Friday, 17 May 2024

Key policy proposals presented by a University of Galway journalism academic to the Oireachtas Taskforce on Safe Participation in Political Life have been adopted in the final report. The Oireachtas Task Force report on Safe Participation in Political Life was published this week by Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl T.D. and Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann, Senator Jerry Buttimer. The report outlines comprehensive recommendations to address the pervasive issue of abuse and harassment faced by politicians, with a particular focus on protecting women and minority groups, enhancing security measures and holding social media platforms accountable for online abuse. Associate Professor of Journalism Tom Felle presented research findings about digital harassment and cyber abuse of female politicians to the expert group in September 2023. He emphasised the urgent need for robust measures to combat cyber violence against female politicians. His presentation highlighted critical research findings from University of Galway, demonstrating the pervasive nature of online abuse and its severe impact on women in politics.  Key Findings from the University of Galway’s research included: Approximately 96% of female politicians reported receiving abusive social media or electronic messages containing hate speech, foul language, and inappropriate comments 73% faced threats of physical violence, with 38% subjected to threats of rape or sexual violence 28% reported being verbally abused in public, including disturbing incidents such as faeces being thrown and threats of acid attacks One in five considered quitting politics due to online harassment, underscoring the chilling effect of cyber violence. Associate Professor Tom Felle’s key policy proposals are reflected in the Task Force’s recommendations, including: Security and Support: Improve cooperation with An Garda Síochána in the reporting and investigation of digital threats; and providing psychological support services to local representatives. Political Parties and Conduct: Equip election candidates with training to protect against abuse. Social Media Regulation: Coimisiún na Meán should fully utilise its powers to regulate social media platforms and address online abuse. Associate Professor Tom Felle said: "Adopting these critical measures is a significant step towards creating a safer and more inclusive political environment. By enforcing stringent regulations on social media platforms, enhancing security for politicians, and promoting respectful discourse within political parties, we can combat the pervasive issue of cyber violence against women. These changes will not only protect current politicians but also encourage more women to participate in political life, ensuring that our democratic institutions are truly representative of our diverse society.” The University of Galway and Associate Professor Felle remain committed to supporting efforts that promote a safe and inclusive political landscape for all. Ends

Thursday, 16 May 2024

Ian Quinn Centre for Health Technology Innovation formally launched at University of Galway in honour of pioneering medtech entrepreneur BioInnovate programme forms part of Government of Ireland Innovators’ Initiative and will create opportunities to identify solutions to unmet clinical needs   Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Emer Higgins T.D. has today announced €7 million funding, over the next six years, for University of Galway’s flagship BioInnovate fellowship programme, the only European affiliate of Stanford BioDesign. The announcement coincides with the official launch of the Ian Quinn Centre for Health Technology Innovation, on the University campus, named in honour of the late Ian Quinn who was central in establishing Galway as a global medtech hub. BioInnovate Ireland is one of four programmes under the Government of Ireland Innovators’ Initiative and co-funded by the EU under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and administered by Enterprise Ireland. It was initially established in 2011 with the aim of anchoring the medical device sector in Ireland by educating and training future entrepreneurs. To date the programme has trained 150 Fellows and led to 33 companies - 23 of which are high potential start-ups. The Ian Quinn Centre will build on the success of the BioInnovate programme and the wider medtech and digital health community by providing co-working space, mentorship and global connections to emerging start-ups, as well as being a venue for industry, clinicians and campus-based innovators to come together and accelerate health technologies.  Speaking at the annual BioInnovate Ireland Symposium at University of Galway Minister Higgins said: “BioInnovate Ireland is a remarkable programme and a huge inspiration for Ireland’s innovation ecosystem. Its success to date in terms of entrepreneurship, indigenous business creation and answering healthcare needs, is testament to those who brought the concept to Ireland, and to University of Galway for hosting the fellowship programme. The new, six-year, €7 million funding from Government and the European Regional Development Fund will empower those who have the foresight to conceive healthcare and treatment solutions for patients, while also embedding the fellowship even further with the best international practice, talent development and business creation mentorship for medtech in the west of Ireland and beyond.”   Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of University of Galway, said: “We are delighted to receive this significant funding allocation, and it is apt that it coincides with the launch of the Ian Quinn Centre for Health Technology Innovation. This dual announcement represents a pivotal moment for University of Galway and a significant step forward in our journey to further advance healthcare innovation. We are grateful for the generous contribution from Chip Hance, which has made it possible to initiate the Ian Quinn Centre. His support, alongside support from others in the community, underscores the importance of our work for the public good and for fostering innovation which will greatly benefit future medtech solutions and development, both here in Galway and globally.” Marina Donohoe, Head of Research and Innovation at Enterprise Ireland, said: “Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting the development of Irish-owned companies on their journey to achieving their global ambition. A really important element of this is helping to foster the development of Irish innovators who are driving transformation around the world, and programmes like BioInnovate and facilities like the Ian Quinn Centre are key to that. Ireland has established a reputation as being a global leader in healthcare innovation, and this funding will help to further build out that pipeline of talented innovators. Enterprise Ireland has been proud to support this project since its inception, and we wish everyone involved continued success.” Robert (Chip) Hance, a veteran of cardiovascular, diabetes and diagnostics devices, chief executive of Regatta Medical, and long-time colleague of the late Ian Quinn, said: “Ian Quinn was not just a visionary leader, but also a cherished friend and colleague whose dedication to healthcare innovation was unparalleled. He recognised the pivotal role of the BioInnovate Ireland programme within the broader ecosystem of Ireland's device industry, envisioning its potential to evolve and expand with a significant indigenous emphasis. Naming this centre in his honour is a fitting tribute. It is poised to inspire future entrepreneurs to carry forward his legacy as we move into a golden age of medical device innovation that will transform healthcare and change the face of medicine.” Teresa Hooks, Programme Executive with the Northern and Western Regional Assembly, the ERDF Managing Authority, said: "BioInnovate Ireland is funded under the Innovators Initiative scheme, which is included in the Northern and Western Regional Programme and is another positive example of EU funding helping to develop a smarter more competitive region. The objective of the Innovators Initiative scheme is closely aligned to the priorities of our ERDF Programme and Ireland’s Smart Specialisation Strategy and will train more than 70 participants in our region. They will observe and identify commercial opportunities, with the aim of developing high potential start-ups, directly contributing to job creation in the region.” The Ian Quinn Centre for Health Technology Innovation at University of Galway will build on the success of BioInnovate since its inception, by becoming a new home for the fellowship programme. It will be a hub of innovation, focused on driving transformative change in the healthcare sector. It will have a strong focus on emerging medical technologies and digital health and it will also be open to industry and clinicians outside of the fellowship programme, providing space to spark and grow innovations and ultimately becoming a destination of choice in Europe for innovators, industry and investors. Ian Quinn was a visionary in medical device design and innovation. He founded Creganna with his brother, where he served as chief executive for 25 years. Having witnessed the decline of the IT hardware industry and other industries in Ireland, Ian Quinn set about ensuring that the medical device industry would not suffer the same fate. Following a visit to Stanford BioDesign, Ian Quinn was involved in the foundation of BioInnovate Ireland, along with Professor Mark Bruzzi, bringing the BioDesign model to Ireland, with the aim of creating a fellowship programme to educate and train innovators. More than a decade later, Ireland has become a global hub for medtech and digital health, with more than 450 companies, of which, more than 200 are homegrown. One in 8 Irish medtech companies have come from fellowships at BioInnovate Ireland. The programme takes in 12 fellows a year on a 10-month specialist, medical device innovation. It combines teams of high-calibre, experienced fellows from medical, engineering, business and technical backgrounds whose aim is to discover unmet clinical needs and align them with market opportunities. The fellows are rigorously selected to contribute their skills, knowledge and expertise as part of multi-disciplinary teams. During the programme they are awarded a scholarship and focus on one specific clinical area, and receive mentorship from industry, clinicians, venture capitalists, domain experts and academics. The Fellowship teams perform their clinical immersion phase at hospitals in Galway and nationwide. Ends

Tuesday, 14 May 2024

 Transition Year Students from DEIS and Link post-primary schools in the border, midlands and western region have taken part in the final of the Uni4U+ College Cookbook Competition at University of Galway.   The students were tasked with coming up with five dinners for one person – all for less than €35 per week. Students were also required note if the recipe was high in protein, low in calories, vegan friendly, coeliac friendly and so on.   The recipes were judged by chef, restaurateur and author, Dr JP McMahon, who said: “For me, it’s really important to show young students the different opportunities there are to get them into university but also to get them interested in cooking.”  The winners included:  Overall Individual Entry: Ashton Greer from Coláiste Muire Máthair, Galway City  Overall Group Entry: Joe Sullivan, James Murray, Seoijin Lee and Krzysztof Kotarba from Coláiste Muire Máthair, Galway City  Best Design: Jaynel Almanzar Cordero, Coláiste Muire Máthair, Galway City   Most Creative Recipie: Iarla Ó Brádaigh, Aodháin Ó Donnchadha, Ciarán Dwyer and Diarmad Ó Fátharta from Coláiste Cholmcille, Inverin, Co. Galway  Most Nutritious Recipe: Aedín Ní Chualáin from Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin, Carraroe, Co. Galway  Most Budget-Friendly Recipe: Amelia Dlugoskecka from Roscommon Community College   Roscommon Community College student Amelia Dlugoskecka said: “The whole competition got me really interested in nutrition and it’s something I will consider doing in the future.”   The Uni4U+ Programme gives secondary school students the opportunity to visit University of Galway’s campus and gain an insight into university life and is an integral part of the outreach work undertaken at the University of Galway Access Centre.  Speaking about the project, Dr Mary Surlis, Senior Academic Manager at University of Galway’s Access Centre said: “Our outreach work is core to the Access Centre’s regional commitment, to both our DEIS schools and the wider communities. Our primary aim is to design creative interventions in these areas, which promote accessibility to higher education by informing, empowering, and inspiring all. This event epitomises such work.”  For further information on the work of the Access Centre, head to Access Centre - University of Galway.  Ends 

Tuesday, 7 May 2024

Harnessing AI would enable advancement of cardiovascular care for millions, with greatest impact in the developing world   Pioneering technology offers physicians more accurate understanding of heart condition, leading to better patient outcomes   A world-leading interventional cardiologist and researcher at University of Galway has called for a revolutionary change in healthcare – with artificial intelligence, machine learning and virtual reality to be used to better diagnose and treat cardiac patients. Professor of Interventional Cardiology William Wijns, along with international colleagues from China, Italy, Switzerland and the USA, is urging the adoption of the most advanced technologies to empower clinicians to uncover previously concealed information within a coronary angiogram. Professor Wijns made the call in a specially commissioned article in Nature Review in Cardiology. In the paper, Professor Wijns emphasised the limitations of relying solely on traditional visual angiographic guidance for diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery disease. He cited previously published research which showed that diagnosis and treatment through the cardio-angiogram led to inappropriate stenting and overtreatment in 37% of patients; that 30% of interventional procedures are deemed unnecessary; and 20% are found to be needed but not performed. Stenting, although a common procedure, comes with potential problems to the patient, such as restenosis, thrombosis, damage to blood vessels and other risks. When the cardiologist uses angiographic images to precisely navigate catheters through arteries, results are not always optimal - about 50% of patients end up with suboptimal functional outcomes, leaving them vulnerable to further heart issues in the short and long term. Professor Wijns explained: “It is time for a paradigm shift in how we diagnose and treat coronary patients. We have good evidence that a new approach, taking into account the unique physiological characteristics of each patient’s heart, allows for more precise and effective treatment decisions. By integrating advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence, into the interventional procedures, physicians can obtain a more accurate understanding of the heart's condition, leading to better patient outcomes, reducing the risk of adverse events, and preventing subsequent problems.” Research contends that recent advances in AI, machine learning and virtual reality can empower interventional cardiologists to uncover previously concealed information within a standard cardio-angiogram. This additional information holds significant implications and advantages for patients, providing a deeper insight into their individual condition. Blockages in smaller blood vessels in particular can also now be uncovered from image based AI. This new approach enables a more tailored response and treatment approach. This advancement will enable physicians to refine patient treatments, resulting in enhanced interventions compared to traditional angiograms, that don’t use AI assistance. Professor Wijns continued: “While the integration of artificial intelligence into coronary disease diagnosis and treatment planning represents a significant step forward in boosting accessibility on a global scale, it has never been more important to increase access to resources. Our new approach is refining the understanding of how blockages and other obstacles are impeding normal blood flow to the heart. Enabling access to this AI-led approach will advance cardiovascular care in emerging nations, bridging the gap with the first world and fostering substantial global impact, while also decreasing differences in quality of care in centres in the developed world. “Additional research is currently underway to validate the effectiveness of these new strategies, and we are optimistic about the potential to revolutionise care of coronary artery disease and improve the lives of millions of patients worldwide.” The paper can be accessed here: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41569-024-01014-0 Ends

