Thursday, 27 April 2023

Construct Innovate, Ireland’s first ever National Construction Technology and Innovation Centre hosted at University of Galway, has announced two key appointments. Paul Keogh has been selected, following an expressions of interest process managed by Enterprise Ireland, as the inaugural Chair of the Centre’s Steering Committee. Paul is a business leader with experience spanning a wide range of industries including entertainment, hospitality, construction equipment, construction development, and healthcare. He has considerable international experience in the US, the UK, Central Europe, and Australia. He successfully runs his own management consultancy advising large family-owned businesses, many of whom are in the construction sector. He has worked for well-known blue-chip brands such as Guinness, Budweiser, JCB and Ballymore. Colm McHugh joins the Construct Innovate team as Centre Manager following a competitive recruitment process managed by the Centre. Colm, who is a chartered Mechanical Engineer with over 17 years’ national and international experience as an engineering consultant, main contractor, and equipment supplier, has seen the industry from most sides and brings a deep understanding of the needs of stakeholders at all levels.  His leadership, and his strategic and operational experience will be critical in ensuring that the Centre will be as impactful as possible in supporting the continued transition of the Irish construction industry into a modern, efficient, and sustainable sector.  Construct Innovate ( is Ireland’s national research centre for construction technology and innovation, and is the newest addition to Enterprise Ireland’s industry-led Technology Centres programme. It was launched by the then Tánaiste Leo Varadkar T.D.  in December 2022 with initial funding of €5M over 5 years. Hosted at the University of Galway, the Centre leverages the capabilities and facilities and high levels of expertise available across the consortium partners of Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, University College Cork and the Irish Green Building Council. To ensure that it delivers for housing, the Centre will be focused on key industry challenges and innovation in residential construction in its first three years of operation. Construct Innovate will be at the forefront of initiatives to meet the demands of major building and investment programmes as part of Project Ireland 2040 and the National Development Plan 2021-2030; Housing for All; and the Climate Action Plan. Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney T.D. said: “Construct Innovate will play a crucial role in accelerating the widespread adoption of Modern Methods of Construction that will help deliver the Government’s ambition of high-quality affordable housing for everyone, as articulated in the Housing for All plan. I welcome these two key appointments, as the Centre begins to ramp up its research work programme in partnership with the construction industry and promotes innovation, environmental sustainability, and enhanced levels of productivity along the construction value-chain in Ireland.” Paul Keogh said: “The construction Industry is often seen as a “traditional” industry with low productivity. In reality, there are a lot of very smart things happening.  Construct Innovate will crystalize these opportunities and help meet the challenges of building at the pace and volume that is needed. It will also help Irish construction companies to be at the forefront of technological change and enable them to win increased business internationally. Through the work of the Steering Committee, which will set priorities for the Centre and give direction to the Centre’s research, I welcome the opportunity to contribute to this exciting phase.” Colm McHugh said: “I’m looking forward to working with our Industry members, our research teams across the Construct Innovate consortium, as well as collaborating with the Build Digital Project, Demonstration Park and Enterprise Ireland’s Built to Innovate programme. Together we can ensure a more competitive, sustainable, and digitally enhanced construction sector to address the urgent areas that make up the Centre’s five key strategic pillars: Productivity, Affordability & Cost; Quality and Safety; Sustainability; Skills and Training; and Collaboration.” Marina Donohoe, Enterprise Ireland's Head of Research and Innovation welcomed the appointments saying: “The industry experience that Paul Keogh and Colm McHugh bring to the Construct Innovate Centre will help accelerate innovation right across the value chain and increase the productivity, sustainability and export potential of Irish construction companies while helping to reduce costs and build times for Ireland’s housing and infrastructural needs. These appointments are critical to the work of Construct Innovate.” Professor Jamie Goggins and Dr Magdalena Hajdukiewicz, Construct Innovate’s University of Galway leads said: “The Centre’s awareness of industry needs and its capacity to effectively deliver results for companies depends on the strength of the consortium team.  The appointments of Paul Keogh and Colm McHugh are crucial additions to that team and we look forward to working closely with both.” Ends

