Monday, 13 November 2023

ReelLIFE SCIENCE video competition prizes awarded to schools and youth groups in Louth, Meath, Galway, Limerick, Kilkenny, Kerry, Donegal, Dublin and Roscommon.   From planets to penicillin and artificial intelligence to vaping, short science videos made by young Irish filmmakers have been celebrated at the 11th Annual ReelLIFE SCIENCE Awards in University of Galway. The event took place on Sunday November 12 as part of Science Week 2023 and the 26th Galway Science and Technology Festival. More than 400 short science films were entered into the competition created by 2,600 young science enthusiasts in 131 schools and youth groups across the island of Ireland. Winning videos were selected by a panel of guest judges including science communicator and engineer Dr Niamh Shaw; RTÉJr TV presenter and scientist Mark ‘The Science Guy’ Langtry; and the 2023 BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition winners, Liam Carew and Shane O’Connor. ReelLIFE SCIENCE Winners 1st Prize Primary School – Twenty-two talented fourth class students from Gaelscoil Riabhach in Loughrea, Co. Galway, along with their teacher Brian Ó Meacháin, won the €1,000 first prize for their video ‘Creatha Talún’ explaining earthquakes and visualising volcanoes. Runners-up Primary School – Fourth class students from Lissivigeen National School, Killarney, Co. Kerry brought us on a trip around the solar system in ‘The Science Video’, while students from Abbey Primary School from Boyle, Co. Roscommon finished third with a history of penicillin in ‘The Messy Mistake that Changed the World’. 1st Prize Post-Primary – Gabriel McCrystal, Shaun Irimpan and Frankie Zak, transition year students from Coláiste Na Mí, Navan, Co. Meath, dramatised the effects of vaping in young people in ‘This is Bob’ and claimed the €1,000 first prize. Runners-up Post-Primary - Mahveen Farooq and Olivia Penfold from Loreto Secondary School, Kilkenny answered the question ‘Is There a Connection Between Handedness and Dominant Eyes?’, while James Molloy from Belvedere College, Dublin was awarded third place, for his project ‘Using AI to Diagnose X-Rays’.   1st Prize Youth Organisation - Young filmmaker and musician Arden Oakes, from Grow Music, Dundalk, Co. Louth, won the €1,000 youth group prize for his video ‘How the Ear Works’. Runners-up Youth Organisation – Bruff Scout Group, Limerick came second for ‘The Science of Scouting Burns and how to treat them’, while third place went to Arranmore Island Foróige Club, Co. Donegal who coded a ‘Dancing Robot’. Special Category Awards Bandonbridge National School, Bandon, Co. Cork Junior Scientists Award Scoil Phádraig, Westport, Co. Mayo Best Acting Award Sooey National School, Sooey, Co. Sligo Best Costumes Award Bullaun National School, Loughrea, Co. Galway Teamwork Award King's Hospital School, Dublin 20 Science and Me Award Laurel Hill Coláiste FCJ, Limerick Animation Award Alexandra College, Dublin 6 Best Science Song Loreto College, Dublin 2 Being Green Award Erris Foróige Youth Service, Belmullet, Co. Mayo Comedy Award Foróige Eastside Youth Service, Galway Science in Real Life Award   All of the winning videos can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/ReelLifeScience. Addressing the finalists at the event via video message, competition judge Dr Niamh Shaw said: “I have every faith that we have a very healthy future ahead of us because we have a country full of really great science explainers. Never lose that passion that you have to share how you understand science and how you see the world.” The ReelLIFE SCIENCE programme challenges young people in schools and youth groups across the island of Ireland to engage with science and technology while developing their communication and digital skills, by producing short educational videos for the public. Since being launched in 2013 by a team of scientists from the University of Galway College of Science and Engineering, this challenge has been met by over 26,000 young people, supported by teachers and staff in 750 schools and youth groups. ReelLIFE SCIENCE Founding Director Dr Enda O’Connell said: “Congratulations to all the winners, but also to every young person who demonstrated their passion for science and science communication by taking part in ReelLIFE SCIENCE this year. A special word of thanks to all the teachers and youth workers who nurture this passion, and through these videos, engage, inform and inspire the public.” ReelLIFE SCIENCE is supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme, University of Galway’s College of Science and Engineering, the CÚRAM SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices at University of Galway, the Cell EXPLORERS programme, and Foróige. Ends

Monday, 13 November 2023

Survey shows that 44% indicated that they would change job, even if it means a pay cut, if their remote working preferences are not facilitated   Researchers from University of Galway and the Western Development Commission have revealed that 92% of respondents indicated that remote/hybrid working would be a key factor in their decision to change employer.  The findings are from the first of three data collection waves of the 2023 annual National Remote Working Survey, led by Professor Alma McCarthy at University of Galway and Deirdre Frost, Policy Analyst at the Western Development Commission.   The survey gathered responses from almost 6,000 respondents in late September and early October on their experience of remote working.  Professor Alma McCarthy, Professor of Public Sector Management and Dean of J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at University of Galway, emphasised the sustained desire to work hybrid or remotely for roles where this is possible and the impact on career decision-making.   "Our previous annual surveys showed the growing appetite for remote or hybrid working and the 2023 survey provides evidence of this sustained trend.  For those who can work remotely or hybrid for at least some of the time, being able to do so now plays a critical role in employer and job choice,” Professor McCarthy said. Findings include: 59% of respondents are currently working hybrid (sometimes remotely, sometimes onsite) and 38% are working fully remotely. Only 3% are working fully onsite.  55% of respondents indicated that they would change job if their remote working/hybrid working preferences are not facilitated even if it means less promotion opportunities.  19% of respondents say they would consider relocating and 15% may consider relocating due to their experiences of remote working since COVID-19. 13.7% indicated that they have already relocated within Ireland since COVID-19 because they can work remotely. The vast majority, 88.7% of those working hybrid, work remotely at home. A small portion work remotely from a mix of their home, hub and at client sites, 7.9%. 75% of respondents’ employers are now operating a remote/hybrid working policy.  Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, TD, reinforced the Government's commitment to remote work as a cornerstone of Our Rural Future saying: "Our investment in remote working infrastructure is paying dividends by helping to revitalise rural communities. The 2023 Annual Remote Work Survey conducted by University of Galway and the Western Development Commission highlights the continuing interest in remote working. Government policy and in particular the Connected Hubs initiative is supporting remote workers and employers, ensuring that we attract and retain talent and build a brighter future for our rural communities." Allan Mulrooney, Chief Executive of the Western Development Commission, said: "The latest national survey findings underscore a significant shift in our perspective on remote work. They reveal that Irish workers now anticipate a continued embrace of the hybrid work model to better align with their lifestyles. Remote work has paved the way for novel opportunities in talent attraction and retention, effectively luring young families and new talented workers to revive regions that have borne the brunt of depopulation and declining job prospects for many years. If we persist in prioritising and fostering an environment conducive to remote work, the lasting impact, particularly in rural areas, is undeniable." The findings from 2023 survey can be viewed here  Ends

Wednesday, 8 November 2023

RTÉ will broadcast a special documentary shinning a light on the lived experience of cancer patients, their contribution to research and the ongoing work of research centres that will shape how cancer will be treated in the future. ‘The People There to Catch Us’ tells the story of Tom Hope and Rachel O’Mahony, two cancer patients who work alongside researchers at CÚRAM, SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices at University of Galway and Precision Oncology Ireland, led from University College Dublin, to help improve the lives of others living with the disease. The documentary, facilitated by Ardán, produced by Ronan Cassidy of Carbonated Comet and directed by Luke Brabazon, will be screened at 8pm on Monday November 13 on RTÉ 1.  Professor William Gallagher, Precision Oncology Ireland Deputy Director and Co-Lead of the All-Island Cancer Research Institute, whose own personal experience with cancer in his family continues to shape and motivate his approach to cancer research, said: “Precision Oncology Ireland researchers are working on developing a variety of targeted approaches to diagnose and more accurately treat cancer patients based on the exact type of disease they have and their own personal biology. In the past, cancer patients were only offered generalised approaches, such as chemotherapy, to tackle their disease, often leading to significant side effects. Our team is working hard to find unique characteristics of certain cancers that can be used to improve patient outcomes while lessening the challenge of side effects.” Tom Hope explains his role as a patient partner and steering committee member of the Patient Voice in Cancer Research: “I am involved as a patient on a number of committees with oncologists, radiologists, urologists and scientists. Sharing my personal experiences, I have found that most medics don’t understand the anxiety that diagnosis and treatment can cause a patient and their family. In addition to occasionally discussing research with scientists and giving them the benefit of my lived experience of cancer, I have had the great pleasure of acting as a peer-to-peer volunteer and sharing my personal experience with men diagnosed with prostate cancer. In this way, I hope that I am giving them comfort that their experience is not unique, with supports being there to get through their treatment and live a normal life. A few comforting words telling you that you can get through this, can make all the difference.” Dr Róisín Dwyer, CÚRAM and Precision Oncology Ireland Investigator, University of Galway, who features in the film, said: “I’m delighted that this film will reach a national audience, to show them the research that is happening here in Ireland on their own doorstep. Our research is patient-focused and we are privileged to work so closely with patient partners like Rachel who has contributed to our research at University of Galway over several years. This film is a celebration of the power of collaboration, highlighting that we can achieve so much more when we all work together.”   Ardán CEO, Alan Duggan said: “Ardán has been proud to co-facilitate the Science on Screen programme with CÚRAM for the last eight years. This initiative affords filmmakers the opportunity to develop their creative skills as they produce important content on STEM subjects, while also providing a key educational and promotional resource for the science research community and the professionals involved. This month, alongside CÚRAM and the National Talent Academy Animation, we open the next round of the Science on Screen animation. We look forward to continuing this programme with our partners to promote science through the creative industries.” This is the seventh documentary produced through the CÚRAM-Ardán Science on Screen initiative, which aims to facilitate, promote and increase the inclusion of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) content in Irish film and TV production.  ‘The People There to Catch Us’ was produced in collaboration with Precision Oncology Ireland and the Patient Voice in Cancer Research and funded by CÚRAM, the All-Island Cancer Research Institute, the UCD-Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund and the National Breast Cancer Research Institute. Along with Dr Dwyer, the documentary also features Professor William Gallagher, Precision Oncology Ireland Deputy Director, UCD Conway Institute and Co-Lead, All-Island Cancer Research Institute; and Professor Walter Kolch, Precision Oncology Ireland Director, and Director of Systems Biology Ireland, UCD, all of whom are focused on personalised cancer research at Precision Oncology Ireland. Science on Screen began in 2016 with CÚRAM funding documentary filmmaking through Ardán as facilitators and providing access to leading scientists and laboratories within CÚRAM to explore methods of scientific ‘storytelling’ and to produce short films that incorporate current research at CÚRAM and its partners. These documentaries are available for community and educational screenings nationwide. Find out more on the CÚRAM website www.curamdevicesengage.ie. Ends