Tuesday, 7 May 2024

University of Galway marks 10th anniversary of itag innovation Industry and academia are to come together to explore tech issues around cybersecurity, AI, cloud computing and empowering communities as part of this year’s AtlanTec Festival.  University of Galway and non-profit enterprise association itag - Innovation Technology AtlanTec Gateway – will mark 10 years of collaboration and innovation at a one-day event with informative, practical and engaging displays of the latest technology developments that impact both society and the workplace.  Taking place on Thursday May 16th, the annual AtlanTec Festival Conference is one of the highlights of the 10th annual AtlanTec Festival, which kicks off in Galway today.   The event - Connecting Communities through Technology Innovation - is expected to attract more than 300 delegates and includes international speakers and the region’s tech companies.  Canada-based author and futurist Peter Scott, who hosts the weekly podcast “AI and You”, will deliver a keynote address, dissecting the role technology plays in modern-day life. Querying whether technology is serving us or whether we serve technology, his talk will challenge attendees to view AI not merely as a tool, but as a catalytic force capable of shaping not only a productive but meaningful future of work.  Other speakers will include Dr Mamoona Asghar from University of Galway’s School of Computer Science who will discuss cyber security and modern social engineering attacks and Laura Brodahl, Senior Associate at Wilson Sonsini, who will discuss the future impact on business of Europe’s new AI Act which will regulate aspects of this evolving technology.   Andrew Ayres, Master Strategist for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, will provide insights into the methodologies behind AI-driven analytics and the pivotal role they play in informing strategic business initiatives.   The conference is backed by University of Galway’s Innovation Office, which supports industry academic collaborations and start-ups.    Professor Jim Livesey, Vice-President Research and Innovation at University of Galway, said: "We are thrilled to host itag’s AtlanTec Conference Connecting Communities through Technology Innovation. This conference serves as a platform for academia and industry to draw inspiration from each other and collaborate to capitalise on the transformative potential of technology - resulting in building stronger, more interconnected communities.”   itag Board Chair and Senior Vice President, Fidelity Investments, Sharon Walsh said: “The AtlanTec festival has been pivotal in the advancement of the technology community here in the west of Ireland for the past 10 years. Through the ongoing support of our members and University of Galway, the annual conference brings together people and companies redefining the global tech industry. We connect through discussion, active listening and ideation on the most relevant tech industry developments that will shape our future work.”  For more information on the conference and to register, visit www.atlantec.ie  Ends  

Thursday, 2 May 2024

Report presents data from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey 2022 Study highlights concerns over mental health and wellbeing, with older children and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds more vulnerable Children report less alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use but an increase in vaping   Research by University of Galway has shed new light into the health behaviours of children and adolescents in Ireland, emphasising areas of progress and concern that require urgent attention. Commissioned by the Department of Health, the findings are from the latest Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey conducted in 2022. More than 9,000 children, from a representative sample of 191 primary and post-primary schools nationwide, were asked to report on a series of questions related to their lifestyles, behaviours and experiences. The report is available online at https://www.universityofgalway.ie/hbsc/hbscireland/2022study/. Key findings for 10-17 year-olds include: Alcohol, tobacco - some improvements 69% of children reported never drinking alcohol (66% in 2018) 9% reported having ever smoked (12% in 2018) Vaping - girls and older children more likely to report use 18% report having ever used vapes or e-cigarettes 13% report having ever used vapes or e-cigarettes in the last 30 days Cannabis - older children more likely to report cannabis use and no social class difference found 6% reported cannabis use in the last 12 months, (8% in 2018) Mental health and wellbeing - older teenage girls less likely to report high levels of life satisfaction, happiness and wellbeing.  54% of 10-17 year-old girls report high life satisfaction, compared to 69% of boys 22% of girls and 33% of boys report feeling very happy with their lives at present Covid - the impact of the pandemic was reported on for the first time in the 2022 survey 40% of children reported that the public health restrictions had a negative impact on their mental health and school performance Girls and older children were more likely to report these negative impacts Bullying - Boys and children from the middle social class group are more likely to report bullying others at school once or more in the past couple of months 29% reported being bullied once or more in the last couple of months (30% in 2018) 13% report having bullied others once or more in the last couple of months (14% in 2018) Cyberbullying - Girls, younger children and children from lower social class groups are more likely to report being victims once or more in the past couple of months 18% report being cyberbullied (15% in 2018) 9% report having taken part in cyberbullying, with boys and those from lower socioeconomic groups more likely to have reported taking part (8% in 2018) Dietary behaviour - some positive findings, with more children eating fruit and vegetables One in four children report eating fruit and 23% report eating vegetables every day 19% report never having breakfast on school days (13% in 2018) 18% report having gone to school or bed hungry because there was not enough food in the house (19% in 2018) 13% report trying to lose weight (14% in 2018) Sexual health - a decrease in numbers reporting condom use One in four 15-17 year-olds report ever having sex (25% in 2018) 48% of those report that they or their partner used a condom at their last sexual intercourse (62% in 2018) And 34% of those who report having sex also report that they or their partner used no contraception at their last sexual intercourse (22% in 2018) Exercise and Physical Activity - recurring finding of low numbers of children meeting physical activity guidelines Only 24% of children report reaching the recommended level of 60 minutes physical activity every day of the week (22% in 2018). 50% of children report participating in vigorous exercise four or more times per week (49% in 2018). Boys, younger children and children from higher social class groups are more likely to report participating in vigorous exercise four or more times per week. Menstrual health and period poverty - being reported for the first time as part of the survey in 2022 10% of girls reported experiencing period poverty - defined by ever being unable to afford period products 60% reported ever missing school due to period symptoms Sun safety 85% of children report always or sometimes using sunscreen on a sunny day, (80% in 2018) 75% of children report having been sunburnt at least once last summer (73% in 2018) Professor Colette Kelly, Director of the Health Promotion Research Centre at University of Galway, highlighted the significance of the findings, particularly given the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: "These insights provide a critical understanding of children's health behaviours during a time of unprecedented challenges. Overall, the findings underscore the need for targeted interventions and supports to ensure the well-being of Ireland's youth, for example there are indications of a positive shift in healthy eating, yet far too many children go hungry at times. One concerning trend is that children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds consistently report more negative health outcomes. This highlights the urgent need to address health disparities and to ensure equitable access to resources for all children.” Aoife Gavin, Senior Researcher at the Health Promotion Research Centre, and lead author of the report, commented on findings related to mental well-being and happiness: “Findings concerning wellbeing, happiness and life satisfaction, particularly among older teenage girls are deeply troubling. While the impact of COVID-19 can be seen to exacerbate these challenges, it’s crucial to recognise that this trend existed pre-pandemic. This is now a longstanding issue requiring immediate attention and while further research is underway to understand these findings, interventions are imperative to reverse this concerning trajectory and to ensure the wellbeing of our youth.” Dr Andras Kolto, Senior Postdoctoral Researcher at the Health Promotion Research Centre at University of Galway, said: “The decline in condom use, and overall contraception use among adolescents is alarming. With only 48% reporting condom use at the last sexual intercourse, and a notable increase in those using no contraception, urgent action is needed to address Relationships and Sexuality Education in schools, to enhance education for young people and increase access to resources, such as sexual health services for our youth.” Professor Kelly emphasised the need for continued data collection: “This data is not merely numbers - it is the foundation upon which effective policy and society changes are built. Without robust data and thorough analysis, we cannot hope to enact meaningful improvements in the lives of children in Ireland. Our ambition remains clear: to collect data that informs evidence-based recommendations, driving positive policy changes that will enhance the well-being of future generations.” Ends

Wednesday, 1 May 2024

Marine Institute Research Vessel Celtic Explorer carries cargo of bronze replica famine shoes on symbolic journey to Canada    University of Galway has supported the Marine Institute in a transatlantic initiative to expand the Famine Way internationally.  Fifteen pairs of bronze replica famine shoes - which mark Ireland’s official Famine Heritage Trail from Strokestown, Co Roscommon to Dublin and symbolise the countless lives lost and forced migration of An Górta Mór/the Great Famine - are being carried on an historic journey to Canada aboard the Marine Institute’s Research Vessel Celtic Explorer.   The Marine Institute hosted a special ceremony on board the vessel at Galway Port ahead of the shoes being brought to St John’s, Newfoundland.  University of Galway Vice-President International Professor Becky Whay took part in the transatlantic crossing and events to launch the Global Famine Way.  Professor Whay said: “We are taking pairs of these shoes on the voyage across to St John’s and in doing so we are retracing the journey of so many Irish citizens who were forced to take a leap into the unknown in an effort to survive. For University of Galway, we are so thrilled to be involved in this project. The connections with Canada and deepening our relations with Canada are so important, and this is symbolic of that as well as the famine journey.”  A pair of bronze replica famine shoes will be installed in The Basilica Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in St John’s marking the first part of the expansion of the Famine Way.   The shoes were crafted by artist Alannah O'Kelly. They are based on a pair of shoes found in a disused 19th century thatched cottage and were originally placed on the path from Strokestown to Dublin to remember and symbolise the countless lives lost and the forced migration of Irish people during the Great Famine. The Famine Way will later be expanded further into Canada and the US, Liverpool and Australia, with the aim of raising awareness about its enduring impact on Ireland and Irish communities worldwide.  The Marine Institute partner with Strokestown House to bring the shoes to Canada aboard the RV Celtic Explorer.   Caroilín Callery of the National Famine Way, said: “We are delighted and grateful to partner with the Marine Institute to have the Bronze Shoes brought on this leg of their journey to Canada. It is symbolic and important to us that their voyage mirrors the journey of the famine emigrants they represent – following the path they took in 1847.”   Dr Rick Officer, chief executive of the Marine Institute, said: "We are honoured to bring the Bronze Famine Shoes to Canada aboard the RV Celtic Explorer. This journey represents a powerful symbol of solidarity and remembrance, highlighting the enduring legacy of the Great Irish Famine and its impact on Irish communities around the world. It is fitting that the bronze shoes, a poignant symbol of our past, are now being carried on a journey aboard Ireland’s state of the art research vessel connecting history with the promise of tomorrow.  The Atlantic crossing for the RV Celtic Explorer - Ireland’s largest national research vessel – will also lead to a research expedition and significant survey along the western Greenland shelf as part of the Biological Carbon Export in the Labrador Sea (BELAS) survey.   This international, collaborative, interdisciplinary survey is being led by Dr Brain Ward, University of Galway, with partners from Dalhousie University of Nova Scotia and Memorial University of Newfoundland. It is supported by Ship-time funding from the Marine Institute, the Canadian Research council, the Ocean frontiers Institute (Canada) as well as the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre in Applied Geosciences, based at University College Dublin (iCRAG)   Ends  

