Friday, 24 February 2023

Government, media, professionals, churches and the public can learn how to avoid stigmatising and compounding hurt  Researchers at University of Galway have compiled a report on terminology and language associated with institutions historically known as “Mother and Baby Homes”, “County Homes” and related institutions.   The project sets out guidance for those in power - including government departments, professionals, the media, the churches - and for the general public in relation to education, awareness, and actions which can be taken in response to hurt and offence caused and learning for the future. The research project - Language, Terminology and Representation Relating to Ireland’s Institutions Historically Known as ‘Mother and Baby Homes’, ‘County Homes’ and Related Institutions - was undertaken by researchers from the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at University of Galway.  The report states: “Changing how we use language and terminology and radically reviewing how past experiences have so often been misrepresented will not in itself achieve the justice so many people still need regarding their experiences in institutions run by state and church, together or in parallel. However, such change represents one of many steps needed to achieve historical justice.” The project was commissioned through the COALESCE Irish Research Council Funding scheme and jointly funded by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. It is a direct response to recommendations made in the first report of the Collaborative Forum of Former Residents of Mother and Baby Homes and Related Institutions in relation to language, terminology and representation. The study is also part of the Government’s response to the Final Report of Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes. The purpose of the research was to build on the work of the Collaborative Forum to highlight the need for special attention in relation to the use and misuse of language, terminology and misrepresentation related to the former institutions.  Based mostly on the testimonies of people who have direct experience of the institutions, either as mothers or from their childhood, the report provides guidance to tackle and eradicate the use of stigmatising language like “unmarried mother” and “illegitimate child” which still causes hurt and offence today even though no longer officially in use.  The study identified many other words that should not be used like describing the institutions as “homes” or people who spent time there as “residents”. The study found terminology of “victim” and “survivor” very contested and complicated, with some people identifying with this and others finding it offensive. Many saw the need to have an alternative terminology, with one suggestion referring to persons as “separated” using the Gaelic term “scaradh” and the word “citizen” promoted as a more acceptable term.  Highlighting the complex and diverse views of people, many different words that are used to describe mothers, and those who spent time in institutions in their childhood, are criticised.  The report has many examples of how use and misuse of stigmatising language by those in power has such an impact and needed to be changed. It shows how those with power to influence often misrepresented, disrespected and reinforced stigma by their use of language. Welcoming the launch of the report, authors Caroline McGregor, Carmel Devaney and Sarah-Anne Buckley commended the participants who contributed to the study.  Professor Caroline McGregor said: “Participants who contributed to this research project have given us unique and in-depth understanding of the power of words and the hurt they can cause. As one person put it: ‘words are like weapons’. We thank all of the participants and steering group members especially the collaborative forum representatives for their significant contribution to this project.” Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley said: “Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to change past experiences but there is a huge amount we can do in the present to acknowledge the trauma and stigma still imposed on individuals through the use of stigmatizing language and historical labels.” Dr Carmel Devaney said: “As highlighted in this report, listening, being mindful about how we speak, and taking affirmative action based on what we hear or read is a responsibility for all. We hope this research will be widely used to inform the use of more appropriate language, terminology and representation in the future.” The report and a summary report are available at University of Galway - Unesco Child and Family Research Centre Ends