Tuesday, 7 November 2023

University of Galway has today launched its first Race Equality Framework and Action Plan, to guide a co-ordinated approach to improving equality, diversity and inclusion in the University. The Action Plan contains 120 actions across five thematic areas, with emphasis placed on ensuring race equality is prioritised in all strategies and policies to ensure the University develops as a welcoming, inclusive environment where everyone has a sense of belonging. The plan looks to modernise education; improve the university experience and opportunities for students from ethnic minorities; increase representation of people from ethnic minorities among staff; and develop research partnerships with the global south.  President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “Our University has made significant progress in recent years around equality, diversity and inclusion and as a community we commend all of those who have contributed, and continue to contribute every day, on this journey. We are in a different place, and a better place, because of it. This work is expanding now, with a focus on race equality, and the action plan and framework are a striking symbol of how our values of respect and openness guide the development of University of Galway. I urge our university community to stand and to act against racism in all its guises and against the attitudes and inequalities that allow it to fester. The actions that we commit to now in this plan will ensure that we deepen our focus and commitment to that, and become one example of our work for public good.” Dr Helen Maher, Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, said: “The Race Equality Framework and Action Plan will guide us on our journey towards advancing race equality while cultivating a more equitable and inclusive university. In particular, it articulates our commitment and plans to enable an environment where different cultures, ethnicities and perspectives are visibly and openly valued. In doing so, it further acknowledges that race equality is central to the pursuit of respect, openness, sustainability, and excellence which are explicit values of our university. Guided by the Sustainable Development Goals and shaped by insights from our university community and external community partners, while building on the University Strategy 2020-2025 and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2020-2025, the Action Plan aims to embed race equality in all aspects of university life including in our teaching, research and engagement. This will provide a more welcoming inclusive environment where everyone has a sense of belonging and can thrive.” The Higher Education Authority defines race equality as equal representation, equal experiences and equal outcomes of staff and students from minority ethnic groups, while race inequality is defined as unequal representation, unequal experiences and unequal outcomes of staff and students from minority ethnic groups. Owen Ward, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme manager for race equality, said: “In recent decades University of Galway has been transformed, from a third level institution catering primarily for white Irish (non-Irish Traveller) school leavers, to actively widening the participation of students from underrepresented groups and striving to become a global institution with an increasingly diverse student and staff body. This transformation has become a key strength.  “While the university has made major strides to embed equality, diversity and inclusion across the institution, it is widely acknowledged that it needs to sharpen its focus on race equality. Tangible, meaningful actions are now being established to advance race equality at the University.” The Action Plan has five thematic areas - leadership, strategy, and policy; recruitment, progression and supports; data, monitoring and reporting; community, communications and culture; and scholarship and research.  In total, there are 120 actions under these themes, including: - A commitment of ensure that race equality is prioritised in all University strategies and policies. - A target of 10% administrative and support staff from an Irish ethnic minority background by 2027. - An increase in ethnic minority staff in managerial or leadership positions. - Enhanced student supports to further support minority ethnic and international students. - Collection and reporting of ethnicity data embedded across the University. - Strengthen awareness and understanding of race equality, racism, anti-racism, unconscious bias, equality and human rights.  - Decolonise the curriculum to ensure it is inclusive of perspectives from the Global South, nomadism, indigenous and Black Studies. - Increased institutional partnerships and research collaborations with partners in the Global South. The Race Equality Framework and Action Plan builds on actions outlined in the HEA Race Equality Implementation Plan 2022 -2024, Anti-Racism Principles for Irish Higher Education Institutions and National Action Plan Against Racism (2023) that are underpinned by the prohibition of racial discrimination and in accordance with statutory equality and human rights duties. It is strengthened by the Higher Education Authority Act 2022 and Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty which articulates University of Galway’s statutory responsibility to advance equality of opportunity and support diversity and inclusion, including race equality, in the University.  The University commenced a multifaceted consultation process with staff and students and external partners, including local civil society organisations, in 2022/23. This offered a strong evidence base of the overall experiences of minority ethnic staff and students in the University and was used to inform the development of the Race Equality Framework and Action Plan.  Ends

Monday, 6 November 2023

Is cúis cheiliúrtha é do Chartlanna agus Bailiúcháin Speisialta Ollscoil na Gaillimhe go bhfuil thart ar 60,000 íomhá dhigitithe ó chartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge curtha ar fáil. Cuireadh tús leis an tionscadal digitithe 18 mí ó shin, agus tá an bailiúchán ar fáil ar líne do chách ar ardán Chartlann Dhigiteach Leabharlann Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Tá léargas le fáil ann ar mhóreachtraí i stair na hÉireann agus ar obair, ar fheachtasaíocht agus ar ghníomhaíochas an Chonartha.  Tá níos mó ná 600,000 mír i gcartlann mhór Chonradh na Gaeilge. Baineann an t-ábhar le gníomhaíochtaí, feachtasaíocht agus a bhfuil bainte amach ag an eagraíocht ó bunaíodh í in 1893. Bhí an cnuasach digiteach, a cuireadh ar fáil ag an deireadh seachtaine ag Oireachtas na Samhna i gCill Airne, roghnaithe go cúramach ag Cartlannaí an Tionscadail, Niamh Ní Charra as an gcartlann fhairsing fhisiciúil, agus rinne an grianghrafadóir digiteach Maeve O’Neill an digitiú féin ar son Archives Ireland. Chomh maith le sraitheanna iomlána de chláir Oireachtais agus Ard-Fheiseanna Chonradh na Gaeilge ó na 1890í go dtí tús na 2000í, tá ábhair éagsúla ann maidir le feachtais faoi chearta Gaeilge, lena n-áirítear an chraoltóireacht agus stádas na Gaeilge san Eoraip, agus ábhar a bhaineann le próiseas síochána Thuaisceart Éireann. Cuireadh cartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge faoi chúram Ollscoil na Gaillimhe in 2018, de thoradh cainteanna faoi stiúir iarléachtóir de chuid Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an Dr John Walsh. Dúirt Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Cuireann an Ollscoil roimpi an Ghaeilge a chothú agus a chur chun cinn, mar a léirítear i Straitéis Ghaeilge na hOllscoile. Tá ceann de na hacmhainní rochtana oscailte Gaeilge is mó dá bhfuil ann ar an gcampas anois againn, in éineacht leis na bailiúcháin dhigiteacha Gaeilge eile a bronnadh ar an Ollscoil, ar nós closábhar béaloidis an Ollaimh Tomás Ó Máille, nuachtáin Ghaeilge – An Gaodhal agus An Stoc, agus grianghraif ó Thaibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, atá ar fáil sa Leabharlann d’oideachasóirí, do mhic léinn, do scoláirí agus do dhaoine ar spéis leo stair na hÉireann. Tá fáilte roimh chách teacht chuig an gcampas s’againne nó dul ar líne le húsáid a bhaint as na hacmhainní atá againn a bhaineann le litríocht agus léann na Gaeilge. Táimid bródúil agus buíoch go bhfuil siad againn in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe.” Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Monica Crump, Leabharlannaí Gníomhach na hOllscoile: “Is mór ag Leabharlann Ollscoil na Gaillimhe go bhfuilimid inár gcoimeádaithe ar chartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge.  Bhí lúcháir orainn an chartlann a fheiceáil á húsáid i gcúrsaí taighde agus teagaisc ó rinneadh catalógú ar an gcnuasach agus ó cuireadh an t-ábhar ar fáil inár Seomra Léitheoireachta. Tá ríméad an domhain orainn inniu a bheith in ann 60,000 íomhá ón mbailiúchán sin a chur ar fáil don domhan mór agus muid ag seoladh Bhailiúchán Digiteach Chonradh na Gaeilge.   “De bhrí go bhfuil an bailiúchán digiteach seo á chur ar fáil go hoscailte againn táimid ag cur ar chumas taighdeoirí, lucht taighde sa phobal agus aon duine ar spéis leo stair Chonradh na Gaeilge, an Ghaeilge nó stair na hÉireann go ginearálta, iad féin a thumadh i dtaifid na móreagraíochta náisiúnta seo. Táimid buíoch den Ollscoil, d’Fhoireann Bailiúchán Oidhreachta na hOllscoile agus d’fhoireann Archives Ireland as a ndearna siad chun an sárbhailiúchán digiteach seo a chur ar fáil.”  Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Paula Melvin, Uachtarán Chonradh na Gaeilge: “Tá lúcháir orainn go bhfuil digitiú déanta ar réimse leathan ábhar ó Chartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge agus go bhfuil sé foilsithe ar líne ag Leabharlann Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Is acmhainn iontach í seo dár gcraobhacha, dár mbaill agus do gach duine ar spéis leo stair Chonradh na Gaeilge agus stair na hÉireann, go deimhin. Is iontach an t-éacht é go bhfuil ábhar de chuid na heagraíochta seo le breis agus 100 bliain anuas curtha ar fáil don phobal anois, agus ba mhaith linn ár mbuíochas a ghabháil le Cartlannaí Tionscadail Chonradh na Gaeilge, Niamh Ní Charra, agus an fhoireann oibre ar fad.” Is féidir an bailiúchán seo, mar aon le cartlanna digitithe eile, a fheiceáil ar ardán Chartlann Dhigiteach Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ag https://digital.library.universityofgalway.ie/p/ms?lang=ga. Críoch

Monday, 6 November 2023

University of Galway has unveiled a milestone for its Archives and Special Collections with the unveiling of about 60,000 digitised images from the Conradh na Gaeilge archive. Following an 18-month digitisation project, the collection has been made openly available online, on the Digital Archives platform of University of Galway Library, offering a window to momentous episodes in Irish history and the work, campaigning and activism of Conradh.  The extensive Conradh na Gaeilge archive includes more than 600,000 items. It represents the organisation’s activities, campaigning and achievements since its foundation in 1893. The digital collection, which was unveiled at the weekend at Oireachtas na Samhna in Killarney, in  was carefully curated by Project Archivist Niamh Ní Charra from the extensive physical archive, with the digitisation itself carried out by digital photographer Maeve O’Neill, on behalf of Archives Ireland. Along with near complete runs of Oireachtas and Conradh na Gaeilge Ard Fheis programmes from 1890s to early 2000s, the material covers a range of topics from Irish language rights campaigns, including broadcasting and the status of the Irish language in Europe, through to material relating to the Northern Ireland peace process. University of Galway became the custodian of the Conradh na Gaeilge archive in 2018, following discussions led by former University of Galway academic Dr John Walsh. University of Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “Nurturing and promoting the Irish language is a priority for our University and central to our values, something which we have committed to through our Straitéis don Ghaeilge. We now hold one of the largest open access resources in the Irish language on our campus, joining many other Irish language digital collections donated to the University, such as Professor Tomás Ó Máille’s audio folklore material, Irish language newspapers – An Gaodhal and An Stoc, and photographs from Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, all of which are available to access by educators, students, scholars, and those interested in Irish history through our Library. Tá fáilte roimh chách teacht ar an gcampas s’againne nó ar line le ghabháil do’s na hachmhainní atá againn i léamh agus léann an Ghaeilge agus muid bródúil astu agus buíoch go bhfuil siad linn in Ollscoile na Gaillimhe” Monica Crump, Acting University Librarian, said: “The University of Galway Library is very proud to be the custodians of the Conradh na Gaeilge archive.  We have been delighted to see the archive being used in research and in teaching since the collection was catalogued and made accessible in our Reading Room. Today we are particularly pleased to bring 60,000 images from that collection to a global audience by launching the Conradh na Gaeilge Digital Collection.   “By making this digital collection openly available we enable researchers, citizen scientists and anyone interested in the history of Conradh na Gaeilge, the Irish language or indeed Irish history more broadly, to delve into the records of this important national organisation. We are grateful for the University’s support for this work to become a reality, and to our Heritage Collections Team and the Archives Ireland team for their work in delivering this wonderful digital collection.”  Paula Melvin, President of Conradh na Gaeilge, said: "We are delighted that a wide range of materials from the Conradh na Gaeilge Archive has been digitised and published online by the University of Galway Library. This archive is a fantastic resource for our branches, our members and everyone who is interested in both the history of Conradh na Gaeilge and Irish history alike. It is a great achievement that more than 100 years of our organisation's material has now been made available to the public, and we would like to express our thanks to the Conradh na Gaeilge Project Archivist, Niamh Ní Charra, and the whole team who made the project happen." The collection can be viewed on the University of Galway’s Digital Archives platform alongside other digitised archives at https://digital.library.universityofgalway.ie/.   Ends