Tuesday, 25 April 2023

University of Galway has called for Leaving Certificate results day to return to a date in mid-August. 2023 is now set to be the fourth in a row in which results of the state exams have been delayed, causing stress for students eager to plan for a life in higher education and a knock-on impact on the quality of their first year at university. University of Galway is supporting calls by the Irish Universities Association, the Union of Students’ of Ireland and the Technological Higher Education Association for Leaving Certificate results to be issued this year in mid-August, as well as acceleration of reform of the Leaving Certificate itself. University of Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “At University of Galway we have been doing our level best working internally and with Government and accommodation providers to ensure we support as many students as possible in the midst of an accommodation crisis. We are opening almost 700 new beds on-campus this year. Unfortunately, our efforts will only go so far and it is time Government ensured an end to delayed Leaving Certificate results. Delaying the issuing of results places unfair constraints on students and staff, with a compressed academic year and reduced student contact time. This benefits no one, least of all our students, and it runs counter to our values of respect and excellence at a critical time for young people.” University of Galway Deputy President and Registrar Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh said: “Since 2020 the Leaving Certificate and inflation associated with calculated and accredited grades has rightly been a major concern. But alongside that, year on year since Covid, we are seeing additional and unnecessary stress piled on young people and their families as they have to wait too long to begin planning for life in university. It is high time that the Minister ensured a release of state examination results as early as possible to ensure that young people, who put years of effort into learning, do not suffer undue anxiety as they try to plan where they will study and live.” The call for action on Leaving Certificate results is being made following recent sectoral level meetings with Department of Education officials who have indicated that 2023 results may not be released until September.  In general, across the EU, state examination results are issued no later than the end of July each year. Ends

Monday, 24 April 2023

University of Galway Societies were the big winners at this year’s Board of Irish College Societies (BICS) Awards taking home an impressive six awards including Best Event, Best Individual and Best Mental Health.   The awards secure University of Galway Societies as record holder, having won 88 awards since the inception of the BICS.    Riona Hughes, University of Galway Societies Officer, said: “The societies have made a spectacular recovery after Covid and returned to full activity this year, with more than 4,000 events. Societies build communities, they create a vibrant campus life and opportunities for students to learn valuable life skills and make friends. I am very proud of our success at BICS which is a testament to the outstanding commitment of all of our students on committees.”   The University of Galway societies were successful in the following categories:   Best Departmental Society: WiSTEM Society Best Event: Anime and Manga Society for the Akumakon Convention which saw over 2200 attendees, links with the Japanese Embassy and €15,000 raised for Amach, Galway LGBTQ+ resource centre. Best Individual: Nessa O'Connor, founding member and Auditor of Granny Society, Akumakon Panel room coordinator, Drama Society costume designer, secretary of Fansci and member of the Hub Well Crew. Best Fresher: Sava Beekmann, committee member of Timelord, Bród and Granny Societies. Best Mental Health: Medical Society for 'Shave a Life', which raised over €30,000 for the Samaritans. Best Photo: Zoo Society for their photo of Lenny, an eight year-old gecko sporting a hat on Society’s Day.    BICS is a national organisation that was founded in 1995 and whose role is to provide a national forum for the societies in Ireland’s Universities, Colleges and Institutes of Education.   University of Galway has 125 actively running societies representing over 11,000 students, and has raised €105,000 for charity.   Ends 

Wednesday, 19 April 2023

Tá Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus Comhaltas na Mac Léinn tar éis comhpháirtíocht fhoirmiúil a fhógairt. An aidhm atá leis an gcomhpháirtíocht go mbeidh mic léinn agus comhaltaí foirne na hOllscoile ag obair i gcomhar lena chéile chun athruithe chun feabhais a bhaint amach i réimsí chinnteoireacht agus rannpháirtíocht na mac léinn. Seo mar a labhair Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Rinneadh plean straitéiseach Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, Fís i gCoiteann, Múnlaithe ag Luachanna 2020-2025 mar aon lena chroíluachanna, mar atá meas, oscailteacht, barr feabhais agus inbhuanaitheacht, a fhorbairt agus a shainmhíniú trí ionchur a fháil ó chomhaltaí foirne agus ó mhic léinn araon. Táimid tiomanta a bheith anseo go háirithe chun freastal ar ár mic léinn, ár sochaí agus ár bpláinéad. Léiriú den tiomantas sin dár mic léinn is ea ár gcomhpháirtíocht fhoirmiúil nua idir Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, ar ollscoil le leas an phobail í, agus Comhaltas na Mac Léinn.”    Bhí an méid seo le rá ag Sai Gujulla, Uachtarán Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn Ollscoil na Gaillimhe: “Má chuirimid romhainn oibriú le chéile agus cuspóirí a leagan amach dúinn féin, is féidir linn athruithe chun feabhais a chur chun cinn a fhágfaidh go mbainfidh pobal na hollscoile tairbhe bhríoch astu. An aidhm atá againn, agus muid ag cur tús leis an gcomhoibriú seo, cur leis an gcaidreamh oibre idir an Ollscoil agus Comhaltas na Mac Léinn, ar caidreamh é atá bunaithe ar luachanna na hoscailteachta agus an mheasa. Déanfar an comhoibriú sin a chothú le spiorad na comhpháirtíochta agus le meon dearfach, agus muid ag tnúth le torthaí bríocha a bhaint amach a mbainfidh an pobal ollscoile trí chéile tairbhe astu.”   Féachann Comhaontú Chomhpháirtíocht na Mac Léinn le cultúr athraithe a chumasú trí chomhar, cómhalartacht agus freagracht roinnte idir mic léinn agus comhaltaí foirne. Leagtar amach ann tiomantas don chumarsáid rialta oscailte ag leibhéil éagsúla idir an Ollscoil agus Comhaltas na Mac Léinn “i spiorad an mheasa agus le hintinn dhearfach”.  Áirítear leis na haidhmeanna glór na mac léinn sa phróiseas cinnteoireachta a threisiú agus cur le hionadaíocht mac léinn ar choistí ábhartha. Cuirfear oiliúint ar fáil, mar chuid den chomhaontú, do mhic léinn ar mian leo a bheith rannpháirteach ar an gcaoi sin  mar a dhéanfar do chomhaltaí foirne ar mhaith leo oibriú le mic léinn ar an gcaoi chéanna. Féachfaidh an chomhpháirtíocht freisin le haiseolas a fháil ó mhic léinn le go mbeifí in ann bonn faisnéise a thabhairt don athrú bríoch agus dearfach.  Déanann an Ollscoil tiomantas freisin cláir ionduchtaithe a mhaoiniú; imeachtaí sóisialta ar an gcampas a eagrú chun braistint pobail a chothú; oiliúint a chur ar fáil chun scileanna acadúla a fhorbairt, agus san áireamh leis sin bheadh tacaíochtaí scrúduithe; sláinte agus leas; agus oiliúint forbartha pearsanta, gairmiúla agus cathartha.  Críoch