Friday, 24 February 2023

CÚRAM SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices researchers have published in Nature Communications a key study establishing a new pre-clinical model to develop clinically relevant treatments for heart attacks.  Heart attacks (myocardial infarction (MI)) occur due to an acute complication of coronary artery disease and are a major cause of global mortality. The two main types of heart attack are ST-elevation (STEMI) and Non-ST elevation (NSTEMI). A non-ST-elevation is a type of heart attack that usually happens when your heart's oxygen needs are unmet. This condition gets its name because it doesn't have an easily identifiable electrical pattern like with an ST elevation that can be read from an electrocardiogram (ECG). Patients who survive a heart attack have variable degrees of damage to their cardiac tissue, which can lead to heart failure in a significant proportion of these patients. In the last two decades, NSTEMIs have markedly risen in hospitalised patients. This subtype of heart attack results in a smaller amount of tissue damage compared to STEMIs. Still, importantly, recent clinical registry data shows that NSTEMIs are associated with higher long-term mortality than STEMIs. Currently, preclinical models of heart attack mimic only full-thickness STEMI and hence cater only for an investigation into therapeutics and interventions directed at the NSTEMI subset of heart attack. In this new study, researchers have developed a preclinical model of NSTEMI by adopting a novel surgical procedure that closely resembles the complexity of clinical cases in humans. Researchers validated the presented model by comparing it with an established method to achieve STEMIs. They performed a detailed analysis at the main acute and late time points after the induction of NSTEMI, at 7 and 28 days, respectively.  Dr Paolo Contessotto and Dr Renza Spelat said: "Advanced analyses on the affected heart tissue highlighted a distinctive pattern of alterations in the tissue, especially in the sugar moieties (glycans) which compose cardiac cell membranes and extracellular matrix (the network of proteins and other molecules that surround, support, and give structure to cells and tissues in the body). Identifying such changes in molecular elements that can be accessed and treated with injectable drugs sheds light on how we can develop targeted pharmacological solutions to correct these changes." This research resulted from an established collaboration of CÚRAM with European institutions in Italy (University of Milano-Bicocca), France (University of Paris Est Créteil), Sweden (University of Gothenburg) and Lithuania (Lithuanian University of Health Sciences). Professor Abhay Pandit, CÚRAM Scientific Director and senior author of the study, said: "There is a need in the field to adopt clinically relevant models to study NSTEMI pathophysiology and reveal its functional differences with STEMI induction. This new model will facilitate the translation of future research in the field, enabling the discovery of new clinically relevant treatments for patients." Mr Mark Da Costa, Clinical Investigator at CÚRAM and senior author of the study, said: "Currently, NSTEMI is the most common presentation of acute heart attack. The concern is that NSTEMI patients have lower in-patient (during their admission for the primary NSTEMI) and short-term mortality rates but significantly higher long-term mortality than those of STEMI patients. A Danish registry study of 8,889 patients showed that the 5-year mortality after NSTEMI was 16%, and another registry study highlighted a 10-year survival rate of only around 50%. To the best of our knowledge, there are currently no models that can reproduce both the functional and histological characteristics of NSTEMIs. This novel model may specifically serve as a preclinical foundation to study interventions that could combat the short and long-term effects of NSTEMI." Ends

Friday, 24 February 2023

 University of Galway celebrates Irish Traveller Ethnicity Day with a series of events taking place across campus from Monday February 27, to Thursday March 2, 2023. Irish Traveller Ethnicity Day marks the anniversary of Irish Travellers gaining ethnic status, while celebrating the community’s culture and heritage including music, craft traditions and language. This year, the annual celebration at the University will be launched by comedian and writer, and former University of Galway Access student, Martin Beanz Warde on Monday February 27. Highlights from the programme of events include: Traveller Living Exhibition Monday February 27 from 10am – 2.30pm outside Áras na Mac Léinn. The exhibition, which is open to the public, showcases the rich cultural heritage of Irish Travellers, as a recreation of Traveller life in the 1950s. It includes a fully restored barrel-top wagon, a traditional tent, a flat cart, a working tinsmith, a storyteller, and a campfire. Irish traditional music and Sean-nós dancing will also feature.  In Memory of Johnny Doherty A master fiddler and tinsmith from an Irish Traveller family in Donegal. Contributors include Senator Eileen Flynn, Professor Alun Evans, Queen’s University Belfast, and An tOllamh Breandán Mac Suibhne, University of Galway. Monday February 27 from 4pm, Hardiman Building.  Public Workshops Disability Awareness and Mental Health Awareness in conjunction with Galway Traveller Movement. The Disability Awareness workshop will take place on Tuesday February 28 at 11am and the Mental Health Awareness will run on Thursday March 2 at 11am. Both workshops will take place in the Hardiman Building. Access Centre Information Session highlighting pathways into university and the multiple supports available to potential students will take place on Wednesday March 1 at 11am in the Hardiman Building. Special Screenings The documentary series Misneach – Tome Insuirt Grani - Neart San Eolas, which first aired on TG4 in early January, will feature at a special screening in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society Building, North Campus, on Wednesday March 1 from 3-5pm. This documentary followed four University of Galway students for a full academic year and explored the barriers to participation in education faced by Irish Traveller students. There will be a panel discussion afterwards with participating students.  Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of University of Galway, said: “Each year this event marks our commitment to openness, diversity, and inclusion as we build and strengthen connections with the wider community.  We welcome and encourage all students, including Irish Traveller students, to seize the opportunities that education offers.   This University is open to all and works to ensure equality for all our students by providing supports to overcome barriers and establish a sense of belonging.” Imelda Byrne, Head of University of Galway’s Access Centre, said: “The Access Centre is proud to host University of Galway’s Irish Traveller Ethnicity Day activities and to collaborate with our students, the Office of the Vice-President for Equality and Diversity, and Irish Traveller Organisations in the region. Year on year we see the progress that is being made to increase the diversity of our student population and the increased commitment to providing supports, resources, and a welcoming sense of community to ensure that all of our students, including Irish Traveller students, have an equal opportunity to participate and succeed.” The week of events to mark Irish Traveller Ethnicity Day are organised by University of Galway’s Access Centre, in collaboration with Irish Traveller Organisations, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Cell Explorers and local schools. To view the full programme of events, or to register an event, visit or email for further details. Ends