Monday, 6 November 2023

Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy Hildegarde Naughton T.D. has officially launched the University of Galway Tax Clinic.  As the first programme of its kind in Ireland, the Tax Clinic stands as a ground-breaking endeavour - helping people from marginalised or under-represented sections of society to understand their entitlements, their tax rights and responsibilities and how to manage their own tax affairs.  The Tax Clinic began in University of Galway’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics in 2020 as a pilot project for students. It has since expanded its services to the Greater Galway area through partnerships with two local organisations that cater to people requiring these services - COPE Galway and SCCUL Enterprises. To further expand the reach and enhance its impact, it has recently begun a collaboration with Focus Ireland.   The Tax Clinic offers clients one-to-one, confidential consultations with tax student advisors, supervised by tax professionals, where they can get tailored support.  The collaborative model has allowed the Tax Clinic to identify and respond to significant unmet needs for tax education across various community groups. It empowers taxation students and the people it supports, by providing personalised tax assistance and compliance guidance for people who traditionally may not have been able to access or afford it.  Government Chief Whip and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton T.D. said: “I was very happy to join the team for the launch of the University of Galway Tax Clinic. What makes the Tax Clinic truly remarkable is its commitment to expanding beyond the University's borders and reaching out to the wider community. By partnering with local organisations, they've bridged the gap and answered the call for assistance from citizens who require these valuable services. This is a significant step towards a more informed and empowered society. Congratulations to all involved.”  President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “The launch of the Tax Clinic underscores our University's unwavering commitment to being an institution for the public good. This initiative which springs from our university community offers a vital resource for students and members of marginalised communities, ensuring that no one is left behind in navigating the complexities of taxation. By harnessing the collective expertise of our faculty and students, we aim to make a tangible, positive impact on the lives of our community, both on campus and across the region. Information is power and by sharing information, we reduce ‘the mystique of the technique’ and give more power to those without power. This is our role as educators and as a university for the public good.”  Emer Mulligan, Director of the Tax Clinic and Personal Professor in Taxation and Finance at University of Galway, said: “The foundation of this clinic is rooted in justice, dedicated to assisting those who are under-represented. The clinic's primary focus is on tax education, aiming to aid individuals to manage their own tax affairs and understand their tax rights and responsibilities. Our overarching goal is to educate and assist marginalized citizens with their tax compliance in a setting that is both free and confidential. The Tax Clinic’s services have proven increasingly important amid financial instability for many, exacerbated by COVID-19 and rising costs of living. I am very grateful to have such an impressive group of tax students and professional advisors giving their time and expertise on a pro bono basis to make this initiative possible.”  The Tax Clinic offers assistance across a range of areas, including:  Information on tax credits, e.g., tuition fees, flat rate allowances, medical expenses, Single Parent Child Carer Credit, Home Carer Credit, rent tax credit, and others  Information on tax owed/due to those have become unemployed recently  Information on how the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) is taxed   How people who have recently moved to Ireland can get their Irish tax affairs in order  How people emigrating for work can get their Irish tax affairs in order before leaving  Information on the tax implications of having multiple jobs  The event was hosted in partnership with the Galway Chamber of Commerce and University of Galway MBA Programme under the theme of Taxpayer Rights in a Digital World: How Tax Clinics Contribute to Justice and Fairness and included the launch of an accompanying report Enabling Tax Literacy and Empowerment.  The event featured a keynote address by Nina E. Olson, a globally recognised expert in taxpayer rights from the US.  Ends  

Thursday, 2 November 2023

Fourth year Mathematical Science student at University of Galway, Dmytro Lyubka, has been awarded the prestigious 2023 Hamilton Prize. Dmytro Lyubka, who came to Ireland from Ukraine 17 years ago, is one of nine students to have been honoured by the Royal Irish Academy with the award given to the top mathematical students in their final year of study as nominated by their university. The honour commemorates famed Irish scientist William Rowan Hamilton and his discovery of quaternion algebra in Dublin on October 16, 1843 - a four dimensional number system which has been used in satellite navigation and video game programming.  Dmytro Lyubka, who is originally from Kiev in Ukraine and now living in Galway City, said:  “I am deeply honoured to receive this award, which not only recognises my dedication to mathematics but, more importantly, stands as a testament to the incredible support and encouragement I've received from my family and the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at University of Galway – both of whom have my sincerest gratitude.  “Mathematics has always been my passion, and this award only fuels my enthusiasm to continue exploring this vast and intricate world. I would like to extend my thanks to the RIA for organising the Hamilton Day Event, as well as to Professor Wendelin Werner for his invaluable advice and insights during the exclusive masterclass.” In recognition of their mathematical excellence, the awardees each received a cash prize of €500, a certificate of achievement and attended an exclusive masterclass with the 2023 Hamilton Lecture speaker, Professor Wendelin Werner, Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics in the University of Cambridge. Professor Aisling McCluskey, Head of the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at University of Galway, said: “On behalf of the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at University of Galway, I am delighted to acknowledge and celebrate the award to Dmytro Lyubka of the prestigious Hamilton Prize. The prize is a tremendous honour, recognising the exceptional talent of Dymtro and others like him from universities across the country. Indeed Dymtro’s Mathematical Science class of 2024 has a formidable talent base underscoring stiff competition for this special prize.   “We are fortunate to attract students of such calibre and to provide opportunities to harness and showcase their talent as they progress in final year and into future STEM careers. We are proud that Dymtro joins the list of Hamilton Prize winners, representing our School and our University nationally for the 2023 prize. Ar son na Scoile, comhghairdeachas, Dymtro!” Ends

Tuesday, 19 December 2023

In a significant stride towards advancing health research data analytics, University of Galway is establishing a Professor of Applied Clinical Data Analytics.  The endowed Lectureship is named after University graduates Professor John F. and Dr Marie Greally, and will be a shared position between the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and the Insight SFI Centre for Data Analytics.  Clinical research is undergoing a paradigm shift and is changing how we study diseases, putting a greater emphasis on the crucial role of large clinical data analytics. The surge in open-access datasets, coupled with extensive genetic and healthcare databases, presents an unprecedented opportunity for clinical research. This new Lectureship in Applied Clinical Data Analytics aims to bridge the gap between traditional statistical approaches and emerging cutting-edge methods in data analysis. The aim is to encourage innovative thinking in areas like understanding the cause of illnesses, predicting clinical outcomes and factors that can affect the population’s health.  President of University of Galway Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said; “The University of Galway expresses our gratification at the distinguished honour bestowed upon Professor John F. and Dr Marie Greally through the naming of this new Lectureship. This will further enhance the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science’s leadership in the field of Clinical Data Analytics.  “Driven by years of unwavering commitment and service to the field of medicine, both in Ireland and globally, both John and Marie have left an indelible mark. Their unwavering commitment is evident in the substantial contributions they have made to the advancement of medical knowledge, healthcare practices and the betterment of patient outcomes.  “The establishment of this Lectureship stands as a pivotal initiative within the University’s comprehensive Meitheal campaign. Aligned with our commitment to values of openness, respect, sustainability and excellence, this campaign aims to propel initiatives that fortify the University’s core principles.” Dr Marie Greally said: "Our career paths exposed us to the excitement and value of being able to incorporate research into medical practice. We are grateful to the University of Galway for the opportunity to help the career of someone who can inspire a generation of students to learn about the value of research in medicine.”    Professor John F. Greally said: “It’s a privilege to be able to contribute to our University and the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, to which we are grateful for giving us the chance to have our careers in medicine.”  Professor Martin O’Donnell, Executive Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and Consultant Geriatrician at Saolta University Health Care Group said: “This endowed lectureship is central to our ambition in establishing a multi-platform MSc in Applied Clinical Data Analytics, and to the development of an Academic Health Analytics Hub to support research in population health, health services research and clinical trials, as part of our Institute for Clinical Trials. The Health Analytics Hub will develop and expand our existing and emerging strengths in medical AI, such as machine learning and multimodal AI, in collaboration with the Insight Centre for Data Analytics.” Ends

Friday, 15 December 2023

University of Galway has announced plans to establish the National Peatland Centre of Excellence to help tackle national and global challenges related to peatlands and associated decarbonisation, biodiversity loss, just transitions and culture. This initiative follows the successful Peatland Futures event held at the university, which brought together experts, policymakers and stakeholders to deliberate on the future of peatland and wetland research and innovation in Ireland.  Representatives from government departments, universities and community and farming organisations took part in the event.  A crucial component of Peatland Futures was the collective call to action for wetland and peatland restoration and conservation.  Recognising the significance of improving peatland conditions for long-term environmental benefit, participants were united in support of establishing a national centre of excellence to provide essential support, knowledge, training, policy insights and resources necessary for conservation efforts. Speaking at the Peatland Futures event, Professor Jim Livesey, Vice-President for Research and Innovation at University of Galway said: “Like so many challenges, we recognise that solutions cannot be found from one perspective, so we wish to engage with landowners, farmers, policymakers, community groups, government agencies and other research institutions. Together, we can make a lasting difference for the preservation of Ireland's peatlands.”  Dr Terry Morley, Assistant Professor and organiser of the Peatland Futures event, said: “Ireland has world-class peatland research and expertise and it’s time we act to increase our collective capacity for research, public outreach and dissemination, and to train the next generation of peatland practitioners. The University of Galway is uniquely situated with blanket and raised bogs at our doorstep and broad interdisciplinary peatland research expertise.” The event featured two workshops aimed at shaping the future of peatland research. The first discussed the proposal for a National Peatland Centre of Excellence, while a second focused on creating a policy summary and providing actionable strategies for informed decision-making in peatland conservation. The event also included the launch of “Social Marketing, Principles and Practice for Delivering Global Change” by Professor Christine Domegan, University of Galway and Professor Gerard Hastings, University of Stirling, which featured a photo and story of Abbeyleix Bog from award winning peatlands photographer Tina Cafferty. Ends

Thursday, 14 December 2023

Researchers at CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at University of Galway, have shed light on why brain implants are tricky to engineer and often lose their functionality once surgically placed into brain tissue.  The results of a new study, published in the prestigious journal Advanced Science, have revealed how cells of the brain sense continuous motion caused by everyday bodily functions – like breathing or the pulse from a heartbeat. Importantly, if a hard metallic or plastic device is implanted into the soft tissue of the brain, these small, normal movements can lead to friction and inflammation of the tissues around the implant, killing off vital brain cells and causing scarring.  Lead researcher on the study, CÚRAM Investigator and Associate Professor at University of Galway’s College of Science and Engineering, Dr Manus Biggs, said: “One of the most exciting parts of our study is the discovery that the cells of the brain use specialised sensors to respond to small frictional forces and that even the most basic, everyday functions can lead to tiny movements which damage the cells adjacent to a brain implant.” The research also explored possible approaches to help prevent damage to tissue and ultimately increase the lifespan and long term function of implanted electrical devices. Anti-inflammation approaches could be achieved by coating brain implants with soft gels which reduce implant friction and ensure a slow release of these drugs. The study also evaluated how brain cells attempt to protect themselves from continuous friction by keeping a distance from hard brain implants, essentially creating a fluid-filled blister which prevents direct contact of an implant with the brain tissue. Although this blister which emerges around an implant protects the brain cells from damage, a frequent downside to this defence process is that this structure prevents the neural recording device from operating. Dr Alex Trotier, who carried out the principal research of the study at CÚRAM and was awarded a PhD by University of Galway, said: “Mitigating scarring of the tissues which surround a recording device implanted into the brain is critical for the development of brain-computer interfaces - devices which allow thoughts to be directly translated into digital signals, signals which can control external devices. The scar tissue that develops around an implanted neural device prevents brain signals from being recorded, rendering the device useless. The potential gamechanger here is for the development of digital implants which can read the brain electrical activity for years at a time.” Dr Biggs added: “It is hoped that by understanding the cellular repair mechanisms, which occur following the introduction of a brain-implant, that novel devices or drugs can be developed which prevent the scarring and blistering process, paving the way for the emergence of exciting devices which can link the mind directly with advanced technologies. We may see the development of implants which can allow the instantaneous transmission of thoughts from one person to another in the next decade.” Ends