Wednesday, 19 April 2023

University of Galway and the University’s Students’ Union have announced a formal partnership. The aim of the agreement is for staff and students at the University to collaborate to deliver real and positive change in the areas of student-centred decision making and student participation and engagement. President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “University of Galway’s strategic plan Shared Vision, Shaped by Values 2020-2025 and its core values of respect, openness, excellence and sustainability were developed and defined with input from both staff and students. In particular, we committed to being here for our students, our society and our planet. Our new and formal partnership between our University and our Students’ Union is a manifestation of that commitment to our students as University of Galway, a university for the public good.”  President of University of Galway Students’ Union Sai Gujulla said: “By working together to a common agreed purpose, we can promote enhancements that deliver meaningful benefits for our university community. We are setting out to achieve an enhanced working relationship between the University and the Students’ Union based on the values of openness and respect, in a spirit of collaboration and positive intent, and with meaningful results that deliver mutual benefit for the entire university community.” The Student Partnership Agreement seeks to enable a culture of change through collaboration, reciprocity and shared responsibility between staff and students. It sets out a commitment to regular and open communication at various levels between the University and the Students’ Union “in a spirit of respect and positive intent”.  Among the aims are to increase the student voice in decision-making and to bring about greater student representation on relevant committees. As part of the agreement, training will be offered to students who which to participate in this way and for staff who wish to work with students in this way. The partnership also aims to gather feedback from students to inform meaningful and positive change.  The University also commits to funding orientation programmes; on-campus social events to build a sense of community; academic skills development training, including exam support; health and well-being; and personal, professional and civic development training.  Ends