Wednesday, 1 May 2024

University of Galway has announced the appointment of Des Ryan as the new Director of Sport and Physical Wellbeing.  As Director of Sport and Physical Wellbeing Mr Ryan will play the lead role in the strategic management of sport and physical wellbeing in the University, including the development of infrastructure, facilities and participation for all sport activity.   President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “We are delighted to have someone with such a breadth of experience as Des Ryan to lead the development of sports and physical wellbeing at the University. From premier league soccer, to inter-provincial and world rugby, to gaelic games, and expertise in sports science, Des Ryan will bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and insight to the University. We are conscious of the relationship between academic performance, health and wellbeing, and we often look to our values of excellence, respect and openness when we think about the importance of sport and physical activity. I look forward to working with Des Ryan and colleagues in Spórt to ensure the broadening of opportunities and achievements of our students.”  Congratulating Des Ryan on his appointment, University of Galway’s Dean of Students, Professor Ciara Meehan, said: "We are very pleased to have someone with Des Ryan’s experience and background to lead and develop our reputation as a leading third level institution for sport. As an established sports manager Des Ryan combines a passion for sport and a commitment to inclusion and diversity with a promise to support our elite athletes and promote the health and wellbeing of all our students and staff. We look forward to ensuring that our strengths and successes in sport will continue to grow and prosper."  Speaking of his appointment, Des Ryan said: “I am delighted to be joining the University of Galway. I look forward to working with the whole student and staff community to develop a dual-aspirational plan to help increase the physical wellbeing of everyone in our University community and, secondly, to help people in the sporting community to be their best. I will work with all the students, staff and volunteers to help University of Galway be a healthy environment where everyone feels they belong and an environment where they can improve their physical wellbeing and sporting potential.  “I would love to speak to any graduates or people from the wider community who would be interested in volunteering or supporting the University Sporting and Physical Activity projects.”     Originally from Aughrim in Co. Galway, Mr Ryan is a leading youth coach and performance manager in sport and a world-renowned practitioner and speaker in the field of youth athletic development.   Prior to joining the University, he worked for Setanta College as Director of Coaching and Athletic Development; Arsenal Football Club Academy as Head of Sport Medicine and Athletic Development; Head of Strength and Conditioning at Connacht Rugby; and Strength and Conditioning Coach and Fitness Education Manager within the IRFU.  Over the years Des Ryan has presented at the UKSCA – the UK's Professional Body for Strength and Conditioning, the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) conferences, as well as many other conferences around the world. He also has worked as a consultant to World Rugby, Brentford FC and the National Cricket academy in India. Des works closely with the Gaelic Games community as a member of the Sports Science Working Group and also the Coaching Advisory Working Group.    Des Ryan has a Masters in Strength and Conditioning and is also an Accredited Strength and Conditioning coach with the UKSCA. He also has achieved the High Performance Sports Accreditation from the British Association of Sports and Exercise Science and is a chartered scientist.    University of Galway is home to 40 active sports clubs, which are student-led and organised, with more than 6,000 students participating in sport and physical activity at the University.  Ends

Wednesday, 1 May 2024

Tá sé fógartha ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe go bhfuil Des Ryan ceaptha ina Stiúrthóir nua Spóirt agus Folláine Coirp. Ina ról mar Stiúrthóir Spóirt agus Folláine Coirp, beidh Des Ryan i gceannas ar bhainistíocht straitéiseach cúrsaí spóirt agus folláine coirp san Ollscoil, lena n-áirítear forbairt bonneagair, áiseanna agus rannpháirtíochta in imeachtaí spóirt den uile chineál. Seo mar a labhair Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Cuireann sé lúcháir orainn duine mar Des Ryan, leis an taithí fhairsing atá aige, a bheith againn chun ceannaireacht a thabhairt ar fhorbairt cúrsaí spóirt agus folláine coirp san Ollscoil. Béarfaidh Des Ryan raidhse eolais, taithí agus léargas leis chuig an Ollscoil, gnóthaithe ó shacar an Premier League, ó rugbaí idir-chúige agus idirnáisiúnta, ó na cluichí Gaelacha agus ón saineolas atá aige ar an eolaíocht spóirt. Aithnímid an caidreamh atá idir feidhmíocht acadúil, sláinte agus folláine, agus cuimhnímid go minic ar ár mbunluachanna – barr feabhais, ómós agus oscailteacht – nuair a labhraímid ar thábhacht an spóirt agus na gníomhaíochta coirp.  Táim ag súil le bheith ag obair leis agus lena chomhghleacaithe spóirt chun cur leis na deiseanna a bhíonn ag ár mic léinn agus leis na héachtaí a bhaineann siad amach.” Agus í ag tréaslú le Des Ryan ar a cheapachán, dúirt Déan na Mac Léinn in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciara Meehan: “Táimid an-sásta duine mar Des Ryan, leis an taithí agus an cúlra atá aige, a bheith againn chun ár gcáil mar cheann de na hinstitiúidí tríú leibhéil is fearr ó thaobh an spóirt de a threisiú agus a fhorbairt. Bainisteoir aitheanta spóirt é Des Ryan a chuirfidh a phaisean don spórt agus a thiomantas don chuimsiú agus don éagsúlacht lena ghealltanas tacaíocht a thabhairt do na lúthchleasaithe is fearr agus sláinte agus folláine na mac léinn agus na gcomhaltaí foirne go léir a chur chun cinn. Táimid ag súil go mór lenár láidreachtaí agus éachtaí spóirt a threisiú i gcónaí." Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Des Ryan faoina cheapachán: “Tá áthas an domhain orm a bheith ag teacht go hOllscoil na Gaillimhe. Táim ag súil le bheith ag obair le pobal na hollscoile ar fad, idir mhic léinn agus chomhaltaí foirne, chun plean ardaidhmeannach le dhá sprioc ar leith a chur i dtoll a chéile: folláine coirp gach duine dár bpobal ollscoile a fheabhsú, agus cuidiú le pobal spóirt na hollscoile barr a gcumais a bhaint amach. Oibreoidh mé leis na mic léinn, na comhaltaí foirne agus na hoibrithe deonacha go léir chun timpeallacht fholláin a chothú in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, timpeallacht ina mbeidh gach duine ar a suaimhneas agus a ligeann dóibh a bhfolláine coirp agus a n-acmhainneacht spóirt a threisiú. “Ba bhreá liom labhairt le céimithe nó daoine eile sa phobal i gcoitinne a mbeadh spéis acu obair i bpáirt linn mar oibrithe deonacha nó tacú le tionscadail spóirt agus gníomhaíochta coirp na hOllscoile.”  As Eachroim i gCo. na Gaillimhe ó dhúchas dó, is cóitseálaí óige agus bainisteoir feidhmíochta den chéad scoth é Des Ryan, agus tá cáil dhomhanda air mar chainteoir agus mar chleachtóir i bhforbairt lúthchleasach na hóige. Sular tháinig sé ar fhoireann na hOllscoile, bhí sé ina Stiúrthóir Cóitseála agus Forbartha Lúthchleasaí le Setanta College; bhí sé ina Cheann Míochaine Spóirt agus Forbartha Lúthchleasaí le hAcadamh Chlub Peile Arsenal; bhí sé ina Cheann Nirt agus Aclaithe le foireann rugbaí Chonnacht; agus ina Chóitseálaí Nirt agus Aclaithe agus Bainisteoir ar Oiliúint Chorpacmhainne leis an IRFU. Thar na blianta, tá cuireadh faighte ag Des Ryan labhairt ag comhdháil UKSCA – Comhlacht Gairmiúil na Ríochta Aontaithe maidir le Neart agus Aclú – comhdháil Chumann Nirt agus Aclaithe na hAstráile (ASCA), comhdháil an Chumainn Náisiúnta Nirt agus Aclaithe (NSCA) agus go leor eile ar fud an domhain. Lena chois sin, bhí sé ina shainchomhairleoir do Rugbaí an Domhain, do Brentford FC agus don Acadamh Náisiúnta Cruicéid in India. Tá dlúthchaidreamh ag Des le pobal na gcluichí Gaelacha chomh maith, agus é ina bhall de Ghrúpa Oibre na hEolaíochta Spóirt agus den Ghrúpa Oibre Comhairleach don Chóitseáil.  Tá Máistreacht ag Des Ryan sa Neart agus Aclú, agus is Cóitseálaí Creidiúnaithe Nirt agus Aclaithe é le UKSCA. Ina theannta sin, tá Creidiúnú sa Spórt Ardfheidhmíochta aige ó Chumann Eolaíochta Spóirt agus Aclaíochta na Breataine, agus is eolaí cairte é freisin.  Tá breis is 40 club spóirt – iad uile faoi stiúir na mac léinn – gníomhach in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus glacann breis is 6,000 mac léinn páirt in imeachtaí spóirt agus gníomhaíochta coirp san Ollscoil. Críoch

Thursday, 27 June 2024

 States and maritime actors must take urgent and coordinated action to prevent trafficking in persons in the context of migration at sea, United Nations Special Rapporteur on trafficking Professor Siobhán Mullally has said.    Professor Siobhán Mullally is the Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at University of Galway and was appointed Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children by the UN Human Rights Council in July 2020.    In a report to the UN Human Rights Council, Professor Mullally said: “The States’ obligations to prevent trafficking in persons, to identify, assist and protect victims of trafficking, without discrimination, continue to apply at sea. The failure to fulfil these obligations increases risks of trafficking in persons, in particular child victims and other serious violations of international law, including potential violations of the principle of non-refoulement.”    The report is available here     Under international human rights law, the principle of non-refoulement guarantees that no one should be returned to a country where they would face torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and other irreparable harm. This principle applies to all migrants at all times, irrespective of migration status.    The Special Rapporteur report addresses the obligations to ensure accountability for trafficking in persons, and access to remedies for victims, recognising difficulties for victims in the context of mixed movements at sea.    Professor Mullally said: “In the midst of often contested jurisdiction and increasing criminalisation of irregular movements, international law, as it applies to protection at sea, sets out a comprehensive range of obligations for maritime actors, including states, non-state actors, commercial vessels and international and regional entities.”    The Special Rapporteur report reflects on the often politicised and punitive responses to mixed movements of refugees and migrants at sea, including restrictions on safe, regular migration; restricted access to asylum; ‘pushbacks’ risking refoulement; arrest and detention upon disembarkation; unjust punishment of victims for offences related to their migration status, and criminalisation of human rights defenders engaged in search and rescue operations. These responses force people to take more dangerous journeys and places them at higher risk of becoming victims of trafficking in persons.    The Special Rapporteur said that protecting victims of trafficking and persons at risk of trafficking must comply with international law, recognising trauma and serious harms.    Recommendations include mechanisms for screening and referral of victims of trafficking at places of disembarkation, providing access and referral pathways to specialised trauma-informed assistance and protection services, health services - including reproductive and sexual health services and psychosocial assistance - and safe accommodation for victims of trafficking.    All necessary measures should be taken to identify, assist and protect child victims of trafficking and children at risk of trafficking, in accordance with the principle of non-discrimination, ensuring the best interests of the child as a priority.    Professor Siobhán Mullally was appointed as Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children by the UN Human Rights Council in July 2020, to promote the prevention of trafficking in persons in all its forms, and to encourage measures to uphold and protect the human rights of victims. She is also the Established Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the School of Law, University of Galway. Prior to her appointment as Special Rapporteur, she was a member of the Council of Europe Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), elected as President of GRETA from 2016-2018 and as 1st Vice-President from 2014-2018.    The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.    Ends