Wednesday, 13 December 2023

University of Galway has celebrated a Times Higher Education award for technological innovation for its virtual assistant for students named Cara. The Times Higher Education Award underscores the University's commitment to leveraging innovation in its pursuit of academic excellence and comprehensive student support.  Cara is an innovative artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant which has been developed by the University of Galway in partnership with Galvia, a pioneering AI company based in Galway. The University was rewarded for its work on the project by receiving the Times Higher Education Award for Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year at a gala event in Liverpool. The recognition celebrates the exceptional achievement in technological advancement that Cara offers as well as the significant leap forward in enhancing student supports and data collection methodologies within the academic landscape.  Cara efficiently addresses online queries from students while at the same time gathers essential data to identify and support at-risk individuals in the student community. Josephine Walsh, Head of Student Engagement projects at University of Galway, accepted the award on behalf of the team, saying: “This is a great acknowledgement of all the work the University of Galway Student Services team and the Galvia team have done in collaboration and it marks our joint commitment to supporting students.”  John Clancy, chief executive of Galvia, said: "We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the University of Galway on this prestigious recognition. Collaborating with the university to develop Cara has been an inspiring journey, showcasing the transformative potential of AI-driven solutions in advancing education and student well-being." Director of Student Services at the University of Galway, John Hannon, said: “We are honoured to be recognised by Times Higher Education for our commitment to technological innovation and student support. Cara represents a transformative leap forward in higher education, enabling us to provide exceptional support to our students while optimising our resources." Ends

Tuesday, 12 December 2023

University of Galway has joined a new, cross-border higher education alliance to strengthen partnerships between scientists and clinicians and foster impactful research that translates from the lab to patient care. Translational Medicine Alliance Ireland (TMAI) has been established with 10 universities and technological universities on the island of Ireland. The alliance of academics and researchers will have a focus on the development of new diagnostics, therapies, and medical interventions. Collaboration in translational medicine serves as a catalyst for transforming scientific discoveries into practical applications that directly benefit patients and society. Translational Medicine Alliance Ireland (TMAI) will enable the pooling of higher education resources, knowledge and skills. It will also offer a platform for researchers and institutions engaged in translational medicine to generate novel ideas and develop innovative therapies or diagnostics more efficiently, enhancing the impact and success of their translational research and elevating the visibility and reputation of the biomedical research community on the global stage. Professor Aideen Long, Director, Trinity Translational Medicine Institute (TTMI), said: “The establishment of TMAI is a testament to the belief that collectively forging connections, building bridges, and creating a network of translational research institutes will achieve far more than any one of us could envision alone - in terms of pushing new boundaries, breaking barriers, and realising impactful clinical research outcomes that will ultimately benefit patients." Dr Pilib Ó Broin, Assistant Professor in Translational Bioinformatics, University of Galway, said:"We are delighted to join TMAI and firmly believe that leveraging complementary expertise across our partner institutions is key to accelerating innovation in translational research at a national level. Galway's translational research excellence and infrastructure, including our newly-established research institutes in health discovery and innovation and clinical trials, will greatly enhance the capacity of this new alliance and we look forward to work with our partners in creating meaningful benefit for patients and strengthening Ireland's international reputation in this area."  TMAI will also provide a national mechanism to forge enduring partnerships with EATRIS, the European Infrastructure for Translational Medicine, creating new collaborative opportunities for research and funding at a European level. This interconnected network will amplify the influence of the sector in the Republic and in Northern Ireland internationally and foster knowledge exchange. Translational Medicine Alliance Ireland members are: Atlantic Technological University; Munster Technological University; University of Galway; Queen’s University, Belfast; Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; Technological University Dublin; Trinity College Dublin University College Cork; University College Dublin; University of Limerick. Ends

Monday, 11 December 2023

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris T.D. has today officially opened Baile na Breacóige - Dunlin Village – the new student residences at University of Galway. Dunlin was built at a cost of €95million and the construction is financed through University borrowing. It was completed in time to welcome students for the current academic year. The project represents the second of two new purpose-built, on-campus student residences at University of Galway, following the opening of Baile an Chíorbhuí – Goldcrest Village in 2018. Minister Harris said: “I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh and the University of Galway on delivering this significant development and supply of student accommodation at Dunlin Village. It is worth recognising that the University has delivered this flagship project at a time when the constraints on development are impacting supply across the country. This bring over 1,100 additional beds provided by the University in Galway since 2018. “The Government is committed to addressing the growing demand for, and supply of, student accommodation for our students. That is why for the first time I am developing a long term policy on state supported student accommodation responses. It is critical that we can pave the way for students and ease the pressures they are facing in attending higher education.” President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán ó hÓgartaigh, said: “Baile na Breacóige - Dunlin Village represents the second major student accommodation project that our University has completed in recent years. Deeply conscious of the stresses and pressures facing young people and their families when it comes to accommodation, this has been a purposefully significant undertaking and investment in the face of unprecedented demand for housing in our community. Enormous credit is due to all those involved, from the design, to the build, to the operations. It is this collective effort and support, by, and for, our university community that ensured it is open for our students this academic year. The cost of building new accommodation is increasingly prohibitive for us, and for our students, and it needs new ways of thinking, and Government support. We hope our provision of almost 2,000 beds makes a difference and we continue to support all policies, investments and endeavours to respond to those who need it the most. We also look forward to working with our students and Government to provide further, more affordable accommodation choices for our students.” University of Galway has 1,867 beds for on-campus student accommodation. Ahead of the opening of Dunlin Village, rent rates were reduced for more than a quarter of the total and frozen on another 669 beds for the fourth year in a row.  Dunlin Village  Designed by award winning Coady Architects and the construction is being carried out by Galway-based contracting firm J.J. Rhatigan & Co. The University is engaging with the Housing Finance Agency in relation to the finance for the project.  The project on the north campus of the University is made up of four distinct buildings with 674 bedrooms in various apartment designs and communal facilities, including meeting rooms and student social and collaboration zones; high quality and capacity wifi; a large communal reception; a 24-hour reception and security, on-location bicycle storage. It also includes 35 accessible bedrooms, located across all four blocks, designed in line with best practice for people with disabilities. Block A is eight stories, consisting of 124 bedrooms in 23 apartments, running parallel to the River Corrib with views from upper floors over the river, the city and Galway Bay.  Blocks B/C/D, comprising 550 en-suite bedrooms, are positioned in separate u shaped layouts to maximise natural daylight throughout, some apartments enjoy triple aspect.   Characterised by a modern, bright interior design featuring quality fixed bedroom furniture, bathrooms and fitted kitchens, the accommodation offers students a state-of-the-art living environment. Ends

Monday, 11 December 2023

D’oscail an tAire Breisoideachais agus Ardoideachais, Taighde, Nuálaíochta agus Eolaíochta, Simon Harris T.D., Baile na Breacóige, na hárais chónaithe nua do mhic léinn in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, go hoifigiúil inniu. Costas €95 milliún a bhí i gceist le Baile na Breacóige, agus rinneadh an tógáil a mhaoiniú trí iasachtaí Ollscoile. Críochnaíodh in am é chun freastal ar mhic léinn na bliana acadúla reatha. Is é an tionscadal seo an dara ceann de dhá áras cónaithe a tógadh go sainiúil do mhic léinn ar champas Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Osclaíodh an chéad cheann, Baile an Chíorbhuí, in 2018. Seo mar a labhair an tAire Harris: “Ba mhaith liom an deis seo a thapú le comhghairdeas a dhéanamh leis an Ollamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh agus le hOllscoil na Gaillimhe as an bhforbairt shuntasach a thabhairt chun críche agus an lóistín seo a chur ar fáil do mhic léinn i mBaile na Breacóige. Is fiú a aithint go bhfuil an mórthionscadal seo curtha i gcrích ag an Ollscoil ag tréimhse a bhfuil na srianta forbartha ag cur isteach ar sholáthar ar fud na tíre. Tá breis agus 1,100 leaba breise curtha ar fáil ag an Ollscoil i nGaillimh ó 2018 i leith. “Tá an Rialtas meáite ar aghaidh a thabhairt ar an méadú atá ar éileamh do lóistín dár gcuid mac léinn. Is dá bharr seo a bhfuilim ag forbairt polasaí fadtréimhseach, den chéad uair, maidir le tacaíocht stáit a chur ar fáil le dul i ngleic le fadhb lóistín na mac léinn. Tá sé ríthábhachtach go mbeimid in ann an bealach a réiteach do mhic léinn agus an brú atá orthu freastal ar an ardoideachas a mhaolú.” Bhí an méid seo le rá ag Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: Is é Baile na Breacóige an dara mórthionscadal lóistín do mhic léinn atá tugtha chun críche ag an Ollscoil le blianta beaga anuas. Táimid an-fheasach ar an strus agus an brú atá ar dhaoine óga agus ar a dtuismitheoirí agus iad ag iarraidh lóistín a aimsiú. Is forbairt agus infheistíocht shuntasach sainchuspóra í seo ar tugadh fúithi chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar an éileamh ollmhór do thithíocht sa phobal. Tá moladh mór tuillte acu siúd ar fad a bhfuil baint acu leis seo, idir dhearadh na forbartha, an obair thógála agus na hoibríochtaí féin. Is i ngeall ar phobal na hollscoile a bheith ag obair as lámha a chéile agus ag tacú lena chéile gur osclaíodh dár mic léinn é an bhliain acadúil seo. Tá an costas a bhaineann le hárais chónaithe do mhic léinn nua a thógáil ag cur isteach go mór orainn, agus ar ár mic léinn, agus tá smaointeoireacht úr ag teastáil, agus tacaíocht ón Rialtas. Tá súil againn go ndéanfaidh an fhorbairt nua seo difear, forbairt a bhfuil an cumas aici lóistín a chur ar fáil do bheagnach 2,000 mac léinn, agus leanaimid orainn ag tacú le gach polasaí, infheistíocht agus iarracht chun dul i gcabhair orthu siúd is mó a dteastaíonn sé uathu. Táimid ag súil chomh maith le bheith ag obair lenár mic léinn agus leis an Rialtas chun tuilleadh roghanna inacmhainne maidir le lóistín a chur ar fáil dár mic léinn.” Tá Ollscoil na Gaillimhe in ann lóistín a chur ar fáil ar an gcampas do 1,867 mac léinn. Díreach sular osclaíodh Baile na Breacóige, laghdaíodh na rátaí cíosa i gcás níos mó ná an ceathrú cuid den líon iomlán leapacha, agus rinneadh na cíosanna a reo ar 669 leaba eile don cheathrú bliain as a chéile.  Baile na Breacóige  Is iad Coady Architects a rinne an dearadh don fhorbairt seo, agus is iad J.J. Rhatigan & Co., gnólacht atá lonnaithe i nGaillimh, na conraitheoirí tógála. Tá an Ollscoil ag obair leis an nGníomhaireacht Airgeadais do Thithe maidir le maoiniú an tionscadail.  Tá ceithre fhoirgneamh sa tionscadal seo ar champas thuaidh na hOllscoile agus tá 674 seomra codlata ann i gcineálacha éagsúla árasáin. I measc na n-áiseanna coiteanna atá ann tá seomraí cruinnithe agus spásanna sóisialta agus comhoibrithe do mhic léinn; wifi ar ardchaighdeán agus ardacmhainne; spás fáiltithe mór; fáiltiú agus slándáil a bhfuil fáil orthu 24 uair an chloig mar aon le háit shábháilte chun rothair a choinneáil. Áirítear leis chomh maith 35 seomra codlata inrochtana atá suite i ngach ceann de na ceithre bhloc agus ar dearadh go sainiúil iad le go mbeidís ag teacht leis na cleachtais is fearr atá i bhfeidhm dóibh siúd atá faoi mhíchumas. Tá ocht stór i gceist le Bloc A, agus 124 seomra codlata i 23 árasán. Tá sé comhthreomhar le hAbhainn na Gaillimhe agus nuair atáthar ag féachaint amach ó na hurláir in uachtar, tá an abhainn, an chathair agus cuan na Gaillimhe le feiceáil.  Leagadh amach bloic B/C/D, ina bhfuil 550 seomra codlata en suite, i gcruth U le go mbainfear an leas is fearr as solas nádúrtha an lae. I roinnt de na hárasáin is féidir féachaint ó thuaidh, soir agus ó dheas.   Timpeallacht mhaireachtála úrscothach do mhic léinn atá san fhorbairt seo. Maisíodh na hárasáin ar bhealach glé nua-aimseartha agus tá troscán feistithe ardchaighdeáin sna seomraí codlata agus sna seomraí folctha mar aon le cistineacha feistithe. Críoch