Thursday, 23 February 2023

Vincent Wildlife Trust is appealing to the public for help to record the presence of the Irish stoat throughout Ireland. This new survey is in partnership with University of Galway, the National Biodiversity Data Centre, and the Centre for Environmental Data and Recording in Northern Ireland. This survey will start in February 2023 and run until the end of 2025. Information on how to participate is available on the Data Centre’s website or by emailing The Irish stoat occurs only in Ireland and on the Isle of Man. Stoat fossil bones found in caves in County Cork date back to 27-35,000 years ago so it is one of Ireland’s oldest mammal species. Ruth Hanniffy, the Trust’s Species Conservation Officer, said: “Despite its long history on the island, currently there are only 2,000 records for it in our national database. We hope this survey will encourage people to submit sightings of live and dead stoats so we can fill in the gaps in the distribution and possibly learn more about stoat ecology. Stoats are some of the most elusive small mammals and finding a way to estimate their population is the Holy Grail of mammal recording!” The Irish stoat is related to the otter, badger and pine marten but is the smallest of these, being similar in size to a rat. Its fur is chestnut brown on the back and head and creamy-white on the belly. It has a long thin sinuous body, short legs and a distinctive black tip to the tail. It occurs in a wide variety of habitats but prefers woodland or scrub. It is active day and night and can kill prey several times its own weight, such as rabbits. Dr Colin Lawton of the School of Natural Sciences in the University of Galway, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to find out more about the distribution and habitat requirements of one of our native species. We are hoping to tap into the wealth of knowledge of our citizen scientists and we encourage everyone to keep an eye out for these fascinating animals.” Dr Liam Lysaght, Director of the National Biodiversity Data Centre, said: “The National Biodiversity Data Centre is very pleased to be providing support for this citizen-science survey which involves partnership collaboration across the island of Ireland and the Isle of Man. The Irish Stoat is one of Ireland’s most special mammal species, about which there is still so much to learn. We hope that by encouraging observations from the general public that we can greatly improve our knowledge on this elusive species.” All records from Northern Ireland should be submitted to the Centre for Environmental Data and Recording (CEDaR). Financial assistance for this survey was provided by the Irish Environmental Network and National Parks and Wildlife Service. Follow the Irish Stoat Survey social media pages at Facebook and Twitter @IrishStoatSurv Ends

