorers. Ends  

Wednesday, 14 February 2024

Four academics at University of Galway have been awarded funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for projects to address climate and environment challenges.  The research covers the areas of air quality; radioactive material in building products; climate resilience for bridges; and optimising resources.  The University of Galway projects are: - Myra Lydon - Towards a Climate Resilient Adapted National Network of Bridges - Jurgita Ovadnevaite - Sources of PM2.5 in the Air of Irish Towns - Mark Foley - NORM-BMI: Investigation of naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) in building materials in Ireland. - Thomas van Rensburg - Framework for Optimising Resources through Strategic Environmental Assessment University of Galway Vice-President for Research and Innovation Professor Jim Livesey said: “The funding awards achieved by University of Galway academics show a clear commitment and desire for research for the public good by tackling challenges which our affecting the daily lives of people at home and abroad. University of Galway is recognised as a leader on sustainability – as well as it being one of our core values. Universities are key to the pursuit of improving people’s lives and we wish our researchers every success as they work on outcomes to support that ambition in a cleaner, healthier, better environment.” The EPA described the funding awards as a reflection of its ongoing commitment to funding environmental and climate research. Announcing the awards, Laura Burke, EPA Director General said: “Scientific research and innovation are playing an increasingly important role in informing how governments and society can respond to the challenges posed by climate change and environmental degradation. The projects announced today will address knowledge gaps, both current and future, to provide robust evidence to support the implementation of effective environmental policies in Ireland. This EPA funding will also help to build transdisciplinary research capacity and talent in Ireland in key areas relating to sustainability transitions and societal transformations. These specialist skills and expertise are essential to enable Ireland to effectively leverage the full range of environmental, economic and societal opportunities offered by the green transition. I congratulate the successful research teams and look forward to seeing the project outputs making a positive contribution to environmental protection in the years ahead.” Ends 

Wednesday, 14 February 2024

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O'Gorman, T.D., is to address a University of Galway event on the upcoming referendums on the family and care.  The event - The Constitutional Referendums on 8th March 2024: A Discussion with Minister Roderic O’Gorman - takes place in the IT Building, IT250, on Tuesday February 20th and is open to the public.  Next month, Irish citizens who are registered to vote will have the opportunity to vote in two constitutional referendums.   The first referendum concerns the concept of family in the Constitution, and if passed would broaden the definition of family beyond marriage.   The second Referendum proposes to delete an existing part of the Constitution and insert new text providing recognition for care provided by family members to each other, and to remove the reference to duties in the home of a mother.  Dr Brian Tobin, School of Law, will provide a critical response to the Minister's address and an audience Q&A will also take place.  Speaking ahead of the event, Dr Brian Tobin, said: “I am delighted that Minister O'Gorman can join us at University of Galway to take part in this informative and insightful event for our students, staff and the public. Minister O'Gorman will emphasise the importance of the referendum proposals to attendees, but they will also be exposed to my own critique of the proposals, and then have the opportunity to engage with the Minister themselves in what I hope will be a lively audience Q&A session.”  Ends