Tuesday, 18 April 2023

University of Galway’s sporting community came together to celebrate the triumphs of athletes, sports clubs and coaches at its 38th annual Sports Awards.  During the ceremony, the University presented 14 awards recognising sporting performance, leadership and participation, as well as those that contribute to the running and development of the University of Galway Sports Clubs.  The awards ranged from Sports Person of the Year, Most Improved Club and University Honours Awards.  The University Honours Awards celebrate remarkable final year individuals who have made an outstanding and sustained contribution to sport; shown an impeccable example of sportsmanship and a high level of performance and achievement; been an excellent ambassador within the University and student sport; and competed at a regional level or above. Highlights of University of Galway success in the past year include: University of Galway students represented Ireland or Irish University teams in eight different sports.  Sports clubs won Gold in ten disciplines/sports at Intervarsity level. University teams won All-Irelands in Basketball and Rowing. University of Galway is now home to 45 active sports clubs, which are student-led and organised, with more than 6,000 students participating in sport and activity daily at the University. President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “I would like to commend each of the awardees. We value and respect the ongoing success of our students and alumni, and the clubs and coaches that have helped them along the way. These awards reflect not only the excellence of our students in terms of performance sport but also the contribution of the clubs to campus life and the importance of openness and participation in sport and exercise for the wellbeing of all our students and the public good more generally.”   2023 Sports Award Winners Team Awards Best Event of the Year: Surf Club  Club of the Year: Rowing Club Most Improved Club: Camogie Club Team of the Year - Female: Women’s Soccer Team Team of the Year - Male: Fresher Hurlers, Hurling Club   Individual Awards: Club Captain of the Year: Lauren McMahon from Milford, Co. Donegal (Sailing) Coach of the Year: Ciro Prisco from Italy (Rowing)  Individual Performance of the Year – Female: Kara McCleane from Kilcannon, Co Galway (Basketball) Individual Performance of the Year – Male: Liam Nolan from Barna, Co Galway (Golf – South American Amateur Championship winner)  Sports Person of the Year – Female: Naoise O’Donnell from Moycullen, Co. Galway (Triathlon) Sports Person of the Year - Male: Brian Colsh from Ballymote, Co. Sligo (Rowing) Unsung Hero – Niall O’Doherty from Killarney, Co. Kerry (Mountaineering) University Honours – Evan Niland from Ardrahan, Co Galway (Hurling)  University Honours – Chloe Singleton from Athlone, Co Westmeath (Soccer)  University Honours – Ciarán Fitzgerald from Dingle, Co Kerry (Sailing, Sub Aqua, Windsurfing) University of Galway Director of Sport Mike Heskin said: “The Sports Awards are a celebration of sporting achievement across all codes and in the theatres of national and international sport. These performances by our students have been delivered by teams, by individuals, by final years, by first years, and in all cases by both genders. All of them have brought honour and glory, and in no small amount, joy to the University of Galway. “Many of the awardees will with certainty go on to achieve the ultimate prize in their chosen sport. I am certain that among the winners are future All Ireland winning medallists, Olympians, and someone who will who wear the green of Ireland on the international stage. “For us in the Sports Unit, it is an honour and a pleasure to work with and to get to know such talented individuals and we will continue to strive to provide them with all the support they need. I look forward to following their careers as they strive for their goals.” Ends

Monday, 17 April 2023

Tá buaiteoirí Ghradaim Alumni 2023 fógartha ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus bronnfar na gradaim orthu ag mórfhéasta Dé hAoine, an 16 Meitheamh 2023.   Tugann Gradaim Alumni aitheantas d’fheabhas agus d’éachtaí an 128,000 alumni de chuid na hOllscoile atá scaipthe ar fud an domhain. Is ceannairí iad na buaiteoirí seo a bhfuil lorg fágtha acu ar a réimsí féin ar leibhéal áitiúil, náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta.     Is í seo an 22ú bliain a mbeidh na gradaim á mbronnadh, agus is liosta le háireamh iad an 133 alumni den scoth a bhfuil gradam faighte acu go dtí seo.    I measc na ndaoine mór le rá ar bronnadh Gradam Alumni orthu tá Uachtarán na hÉireann, Micheál D. Ó hUigínn; an t-iriseoir agus an craoltóir, Seán O'Rourke; an craoltóir, Gráinne Seoige; Adrian Jones; iarcheannairí Pháirtí an Lucht Oibre, Eamon Gilmore agus Pat Rabbitte; an Breitheamh de chuid na Cúirte Achomhairc, Máire Whelan; an lúthchleasaí Oilimpeach agus Curadh an Domhain, Olive Loughnane; an t-aisteoir agus duine de bhunaitheoirí Amharclann an Druid, Marie Mullen; agus an t-aisteoir Nicola Coughlan.     Is iad seo a leanas buaiteoirí na n-ocht nGradam Alumni a bheidh le bronnadh ag Mórfhéasta Ghradaim Alumni 2023:     -       Gradam Alumni don Ghnó agus an Tráchtáil – urraithe ag Banc na hÉireann  Jim Clarken, Príomhfheidhmeannach Oxfam Ireland (Coimisinéir na hÉireann um Chearta an Duine agus Comhionannas, Cathaoirleach Ghníomhaireacht an AE um Chearta Bunúsacha)   -       Gradam Alumni do na Dána, an Litríocht & an Léann Ceilteach Ray Burke, Iriseoir agus IarPhríomh-Eagarthóir Nuachta in RTÉ   -       Gradam Alumni don Innealtóireacht, an Eolaíocht agus an Teicneolaíocht An tOllamh Oliver O'Reilly, Leas-Phropast an Oideachais Fochéime, Ollscoil California, Berkeley   -       Gradam Alumni don Dlí, an Beartas Poiblí agus an tSochaí – Urraithe ag RDJ An Maorghinearál Maureen O'Brien, Leas-Chomhairleoir Míleata Ard-Rúnaí na Náisiún Aontaithe   -       Gradam Alumni don Leigheas, an tAltranas agus na hEolaíochtaí Sláinte – urraithe ag Medtronic  An Dr Dapo Odumeru MBE, Bainisteoir Dearbhaithe Feabhais Réigiúnach, Rannóg Fola agus Trasphlanduithe an NHS   -       Gradam Alumni don Ghaeilge – Urraithe ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe Máirín Ní Ghadhra, Craoltóir, RTÉ   -       Gradam Alumni don Rannpháirtíocht sa Spórt Tony Regan, IarCheannasaí Spóirt in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe   -       Gradam Alumni do Cheannairí Nua – Urraithe ag Deloitte Geraldine Lavelle, Údar, Scríbhneoir.   Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, nuair a fógraíodh buaiteoirí na nGradam: “Is é an misean atá ag an ollscoil seo an domhan a fheabhsú tríd an teagasc, an taighde, agus trí dhul i bhfeidhm ar dhaoine. Tugann clár na nGradam Alumni aitheantas d’alumni a dhéanann difríocht dhearfach ar fud an domhain agus atá ina gceannairí ina réimsí roghnaithe. Táim thar a bheith sásta i mbliana gur féidir linn aitheantas a thabhairt do ghrúpa alumni a bhfuil an-éagsúlacht ag baint leo agus a bhfuil lorg a láimhe fágtha ar an domhan agus chun leasa an domhain, sa bhaile agus i gcéin. Tréaslaím le gach duine ar a bhfuil gradam le bronnadh agus táim ag súil le fáilte ar ais a chur rompu chuig a n-alma mater don Mhórfhéasta i mí an Mheithimh.”   Le háirithint a dhéanamh ar líne, gabh chuig nó déan teagmháil le Colm O’Dwyer ag 091-494310   Críoch