Monday, 11 December 2023

More than 60 families of children with additional needs have been given a unique opportunity to enjoy the joy of Christmas with a special visit to Sensory Santa. The event at University of Galway, which began life in 2017, offering a day-trip to a sensory-friendly grotto has grown this year to run over two days.  Students and staff from the University’s School of Psychology have come together taking on the roles of elves and Santa’s helpers, while a number of local and national businesses offered their support for the project. Dr Ciara Gunning, School of Psychology, University of Galway, said: “Our Sensory Friendly Santa’s Grotto gives children with additional needs and their families an opportunity to visit Santa in their own time and in their own way. Over 60 families attended events this weekend and for many of them it is the first time that they would have had a chance to visit Santa. Our Santa, our elves, our helpers make this what it is and by checking in with our families in advance and making some small tweaks to the grotto set-up and sensory-friendly environment, our team can create an accessible and inclusive event - making real life magic. A huge credit goes to all those who volunteer – our staff and students at the School of Psychology, and this year the support from businesses has been immense and it has made such a phenomenal difference to the days.” Sensory Santa at University of Galway was supported this year by a number of local and national businesses including Smyth’s; Supermacs; Dough Bros; McD’s; 56 Central; Connacht Hospitality Group; Centra; Lidl; Gourmet Tart; Galway Bay Hotel; Revive Active; Dunnes Stores; Name It. This year the organisers were also able to support a new Sensory Santa and grotto event for 20 families in Belmullet, Co Mayo. Businesses in Mayo supporting the event included Erris Arts Centre; O’Donoghue’s Bakery; Mayo North East; Western Strands; Lir beauty Rooms; Malone Welfare Unit hire; Beautified Beauty Salon; Toymaster Ballina; The Cake Queen; Hegarty’s Gift Shop; Happy Souls Reflexology. Ends 

Friday, 8 December 2023

Tá fáilte curtha ag Uachtarán agus ag Uachtarán Ionaid & Meabhránaí Ollscoil na Gaillimhe roimh chur chuige nua a dhéanfaidh éascaíocht do mhic léinn ó thuaidh staidéar a dhéanamh sa Phoblacht. D’fhógair an tAire Breisoideachais agus Ardoideachais, Taighde, Nuálaíochta agus Eolaíochta, Simon Harris T.D. gur glacadh le moltaí maidir le coibhéis A-leibhéal – Ardteistiméireachta. Ba é Grúpa Oibre de chuid an chumainn Universities Ireland a chuir na moltaí chun cinn faoi chathaoirleacht Uachtarán Ionaid agus Meabhránaí Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Ollamh Ó Dochartaigh: “An cuspóir a bhí againn nuair a thángamar le chéile mar cheannairí ollscoileanna na hÉireann, idir thuaidh agus theas, cur le soghluaisteacht trasteorann mac léinn. Tá sé sin ag teacht le haidhmeanna thuarascáil Oireachtais ó 2022, le tionscnamh an Oileáin Chomhroinnte de chuid Rialtas na hÉireann agus le rúin an Aire Simon Harris féin. “Beidh an córas nua níos cothroime ná an córas a bhí ann roimhe seo. Beidh sé níos éasca ag mic léinn ón Tuaisceart feasta teacht go dtí an Phoblacht chun staidéar a dhéanamh, chun eispéireas foghlama a bheith acu inár bpobail ollscoile fuinniúla. “Le himeacht ama, beidh toradh níos dearfaí ag na hathruithe seo. Cuirfear deiseanna ar fáil do dhaoine óga chun dúshraith a leagan síos do chaidrimh nua idir scoileanna sa Tuaisceart agus ollscoileanna anseo, agus idir daoine óga agus a dteaghlaigh i ngach contae in Éirinn.” Seo mar a labhair Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Féachann an cumann Universities Ireland le comhoibriú i réimse an ardoideachais ar an oileán a chur chun cinn agus a fhorbairt. Is cúis áthais dom a bheith i mo chathaoirleach ar an gcumann agus an cheist seo á cíoradh, agus réitigh á bhforbairt. Is í an oscailteacht ceann de chroíluachanna Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus is cúis bhróid dár n-institiúid í go raibh ról chomh tábhachtach againn nuair a bhí deiseanna nua á socrú do dhaoine óga as gach cearn den oileán. Tá ardmholadh tuillte ag an Ollamh Ó Dochartaigh as an obair a rinneadh ar na moltaí a threorú, agus ag baill uile Ghrúpa Oibre an chumainn Universities Ireland a chabhraigh le forbairt an chórais nua. Táimid ag tnúth anois leis na moltaí a chur i bhfeidhm a luaithe agus is féidir.” Socruithe nua maidir le coibhéis A-leibhéal – Ardteistiméireachta don CAO fógartha ag an Aire Harris -      Ní bheidh sé riachtanach a thuilleadh 4 A-leibhéal a dhéanamh (an Mata mar cheann amháin éigeantach) chun uasphointí (625) a bhaint amach faoi chóras iontrála tríú leibhéal na Poblachta – an Lár-Oifig Iontrála (CAO). -      Is féidir le mic léinn Thuaisceart Éireann na 3 A-leibhéal is fearr atá acu a úsáid, mar aon leis an 4ú A-leibhéal nó Tionscadal Breisithe nó ábhar AS. Ciallaíonn sé seo go bhféadfaidh iarratasóirí scór 600 pointe a bhaint amach le 3 A-leibhéal agus 1 AS, agus 625 pointe má bhíonn Mata ar cheann de na hábhair A-leibhéal. -      Breithneofar mic léinn Thuaisceart Éireann freisin le haghaidh áit in ollscoil in Éirinn má dhéanann siad iarratas le 2 A-leibhéal agus AS-Leibhéal amháin nó 2 AS-Leibhéal.   Tugadh ar aird sa tuarascáil ar mholtaí ó Ghrúpa Oibre an chumainn Universities Ireland nach dtagann ach 0.6% de na mic léinn ardoideachais sa Phoblacht ó Thuaisceart Éireann, ach ó thuaidh, go dtagann 2.4% de mhic léinn ón bPoblacht. Tugadh ar aird freisin nach ndéanann ach 3% de na daltaí A-leibhéal sa Tuaisceart ceithre ábhar ag A-leibhéal. Críoch

Thursday, 7 December 2023

University of Galway's President and Deputy President & Registrar have welcomed a new approach to make it easier for students from Northern Ireland to study in the Republic. Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris T.D. has announced recommendations on A-level – Leaving Certificate equivalence have been accepted. The proposals were put forward by a Universities Ireland Working Group chaired by University of Galway Deputy President and Registrar Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh. Professor Ó Dochartaigh said: “Our intention in bringing together leadership from universities on the island, north and south, was to enhance cross-border mobility, in line with the aims of an Oireachtas report from 2022, the Government of Ireland Shared Island initiative and Minister Simon Harris’s own expressed intentions.  “The new system offers a fairer system than before. It makes it easier for students from the north to come to the Republic to study, to learn and to experience our wonderful, energetic university communities.  “Over time, these changes will do more, with the opportunities that we provide for young people, to create the bedrock for new relationships to be formed between schools in the north and universities here and between young people and their families from all counties on the island.” President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, who is also President of Universities Ireland Council, said: “Universities Ireland seeks to promote and develop cooperation in the higher education on our island. I am delighted to have been chair of the association as this issue was explored and solutions developed. University of Galway has openness as one of its core values and it is an important day for our institution that we have played such a vital role in securing new opportunities for young people from all parts of our island. Huge credit goes to Professor Ó Dochartaigh for leading the work on the recommendations and all the members of the Universities Ireland Working Group who helped in the development of the new system. We look forward now to implementing the proposals as soon as possible.” New arrangements for A-level – Leaving Certificate equivalence for the CAO announced by Minister Harris It will no longer be necessary to take 4 A-levels (one of which must be Maths) in order to achieve maximum points (625) under the Republic’s system for third level entry – the Central Applications Office (CAO). NI students can use their best 3 A-levels, along with 4th A-level or an Extended Project or an AS subject. This will mean that applicants can attain a score of 600 points with 3 A-levels and 1 AS, and 625 points if one of the A Levels is Maths NI students will also be considered for a place in an Irish university by applying with 2 A-levels and 1 or 2 AS levels.  The report of recommendations from the Universities Ireland Working Group noted that only 0.6% of students in higher education in the Republic come from Northern Ireland, while in the north, 2.4% of students come from the Republic.  It also noted that only 3% of A-level students in the north take four subjects at A-level. Ends

Wednesday, 6 December 2023

University of Galway has announced the 2023 Tarpey Scholarship awardees – Nursing student Shauna Martyn and Medicine student Adeline Mei Hui Kon. The scholarships are testament to the enduring legacy of the late Hazel and Tanya Tarpey – two remarkable sisters who left an indelible mark on healthcare workers while they were treated for a rare genetic autoimmune disease.  The Tarpey family established the scholarship in memory of the sisters to foster the growth and development of future healthcare professionals. It is awarded to outstanding students committed to enhancing their professional skills through additional studies, beyond the regular curriculum. The Tarpey family have extended their support for students to include a Tarpey Bursary, established for the first time in 2022. The award is given privately each year to two students in the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences who may not have been able to continue their studies due to being at a financial disadvantage.  Tim and Mary Tarpey, the parents of the Hazel and Tanya, said: “It is a pleasure to give back to the medical community who did so much. We look forward to the event every year to meet the new recipients and catch-up with old friends who diligently cared for the girls over the years. We will never forget them and feel this is the perfect way to celebrate their memory and build a lasting legacy through both the scholarship and bursary.” Professor Sean Dinneen, of University of Galway’s School of Medicine and Consultant Endocrinologist at Saolta University Healthcare Group, cared for both sisters during their illness. He said: “The Tarpey Scholarship and Bursary stand as a shining example of philanthropy, embodying the Tarpey family’s commitment to keeping alive the memory of Hazel and Tanya. By supporting the education and training of the next generation of caring and compassionate healthcare professionals, the Tarpey family’s contribution plays a vital role in shaping the future of healthcare.” Dr Paul Dodd, Vice-President for Engagement at University of Galway, said: “Our University community would like to express heartfelt gratitude to the Tarpey family for their unwavering support and dedication to the formation of compassionate healthcare professionals. The Tarpey Scholarship and Bursary contributes significantly to the development of our students, ensuring that they have the resources and support needed to excel in their chosen fields.” Adeline Mei Hui Kon, a Medicine student at University of Galway who received one of this year’s Tarpey Scholarships, said: “This generous support inspires me to continue pursuing my research aspirations and enhancing my clinical skills. I am sincerely grateful for the belief placed in me and I am committed to making a positive impact in the field of healthcare in honour of the Tarpey’s family enduring love and memory.” Shauna Martyn, a Nursing student at University of Galway and also a recipient of the 2023 Tarpey Scholarship, said: “I’m delighted to be selected for this award, and to become part of the tradition of honouring the memory of the Tarpey sisters. I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to the Tarpey family for their generosity. It’s a great privilege to accept this award and to commemorate the exceptional Tarpey sisters.” Ends