Wednesday, 26 June 2024

Tá sé fógartha ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe go bhfuil an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh ag éirí as a ról mar Uachtarán. Chuir an tOllamh Ó hÓgartaigh an scéal in iúl d’Údarás na hOllscoile ag cruinniú maidin inniu. Fanfaidh an tUachtarán sa phost go dtí tús na bliana acadúla nua.    Dúirt Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Cathaoirleach Údarás na hOllscoile: “Thar ceann Údarás Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghabháil leis an Ollamh Ó hÓgartaigh as a chuid oibre, a chuid éachtaí agus a cheannaireacht agus guím gach rath air don todhchaí.“Stiúraigh an tOllamh Ó hÓgartaigh an Ollscoil seo trí dhúshláin nach bhfacthas cheana riamh aimsir na paindéime, le teann tuisceana agus comhbhá. Mhair sé agus d’oibrigh sé trí na luachanna meas, oscailteacht, barr feabhais agus inbhuanaitheacht. Chuir sé go mór leis an earnáil, go háirithe ó thaobh tacaíochtaí agus maoiniú do mhic léinn, agus tá sé ag fágáil anois agus seasamh láidir ag an Ollscoil don am atá le teacht.”             Dúirt an tOllamh Ó hÓgartaigh: "Tá sé socraithe agam éirí as mo ról mar Uachtarán ar Ollscoil na Gaillimhe chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar spéiseanna eile. “Tar éis machnamh a dhéanamh air seo go cúramach le scaitheamh, measaim gurb é seo an t-am ceart agus an Ollscoil ag forbairt straitéis nua do 2025-2030; beidh Údarás na hOllscoile nua againn go luath in 2025; agus táimid ag ullmhú don bhliain acadúil nua. “Ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghabháil as an tacaíocht agus as an gcineáltas a léiríodh dom le linn mo chuid ama anseo, agus guím gach rath ar ár gcuid mac léinn, alumni, taighdeoirí agus acadóirí agus ar an bhfoireann ghairmiúil a chinntíonn go bhfuil mo alma mater – an institiúid ar leith seo, an áit ar leith seo – i measc na n-ollscoilleanna is fearr san Eoraip agus ar domhan, ollscoil í seo gan aon teorainneacha. Tá ról lárnach ag ollscoileanna sa phobal. Bhí lorg láidir ag an oideachas ar Éirinn. Is tréimhse dhúshlánach é seo don earnáil agus athruithe suntasacha le feiceáil sa rialachas – athruithe a bhfuil fáilte rompu. Tá súil agam sa chomhthéacs seo go bhfeicfimid infheistíocht don chéad ghlúin eile ag teacht i gcrích.” Tá forbairt shuntasach tarlaithe le linn thréimhse an Ollaimh Uí Ógartaigh in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe i réimsí éagsúla, lena n-áirítear: Tá an ollscoil i measc an 100 ollscoil is fearr san Eoraip, rangaithe de réir QS, agus #1 in Éirinn; i measc na 5 ollscoil is fearr san AE; agus i measc an 50 ollscoil is fearr ar domhan as ár dtionchar ar na Spriocanna Forbartha Inbhuanaithe, mar atá rangaithe de réir Times Higher Education. Tá Gradam Cré-umha Athena Swan bainte amach faoi dhó as a chéile do chomhionannas inscne, agus tá gradam bainte amach ag 12 scoil, lena n-áirítear Gradam Airgid do Scoil na hInnealtóireachta. Tugadh Polasaí maidir le Foréigean Baile isteach chun tacú go rúnda leo siúd a fhulaingíonn foréigean baile; tugadh Polasaí maidir le Gníomhaíocht Dhearfach isteach chun tacú lenár dtiomantas do thimpeallacht oibre uilechuimsitheach a bheith againn do chách; agus tugadh tionscnamh an Toilithe* Ghníomhaigh isteach. Baineadh an t-ioncam taighde is airde riamh i stair na hollscoile amach in 2023, agus le cúig bliana anuas bhí ár n-ioncam taighde 40% níos airde ná mar a bhí sna cúig bliana roimhe sin. Tá obair tosaithe ar an Leabharlann agus Ionad Foghlama nua; tá dúbailt ar an méid lóistín do mhic léinn atá ar an gcampas; agus tá méadú 22% tagtha ar líon na mac léinn idirnáisiúnta. Táimid rangaithe ag IBEC i measc an 100 fostóir is fearr in Éirinn as ár gcuid oibre ar fholláine.   Nóta beathaisnéise Ceapadh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh ina thríú huachtarán déag ar Ollscoil na Gaillimhe i mí Eanáir 2018. Bhí sé ina Ollamh le Cuntasaíocht agus ina Dhéan ar Choláiste an Ghnó in COBÁC roimhe seo, áit a raibh sé i gceannas ar na scoileanna seo a leanas de chuid COBÁC: Scoil Ghnó Lochlann Quinn, Scoil Ghnó Iarchéime Michael Smurfit, agus Forbairt Feidhmeannach Smurfit. Bhí cláir COBÁC thar lear in Hong Cong, Singeapór agus Srí Lanca faoina stiúir freisin. Ba i Scoil Iognáid agus i gColáiste Iognáid i nGaillimh a fuair an tOllamh Ó hÓgartaigh a chuid scolaíochta, agus is céimí de chuid Ollscoil na Gaillimhe é, áit ar bhain sé amach céadonóracha agus an chéad áit ina rang. Chuaigh sé i mbun traenála mar Chuntasóir Cairte le Arthur Andersen agus bhain sé céim PhD sa Chuntasaíocht amach in Ollscoil Leeds. Tá iliomad saothar foilsithe aige i réimse na cuntasaíochta agus chaith sé tréimhse ag obair i bpoist acadúla in Ollscoil Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath, COBÁC agus in Ollscoil Victoria, in Wellington, an Nua-Shéalainn. Chaith sé tréimhse ar scoláireacht Fulbright in Ollscoil Northeastern (Bostún, SAM). Bhí sé ina Chathaoirleach ar an gCoiste Iniúchóireachta sa Roinn Cumarsáide, Mara agus Acmhainní Nádúrtha agus ina bhall de Choiste Iniúchóireachta na Roinne Airgeadais. Bhí sé ina Stiúrthóir Neamhspleách Neamhfheidhmiúcháin ar Avolon freisin, ceann de na cuideachtaí léasaithe eitleán is mó ar domhan áit a raibh sé ina chathaoirleach ar an gCoiste Iniúchta chomh maith. Bhí sé ina bhall de bhord neamhreachtúil an Ghrúpa Ospidéal Saolta agus ina Chathaoirleach ar Choiste Straitéise an Ghrúpa. Mar Uachtarán, tá cúram déanta aige dá réimsí taighde i gcónaí leis an gcion a rinne sé do stair chleachtas na cuntasaíochta airgeadais in The Routledge Companion to Accounting History (An Dara hEagrán, Bealtaine 2020). D’fhoilsigh sé freisin i réimse na ceannaireachta acadúla lena n-áirítear caibidil dar teideal ‘Of things being various’ in Thriving in Academic Leadership (2023). Tá sé ina bhall de Bhord Leabharlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann arna cheapadh ag an Aire Turasóireachta, Cultúir, Ealaíon, Gaeltachta, Spóirt agus Meán, agus ina bhall de Chomhairle na hInstitiúide Taighde Eacnamaíochta agus Sóisialta (ESRI). Tá sé ina chathaoirleach ar Choistí Iniúchóireachta agus Riosca an dá eagraíocht. Críoch

Wednesday, 26 June 2024

University of Galway has announced that Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh is to step down from his role as President. Professor Ó hÓgartaigh notified Údarás na hOllscoile – the University’s Governing Authority at its scheduled meeting this morning. The outgoing President will remain in the post until the start of the new academic year.   Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Chair of the University’s Governing Authority, said: “On behalf of the University of Galway Governing Authority, I would like to thank Professor Ó hÓgartaigh for his work, his achievements and his leadership and wish him the best for the future. “Professor Ó hÓgartaigh steered this University through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, with a considerate and caring approach. He has lived and worked through the values of respect, openness, excellence and sustainability. He has been a strong advocate for the sector, in particular for student supports and funding, and he departs at a time when the University is positioned strongly for the future.” Professor Ó hÓgartaigh said: “I have decided to step down from my role as President of Ollscoil na Gaillimhe/University of Galway to pursue other interests. “After long and careful consideration, I have concluded that this is the right time as our University is developing a new strategy for 2025-2030; we will have a new Governing Authority in early 2025; and we are preparing for a new academic year. “I want to express thanks for the support and kindness given to me in my time here, and I wish continued success to our students, alumni, researchers and academics and the professional staff who keep my alma mater - this distinct institution, of this place and from this place - among the best in Europe and the world, a university with no gates. Universities play a profound role in society. Education has had a transformative influence on Ireland. It is a challenging time for the sector with significant and welcome changes to be seen in governance. I hope in this context that we see the vision of investment for the next generation come to fruition.” Professor Ó hÓgartaigh’s tenure at University of Galway has been marked with significant development in a number of areas, including: A top 100 university in Europe, as ranked by QS, and #1 in Ireland; top 5 in the EU; and top 50 in the world for our impact on the Sustainable Development Goals, as ranked by Times Higher Education. Securing a Bronze Athena Swan award twice in a row for gender equality, as well as 12 schools receiving awards, including a Silver for the School of Engineering. The introduction of a Domestic Violence Policy to confidentially support those who suffer domestic violence; a Positive Action policy to support our commitment to having an inclusive working environment for all; and the Active* Consent initiative. Securing the highest research income in the history of the university in 2023, and in the last five years our research income was 40% higher than in the five years prior to that. Commencing development of a new Library and Learning Commons; a doubling of on-campus student accommodation; and a 22% growth in international student numbers. Being ranked by IBEC in the Top100 employers in Ireland for our work on wellbeing. Bio Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh became the 13th president of Ollscoil na Gaillimhe - University of Galway in January 2018. Previously, he was Professor of Accounting and Dean of Business at UCD, leading its schools in Dublin (UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and UCD Smurfit Executive Development) and its overseas programmes in Hong Kong, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Having attended Scoil Iognáid and Coláiste Iognáid in Galway, Professor Ó hÓgartaigh was awarded a first class honours, first in class graduate, at what was then University College Galway. He trained as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen and has a PhD in Accounting from the University of Leeds. He has been published widely in the accounting field and has previously held academic positions at Dublin City University, UCD and Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. A former Fulbright scholar at Northeastern University (Boston, USA), he has served as Audit Committee Chair at the then Department of Marine, Communications and Natural Resources and as a member of the Audit Committee at the Department of Finance. He has also served as an Independent Non-Executive Director of Avolon, one of the world’s largest aircraft leasing companies where he also chaired its Audit Committee. He was a member of the non-statutory board of the Saolta Hospital Group and Chair of its Strategy Committee. As President, he has maintained his research interests with his contribution on the history of financial accounting practice in The Routledge Companion to Accounting History (2nd Edition, May 2020). He has also published on academic leadership including a chapter ‘Of things being various’ in Thriving in Academic Leadership (2023). He is a board member of the National Library of Ireland on the appointment of the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, and a member of the Council of the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). He chairs the Audit & Risk Committees of both. Ends