Monday, 17 April 2023

University of Galway has announced the winners of the 2023 Alumni Awards to be presented at a gala banquet on Friday June 16, 2023.   The Alumni Awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University’s 128,000 alumni worldwide. These awardees are leaders who have demonstrated impact and excellence in their fields on a local, national, and international level.     Now in its 22nd year, the awards boast an impressive roll call of 133 outstanding alumni.    Among the distinguished honorees are President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins; journalist and broadcaster Seán O’Rourke; broadcaster Gráinne Seoige; Goldman Sachs Executive Adrian Jones; former Labour Party leaders Eamon Gilmore and Pat Rabbitte; Court of Appeal Judge Máire Whelan; Olympian and World Champion Olive Loughnane; actress and Druid Theatre founder Marie Mullen; and actress Nicola Coughlan.     The winners of the eight Alumni awards to be presented at the 2023 Alumni Awards Gala Banquet are:     Alumni Award for Business and Commerce - Sponsored by Bank of Ireland  Jim Clarken, CEO of Oxfam Ireland (Irish Human Rights & Equality Commissioner, EU Fundamental Rights Agency Chair)   Alumni Award for Arts, Literature & Celtic Studies Ray Burke, Journalist and former Chief News Editor at RTÉ   Alumni Award for Engineering, Science and Technology  Professor Oliver O'Reilly, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, University of California, Berkeley   Alumni Award for Law, Public Policy and Society - Sponsored by RDJ Major General Maureen O'Brien, Deputy Military Adviser to the Secretary General of the United Nations    Alumni Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences - Sponsored by Medtronic  Dr Dapo Odumeru MBE, Regional Quality Assurance Manager, NHS Blood and Transplant    Gradam Alumni don Ghaeilge - Sponsored by Ollscoil na Gaillimhe Máirín Ní Ghadhra, Broadcaster, RTÉ   Alumni Award for Contribution to Sport  Tony Regan, former Head of Sport at University of Galway   Alumni Award for Emerging Leaders - Sponsored by Deloitte Geraldine Lavelle, Author, Writer.    Speaking on the announcement of the Awards recipients, President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “It is the mission of our university to make the world a better place through our teaching, research, and impact. Our Alumni Awards programme recognises alumni who make a positive difference in the world and who are leaders in their chosen fields. I’m particularly pleased this year that we can honour a diverse group of alumni who have made a positive impact in the world and for the world, both nationally and internationally. I congratulate each awardee and I look forward to welcoming them back to their alma mater for the Gala Banquet in June.”   For online reservations, visit or contact Colm O’Dwyer at 091-494310   Ends