Wednesday, 6 December 2023

University of Galway pioneers new, immersive approach to learning for students and educators    Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for Public Health and Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy Hildegarde Naughton T.D. has launched a virtual reality (VR) learning system for nursing education, pioneered by University of Galway.  Funded through the ERASMUS+ programme, the ViReTrain project offers nursing students and educators immersive eLearning experiences, preparing them for the complex demands of healthcare delivery. With a focus on authentic, complex scenarios in virtual reality, the project is an innovative teaching strategy for academics and faculty working in nursing education. ViReTrain is unique in the emerging field of VR technology in the education of health professionals with the technology and VR scenarios being made available free of charge to nurse educators and their students. ViReTrain draws on expertise of researchers in a European higher education partnership - University of Galway; FH Muenster in Germany; Via University College in Aarhus, Denmark; and the University of Turku in Finland, who partnered with a software company, Ingenious Knowledge GmbH (Germany). ViReTrain's virtual reality simulations mirror nursing care in practice, where students can practice clinical skills, use the nursing process, employ critical thinking skills, make informed decisions, and take actions that address individual patient needs. Each scenario is tied to specific learning outcomes, encompassing both technical and non-technical skills.  Government Chief Whip and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton said: "The ViReTrain virtual reality education for nurses is a remarkable step towards the future of healthcare education. By combining cutting-edge technology with a commitment to excellence, this project ensures that nurses will be even better prepared to deliver high-quality, safe and exceptional care to patients. Adopting this type of technology and opportunity for learning is both innovative and accessible and aligns with our commitment to improving healthcare standards and fostering international collaboration, further advancing our nation's healthcare system."  Professor Martin O’Donnell, Executive Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science at University of Galway, said: "By immersing students in authentic, complex scenarios ViReTrain cultivates critical thinking, decision-making, and technical expertise crucial for delivering patient-centered care. This innovative initiative not only enhances the quality of clinical nursing education but also underscores our commitment to fostering international collaboration and advancing healthcare standards. We are proud to lead this ground-breaking effort and make this transformative learning experience freely accessible to nursing educators and students, furthering our dedication to excellence in healthcare education.” Dr Siobhan Smyth, Principal Investigator and a lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “ViReTrain empowers students and educators with an innovative, accessible and immersive learning tool. In this European project, we developed complex, authentic VR scenarios and modules, providing nurse educators with an educational framework and the software required to introduce VR simulation into their curricula. The project offers students the opportunity to acquire nursing skills in a safe and interactive environment that complements existing learning strategies.” Trish Galvin, Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Stroke at University Hospital Galway, which forms part of the Saolta University Health Care Group said: “It’s amazing to see where stroke medicine has come over the last number of years in terms of acute interventions, improvements in outcome for patients in terms of mortality and morbidity. Today it has now entered the world of virtual reality,  and to see nursing at the forefront is fantastic because the role of the nurse is central to patients journeys on the stroke pathway.” What is the virtual reality learning system for nursing educators? The Virtual Reality scenarios have been crafted by project researchers, offering nursing students invaluable experiential learning opportunities and helping them to prepare for the multifaceted challenges they will encounter in clinical practice. How does the VR simulation work? Students don a VR headset and hold VR hand controllers to enter a virtual clinical ward. Here, they meet a VR patient and are tasked with providing nursing care within the context of the VR scenario. Similar to physical, and in-person simulation, a VR simulation includes a pre-briefing and a debriefing to maximise the learning experience. What is the role of the nursing student? Students assume the role of a newly qualified nurse, providing care to an individual patient. The patient's personal and clinical situation evolves, and the student's decisions influence responses by the patient and other staff members, as well as the patient's condition. Ends

Tuesday, 5 December 2023

University of Galway supports local school students as official observer delegation attends Dubai summit   To coincide with University of Galway's official observer status at the COP28 global summit, a "Dear World" message from a group of young people is being shared. The letter, and video which can be viewed here on YouTube, have been created to articulate the hopes and fears about the climate crisis of students in two post-primary schools in the Cois Fharraige Gaeltacht in Galway. The Cois Fharraige to COP project, which was conducted entirely through the Irish language, coincides with the attendance of a five strong delegation of University of Galway academics and researchers at the summit - the first time the University has been represented with official observer status. Twenty students from Coistí Glasa, or Green Committees, in Coláiste Chroí Mhuire, an Spidéal (Spiddal) and Coláiste Cholmcille, Indreabhán (Inverin) participated in three workshops organised by a team from the University, supported by Fóram Chois Fharraige um Phleanáil Teanga. Guest speakers were brought in to help gather student inputs and ideas on issues related to the negotiations at COP28. The students heard about distinctive flora in the area, the importance of peatlands, the challenge of rising sea levels and the impact of climate change on agriculture. The workshops led to the students helping to draft a letter to the world to express their views:   Dear World, From this small community on the edge of Europe, we’re asking for help.  We live on the west coast of Ireland, between peat bogland and the shore, in a place that has always had respect for the sea. When it’s calm, we go swimming and fishing. But with the advent of climate change, the things we value most are turning into a threat.  Research shows that sea levels and temperatures continue to rise. We see that Atlantic storms are getting more powerful, more frequent. Rainfall levels are growing continuously. And it feels like the seasons are out of sync. We are grateful for the beach, the fields, the blanket bog and everything that lives and grows there. But we are worried too. Even during our lifetime, we can see nature’s treasure in decline. It wasn’t young people who burnt the oil, cut the turf, felled the trees. But we will suffer the consequences most of all. This generation is ready to tackle climate change with enthusiasm and energy. But are you? Let’s stand together, as one global community, and turn our words into action. Yours hopefully, Young people of Cois Fharraige.   The sentiments were subsequently recorded on video as a message from young people in Connemara, on the edge of Ireland and Europe, to global leaders at COP28. Full details of the project are on https://www.universityofgalway.ie/cop28/ President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “While our University is embedded in our community and is deeply conscious of the role we can play for the public good by attending COP28, we are also here to offer opportunity to those in our community to play their part. The students who supported the Cois Fharraige to COP project have created a message to the world at what is clearly a critical juncture. The impact of humanity’s effect on the planet is becoming visible on all corners and the message from young people, here in the west of Ireland, is a unique perspective on how the climate and biodiversity crises are having an impact, in the present tense. The time is now and we hope their thoughts make an impression and resonate as loudly as the calls for action at COP28.” The University of Galway delegation at COP28 includes Professor of Engineering Jamie Goggins, Professor Charlie Spillane, Director of University of Galway’s Ryan Institute; Dr Una Murray, lecturer and researcher in Geography and with the Ryan Institute; and two researchers studying for PhD - Yuhan Zheng and Lala Rukh Memon. Dr John Caulfield, Director of Strategy Implementation at University of Galway, who led the Cois Fharraige to COP project, said: “If we don’t take action to tackle climate change, our young people will suffer the consequences. That’s why we worked with secondary school students in Cois Fharraige to help them express their hopes and fears about our changing climate with the world. Climate change is felt differently depending on where you live, and our teenagers have described in a compelling way how climate change is impacting the west of Ireland here and now.” While 20 students from the two schools took part in the Cois Fharraige to COP project, six feature in the video: Coláiste Chroí Mhuire, an Spidéal – Kate Ní Raghallaigh, Ella Nic Dhomhnaill, Chloe Ní Choisdealbha; Coláiste Cholmcille, Indreabhán – Daniel Mac Eochagáin, Aodán Ó Donnchadha, Paul Bheilbigh. Ends

Wednesday, 6 December 2023

Labhraíonn déagóirí Gaeltachta amach ar son na timpeallachta Léigh an teachtaireacht agus éist leis na déagóirí ag: www.universityofgalway.ie/cop28   Tá 20 dalta meánscoile ó Chois Fharraige i nGaeltacht na Gaillimhe tar éis labhairt amach faoina gcuid tuairimí agus imní maidir leis an athrú aeráide. Tá an litir a scríobh siad, agus físeán atá bunaithe air, á roinnt ar líne le linn COP28 – an chomhdháil dhomhanda faoi chúrsaí aeráide atá á reáchtáil ag na Násiúin Aontaithe in Dubai faoi láthair. D’oibrigh daltaí i gColáiste Chroí Mhuire, an Spidéal, agus Coláiste Cholmcille, in Indreabhán, in éineacht le baill foirne Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, foireann Fhóram Chois Fharraige um Phleanáil Teanga, agus aoichainteoirí ar chúrsaí timpeallachta chun an teachtaireacht a scríobh.  Le linn trí cheardlann, phléigh siad an timpeallacht anseo in iarthar na hÉireann, na hathruithe atá tagtha ar an aeráid agus an timpeallacht de réir an taighde, agus na mothúcháin atá acu maidir leis na hathruithe sin. Is i nGaeilge a reáchtáladh na ceardlanna ar fad, le haoichainteoirí atá lonnaithe sa cheantar, ina measc: Seathrún Ó Tuairisg (Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge), a labhair faoina thogra Flóra Chois Fharraige Nuala Ní Chonghaile (Ollscoil na Gaillimhe), a labhair faoi ról speisialta an phortaigh Ríonach Ní Néill (Ciotóg), atá ina healaíontóir agus gníomhaí pobail, agus a labhair faoin ardú ar leibhéal na farraige Aonghus Ó Coisdealbha (An Garraí Glas), a labhair faoi thionchar an athrú aeráide ar an bhfeirmeoireacht Ananda Geluk (Ollscoil na Gaillimhe) a bhí ina háisitheoir don cheardlann dheireanach Is é an Dr John Caulfield (Ollscoil na Gaillimhe) a stiúraigh an togra. Dar leis: “Murar féidir linn dul i ngleic leis an athrú aeráide, is iad an t-aos óg a bheidh thíos leis. B’in é an fáth gur oibrigh muid le daltaí meánscoile i gCois Fharraige chun cuidiú leo a gcuid dóchais agus imní maidir leis an athrú aeráide a roinnt leis an domhan mór. Ní hionann an t-athrú aeráide gach áit ar domhan, agus déanann na déagóirí cur síos cumhachtach ar an tionchar atá aige in iarthar na hÉireann ag an bpointe seo.” Buíochas leis na múinteoirí Bróna Ní Uallacháin (Coláiste Chroí Mhuire) agus Dónal Ó Fátharta (Coláiste Cholmcille) agus le Katie Ní Loingsigh agus Saoirse Holic ó Fhóram Chois Fharraige um Phleanáil Teanga a chuidigh leis an togra.    Téacs na litreach A Dhomhain Mhóir, Ón bpobal beag seo ar imeall na hEorpa, tá bhur gcuid cúnaimh á éileamh againn. Tá cónaí orainn ar chósta thiar na hÉireann, idir portach agus cladach, áit a raibh meas riamh ann ar an bhfarraige. Nuair a bhíonn sí socair téimid ag snámh agus ag iascaireacht. Ach le teacht an athrú aeráide, tá na rudaí is luachmhaire linn ag éirí ina mbagairt. Léiríonn an taighde go bhfuil leibhéal agus teocht na farraige ag fás go leanúnach. Feicimid go bhfuil stoirmeacha an Atlantaigh níos cumhachtaí, níos coitianta. Tá líon na báistí ag méadú gan stad. Is cosúil go bhfuil na séasúir féin as a riocht.  Táimid buíoch as an trá, na garrantaí, an portach agus gach a mhaireann ann. Ach táimid buartha freisin. Fiú le linn ár saoil, feicimid taisce na timpeallachta ag dul i léig.  Ní hé an t-aos óg a dhóigh an ola, a bhain an mhóin, a leag na crainnte. Ach is muid a bheas thíos leis. Tá an ghlúin seo réidh le tabhairt faoin athrú aeráide le fonn agus fuinneamh. Ach an bhfuil sibhse?  Seasaimis le chéile, mar phobal daonna domhanda, is déanaimis beart de réir ár mbriathar. Is muide le dóchas, Déagóirí Chois Fharraige.   Críoch