Tuesday, 25 June 2024

 IdeasLab, the entrepreneurial and innovation hub at University of Galway, has announced the winners of its student entrepreneur Start100 competition.    Damien Delaney, a first-year Psychology student from Birr, Co Offaly and the owner of Hology Photography secured the top prize and a €5,000 award for his visual-based app called FocusZen which enables individuals to use photography as a form of meditation and a way of enhancing their wellbeing.    Final year Bachelor of Commerce student David Garvey from Glenamaddy, Co Galway, received the One to Watch award and a prize fund of €1,000 for Arclo, an innovative clothing brand bringing t-shirts to life using augmented reality technology.     Most Engaging Pitch went to Claudine Mulihano, a first-year Podiatric Medicine student from Dundalk, Co Louth, and her idea StepWise, a smart insole designed to tackle the foot condition plantar fasciitis using Bluetooth technology to transmit real-time biomechanics data to healthcare practitioners.    Alongside the three main prize winners, one of the Start100 judging panel, Paul Merriman, chief executive of Fairstone, pledged to give student Emily Donellan from Maree, Co Galway €2,000 in funding for her podcast Start Right, a by-student, for-student podcast that offers tailored advice and guidance to young people transitioning from secondary school to college.    Start100 offers students an intensive six-week programme, where ten teams refine their business model and present at a special showcase, bringing their innovative business ideas to a panel of judges from the worlds of academia, research, and enterprise.     The competitions is designed to empower early-stage student startups. During the process the teams are introduced to speakers from different industries, experts in entrepreneurial development both regionally and nationally, and Start100 alumni who have successfully started their own businesses.    Each team is matched with a mentor in a relevant field, ensuring they receive the advice and the support they need to take their idea to the next level.     Professor Peter McHugh, University of Galway’s Deputy President and Registrar, said: “University of Galway plays an important role in nurturing innovation and growth within our region and beyond. Start100 is an example of how the connections we foster with industry cultivate innovative leadership skills in our students, and provides them with the space and supports to develop ideas with the potential for broader societal impact.”    Méabh Conaghan, Regional Director for the West and North-West Regions, Enterprise Ireland, said: "Programmes that encourage and support student entrepreneurship at all levels are crucial to a vibrant start-up ecosystem. The Start100 series of incubation supports is to be applauded as it helps students to explore, develop and validate their ideas in a structured and safe environment. Enterprise Ireland West region is delighted to collaborate with Ollscoil na Gaillimhe and its IdeasLab team on Start100 2024. Enterprise Ireland warmly welcomes Start100, recognizing it as an avenue for future enterprise success and is happy to support this worthwhile initiative."    Throughout the programme students visited CREW, ComWorks in Loughrea, Platfrom 94 and the Portershed and had guest speakers from Enterprise Ireland, Westbic, the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) and Start100 alumni. They were given workshops on intellectual property, tax, presentation skills and more, and speakers from successful enterprises such as Mbryonics and Tribe Hospitality.    The judging panel for the final event were Dr Helen McBreen, Partner Atlantic Bridge; Paul Merriman, CEO Fairstone; Méabh Conaghan, Regional Director for the West and North-West Regions, Enterprise Ireland; and John Brennan, CEO WestBic, and the prize fund sponsored by AskPaul for the second year in a row.    Dr Natalie Walsh, Director of Entrepreneurial Development at University of Galway, said: "Start100 is more than a programme it is a bridge that connects our student entrepreneurs with our vibrant regional ecosystem and beyond. By fostering these connections, we empower our students to leverage the wealth of knowledge, expertise, and resources available right here in our region. The collaboration with local industry leaders, visits to innovation hubs, and insights from successful Start100 alumni, all contribute to a rich network of supports that helps our young entrepreneurs turn their innovative ideas into viable businesses with global impact.”    Ends   

Monday, 24 June 2024

J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at University of Galway has announced the significant milestone of a 100th Study Abroad partnership.   Students on the B Comm (Global Experience) programme will be able to apply for an opportunity to learn at the Venice School of Management, part of the renowned Ca’Foscari University of Venice.   The Study Abroad partnerships now run in 22 destinations around the world, including 15 European locations, as well as the US, Australia, Canada, China and Hong Kong, Japan and Korea.   Dr Murray Scott, Vice Dean of Internationalisation for the College of Business, Public Policy and Law at University of Galway, said: "We are thrilled to welcome Venice School of Management as our 100th study abroad partner. This milestone is a testament to our ongoing dedication to broadening the horizons of our students, providing them with unique opportunities to immerse themselves in different cultures and business environments. Our excellent network of global partnerships spanning Australia, Asia, Europe and North America are instrumental in shaping our students into well-rounded, globally-minded business leaders."   Professor Alma McCarthy, Dean of J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, said: "Reaching this milestone of 100 study abroad partners is a remarkable achievement for our School. The partnership reflects our commitment to providing a world-class education that prepares our students to succeed in a global marketplace. The addition of Venice School of Management will provide our students with yet another opportunity to learn and grow in a unique cultural and academic environment - not only enhancing their academic journey but also providing them with a deeper understanding of European business practices and cultural landscape.”   Over the past seven years since the launch of the B Comm (Global Experience), more than 800 students have experienced the benefits of two key components of the degree programme: a semester of study at one of the University’s global partner institutions and a work placement offering hands-on experience in a real-world business setting.   Venice School of Management is EQUIS accredited and noted for its strong emphasis on research, innovation and global business strategies.   Ends  

Tuesday, 18 June 2024

University of Galway’s School of Law has won Law School of the Year at the Dye and Durham Irish Law Awards 2024 - the second time it has won the prestigious accolade.   This award recognises University of Galway School of Law’s academic excellence and innovative teaching methods along with its commitment to provide high quality student support and engagement.   Dean of University of Galway School of Law, Professor Martin Hogg, said: “I’m thrilled at this public recognition of all the hard work that colleagues consistently put in to make our law school such a great place to work and study. It’s testimony also to the quality of our students, who are a pleasure to teach and who go on as alumni to give us a real sense of pride as they establish themselves in the world.”   University of Galway’s School of Law was previously named Law School of the Year in 2019. In addition to taking home the top award, the School had a number of staff and students who were finalists across three different categories at the Dye and Durham Irish Law Awards 2024.   Five students made the final shortlist for Law Student of the Year: Katie Cunningham, Law (BCL) and Business; Diarmuid Kilgallen, Law (BCL); Fiachra McInerney, Law (BCL) and Human Rights; Tom O'Connor, Law (BCL) and Human Rights; and Eric Ehigie, Law (BCL) and Business.   Three staff members made the final shortlist for Legal Educator of the Year: Deirdre Callanan, Dr Conor Hanly and Dr Brian Tobin, while Dr Andrew Forde was nominated for Law Book of the Year for his book European Human Rights Grey Zones: The Council of Europe and Areas of Conflict.   University of Galway School of Law is ranked in the top 150 Law Schools in the world, according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024. It is also internationally recognised for its research-led work in other areas, including the renowned Irish Centre for Human Rights, the Centre for Disability Law and Policy and Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy.   Ends

Tuesday, 18 June 2024

University of Galway-hosted centre celebrates 10 years of significant economic impact for Ireland   Benefits to the medtech sector include collaborative projects with 47 innovative companies and 2,547 jobs supported    CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research centre for medical devices based at the University of Galway, today launched an economic report that puts its value to the Irish economy at €756 million, building on 10 years of public investment.  CÚRAM was established in 2015 with an initial commitment of Government investment of €64.8 million through Science Foundation Ireland.  Economic impact analysis carried out by Mazars shows that investment in CÚRAM, to the end of 2023, has led to direct spending of €210 million in the Irish economy and the generation of a further €546 million in economic activity in Ireland - putting its economic value at €756 million and a more than 10-fold return on government funding.   CÚRAM has helped to expand Ireland’s attractiveness as a global hub for the medtech sector - one of only a handful of locations in the world - by establishing partnerships and by fully funding or co-funding collaborative projects with 47 innovative companies in the sector.  Investment in CÚRAM has also supported a total of 2,547 jobs in the Irish economy.   In addition, more than €80 million of EU grant funding has been committed to research projects at CÚRAM.  Welcoming the report, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Patrick O’Donovan, T.D., said: “I congratulate CÚRAM for its significant impact on the Irish economy and society. This report demonstrates the importance of the Government’s policy of continuing to invest in research and innovation and supporting excellence and scale through the world-leading SFI Research Centre Network, in areas of strategic national importance.    "CÚRAM provides innovative solutions for industry and society, which enable better quality of life for patients. As our population ages, this is helping us to create a better tomorrow for all citizens.”  Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of University of Galway, said: “I would like to congratulate CÚRAM as they mark ten impactful years of research. The centre epitomises what it means to be for the public good. The real value of CÚRAM remains its people and its key strength lies in building collaborations and networks that generate impactful research.”  Dr Siobhan Roche, Director of Science for the Economy at Science Foundation Ireland, joined in the celebration of the Centre’s success, said: “CÚRAM has a strong track record of generating high quality research and training the next generation of medical device researchers. The Centre’s deep commitment to education and public engagement is not only inspiring younger generations to pursue a career in STEM but is also promoting new approaches in the management of chronic illness. Amplifying its impact, CÚRAM has attracted over €225.7 million in additional investment from industry and EU sources, further highlighting the value of publicly funded research to the Irish taxpayer.”    CÚRAM Director, Professor Abhay Pandit, said: “Addressing chronic disease to support healthy aging is one of the most pressing public health and economic challenges of our time. Our research programme is developing solutions to help us all live well as we age, with conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and neurological disorders.”  CÚRAM has a further three years of operation left in its current Government funding period to build even further on its impact. By connecting the patient voice with the combined expertise and technologies of Ireland’s leading scientists, clinicians and engineers from 10 universities, alongside international industry partners, the Centre ensures that its research is shaped and guided by the invaluable perspectives of people with lived experience of chronic illness.   Dr Eoghan Ó Faoláin, Director of Irish MedTech: “Ireland is one of the top employers of MedTech professionals in Europe and it is in no small part due to our rich talent pool of third level graduates and dynamic supports for upskilling. By fostering collaboration between higher education and MedTech industry, CÚRAM’s training programmes equip the workforce with the skills most in demand now and into the future. These programmes are an incredibly valuable component of Ireland’s drive to develop the diverse and best in class talent needed to support the future success and competitiveness of the global MedTech hub in Ireland.”  Ends 

Monday, 17 June 2024

University of Galway Professor Pat Dolan has been presented with the Medal of the Maria Grzegorzewska University in Warsaw for life-long work and achievements in the field of children’s rights.    The event coincided with the 11th biennial UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre conference.    Professor Dolan’s extensive body of work is highly relevant to the lived lives of children, youth and families in particular those experiencing social exclusion, adversity and mental health challenges. He has pioneered youth research by placing young people at the heart of his work and also by promoting a fresh outlook on the importance of empathy in education.     The UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre was established at University of Galway in 2007 by Professor Pat Dolan and Professor John Canavan, and the following year the UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement was awarded.     For more than 10 years, Professor Dolan has worked with Oscar-winning actor Cillian Murphy, who won this year’s Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of the eponymous father of the atomic bomb in the movie Oppenheimer.    In 2022, Ionbhá: The Empathy Book of Ireland, edited by Cillian Murphy, Professor Pat Dolan, Gillian Browne and Professor Mark Brennan, was published, featuring dozens of reflections on empathy from a wide variety of contributors in different walks of life including President Michael D Higgins, jockey Rachael Blackmore and Mary Coughlan, among many other well-known names.      The honour of the Medal of the Maria Grzegorzewska University in Warsaw was bestowed on Professor Dolan as part of celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the UNESCO Janusz Korczak Chair at the university in Poland – named in memory of the Polish-Jewish paediatrician, educator, author and children’s rights advocate who is believed to have perished in a Nazi death camp with almost 200 children from his orphanage.    The presentation was attended by Professor Dolan’s wife Mary and family, as well as Professor Anna Odrowaz-Coates, Chairholder of the UNESCO Janusz Korczak Chair and Vice-rector at the Maria Grzegorzewska University, and Professor Mark Brennan, UNESCO Chair on Global Citizenship Education for Sustainable Peace through Youth and Community Engagement at Pennsylvania State University, and colleagues from the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre.     University of Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “Professor Pat Dolan’s pioneering approach to research and working with young people - for their benefit - epitomises the spirit of our outlook at University of Galway and being here for the public good. Pat has made a strong and sustained contribution to children’s rights through his work as UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement and his associated work in teaching and research over a long career as well as in his support for other UNESCO Chairs around the world and I am delighted to see that he is being recognised with such a poignant honour from the Maria Grzegorzewska University.”    Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion and Government Chief Whip Hildegarde Naughton T.D. said: “Pat Dolan has been hugely instrumental in supporting policy development in education, particularly for young people. He is someone who I have worked and admire for his work in in relation to empathy and its inclusion in the school curriculum. Thanks to his research with and for young people, Pat knows that works and as policymakers that’s what we look to when we introduce legislation - we want to know it is going to have an impact. I want to thank Pat and congratulate him and the team at the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre for all the work that they have done.”    Professor John Canavan, Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at University of Galway, said: “The award of the Maria Grzegorzewska University medal to Professor Dolan brings great honour to University of Galway and the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre and reflects his immense contribution to the improving the lives of children in Ireland and globally. The timing of the presentation of the award is also perfect as 200 delegates gathered on campus at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society to reflect how to challenge inequality and discrimination in their day-to-day practice.”     Ends    