Wednesday, 22 February 2023

University of Galway has presented first year Bachelor of Commerce student Chloe Gardiner with the Séamus McDermott Entrepreneurial Scholarship for 2023. Established in 2022 and funded through philanthropic support of the Liffey Trust, the Séamus McDermott Entrepreneurial Scholarship supports students in the University’s student innovation and entrepreneurship hub, IdeasLab. It also helps to promote the concepts of job creation, entrepreneurial development and education for life for undergraduate students commencing their studies.  Originally from Edenderry, Co. Offaly and now living in Galway City, Chloe founded The Wonky Woolins at the age of 15 after she found a collection of wonky knitted creatures in her granny's attic which had been passed through her family for generations. Inspired by the knitted creatures, Chloe began to create her own Wonky Woolins for others with the hopes that they too could be cherished for a lifetime.  During lockdown she created social media accounts and a website where she began to sell her products. In 2020 Chloe recognised another gap in the market and founded Baa Baa Bandits which sells yarns for arm knitting, a technique using your arms instead of knitting needles to make stitches. The Wonky Woolins is now a multi-award-winning business that provides early-stage children's toys and baby gifts that are all ethically handmade by marginalized and jobless women in Morocco. Chloe said: “It is such a huge honour to be selected as the 2023 recipient of the Seamus McDermott Entrepreneurial Scholarship, it means so much to have my entrepreneurial efforts recognised by the trust. I have been very fortunate to have been supported by so many incredible entrepreneurs and mentors who have guided me on my journey with Wonky Woolins and I look forward to further developing my knowledge at the University of Galway and networking with other recipients of this scholarship across Ireland.” Chairman of The Liffey Trust, Aidan Corless said: “We are delighted to welcome Chloe Gardiner as our second University of Galway Scholar. Having met Chloe in person I have to say she is every bit as impressive as her business Wonky Woolins. It is not surprising that she tells us that she has a very busy life managing her studies alongside her companies.  “Hard work is one of the most important traits of an entrepreneur and Chloe is only getting started. As one of the Liffey Trust Scholars Chloe will be able to network with our scholars from Trinity College, UCD, DCU and soon to be UCC. I would like to thank Dr Natalie Walsh and Professor Jonathan Levie and the team for encouraging the students to take part in the ideaslab where future businesses can start.” The Liffey Trust was established more than 30 years ago and has been supporting entrepreneurs to establish and grow new businesses since then. The University of Galway scholarship is named in honour of the founder of the Liffey Trust, Galway native Séamus McDermott, in recognition of his contribution to entrepreneurship in Ireland.    First year undergraduate students at University of Galway can apply for a scholarship valued at up to €9,000 for the duration of their studies at the University. The next call for applicants will commence in October 2023.  For further information on the scholarship contact Ends

Tuesday, 21 February 2023

The pygmy shrew – a protected mammal - captured on spider’s web on a bedroom window, then paralysed and hoisted to its doom by the invasive spider  Scientists at University of Galway have published the first record of a noble false widow spider feeding on a pygmy shrew, a species of tiny mammal protected in Ireland. The new study, recently published in the international journal Ecosphere, demonstrates further the potentially negative impact of the invasive and venomous noble false widow spider on native species.  A recording by Dawn Sturgess showing the spider interacting with the pygmy be downloaded at  It is the first time a member of this family of spiders, called ‘Theridiidae,’ has been recorded preying on a shrew in Ireland or in Britain. It is also the first time for any species of false widow spider to prey on shrews anywhere in the world. The extraordinary discovery was made by Dawn Sturgess at a home in Chichester, West Sussex, southern England when, a small mammal was found entangled in a spider’s web constructed on the outside of a bedroom window. The ensnared creature was later identified by the lengths of tooth rows as a pygmy shrew Sorex minutus. The shrew was still alive, but the spider’s highly potent neurotoxic venom was evidently taking effect as the shrew became increasingly incapacitated. The spider was observed hoisting the shrew upwards into the rafters where it wrapped it in silk and fed off its meal for three days. In Ireland the pygmy shrew is protected under the Wildlife Act (1976) and Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000. In the UK, the species is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. This is the third case in recent years of a protected vertebrate species falling prey to the noble false widow in Ireland or the UK, and this represents the eighth species of vertebrate known to fall prey to members of the false widow genus Steatoda. The noble false widow now appears to be a regular vertebrate-eating spider.  In a previous study published in the journal Food Webs in 2021, researchers at University of Galway’s Venom Lab provided video evidence of a false widow spider lifting a significantly larger gecko off the ground with exceptional ease using its silk threads as a pully system. It appears that the noble false widow spider used an identical method to hoist the shrew higher up the web. Over the past seven years, the research team, led by Dr Michel Dugon at University of Galway’s Ryan Institute, have been studying a wide range of characteristics specific to the species including its venom, symptoms associated with their venomous bite, ecology and behaviour.  Dr Michel Dugon, Head of the Venom Systems Lab, Ryan Institute, University of Galway and lead author of the study, said: “This observation demonstrates further that the noble false widow is perfectly adapted to take down large prey, combining potent venom, extremely strong silk, and complex hunting behaviour.” Dr John Dunbar, Irish Research Council Post-Doctoral fellow, Venom Systems Lab, Ryan Institute, University of Galway, and senior author of the study said: “The noble false widow is a very intriguing spider, and we have much to learn about it still. We are very grateful to the members of the public who share their observations with us. This allows us to understand better how this invasive species may impact us and our environment.” The scientists at University of Galway are encouraging members of the public to email them at to report sightings of the noble false widow spider. Read the full study in Ecosphere here: Ends