Tuesday, 13 February 2024

University of Galway are set to return to top-flight camogie for third level education in 2025 after being crowned the 2024 Purcell Cup champions.    The club secured the promotion to the Ashbourne Cup competition after defeating SETU Carlow at the University of Galway Connacht GAA Air Dome on Sunday.     University of Galway had two teams competing as they hosted the Electric Ireland Third Level Camogie Championship at the venue in Bekan, Co Mayo.     2024 marked the third year in a row in which University of Galway Camogie Club reached the final in the Purcell Cup, after suffering narrow defeats in 2022 and 2023. From the throw-in University of Galway hit the ground running with a beautiful point from play from joint captain Tiffanie Fitzgerald within ten seconds and they never looked back.      University of Galway ran out winners, securing the promotion to the premier Ashbourne Cup competition for 2025 with a scoreline of 5-27 to 1-09.    President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “We are thrilled to see the University’s Camogie team back in the top ranks of the sport. Our players have gone from strength to strength and shown great commitment and resilience in reaching three finals in a row and now breaking through to the Ashbourne Cup for next year. We speak of our values at the University and of the role that our students play in our university community and it is great to be able to celebrate such success and excellence from this inspirational group of players.”      Tiffanie Fitzgerald, joint captain of University of Galway Camogie Club, said: “I’m absolutely delighted on behalf of everyone involved to have lifted the Purcell Cup. It has taken a huge effort and commitment from the players, the team management and the club officers to get University of Galway camogie back to the Ashbourne and I’m already looking forward to competing at the top-level next year. We were also delighted to have Aerogen on board as our club sponsors this year and it is great to be able to show them the value of their investment. There is something really special about college camogie and we all get so much from it. I’ve made friends for life. It’s also a great distraction from the pressures of college and exams and a great experience playing with players that you’d normally compete against.”      John Power, CEO Aerogen, which sponsors the Camogie Club, said: “Over our 25-year history Aerogen, Ireland’s largest indigenous med-tech company, has proudly partnered with many local charities and sporting organisations. We have always been attracted to support teams and organisations that share our values of commitment, ambition and team spirit and in particular those who perhaps ‘punch above their weight’. This is why we were particularly proud to support the University’s camogie teams and the whole company are absolutely delighted with their achievements over the weekend culminating in the Purcell Cup victory. They have done their University and the West of Ireland proud.”      The University’s junior camogie team contested the Uí Mhaolagáin Cup Final on Saturday evening against UL, but narrowly missed out on victory by the finest of margins.      Speaking after the game, Camogie Club manager Louise O’Connor said: “We’re disappointed that our juniors lost out by a single point but we are so proud of this group of players and the commitment they have shown throughout the year. We’re already looking forward to next year and I know that some of these players will have an eye on breaking into the Ashbourne panel so this has been a great experience for them.”      Ends 

Tuesday, 13 February 2024

Three stories of people and projects at University of Galway are to take centre stage in a new docuseries on RTÉ1, My Uni Life.   The nine-part series was filmed over the course of academic year 2022/23, going behind the scenes in eight universities, as students and staff navigate the opportunities and challenges of life in higher education.   My Uni Life, produced by New Decade in partnership with the Irish Universities Association, airs on Friday, February 16th at 8pm on RTÉ One.  The series is set to highlight these stories from University of Galway:   Medicine students and staff were recorded as they were put through their paces in state-of-the-art clinical simulation, mimicking the real-life challenges of frontline healthcare. The Universities Healthcare Simulation and Interprofessional Education Facility spans more than 1000m2 and gives students access to more than 20 immersive learning rooms fitted out to hospital standard. The challenge of teaching and learning in such lifelike environment is on air in Episode 2, on Friday February 23rd   University Archivist Niamh Ní Charra has taken on the responsibility of the archive of former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson. The complexity of such work is enormous, with the materials running to 660 boxes and the work having been interrupted by Covid health restrictions. The archive, and the archival work, offers us a unique look into the enduring themes that have characterised Mary Robinson's extensive career, encompassing human rights, equal rights, and women's rights. The docuseries followed Niamh Ní Charra as she catalogues and evaluates the vast archive, as well as taking the opportunity to introduce Mary Robinson to some materials from key moments in her life on a special visit to the Mary Robinson Centre in Ballina. The story features in episodes 3 & 5 on Friday March 1st and 8th  The University has a longstanding partnership with the Galway International Arts Festival, and as the ink was drying on a new five-year strategic partnership, the docuseries shows students, festival ambassadors and lecturers who work hard to make it a success. As well as going behind the scenes to capture the drama and demands of hosting the GIAF on campus, the series reveals how master’s students on the SELECTED programme and volunteers get to be part of a globally renowned festival. The story features on episode 8 on Friday April 8th.  Deputy President and Registrar, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, welcomed news of the broadcast schedule: “I am delighted to see confirmation of My Uni Life on our TV screens and its unique and authentic insight into campus life and the experiences of students and staff.  “The series is only possible thanks to the Irish Universities Association, which partners with RTÉ and Dublin-based production house New Decade. A sincere thanks to everyone who helped us to share and feature such interesting stories, activities, and life here at University of Galway.”  Jim Miley, Director General of the Irish Universities Association, said: “It is great to be back on campus for the second series of My Uni Life to show first-hand how our universities are providing exciting opportunities and a life-shaping experience for Students. We also get a ‘birds' eye’ view of the working day of some of the 20,000 staff in our universities and the impact of our colleges on their local communities and regions.” More information on the series can be found on  Ends