Monday, 31 January 2022

Ten-year strategic partnership to focus on expanding academic links, student engagement, local and global events and the creative sector in the west NUI Galway and Druid have agreed a 10-year strategic partnership building on the existing relationship between the University and the renowned theatre company.  NUI Galway will be Druid’s exclusive academic partner, with the company offering internship opportunities and working to strengthen and enhance the success of NUI Galway’s Creative Arts programmes. The University will host an exhibition to mark Druid’s 50th birthday and NUI Galway 180th anniversary in 2025.  Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of NUI Galway, said: ““Great things start at NUI Galway, and Druid is one of those. We have a great tradition here of the creative arts and this partnership with Druid renews this relationship and is very much embedded in our values. When you ask why a student from Boston, Berlin or Beijing would choose to study in Galway, one aspect is the unique opportunity they have to learn with our world class creative organisations, including Druid.” Druid is also committed to expanding its impact on the NUI Galway campus with bespoke on-site performances and conversations, the first of these was Druid Gregory, outdoors in the University’s Quadrangle in September 2020. Garry Hynes, founder and Artistic Director of Druid, said: “For the past 10 years, the Druid Academy at NUI Galway has been a tremendous source of pride and inspiration for us as a company, working with students as they embark on their careers in theatre.  “We are delighted to announce the next stage of this academic partnership, deepening the relationship between ourselves, the students and the wider academic community in NUI Galway, the place where Druid was founded in 1975.” Druid and NUI Galway will work together to devise strategies to further develop Galway’s international reputation and engage with and integrate diverse and new communities and cultures in the region.  There will also be a focus on the NUI Galway alumni, partly through Druid’s international productions, as well bringing renewed visual presence for the creative arts company on campus, engaging and inspiring students and staff. Druid will also help to create greater awareness of the NUI Galway undergraduate and postgraduate courses within the arts community, at home and abroad, through mutual enhancement of the Druid Academy, Druid Artist-in-Residence and the Druid Archive, which is held by the University. Professor Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, added: “Druid is not only an inspirational theatre company; it is also one of Galway's most successful and resilient businesses. Our students will learn from their example as they build their own creative arts enterprises, working in the west of Ireland, nationally, and internationally - just as Druid do.  “We've already achieved so much from working together: the next decade of cooperation promises to be hugely exciting.” To view Garry Hynes and Marie Mullen reflecting on the origins of the Druid Theatre visit https://youtu.be/S5NszCy59Mo.  For more information on the partnership visit https://youtu.be/KimKW14Rr2w or learn more about Drama at NUI Galway at https://www.nuigalway.ie/drama/. Ends

Monday, 31 January 2022

Leagfaidh an chomhpháirtíocht straitéiseach deich mbliana béim ar naisc acadúla agus rannpháirtíocht mac léinn a fhorbairt, ar imeachtaí áitiúla agus domhanda agus ar an earnáil chruthaitheach san iarthar Tá OÉ Gaillimh agus Druid tagtha ar chomhaontú maidir le comhpháirtíocht straitéiseach 10 mbliana a threiseoidh an caidreamh reatha idir an Ollscoil agus Druid, ar compántas drámaíochta é a bhfuil ardcháil air. Beidh OÉ Gaillimh ina chomhpháirtí acadúil eisiach ag Druid, agus tairgfidh an comhlacht deiseanna intéirneachta agus féachfaidh sé le cláir OÉ Gaillimh sna hEalaíona Cruthaitheacha a láidriú agus a fheabhsú. Eagróidh an Ollscoil taispeántas chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh in 2025 ar an leathchéad bliain ó tháinig Druid ar an bhfód mar aon le comóradh 180 bliain OÉ Gaillimh.   Deir an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Is iomaí tionscadal iontach ar cuireadh tús leis in OÉ Gaillimh, agus áirítear Druid ar cheann acu sin. Tá traidisiún láidir ealaíon cruthaitheach anseo againn, agus déantar athnuachan ar an traidisiún sin leis an gcomhpháirtíocht seo le Druid atá ag teacht go mór lenár luachanna. Dá bhfiafrófá díot féin cén t-údar a bheadh ag mac léinn as Bostún, Beirlín nó Béising teacht go Gaillimh chun staidéar a dhéanamh, gné amháin is ea an deis uathúil atá ann a bheith i mbun foghlama lenár n-eagraíochtaí cruthaitheacha den chéad scoth, agus áirítear Druid ar cheann acu sin.” Tá rún ag Druid chomh maith an lorg a fhágann sé ar champas OÉ Gaillimh a mhéadú trí thaibhléirithe agus imagallaimh shaincheaptha a reáchtáil. Ba é Druid Gregory an chéad cheann acu sin, a cuireadh ar bun amuigh faoi aer i gCearnóg na hOllscoile i Meán Fómhair 2020. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Garry Hynes, bunaitheoir agus Stiúrthóir Ealaíne Druid: “Cúis bhróid agus inspreagtha dúinn mar chomhlacht le 10 mbliana anuas is ea Acadamh an Druid in OÉ Gaillimh, agus an obair atá ar siúl againn le mic léinn atá ag tabhairt faoina saol oibre in earnáil na hamharclannaíochta.  “Tá an-áthas orainn céad chéim eile na comhpháirtíochta acadúla seo a fhógairt, agus a bheith in ann cur leis an gcaidreamh atá againn leis na mic léinn agus an pobal acadúil níos leithne in OÉ Gaillimh, an áit ar bunaíodh Druid in 1975.” Oibreoidh Druid agus OÉ Gaillimh as lámha a chéile chun straitéisí a fhorbairt a chuirfidh le cáil idirnáisiúnta na Gaillimhe agus féachfaidh siad le caidreamh a chothú leis na pobail agus na cultúir éagsúla nua sa réigiún, agus iad a chomhtháthú.   Beifear ag díriú chomh maith ar alumni OÉ Gaillimh, rud a bhainfear amach i bpáirt trí léiriúcháin idirnáisiúnta Druid, agus déanfar athnuachan ar láithreacht súl an chomhlachta ealaíon cruthaitheach seo ar an gcampas chun go dtarraingeofar aird na mac léinn agus na foirne trí chéile, agus go dtabharfar inspioráid dóibh. Cabhróidh Druid chomh maith níos mó feasachta faoi chúrsaí fochéime agus iarchéime OÉ Gaillimh a mhúscailt laistigh den phobal ealaíon sa bhaile agus i gcéin trí fheabhas a chur i gcomhpháirt ar Acadamh an Druid, ar Scéim Ealaíontóir Cónaitheach Druid agus ar Chartlann Druid, atá i seilbh na hOllscoile. Chuir an tOllamh Patrick Lonergan, Ollamh le Léann na Drámaíochta agus na hAmharclannaíochta in OÉ Gaillimh, leis an méid thuas agus dúirt: “Ní hamháin gur compántas amharclannaíochta inspioráideach é Druid, ach is é ceann de na gnóthaí is rathúla agus is láidre i nGaillimh é chomh maith. Foghlaimeoidh ár mic léinn óna bhfuil bainte amach acu agus iad ag tabhairt faoina bhfiontair ealaíon cruthaitheach féin a chothú in iarthar na hÉireann, go náisiúnta agus go hidirnáisiúnta, díreach ar nós Druid.  Tá an oiread sin bainte amach againn cheana féin as bheith ag obair i gcomhar le chéile, agus tá an chosúlacht air cheana féin gur tréimhse an-spreagúil a bheidh sna deich mbliana romhainn.” Is féidir Garry Hynes agus Marie Mullen a fheiceál ag déanamh machnaimh ar bhunús Amharclann an Druid trí chuairt a thabhairt ag https://youtu.be/S5NszCy59Mo. Tá tuilleadh eolais ar chuairt na comhpháirtíochta le fáil ag https://youtu.be/KimKW14Rr2w, nó foghlaim níos mó faoi Dhrámaíocht ag OÉ Gaillimh ag https://www.nuigalway.ie/drama/. Críoch

Friday, 28 January 2022

A team of researchers at CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices at NUI Galway, have discovered a radically new approach to the treatment of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.  The study, published in Advanced Science, identified a groundbreaking therapeutic strategy for restoring the lining of the intestine of patients with the condition and other inflammatory bowel diseases.  The treatment could also help prevent further inflammation, which is how the disease progresses and worsens over time.  The NUI Galway CÚRAM researchers have designed a hyaluronan (HA) enema, which has shown significant potential in protecting against damage to the intestinal lining by decreasing inflammation and aiding in the maintenance of the health of the intestinal lining.  Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, or IBD, is characterised by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and effects over 3.2 million people in Europe.  Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, said: ““The team strongly believes that the developed system can be delivered as an HA enema to act as a barrier-protecting system on the damaged colon barrier, reducing intestinal inflammation in the treatment of colonic inflammatory diseases.  “This will result in reduced inflammation and protection of the intestinal lining.”  The research represents a significant leap forward from the standard therapeutic interventions for colitis, which have focused mainly on maintaining remission levels, and do not address the root cause of the condition, especially damage to the intestinal lining and intestinal function. Dr Niranjan Kotla, conducted the principal research of the study at CÚRAM in collaboration with Dr Venkatakrishna R Jala, from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, James Graham Brown Cancer Centre, University of Louisville, in the US.   Dr Yury Rochev, co-lead on the publication added: "This research demonstrates the efficacy of a unique therapeutic strategy able to induce a positive effect on damaged colonic tissue. The reduction in inflammation will be of great benefit to patients and highlights the potential use of this treatment." Alongside the research into a specific therapeutic treatment for Crohn’s and colitis, CÚRAM researchers have also identified inflammation-specific targeted carriers for local drug delivery to inflammatory bowel disease.  The findings have been published in Biomaterials. The study looked at the highly challenging but potentially effective practice of delivering drugs directly to inflamed intestinal sites to treat inflammatory bowel disease, particularly Crohn's and ulcerative colitis.  The research team, led by Professor Abhay Pandit and Dr Yury Rochev in collaboration with Prof Larry Egan, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at NUI Galway,  developed strong anionic charged inflammation targeted nanocarriers (IT-NCs) loaded with an immunosuppressant model drug.   “Our results suggest that IT-NCs have promising therapeutic potential as delivery carriers' in colitis management,” said Professor Pandit. This research was funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 - the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The first study has been published in Advanced Science and is available here https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/advs.202103189 The second study has been published in Biomaterials and is available here, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0142961222000035?via%3Dihub   Ends

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD has today announced Rural Voices, a new seminar series hosted by NUI Galway. The monthly sessions are being held to bring a renewed focus on rural issues at a national level. The seminars are planned as part of NUI Galway’s participation in the Higher Education and Research Network for Rural Development, established by the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD) as a commitment to Our Rural Future 2021-2025, Ireland’s new national rural development policy. Rural Voices is the first of its kind in Ireland. The events will feature research, projects and initiatives from academics and key rural stakeholders engaged in rural studies, including those in the Research Network for Rural Development. The first seminar takes place today Wednesday 26 January 2022.  It is open to the public, policy makers and key rural stakeholders, both nationally and internationally and can be accessed at https://bit.ly/3o1CIMa.   Launching the series, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, said: “This wonderful initiative provides a unique platform for Irish academics and rural stakeholders to put forward their projects and ideas as we work collectively to improve Rural Ireland.  “It is critically important that we all work together – government, academia and society – to address the major challenges and to seize the many opportunities ahead of us. “Rural Voices series is an exciting new opportunity for us to do just that. “Initiatives like these very much reflect and compliment the objectives of ‘Our Rural Future’ – the Government’s ambitious five year strategy which aims to transform Rural Ireland and provide more opportunities for our rural communities. “’Our Rural Future’ is already having a big impact the length and breadth of the country. Its objectives can only be further realised by initiatives like these.” President of NUI Galway Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh welcomed the focus on rural studies.  “NUI Galway is delighted to lead this Rural Seminar Series in collaboration with the Department of Rural and Community Development. The series will provide an excellent opportunity for higher Irish Education Institutes and Research Centres to connect, network and learn from each other and in doing so, further rural research and development,” Professor Ó hÓgartaigh said. “I often speak about NUI Galway’s four key values of respect, openness, sustainability and excellence – and being here for the public good – this Seminar Series demonstrates our respect for heritage and rural life and our wish to sustain excellence in community and rural development practice.” The Our Rural Futures Higher Education and Research Network consists of academics engaged in rural research and policy in 16 Higher Education Institutions and three research institutions across Ireland. Associate Professor Maura Farrell, School of Geography, Archaeology and Irish Studies, Discipline of Geography at NUI Galway was appointed to the Network by the NUI Galway President, Professor Ó hÓgartaigh. As part of her contribution to the Network, Professor Farrell will host the Rural Voices series, alongside her Geography colleagues in the NUI Galway Rural Studies Centre and in conjunction with the Department of Rural and Community Development. Professor Farrell said: “Our aim in organising and hosting the monthly seminar series is firstly to provide a platform for Irish academics and key rural stakeholders to present their research or rural projects, but it also offers an opportunity to network with others engaged in a similar space, including academics and those with lived experience of rural issues. Initiating discussions around key rural issues is a small step on the road to finding solutions.” Dr Andrew Forde, Head of Rural Strategy and Social Enterprise at the Department of Rural and Community Development, is speaking at the opening session of this seminar series. Ends