Friday, 14 June 2024

Partnership framework creates opportunity to jointly foster education, research and innovation for food systems transformations for zero hunger & climate resilient food systems    University of Galway has announced a partnership with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation to combat hunger and malnutrition.   Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation Qu Dongyu visited the University for the formal signing of the letter of intent with Deputy President and Registrar of Professor Peter McHugh.   The partnership provides the framework for University of Galway to partner more closely with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation on collaborative research, education, innovation and international development activities to support the 2030 Agenda and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by enabling transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems for better production, nutrition, environment and life.   Deputy President and Registrar Professor Peter McHugh said: “The signing of a letter of intent with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation is a strong symbol of our commitment both in relation to the SDGs but also our work for the public good in line with our values of respect and sustainability. We are now provided with the framework for our University and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation to pursue a vision of a world free from hunger and malnutrition, where food and agriculture contribute to improving the living standards of all, especially the poorest, in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner.”   Professor Charles Spillane, from the Ryan Institute at University of Galway who led engagement with the UN FAO, said: “Over the past decade, University of Galway has been working with FAO on a wide range of topics across its divisions and units, especially in relation to climate change, agriculture, food systems and food security. For instance, we have been engaging with FAO on policy processes, such as climate-resilient food systems transformation; research projects such as the EcoFoodSystems project; and through joint research projects with our Masters programmes on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security. Our university looks forward to further deepening of our interdisciplinary partnership activities in support of FAO's mandate and mission over the years ahead.”   Dr Qu served as China’s Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and also as Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, before being elected as the ninth Director-General of the FAO since its foundation in 1945.   On the visit to the University, Dr Qu also met Vice-President International Professor Becky Whay and Professor Frances Fahy, incoming Director of the Ryan Institute, along with academics who lead research groups within the Ryan Institute’s Agriculture, Food Systems and Bioeconomy Research Centre and took part in a Q&A with our agrifood systems postdoctoral researchers, research assistants, PhD and masters students from around the world.   Ends  

Friday, 14 June 2024

An academic of political science at University of Galway and a music teacher alumna have received prestigious Fulbright Awards to take up scholarships in the United States.    Professor Niall Ó Dochartaigh, Professor of Political Science and Director of the MA in Public Policy at University of Galway, will be based at New York University’s Glucksman Ireland House where he will carry out research on the peacemaking efforts in US civil society during the Troubles. Professor Ó Dochartaigh will examine the diverse social, political and cultural factors that shaped transatlantic civil society engagement during the conflict.    Áine Humphreys is an Irish and Music secondary school teacher and graduate of An Máistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. She graduated with first-class honours and under her Fulbright award she will teach Irish at the University of Montana as a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship Awardee.    The recipients are among 21 awardees who were presented with their awards at a ceremony in Iveagh House, Dublin.     The Fulbright Programme in Ireland was established in 1957 and each year grants are awarded for Irish citizens to study, research, or teach in the US and for American citizens to do the same in Ireland.                Professor Becky Whay, Vice-President International at University of Galway, said: “The tradition of Fulbright is one which builds on the unique bonds between Ireland and the US, and allows us to deepen our transatlantic academic and cultural links.    “University of Galway is delighted to see Professor Ó Dochartaigh secure the scholarship award and bring his wealth of insight and knowledge to bear on our understanding of US-Ireland relations and we are also proud to see such a talented alumna as Áine Humphreys bring a rich variety of culture and music tradition to a new audience in the US.”    The University of Galway Fulbright Irish Awardees for 2024-2025 include:    Fulbright Scholar  Professor Niall Ó Dochartaigh’s publications include Civil Rights to Armalites: Derry and the birth of the Irish Troubles and the co-edited books Political Violence in Context and Dynamics of Political Change in Ireland. His most recent book, Deniable Contact: Back-channel Negotiation in Northern Ireland, relays the role of Derry businessman Brendan Duddy and his engagements with republicans and the British over many years as part of efforts to secure an end to the conflict. The book was awarded the Brian Farrell book prize of the Political Studies Association of Ireland and was shortlisted for the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Literary Prize. The Duddy archive is held in University of Galway Library.    Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant  Áine Humphreys is a native of Co Limerick where she works as a music teacher with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. Áine undertook a BA Music and Irish degree in University College Cork, where she was awarded scholarships to Gaeltacht Chorca Dhuibhne and was an active member of the Irish Traditional Music Society. She works as a Radio Presenter for Raidió RíRá and an Irish Translator with Star Translation Services. Áine fosters a love for the Irish language and culture amongst her students inside and outside the classroom.    The Fulbright Irish Awards will open on August 29th, 2024. Interested candidates should visit www.fulbright.ie for more information.     Ends 

Thursday, 13 June 2024

Bronnadh céimeanna ar bhreis is 360 mac léinn fochéime, máistreachta agus PhD in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe inniu, á gcur leis an mbreis is 133,000 alumni atá ar fud an domhain.   Ina measc siúd a bhí ag ceiliúradh bhronnadh an tsamhraidh, bhí beagnach 80 duine ar bronnadh Dochtúireacht i bhFealsúnacht (PhD) orthu.   Ar an ngrúpa mac léinn is mó a bhí i láthair bronnadh Baitsiléir Onóracha sa Leigheas, Baitsiléir sa Mháinliacht agus Baitsiléir sa Chnáimhseachas (MB, BCh, BAO) ar bhreis is 166 dochtúir.  Le linn an tsearmanais, bhronn Ollscoil na Gaillimhe 14 Bhonn don Bhliain Deiridh Leighis ar naonúr céimithe, agus cúig cinn díobh siúd ag dul don Dr Margaret Mary Glazier as Michigan, SAM as a sárfheidhmíocht acadúil. Bronntar na boinn seo mar chuid den traidisiún ina dtugtar aitheantas d’fheabhas acadúil na gcéimithe i gColáiste an Leighis, an Altranais & na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte.  Bronnadh dámhachtain speisialta amháin as taighde forleathan le linn cheiliúradh na bliana seo – bronnadh Céim Dhochtúireachta le hEolaíocht (DSc) as Saothar Foilsithe ó Ollscoil na hÉireann ar an Ollamh Michael Kerin as a chuid taighde ar ailse chíche.   Tá an tOllamh Kerin ina Ollamh le Máinliacht, tá sé ina Stiúrthóir Cliniciúil ar an nGréasán Acadúil i dtaca le hAilse atá faoi stiúir Saolta, agus tá sé ina Leas-Uachtarán ar Choláiste Ríoga na Máinlia in Éirinn.    Mar mháinlia comhairleach, tá spéis ar leith ag an Ollamh Kerin i máinliacht ailse cíche agus inchríneach. Tá sé i gceannas ar chlár mór taighde ar ailse chíche in Institiúid Lambe don Taighde Aistritheach in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, agus tá sé ina Stiúrthóir Taighde ar an Institiúid Náisiúnta don Taighde ar Ailse Chíche. Lena chois sin, tá an tOllamh Kerin ina chomhthaighdeoir ar go leor tionscnaimh thaighde eile ar ailse, lena n-áirítear Precision Oncology Ireland agus Institiúid Taighde Uile-Oileáin ar Ailse (AICRI). Tá a ainm le breis is 450 páipéar piarmheasúnaithe agus le 25,000 lua, agus tugadh meantóireacht do bhreis is 50 mac léinn MD agus PhD a chuaigh tríd an gclár taighde ar ailse chíche.   Seo mar a labhair Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Thar ceann phobal iomlán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, tréaslaím le gach duine dár gcéimithe. Leagann an Ollscoil béim ar leith ar ár luachanna, mar atá meas, oscailteacht, barr feabhais agus inbhuanaitheacht, agus tá sé ríthábhachtach go gcothaímid muintearas i measc ár mac léinn chun cur lena dtaithí acadúil agus chun pobal a chruthú inar féidir le gach duine barr a gcumais a bhaint amach. Molaim obair chrua, díograis agus buanseasmhacht ár gcéimithe go léir, agus guím gach rath orthu sa saol gairmiúil atá amach rompu.  “Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas ó chroí a ghabháil leis an Ollamh Michael Kerin chomh maith. Is teist iontach é an DSc seo air mar dhuine agus ar a chuid taighde san Ollscoil seo thar na blianta, agus tugann sé aitheantas don chion céadach atá déanta aige i ndáil le hailse chíche.”  Críoch    

Thursday, 13 June 2024

Over 360 degree, masters and PhD students graduated from University of Galway today, joining more than 133,000 alumni worldwide.     Among all of those at the summer conferring celebrations, almost 80 were conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).   The largest cohort of students to graduate were the 166 doctors who received their Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) degree.    During the conferring ceremony, University of Galway presented 14 Final Medical Medals to 9 graduates, with Dr Margaret Mary Glazier from Michigan, USA receiving 5 medals for her outstanding academic performance as part of the tradition of presentation to graduates of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences recognising academic excellence.    One special award was conferred at this year’s celebrations in recognition of extensive research - Professor Michael Kerin was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) from the National University of Ireland for his published work in breast cancer research.     Professor Kerin is the Chair of Surgery, Clinical Director of the Saolta Managed Cancer Academic Network and Vice-President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.     As a consultant surgeon, Professor Kerin has a special interest in breast cancer and endocrine surgery. He leads a large breast cancer research programme at the Lambe Institute for Translational Science at University of Galway and is the Research Director of the National Breast Cancer Research Institute. Professor Kerin is also co-investigator on numerous other cancer research initiatives including Precision Oncology Ireland and the All-Island Cancer Research Institute (AICRI). He has more than 450 peer reviewed papers and 25,000 citations, and more than 50 MD and PhD students have come through and been mentored as part of the breast cancer research programme.    President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “On behalf of the entire community of University of Galway, I congratulate every one of our graduates. The University places great emphasis on our values of respect, openness, excellence and sustainability, and it is so important that we create a sense of belonging for our students to enrich their academic experience and create a community where everyone can thrive. I commend each of our new graduates on their hard work, commitment and perseverance, and wish them every success in their future careers.    “I would also like to extend my warmest congratulations to Professor Michael Kerin. Being awarded the DSc is a wonderful testament to him and his research at the University over many decades, and an acknowledgment of the impact of his outstanding contribution to the field of breast cancer.”    Ends 