Monday, 17 April 2023

Government Chief Whip and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton T.D. has launched University of Galway’s new Masters in Sustainability Leadership at a special regional business summit. The event was hosted at University of Galway’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics and attracted more than 150 participants from various regional industries and sectors.  As part of the wider Thinking Beyond – An Event Series for the Public Good, the Regional Business Summit – Engaging People and Leading on Sustainability focused on talent attraction and retention and sustainability leadership, with keynote addresses, panel discussions, and contributions from industry leaders and university colleagues.  The aim of the summit was to foster collaboration between regional businesses and the university to address the key challenges they are facing on talent engagement and sustainability. Minister Naughton, Government Chief Whip and Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health, Well Being and the National Drugs Strategy, launched the University’s MSc in Sustainability Leadership, a two-year programme designed to equip students with the leadership skills to address the challenges, risks, and opportunities that environmental sustainability and social responsibility present for contemporary businesses and organisations. Speaking at the event, Minister Naughton said: “The Irish government has set some ambitious targets in the area of sustainability, including a commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. To achieve these targets, we need to work together, and programmes such as this masters provide an excellent opportunity for businesses and academics to come together to drive sustainable transformation.” Dr Orla Lenihan, Assistant Professor in Governance, Sustainability and Finance with the School of Business and Economics at University of Galway, said: "We are thrilled to Minister Naughton launch this new Masters programme, the purpose of which is to try to embed leadership skills in students to drive the sustainability transformation and to equip future leaders with the knowledge needed to drive sustainability across all sectors. We believe that sustainability is key to the future success of our economy and society, and we are proud to play a leading role in this important area." Professor Alma McCarthy, Dean of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at University of Galway, said: "We are delighted with the success of the summit and the engagement we have seen from local industries. We believe that collaboration between the university and local businesses is key to driving innovation and economic growth, and we look forward to building on the momentum generated by this event." For more information on the MSc in Leadership Sustainability visit  For further information on the regional business summit or upcoming events in the Thinking Beyond series visit Ends

Thursday, 6 April 2023

A new study by University of Galway has shown that some smartphone identifier apps actually misidentify at least one in five plant species. With spring in the air and more people spending time in the great outdoors, smartphone applications offer opportunities to get people engaged with plants, the importance of biodiversity and education but potentially to determine if a plant may be problematic or harmful. Researchers at the School of Natural Sciences at University of Galway and the School of Geography at University of Leeds released findings of a study which highlights that they should not be trusted to identify plants with 100% accuracy, a particularly important issue for toxic plants. The study has been published in the international scientific journal PLOS ONE, and was authored by Neil Campbell, who carried out the study while completing a Master’s degree at the University of Galway; Dr Karen Bacon, Lecturer in Plant Ecology at University of Galway; and Dr Julie Peacock, Associate Professor in Ecology at the University of Leeds. The team tested the ability of six common smartphone applications to identify 38 herbaceous plants native to Ireland. The highest performing app only had 80-88% accuracy. The study also found that the apps showed considerable variation across plant species but they were better able to identify plants in photographs that included flowers than when photographs only included leaves. The study highlights that, although apps can do a reasonably good job of identifying plants, they should not be considered to be providing 100% accurate identifications. This is important for a variety of reasons, including use to identify toxic plants, use to identify potentially problematic plants and use in teaching. The technology is improving all the time, but for now, identifications from such apps should be used as a help to identify plants and not automatically considered to be correct. Dr Karen Bacon said: “The prevalence of plant ID apps on smartphones means that people can now reach into their pockets, take out their phones and identify plants - easier than ever before. This offers a great means of encouraging people to engage with nature and become more familiar with the plants in their local areas or, indeed, plants in new exotic places when they travel. “However, we don't really know how good many of these apps are at actually doing what they say they can - identifying plants accurately. This is of particular importance when we consider people trying to identify a plant that an animal or young child may have ingested - how sure can you be that your app is giving you the right identification?” Dr Julie Peacock said: “Plant identification apps have huge potential to improve plant awareness in the general population. They can also aid conservation efforts and environmental consultancy teams. However, we should be aware that plant identification apps are only a tool to guide the user. The user needs basic plant identification skills too, as well as a willingness to double check the plant species suggestions that the app gives. A calculator is an excellent tool in maths, but without knowledge of at least basic arithmetic, someone using it could not know if the calculator was giving a strange answer. Similarly, basic plant identification skills and a willingness to check suggestions that apps make, will help the individual most effectively use these apps. Being aware that the apps may not be accurate, some will be better at different types of plants, and the photo submitted will impact the accuracy of the identification is important when using these tools.” The full study in PLOS ONE is available here. Ends