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

NUI Galway Professor Pat Dolan has been appointed to a special panel to review children’s social care services in Northern Ireland.   Professor Dolan, Director of the Institute for Lifecourse and Society and UNESCO Chair at the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, said a key part of the review will be listening to the voices of those with direct personal experience of the system.    Health Minister in the NI Executive Robin Swann MLA made the announcement, with the review to begin next month.   The panel will look at the support services for families, the care of children away from their families and how the services are currently structured, as well as looking at the support for staff. Professor Dolan said: “The creation of this panel enables an important gateway to hear the voice of the parents and young people with direct personal experience of social care services. It is intended that the review will lead to action in terms of better outcomes for service users and the professionals who work with and for them - where families views are not just heard but acted on”. Professor Ray Jones will be the independent lead reviewer assisted by an Advisory Panel, which includes Professor Dolan. The other members of the Advisory Panel are Her Honour Judge Patricia Smyth and Marie Roulston, OBE (former Director of Children’s services), along with young people and parents/carers with personal experience of children’s social care services.  The Children Order was introduced in Northern Ireland in 1995. It was designed to support and protect children to the highest extent possible. There are more children in care now than at any stage since the introduction of the Children Order and there has been a sharp increase since the start of the pandemic.  The review will engage throughout with parents; children and young people and with those working within and alongside children’s social care services. It is expected to run for 16 months. Young people, parents and carers are being independently recruited and supported by the Voice of Young People in Care (VOYPIC) and Children in Northern Ireland (CiNI). The review will also look at: - how families are supported to keep their children safe and well-cared for and enable them to stay together, and where this is not possible the provision of alternative care.   - how the current services are structured, managed and led.  - how front-line services are supported and developed to deliver the best possible outcomes for children, young people, families and parents who need their help and support. Ends 

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Ten students at NUI Galway have been awarded scholarships at a virtual ceremony as part of the Johnson & Johnson Ireland Women in STEM2D (WiSTEM2D) Award Programme. This marks the inaugural year of the programme in NUI Galway. WiSTEM2D scholarship recipients will receive extensive industry mentoring and leadership training to help prepare them to pursue a career in STEM. WiSTEM2D refers to Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing and Design. The WiSTEM2D programme underlines Johnson & Johnson’s commitment to developing and implementing high-impact strategies to support female students undertaking STEM2D degree courses at NUI Galway. The ten College of Science and Engineering students to be awarded the scholarships are: Ailíse Roche; Biomedical Science; Kilmurry, Co. Clare Aine Mitchell; General Science; Ballina, Co. Mayo Aisling Hanrahan; Biomedical Engineering; Liscannor Co. Clare Brenda Chanza; General Science; Swinford, Co. Mayo Karen Gillooly; Financial Maths and Economics; Williamstown, Co. Galway Luka Anna Mac Lochlainn; General Science; Moycullen, Co. Galway Rida Naseer; General Science; Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo Sabrina Kinga Szalaj; General Science; Gorey, Co. Wexford Shannon Hickey; General Science; Kilberry, Co. Kildare Thalyra Costa; Biomedical Engineering; Gort, Co. Galway Anna Rafferty, Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D University Lead and Director of Strategy, Johnson & Johnson Campus Ireland, said: “At Johnson & Johnson, we recognise that women are still under-represented in the STEM workforce in Ireland. Since 2016, Johnson & Johnson has supported nearly 300 female students across Ireland through the WiSTEM2D programme. We were delighted to extend our programme to include NUI Galway for this academic year, as we continue to work at building a diverse WiSTEM2D science community and developing a talent pipeline by nurturing and mentoring our future female STEM leaders. Over the last two years, we have worked very hard to ensure that the recipients of this award have not missed out on any opportunities despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.” Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of NUI Galway, said: “As the inaugural students to receive the Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D bursaries at NUI Galway, these students are changemakers, making history and shaping the future of our university. We are very proud of our 10 Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D scholarship students in the College of Science and Engineering.  “By openly embracing and respecting all the talents in our society, we embrace and respect excellence. We are confident that the Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D programme will empower our scholarship students to impact positively for the public good, for our society, our people and our planet.” NUI Galway PhD candidate, Aoibhín Sheedy is an alum of the Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D Award Programme, and founder of the NUI Galway WiSTEM Society. Speaking about the impact that the programme had on her career progression, Aoibhín said: “I took part in the WiSTEM2D Programme during my postgraduate studies at University College Cork. The programme enabled me to complete my master's thesis at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston. It also provided me with incredible opportunities, such as touring the Janssen Microbiome Institute and DePuy Synthes whilst in Boston. I am delighted that the female STEM students of NUI Galway now get the opportunity to take part in this programme. It has been one of the most defining elements of my career so far, and I know they will get as much from it as I have.” Currently, there are approximately 117,800 people across Ireland who are working in jobs that require STEM skills. However, the CSO reports that just 25% of these roles are performed by women, with just 5% in leadership roles. Whilst there has been a general upswing in the number of students choosing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects on their CAO applications, uptake among females remains low. Figures from a 2019 UCD Study reveals that over 40% of males list a STEM course versus just 19% of females. The virtual awards ceremony was also attended by Dr Anushree Dwivedi, Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D programme lead; Michael Gilvarry, General Manager, Cerenovus (Johnson & Johnson); Associate Professor, Mary Dempsey, Vice Dean, College of Science and Engineering, NUI Galway; families of the scholarship recipients; and student mentors. Recipients of the Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D Award scholarship were also presented with bespoke framed glass artwork created by Cork-based artist, Suzanne O’Sullivan. Ends

Monday, 17 January 2022

New Foundations initiative aims to deepen community and voluntary partnerships and supports North-South reconciliation Seven researchers at NUI Galway have secured funding as part of an initiative to support projects that will have a tangible impact on societal issues.  The awards have been made as part of the Irish Research Council’s New Foundations programme. They projects focus on NUI Galway partnerships which aim to deepen collaboration with community and voluntary organisations, global development, north-south reconciliation, our shared island and police-community relations They are:  Dr Conn Holohan will work with Galway Simon Community on immersive technology as a tool for advocacy and self-expression for people experiencing homelessness. Dr Elena Vaughan will partner with HIV Ireland in a stakeholder consultation and needs assessment to develop rights-based practice and policy guidelines to reduce HIV-related stigma in healthcare settings.  Dr Lindsay Reid will partner with Cúirt International Festival of Literature in her project - (Re)reading, (Re)writing, and (Re)shaping ‘The Classics’: Past, Present, and Future.  Dr Michaela Schrage-Frueh will partner with Age & Opportunity in the research project - Restorying Ageing: Older Women and Life Writing. Professor Patrick Lonergan will partner with Galway International Arts Festival on his research project - Diversity, Programming, and the International Arts Festival: Histories, Practices, and Policies.  Professor Jim Livesey was awarded funding for his research project - Citizens in Conflict: Early-Modern Political Theory and Contemporary Movements in Northern Ireland.  Dr Patricia Kennedy was awarded funding for her project - The Arts and New Digital Technologies for Peace Building and Reconciliation linked to Equality, Rights and Diversity.  Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris T.D., made the announcement, and said: “The community and voluntary sector plays a critical role in Irish life and will continue to do so. As these projects get underway, they support enhancement of the services this sector provides, while also providing excellent partnership opportunities for our researchers.”  Ends

Friday, 14 January 2022

More than 40 students and academics at NUI Galway have been honoured at the annual National University of Ireland awards.  NUI Galway awardees were commended for exceptional achievement in academic endeavour and span the wide range of learning at the University, from history, the Irish language and modern languages, to literature, medicine, education and engineering. Among the awardees were 28 from NUI Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, including students honoured with the Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart Medical Scholarships, one among the oldest awards to be offered by the National University of Ireland. President of NUI Galway Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “This clearly highlights the high calibre of students studying at NUI Galway. We respect their academic excellence. “I congratulate everyone on their achievements and I would also like to pay tribute to the teachers and educators and other support staff for their work with our students and in helping them to achieve such high standards.” Dr Patrick O’Leary, former Head of Chemistry at NUI Galway and began his term as Registrar of NUI this month, said: “The NUI Awards reward exceptional achievement in academic endeavour but also seek to resource some of our brightest minds to continue their academic careers. Today we make awards in a wide variety of areas and the work spans studies of the early medieval era to the NUI Dr H H Stewart Medical Scholarships and Prizes, highlighting the importance of medicine and healthcare during Covid-19.  Congratulations to all the awardees.” Full details on the NUI Galway students and academics honoured at a special awards ceremony hosted by the National University of Ireland are listed below:  Among those awarded First Prize were: Recipient Award Martin O’Donoghue Publication Prize in Irish History, joint award Monika Jurkiewicz NUI Travelling Doctoral Studentship in Latin American Literature Tammy Strickland NUI Travelling Doctoral Studentship in Neuroscience Ciara Shortiss NUI Travelling Doctoral Studentship Prize in Spinal Cord Injury Regeneration Jenny Dixon NUI Scholarship and Prize in Education, joint award Lauren McMahon Pierce Malone Scholarship in Engineering Colm Ó Flathúin Scoláireacht Chiste Theach an Ardmhéara sa Ghaeilge Adam Mac Donnacha Duais Chiste Theach an Ardmhéara sa Ghaeilge Keith Dowling French Government Medal and NUI Prize for Proficiency in French   First prize awardees from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, included:  Dr Evan White Anaesthesia Rebekah Sartini General Practice Brianna Reilly Medical Microbiology Róisín Thornton Obstetrics and Gynaecology Dr Sinead McKenna Ophthalmology Rosie Waldron Paediatrics Adithi Gowda Physiology Thomas Butler Psychiatry Ellen Casey Public Health Dr Emma Callaghan Surgery Anu Mohandes Nair General Nursing Joseph Doherty Podiatric Medicine Elise Byrne Speech and Language Therapy   The following were awarded Second Prize, Third Prize or Commendation:  Professor Niall Ó Dochartaigh and Dr Eugene Costello both received Commendations in the Irish History category. NUI Galway was also successful in a number of Dr H H Stewart Literary Scholarships including Chloe Bright in English and Bláithín Breathnach in French, with Bláithín also receiving a Commendation in Italian. Chloe Kennedy was awarded 2nd prize in Spanish, and Amy Kennedy 3rd prize in German. In the Irish categories Muireann Ní Cheannabháin was presented with 2nd prize in the Duaiseanna an Dr T K Whitaker sa Ghaeilge, and Amy Cox was awarded 2nd prize in Scoláireacht Liteartha an Dr H H Stewart sa Ghaeilge Awardees from NUI Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences also included:  Second prize: Shania Coutinho, Anatomy; Anmol Mahesh, Biochemistry, Dr Aoife Fitzpatrick, Clinical Radiology, Cian Buckley O’Sullivan, General Practice; Zachary Hanrasi, Pathology; Emily Grehan, Midwifery; and Heather Gallen, Podiatric Medicine. Third Prize: Caoileann Nic Dhonncha, Anatomy; Dr Sarah Eustace, Clinical Radiology; Dr Rionagh Lynch, Medicine; Dominic Butler, Paediatrics; Wei Yang Lim, Pathology; Amy Marian Collins, General Nursing; and Muibat Cole, Children’s Nursing. Commendation: Dr Rionagh Lynch, Surgery Ends