Wednesday, 12 June 2024

University of Galway has been named the number one university in Ireland for sustainable development for the third year in a row. The accolade has been awarded by Times Higher Education Impact rankings in recognition of the University’s progress in responding to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The rakings also places University of Galway in the world’s top 50 and recognised globally for significant contribution to progress on 11 of the 17 UN SDGs. This includes a world ranking of number 10 for Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12) and top 100 status for 6 of the 17 SDGs. President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “University of Galway being ranked again this year in the top 50 among the universities of the world is a huge achievement. It is also a remarkable recognition to be embedded as the number one, the leading university in Ireland, and in the top 5 in the EU, for the work and progress we have made on our core value of sustainability. “Huge credit goes to staff across our university for making this happen, in our teaching and learning, in our research and in our day-to-day operations. Equally, credit is due to our students who put sustainability to the forefront of our agenda as we developed our 2020-2025 strategy Shared Vision, Shaped by Values. This has happened because of the energy, passion, and enthusiasm of our empowered university community. “Sustainability and climate action are the urgencies of this moment. At this time and from this place, University of Galway is glad to lead, for the public good.” The 2024 edition of Times Higher Education’s Impact Rankings ranks the University 47th out of 1,963 institutions across the world, and in the top 5 in the EU. Assessments for THE Impact rankings are based on submissions from universities around the world in line with the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The report is a measure of the extent to which institutions are having a positive social and economic impact on the planet; from climate action and gender equality, to good health and well-being. Professor Peter McHugh, Deputy President and Registrar and Chair of the University Sustainability Advisory Board, said: “A huge congratulations to the team involved in bringing the University to where we are today. Through our community and university sustainability partnership, we are co-creating a more sustainable campus and embedding sustainability in all aspects of learning and research, culture, operations and governance. We have recently established a Sustainability Office to bolster these efforts and to empower the University’s diverse communities of staff, students and partners. “Today’s ranking follows the University’s success at the 2024 Education Awards in April, where we secured the top prize for Excellence in Sustainability. We are also very proud to be the first university to be designated a national Sustainable Development Goals Champion, recognising our leading role in achieving the SDGs. I would encourage visitors to take a walk along our SDG Trail and Biodiversity Trail to see first-hand how we have developed the campus as a living lab for the SDGs.” Dr Richard Manton, Director of Sustainability, said: “Looking to the future, our vision is that every student graduating from University of Galway will have confronted diverse aspects of sustainability and the UN SDGs in their degrees. We will continue to enhance the biodiversity of our campus and we will move ambitiously towards carbon neutrality. As recognised in SDG 17, partnership for the goals, we will only achieve our sustainability objectives by working closely with our partners in our city and region.” University of Galway is making significant progress on its sustainability ambitions:  Researchers have developed a global reputation for medtech, marine and environmental research, sustainable energy solutions, data analytics, culture, and creativity, all having an important role to play in the implementation of the SDGs. Lecturers are embedding sustainability across the curriculum and the University has developed a new tracking tool to determine the SDG content of our courses. University of Galway campus and buildings are testbeds for positive sustainable actions. Since 2006, the University has exceeded targets by decreasing its energy usage across campus by 50%. We have rolled out Solar PV panel across campus buildings and completed a demonstrator geothermal heat pump project to heat the swimming pool in the Sports Centre.   The University’s Park and Ride system is powered by electric buses and a network of internal and external drinking water fountain have been installed campus wide. University of Galway is home to the first lab in Europe to awarded Green Lab certification and all the labs in the Alice Perry Engineering Building are now certified as green. Our campus is one of the most biodiverse in Ireland: we hold An Taisce Green Campus Flag. We have introduced new wildflower enhancement schemes, bird boxes, bat boxes, insect hotels, beehives, a pollinator friendly pesticide code and a log tree hive. Ends

Monday, 10 June 2024

University of Galway has announced that renowned Irish singer Mary Coughlan will be the special guest at the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre conference. The 11th biennial international conference entitled ‘Promoting Equality Through Family Support’ takes place on campus on Thursday and Friday, June 13th and 14th, to examine how social exclusion, discrimination, poverty, migration, displacement and the accompanying trauma can impact parenting and family life. The critical role family support can play in contributing to the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by confronting inequality and exclusion will also be discussed. Mary Coughlan will offer her own perspective on the conference themes, interweaving three songs into her special guest speaker slot. The UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre was established at University of Galway in 2007 by Professor Pat Dolan and Professor John Canavan, and the following year the UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement was awarded. Professor Dolan will be honoured this week with the formal presentation of the Medal of the Maria Grzegorzewska University in Warsaw for life-long achievements in the field of children’s rights. Professor John Canavan, Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at University of Galway, said: “The award of the Maria Grzegorzewska University medal to Professor Dolan brings great honour to University of Galway and the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre and reflects his immense contribution to the improving the lives of children in Ireland and globally. The timing of the award is perfect as 200 delegates gather on campus at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society to reflect how to challenge inequality and discrimination in their day-to-day practice. It is a great privilege to have the renowned singer Mary Coughlan with us to reflect on those themes.” Mary Coughlan said: “I am going to explore in words, and some songs, the way I felt when I was younger, and my experience around trauma and the way I was treated, and contrast that with children and teenagers experiences in 2024.” Born in Shantalla in Galway City, Mary Coughlan has made some of the most uncompromising, wholly personal, and universal music by any Irish artist. In May of this year, she released new music ‘More like Brigid’, a homage to Brigid of Kildare who was a pagan and a healer before she was canonized by the Catholic Church. Ends

Monday, 10 June 2024

University of Galway has announced its annual information evening for adult learners, with scores of opportunities for professionals, the unemployed and those returning to work to take short courses and longer-term studies. The Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development hosts the annual event on campus on Thursday June 20, 2024, from 5.30-7.30pm, in the Human Biology Building. The part-time courses for 2024/25 include fully-funded Springboard+ and Human Capital Initiative courses for the unemployed and returners, and 90% funding for those in work but seeking to upskill. New this year are micro-credentials courses with special subsidies worth 50-80% of fees for courses addressing skills in key priority areas, including renewable energy, sustainability, construction and planning, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, ICT, and electronic engineering. This event creates an opportunity for would-be students to meet representatives from our part-time courses, including in the area of Business and Management, Science and Technology, Languages, Arts and Humanities, Community Education, and pre-university courses.             Nuala McGuinn, Director at the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development at University of Galway, said: “We have created flexible learning pathways from micro-credential to masters for learners seeking a short, accredited module or a longer-term course. This event allows would-be students to meet representatives from our part-time courses to learn more about the benefits of newly funded and flexible learning opportunities, while also getting a chance to hear from our graduates and students on how to maintain a healthy work-life-study balance.” Over the course of the evening prospective students will have an opportunity to join talks exploring part-time courses and micro-credentials, understanding NFQ Levels, and grasping the Recognition of Prior Learning process and how it can support eligibility for study. Students will get expert tips from our Multimedia Content Developer on online learning and the Career Development team will share advice and resources to support you in your next step. Springboard+ approved courses for 2024/25 available here and our current list of micro-credentials can be found here. Student support services will also be on hand on the night to answer any queries learners may have as they decide on course options. For further information on this event and to register for this event visit universityofgalway.ie/adultlearning/info_eve  Ends

Friday, 7 June 2024

 Researchers at University of Galway have created digital babies to better understand infants’ health in their critical first 180 days of life. The team created 360 advanced computer models that simulate the unique metabolic processes of each baby. The digital babies are the first sex-specific computational whole-body models representing newborn and infant metabolism with 26 organs, six cell types, and more than 80,000 metabolic reactions. Real-life data from 10,000 newborns, including sex, birth weight and metabolite concentrations, enabled the creation and validation of the models, which can be personalised - enabling scientists to investigate an individual infant’s metabolism for precision medicine applications. The work was conducted by a team of scientists at University of Galway’s Digital Metabolic Twin Centre and Heidelberg University, led by APC Microbiome Ireland principal investigator Professor Ines Thiele. The team’s research aims to advance precision medicine using computational modelling. They describe the computational modelling of babies as seminal, as it enhances understanding of infant metabolism and creates opportunities to improve the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions during the early days of a baby’s life, such as inherited metabolic diseases. Lead author Elaine Zaunseder, Heidelberg University, said: “Babies are not just small adults - they have unique metabolic features that allow them to develop and grow up healthy. For instance, babies need more energy for regulating body temperature due to, for example, their high surface-area-to-mass ratio, but they cannot shiver in the first six months of life, so metabolic processes must ensure the infant keeps warm. “Therefore, an essential part of this research work was to identify these metabolic processes and translate them into mathematical concepts that could be applied in the computational model. We captured metabolism in an organ-specific manner, which offers the unique opportunity to model organ-specific energy demands that are very different in infants compared to adults. “As nutrition is the fuel for metabolism, we can use breast milk data from real newborns in our models to simulate the associated metabolism throughout the baby’s entire body, including various organs. Based on their nutrition, we simulated the development of digital babies over six months and showed that they will grow at the same rate as real-world infants.” Professor Ines Thiele, study lead on the project, said: “New-born screening programmes are crucial for detecting metabolic diseases early on, enhancing infant survival rates and health outcomes. However, the variability observed in how these diseases manifest in babies underscores the urgent need for personalised approaches to disease management. “Our models allow researchers to investigate the metabolism of healthy infants as well as infants suffering from inherited metabolic diseases, including those investigated in newborn screening. When simulating the metabolism of infants with a disease, the models showed we can predict known biomarkers for these diseases. Furthermore, the models accurately predicted metabolic responses to various treatment strategies, showcasing their potential in clinical settings.” Elaine Zaunseder added: “This work is a first step towards establishing digital metabolic twins for infants, providing a detailed view of their metabolic processes. Such digital twins have the potential to revolutionise paediatric healthcare by enabling tailored disease management for each infant's unique metabolic needs.” The research was published this week in Cell Metabolism This work was led by University of Galway and completed as part of a collaboration with Heidelberg University, Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies and Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany. Ends

Wednesday, 5 June 2024

University of Galway has announced the renewal of a special partnership with the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) to provide two full MBA Scholarships to prospective students.  The scholarships are open to professional and senior executive members of the Gaelic Players Association who meet the minimum application requirements for the MBA at J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics. GPA chief executive Tom Parsons said: “The two fully funded MBA scholarships provide a massive opportunity to the recipients. They have the potential to be transformational in their professional lives and help the GPA to stay true to our motto of ‘You See Players. We See People’. The development of our members away from the playing pitch is our priority, as it allows them to plan for their futures once their inter-county career comes to an end, be that by choice or by necessity. So, on behalf of players, it’s important for me to thank University of Galway for their ongoing support.”    GPA-MBA Scholar 2021 and former Galway Hurler, David Collins said: “It is critical for GAA players throughout Ireland to plan for life after sport. Completing my MBA has not only equipped me with valuable skills but also ignited my passion for leadership. I am extremely grateful to the GPA and University of Galway.”      Professor Kate Kenny, University of Galway MBA Programme Director said: “These scholarships provide transformative opportunities for GPA members. By investing in education, athletes gain valuable skills, knowledge and networks that can propel them into successful careers and prepare them for life after sport.”    The University of Galway-GPA scholarships for the MBA equip GPA members - both current and former players - with the knowledge, creativity and leadership skills needed to gain a competitive edge in the fast-evolving world of leadership and business. The MBA learning environment also offers unique opportunities to engage in active learning with programme participants and experts from leading enterprises, operating at regional, national and international level.    The scholarship recipients will join a network of MBA scholars that have gone on to excel in careers in sectors such as MedTech, Fintech, ICT, Financial Services, Healthcare, Sports Leadership, Defence Forces, Public Service, Third Sector and the European Commission.    For queries on GPA Scholarships, contact GPA’s Education Manager Brian Howard at brian.howard@gaelicplayers.com or visit universityofgalway.ie/mba.     Ends 