Wednesday, 5 April 2023

University of Galway led INTERSTROKE study finds that the amount of sleep, snoring and sleep apnoea are linked to a higher risk of stroke   People who slept for too many or too few hours were more likely to have a stroke than people who slept an average number of hours Snorers almost twice as likely as non-snorers to have a stroke Results remained similar after adjusting for other factors that could affect the risk of stroke   A global study into causes of stroke, co-led from University of Galway, has identified that sleep problems - including getting too much or too little sleep, taking long naps, snoring, snorting and sleep apnoea - can increase the likelihood of having a stroke.  The research was published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.  Dr Christine McCarthy, Stroke and Geriatric Medicine Physician, PhD researcher with the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at University of Galway and lead author said: “Not only do our results suggest that individual sleep problems may increase a person’s risk of stroke but having more than five of these symptoms may lead to five times the risk of stroke compared to those who do not have any sleep problems. Our results suggest that sleep problems should be an area of focus for stroke prevention." The international study involved 4,496 people, including 2,238 people who had a stroke who were matched to 2,258 people who did not have a stroke. The average age of participants was 62.  Participants were asked about their sleep behaviours including how many hours of sleep they got, sleep quality, napping, snoring, snorting, and breathing problems during sleep.  The study found that breathing problems during sleep, including snoring, snorting, and sleep apnoea were significantly associated with stroke. Participants who reported sleep apnoea and snorting were nearly three times more likely to have a stroke, while people who snored were nearly twice more likely to have a stroke than those who did not.  People who slept for more than nine hours or people who slept less than five hours were more likely to have a stroke than people who slept an average number of hours.  Following extensive adjusting for other factors that could affect the risk of stroke such as smoking, physical activity, depression, and alcohol consumption, the results remained similar. Professor Martin O’Donnell, Professor of Neurovascular Medicine at University of Galway and Consultant Stroke Physician at Galway University Hospitals, co-led the international INTERSTROKE study with Prof Salim Yusuf, McMaster University, Canada. He said: “Globally, one in four people over age 25 will have a stroke in their lifetime. We know from our INTERSTROKE study research that many strokes could be prevented, and this study has been designed to inform approaches to population-level prevention. We now need to factor in sleep problems as one of the associations with stroke, and the need for targeted research evaluating interventions design to prevent, and improve, sleep impairments.” A series of findings have been released as part of the wider INTERSTROKE project and can be accessed here.  Ends

Wednesday, 5 April 2023

Progression of gender equality sees a total of ten Schools in the University now accredited with Bronze Award status and one School with a Silver Award    University of Galway has secured two additional Athena SWAN Bronze Awards in recognition of the University’s commitment to advancing gender equality for staff and students.  The University’s School of Law and a joint award between the School of Computer Science and the Data Science Institute have received the accolade which acknowledges efforts to create cultural change within higher education institutions. This latest accreditations sees a total of ten Bronze Awards and one Silver Award in the University, along with an Institutional Bronze Award which was renewed in 2021. Eleven out of the University’s 18 schools now hold Athena SWAN Awards.  The School of Biological and Chemical Sciences and the School of Natural Sciences were also successful in their application to transfer their Bronze Athena Swan Awards following the restructuring of their Schools. University of Galway Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Helen Maher, said: “I am delighted with the positive news of the successful Athena Swan Bronze applications for our School of Law, School of Computer Science and Data Science Institute. I very much appreciate the significant work undertaken by staff members to advance gender equality as evidenced by these new awards. In addition, I am mindful of the necessity of supporting and enabling leadership for equality at every level within our University, as a critical factor in transforming the gendered nature of inequality in higher education.” Professor Martin Hogg, Head of the School of Law, said: “The School of Law is delighted to be the recipient of an Athena Swan Bronze Award. The Award recognises the commitment we have made as a School to advance gender equality in a range of ways, and we intend to make an early start on the work needed to achieve this. The award represents the next step of an important journey for us, one which we embark upon with renewed confidence. The School owes a huge debt of gratitude to our Self-Assessment Team for the time and effort they put into securing this award, and I should like to thank them for all their hard work.” Professor Michael Madden, Head of School of Computer Science, said: “We are delighted that the School of Computer Science and the Data Science Institute have been awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, the first joint award between a School and a Research Centre in the University of Galway. It is a great credit to our Self-Assessment Team that the panel commended what they called a “detailed and impressive application”, and that they found that we have a genuine commitment to address the underrepresentation of women, particularly at undergraduate student and academic staff levels. We are grateful to them and to all who supported our application, including the people who reviewed and gave us feedback, the Vice-Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in our College, and the Office of the Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.” Professor Edward Curry, Director of the Data Science Institute, said: "Everyone at the Data Science Institute is proud to be the first Research Institute at the University of Galway to have been awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze Award. We want to thank everyone involved for their support, particularly the Joint Self-Assessment Team with the School of Computer Science, for their efforts, dedication, teamwork, and leadership. This was recognised by the review panel noting the comprehensive approach to consultation and the strong commitment to the action plan." The Athena Swan Charter is a framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education and research.  Ends  

Tuesday, 4 April 2023

Researchers at University of Galway are seeking participants with chronic health conditions for a new project to ensure future Irish health research reflects the needs and interests of patients and healthcare workers.   The Health Research Board Primary Care Clinical Trials Network, a University of Galway based research group focused on supporting high quality research in primary care, are asking the public to submit their unanswered questions and comments on how their health conditions are managed, with the aim of creating a Top Ten list of research topics to be addressed in the near future.  This process follows the long-established James Lind Alliance method, which has underpinned the development of over 100 other Priority lists in a diverse range of health research areas. Network Director and Turloughmore, Co Galway based GP, Professor Andrew Murphy said: “The vast bulk of healthcare is provided in primary care, and people manage most of their chronic health needs in their local areas with GPs, practice and community nurses, pharmacists, physios, occupational therapists and other professionals. By finding out what is important for people involved in this care, we can support future research to address the issues they care about and bring about real changes.”  The researchers plan to first gather as many submissions as possible from people with chronic conditions, carers, and healthcare professionals. All submissions will be reviewed and sorted, and those that are identified as unanswered will move forward to be ranked in the next stage of the project.  Lead researcher Laura O’Connor explains: “With the support of the James Lind Alliance and the expertise of many people with chronic conditions, healthcare workers, and other key stakeholders, we are excited to start into this process and take this step towards more collaborative and involved research.”  The network encourages anyone with a chronic or ongoing health issue or their family, friends, or carers, or anyone working in primary care, to visit the site and consider leaving a response using the short survey. To submit a question or a comment visit, or to find out more information about the project visit  Ends

Monday, 3 April 2023

University of Galway academics Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley and Dr Aaron Golden have both been awarded an ENLIGHT Impact Award at the ENLIGHT Impact Conference in Bilbao, Spain. The awards are bestowed as part of the ENLIGHT University Alliance, of which University of Galway is a partner of along with eight other universities across Europe. They recognise and give visibility to research endeavours at ENLIGHT universities that are exemplars in planning for and achieving impact.  A total of five awards were presented across five flagship domains: health and well-being; digital revolution and digitization; climate change; energy and circular economy; and equity.  The awardees are:  Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley, School of History and Philosophy, received her award under the Equity category for the project ‘Tuam Oral History’.   The Tuam Oral History Project, funded by Galway University Foundation, has had a national and international impact, raising the profile of the Tuam Mother and Baby Institution and the life stories and experiences of survivors/victims of this institution. It is a grassroots project and emerged through collaboration with a local group of survivors and advocates of the Tuam Home Alliance/Tuam Survivors Network. The project received limited funding but was grounded in the principles of transitional and historical justice, and in the ethical digitisation of life stories. The Creative Arts have been central to the project, and the team have advocated with and on behalf of those directly affected by the institution: demonstrating the power of ethical research that is trauma-informed and centred on the rights and wishes of those directly affected by the trauma.  Dr Aaron Golden, School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences for the project ‘TAPAS (Tracking Adaptation Progress in Agriculture and Food Security Using an AI powered Satellite Remote Sensing Platform)’ in the Climate Change category. Winner of the SFI Future Innovator Prize Artificial Intelligence for Societal Good Challenge and co-funded with Irish Aid under SFI’s partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs, TAPAS is an AI trained platform that uses archived and real time earth observation data to identify regions where seasonal biomass growth patterns are consistent with a climate adaptation/climate stress response, computing a Biomass Adaptation Index (BAI) map. By anchoring these BAI values to actual ground truth data quantifying net crop production, it becomes possible to identify where climate change is affecting agrifood production and to put a cost on it. In so doing, it quantifies the long-term socioeconomic impact of climate change on those vulnerable communities in the developing world regions most at risk.  Professor Becky Whay, University of Galway’s Vice President International, said: “Members of the ENLIGHT University Alliance work to tackle societal challenges and promote and maximise impact, and both these projects will have a longstanding impact on society. I would like to congratulate both Dr Buckley and Dr Golden on their achievement and know they both make excellent inspiring figures for the research community while creating awareness of the impact of research.” Dr Paul Dodd, University of Galway’s Vice President for Engagement, said: “These well-deserved awards recognise the steadfast efforts Dr Buckley and Dr Golden put in to address issues related to equity and climate change, and we are very proud that two of the five awards have been presented to University of Galway academics. ENLIGHT enables a deeper engagement on big challenges facing society and we are very fortunate to have both Dr Buckley and Dr Golden as ENLIGHT Impact Ambassadors.” ENLIGHT is a partnership of nine universities, supported by the Government and the European Commission, to build a platform for the creation a new type of European university campus where students and staff have increased opportunities for international study, training, teaching, research and sharing of services. The ENLIGHT University Alliance includes – University of Galway; Comenius University, Bratislava (Slovakia); University of Groningen (Netherlands); University of Bordeaux (France); Gent University (Belgium); University of Tartu (Estonia); University of Gottingen (Germany); University of the Basque Country (Spain); Uppsala University (Sweden). ENLIGHT aims to collaboratively transform higher education, addressing societal challenges and promoting equitable quality of life, sustainability and external engagement with the communities of the partner universities. Ends

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