Tuesday, 4 June 2024

Tá sé fógartha ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe go bhfuil saoráid teagaisc oscailte ar an gcampas, Seomra Galway John, atá ainmnithe in ómós don Taistealaí Éireannach iomráiteach John Ward, a rugadh agus a tógadh i gCathair na Gaillimhe. Rugadh ‘Galway John’ ar Lána an Uisce ar an mBóthar Mór, Gaillimh, an 18 Meitheamh 1913. Chreid sé go láidir i luach an oideachais. I gcomhairle le gaolta, d’oibrigh Jason Sherlock, arbh é Galway John a shin-seanathair agus alumnus de chuid Ollscoil na Gaillimhe i gcomhpháirt le foireann na hollscoile ar an tionscadal chun an seomra a ainmniú i ndiaidh Galway John.             Dúirt Jason Sherlock an méid seo a leanas: “Bhí aithne ar Galway John as a phearsantacht thaitneamhach. Bhí an-ómós ag an bpobal lonnaithe do John i gcónaí agus mheas siad gur nasc láidir a bhí ann idir na Taistealaithe agus an pobal lonnaithe. Sa lá atá inniu ann, tá an t-oideachas ríthábhachtach chun difríochtaí a chéile a thuiscint agus mar is eol do go leor Mincéirí, tá sé deacair dul chun cinn a dhéanamh in áit nach mothaíonn tú go bhfuil aon ghnó agat ann. Tá súil againn go léir, tríd an seomra ranga seo a ainmniú i ndiaidh Galway John agus scéal na Mincéirí a insint go n-aireoidh Taistealaithe na hÉireann go bhfuil áit acu ar an gcampas.”             Dúirt Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Tá tábhacht ar leith ag baint le Seomra Galway John mar is tráth stairiúil é seo i saol na hOllscoile. Den chéad uair riamh, tá seomra ranga buan á thiomnú againn in ómós do Thaistealaí Éireannach, ag tabhairt aitheantas do shaothar saibhir cultúrtha agus teacht aniar Thaistealaithe na hÉireann. Nuair a bhí mé ag fás aníos, shiúil mé tríd an gcampas amhail is dá mba liom féin é. Ba mhaith liom go mbraithfeadh gach duine mar an gcéanna, go bhfuil an Ollscoil seo mar dhlúthchuid dá saol. Tá an tionscnamh seo ag teacht leis an tiomantas sin chun cuimsiú, éagsúlacht agus tuiscint a chothú inár dtimpeallacht acadúil, áit a bhfuil fáilte roimh chách.” Mar Thaistealaí Éireannach, champáil John in go leor áiteanna ar champas na hOllscoile agus gar dó, in aice le hArd-Eaglais na Gaillimhe agus Ascaill na Naoscach ina measc, chomh maith le háiteanna eile sa chathair ar nós Loch an tSáile. Tá cuid d’fhoirgnimh na hOllscoile tógtha ar thailte ina mbíodh Taistealaithe na hÉireann ag cur fúthu. Bhí an-aithne ar Galway John agus ar a bhean Bridget Ward, nó Big Biddy Ward, ar fud iarthar na hÉireann as a macántacht agus a gcuid oibre crua, agus bhí Mícheál D agus Dolores Keane i measc an iliomad cairde a bhí acu. Thaistil siad ar fud na tíre mar lánúin, ag obair agus ag saothrú a gcuid ag dul go hiondúil ó Ghaillimh, Baile Átha an Rí, Creachmhaoil, an Gort, Luimneach, Cill Airne, Mórchuaird Chiarraí, Inis, Cill Rois, an Leithinse, Dúlainn, Baile Uí Bheacháin, Cinn Mhara, Cill Cholgáin agus ar ais arís. Bhí a n-iníon Anne Sherlock ina ball de Mincéir Misle, ceann de na chéad eagraíochtaí náisiúnta a bhunaigh Mincéirí ar son na Mincéirí. Bhí cúpla ceird ag Galway John idir a bheith ina ghabha stáin agus ina ghlantóir simléir. Bhí Caintis – teanga Thaistealaithe na hÉireann – Gaeilge agus Béarla ar a thoil aige. Seanchaí den scoth ba ea John, agus bhí an-chur amach aige ar fhinscéalta agus ar bhéaloideas na hÉireann, agus d’inseodh sé scéalta agus chanadh sé amhráin faoin saol ar an mbóthar. Nuair a bhásaigh Galway John an 7 Eanáir 1981, d’fhreastail na mílte ar a shochraid in Ard-Eaglais na Gaillimhe. D’fhoilsigh go leor nuachtán tuairiscí ar Aifreann na Sochraide, áit ar fhreastail gach cineál duine idir Mhincéirí, an pobal lonnaithe, cheannairí gnó agus cathartha agus ionadaithe poiblí. Críoch

Tuesday, 4 June 2024

University of Galway has announced the dedication of a teaching facility on campus as the Galway John Room, named after well-known Irish Traveller John Ward, who was born and raised in Galway city.     ‘Galway John’ was born on Water Lane, Bohermore, Galway, on June 18th, 1913. He was a firm believer in the value of education.     In consultation with relatives, Jason Sherlock, a great grandson of Galway John and alumnus of University of Galway, has worked with staff at the University on the project for the dedication of the Galway John Room.    Jason Sherlock said: “Galway John was known for his likeable persona. The settled community has always held John in high regard and seen him as a strong link between the Irish Traveller and Irish settled. In this current era, education is crucial to understanding each other’s differences and as many Mincéirs know, it is hard to progress in a place where you do not feel that you belong. We all hope that by naming this classroom after Galway John and telling the Mincéir story that it will empower Irish Travellers to build their sense of belonging on campus.”    University of Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “The Galway John Room holds particular significance as it marks a historic moment for our University. For the first time, we are dedicating a permanent classroom in honour of an Irish Traveller, recognising the rich cultural contributions and resilience of our Irish Traveller people. When I was growing up, I walked through our campus as if it was my own. I want everybody to feel the same, that our University is part of the furniture of their lives. This initiative is consistent with that commitment to fostering inclusivity, diversity, and understanding within our academic environment, where everyone belongs here.”    As an Irish Traveller, John camped in many spots on or near the University campus, including beside Galway Cathedral and Snipe Avenue, as well as other parts of the city such as Lough Atalia, with some of the University’s buildings now standing on places where Irish Travellers would have lived.     Galway John and his wife Bridget Ward, known as Big Biddy Ward, were Galway characters and were well known across the west of Ireland for their honesty and hard work, with Bridget, in particular, counting the likes of President Michael D Higgins and singer Dolores Keane among their circle of friends and associates.     As a couple they travelled throughout the country working and making a living, with a typical route being Galway, Athenry, Craughwell, Gort, Limerick, Killarney, the ring of Kerry, Ennis, Kilrush, Lahinch, Doolin, Ballyvaughan, Kinvara, Kilcolgan, and back. Their daughter Anne Sherlock was a member of Mincéir Misle, one of the first national organisations set up by Mincéirs, for Mincéirs.    Galway John was as a man of many trades, including being a tinsmith and a chimney sweep. He was a fluent speaker of Cant - Irish Traveller language, An Ghaeilge and English. John was a great storyteller and knew Ireland's ancient fables and stories, and would tell tales and sing songs about life on the road.    When Galway John died on January 7th, 1981, thousands attended his funeral in Galway Cathedral. Numerous newspapers published reports of the Requiem Mass, which was attended by all walks of life including Mincéirs, members of the wider settled community, business and civic leaders and public representatives.    Ends 

Thursday, 18 July 2024

New research has revealed that peat soils which are vital for locking away greenhouse gases are much more abundant than previously thought. Data analysed by researchers now suggests that these soils cover 13% more of Ireland’s land mass than previous maps would have shown. The new map includes areas of shallow peat soils, which, crucially also contain large stocks of soil carbon. The maps are useful in land use planning - with peat soils being critical in absorbing greenhouse gases and helping to meet some of Ireland’s most pressing environmental challenges. As recommended by the United Nations Global Peatlands Initiative, the research team from University of Galway, Trinity College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast, included these shallow peat soils in the new peat map of Ireland. In doing so, they adopted a broader definition of peat soils by including soil material containing 8.6% of organic matter or more that has accumulated to at least 10 cm. The research has been published in the journal Geoderma and can be read here. Dr Terry Morley, University of Galway, one of the co-authors of the research article, said: “Peat soils are important because they help the country meet national and international targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also play a major role in regulating stream flow, water quality, or providing habitat for ecologically sensitive species.”   Dr Louis Gilet, Trinity College Dublin and lead author, said: “Our technique involves continually updating these peat soil maps as new data become available, and this new IPSM can now be used confidently and contribute to a more precise identification of the location of peat soils across Ireland.   “The IPSM can thus help to accurately implement regulations concerning carbon-rich soils and climate change mitigation, while informing management decisions related to other key sustainability issues such as land use planning, biodiversity management or water regulation.”  Historically, interest in peat soils primarily focused on economic productivity, via extraction, or conversion to agriculture or forestry, but in recent years there has been a growing appreciation of their role in regulating environmental processes as well as providing recreational, educational, scientific and cultural value. Dr Raymond Flynn, Queen’s University Belfast, is also co-author of the research article, and he said: “This map changes our approach to mapping peat soils from the traditional approach concerned with agronomy to one where we can now more reliably focus on the role of peat and peat soils in environmental processes.”  Dr John Connolly, Trinity College Dublin, geographer and one of the Global Peatlands Assessment authors, added: “Peatlands hold a significant percentage of Ireland’s total soil organic carbon stock, but they have been severely degraded over the past 200 years due to land use change and associated human activity, resulting in increased emissions from both deep and shallow peat. As a result, accurate identification, mapping and management of peat soils is essential for programmes that aim to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and to improve biodiversity in the Irish landscape.”  This research is part of the RePEAT project, which is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Ends

Monday, 15 July 2024

University of Galway academics Dr Kathy Reilly and Dr Conn Holohan have been awarded ENLIGHT Impact awards for their research endeavours. The awards were bestowed at a special event at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, where the academics were recognised for their impactful projects, highlighting the significant positive change their research brings to society. University of Galway secured two out of the six awards: Dr Kathy Reilly was awarded under the Climate Change category for her work with young people and empowerment to tackle policy. The research involved than 2,000 young people, including those in 11 post-primary schools, in the creation of research tools and educational toolkits, boosting their knowledge and confidence in climate issues. Entitled CCC-CATAPULT: Challenging the Climate Crisis: Children’s Agency to Tackle Policy Underpinned by Learning for Transformation, the work has fed into the development of Climate Action and Sustainable Development Curriculum for schools. Dr Conn Holohan was awarded under the Culture & Creativity theme for his Immersive Empathy project on homelessness. The project involved the production of a new virtual reality film Lost & Found which captures the experience of homelessness from the perspective of those who have lived it. The production adopted a 360-degree style of filming to show the viewer a fully immersive world that can be experienced by wearing a virtual reality headset. It was co-created out of the University’s Centre for Creative Technologies, in collaboration with clients from with Galway Simon Community, enabling people who have experienced homelessness to share their stories but also to enhance their lives through greater engagement in work, education, and volunteering. Three of the six people who took part have gone on to study at the University while the film has effectively fostered empathy and positive attitudes towards the homeless. Professor Becky Whay, University of Galway’s Vice President International and University of Galway Director within the ENLIGHT Alliance, said: “These ENLIGHT Impact awards represent thoroughly deserved recognition from across the ENLIGHT University Alliance for both Conn Holohan’s and Kathy Reilly’s research and the longstanding impact it will have on society. Their success is an inspiration for our research community and is a great example of how impact can be achieved.” The ENLIGHT Impact Award is given annually as part of the ENLIGHT European University Alliance, of which University of Galway is a partner, along with nine other universities across Europe. The awards recognise and give visibility to research endeavours that are exemplars in planning for and achieving impact.  ENLIGHT includes University of Galway; Comenius University, Bratislava (Slovakia); University of Groningen (Netherlands); University of Bern (Switzerland); University of Bordeaux (France); Ghent University (Belgium); University of Tartu (Estonia); University of Gottingen (Germany); University of the Basque Country (Spain); and Uppsala University (Sweden). The project is supported by the Government and the European Commission. The aim is for the alliance to develop as a platform for the creation of a new type of European university campus where students and staff have increased opportunities for international study, training, teaching, research and sharing of services. 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