Monday, 20 February 2023

Two new outdoor gyms have been unveiled on University of Galway campus.  Funded as part of a dedicated Government grant programme for 2022/23 to support Higher Education Institutions, the gym equipment forms part of a wider Sports For All initiative which is being rolled out to provide modern, outdoor fitness facilities for students, staff, members of the public and visitors to campus.  Two outdoor gym areas have been created - one on College Green, opposite the Quadrangle; and a second in front of the Arts Millennium Building. The all-weather gyms include exercise bikes, leg press, chest press and shoulder press, pull down rowing machine, cross trainers, walkers, stepper, hand bikes and shoulder wheel station, along with seating areas and water fountains.  A quarter of the fitness equipment has been specially designed to accommodate the needs and requirements of people with a physical disability.  President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “In line with our value of openness, we want to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to improve their physical health while making our campus a more open and inviting environment for everyone. The space is accessible to all, is for everyone to share, and it will offer people a welcome opportunity to improve their health, fitness and wellbeing. We hope our university community and the wider community makes the most of the facilities as we develop plans to build on this across campus.” Sai Gujulla, President of University of Galway Students’ Union said: “Outdoor Gyms are a fantastic way of staying active and at the same time spending time with your friends. It's a great initiative by University of Galway offering this facility for free for students on campus.” Ends

Tuesday, 14 February 2023

Two student from the US are to attend University of Galway under the Mitchell Scholarship programme for 2023/24.  The George J. Mitchell Scholarships are highly competitive prizes awarded to twelve student by the US-Ireland Alliance. They are aimed at supporting distinguished graduate students from the US who wish to pursue one year of study in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Professor Becky Whay, University of Galway’s Vice President International, said: “We are delighted that such talented young people saw fit to choose University of Galway as the venue for their graduate studies, and that we have an opportunity to host such distinguished scholars. We are very conscious of the prestige attached to the George J. Mitchell Scholarship programme and it reflects our strong academic portfolio, as well as the supportive and welcoming environment we provide to students from all over the world." The two University of Galway Mitchell Scholars have distinguished academic and civic careers to date. Alexander Firestine - a senior at the University of Pittsburgh where he studies Finance, Accounting, and Business Information Systems. Alex is the recipient of a Chancellor’s Scholarship, the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship at University of Pittsburgh.  His interest is in food insecurity and how data analytics, may be used to alleviate the problem. Involved with Food21, a non-profit committed to building resilient food systems, Alex co-led a project that developed a digital tool using data to measure regional food insecurity and identify areas where food apartheids may exist in Pittsburgh.  He is investigating the relationship between accessibility of food outlets via public transportation and rates of food insecurity and is identifying pickup areas for the implementation of a virtual grocery store, bringing sustainable food to thousands in need. Alex served as Corporate Relations Manager of Enactus, a national organization that promotes social entrepreneurship.  As President of the League of Emerging Analytics Professionals, Alex led an organisation of more than 120 members who teach entry level workshops for programs like Python and Tableau. He also designed a university-accredited extracurricular institute that now teaches analytics to 300+ students as a core class. During his time as President, the organisation was awarded #1 student organisation at Pittsburgh. He is heavily involved in service work and personally contact-less delivered more than 10,000 meals during the Covid pandemic.  At University of Galway, Alexander will study MSc in Climate Change, Agriculture. Alexa Mohsenzadeh - senior at Emory University studying Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and Ethics. She received Emory’s most prestigious merit scholarship, the Robert W. Woodruff Scholarship, for demonstrating outstanding achievement in academics and music.  As the Co-Founder and CEO of the non-profit Her Drive, Alexa has led the distribution of 1.1 million period and hygiene products globally, including 45 states across the US, as well as the UK, Canada, and Mexico since 2020. Through this work, she has mentored more than  1,200 volunteers and supported a diverse range of populations, including immigrant detainees and refugees, low-income students, rural and Indigenous communities, LGBT+ youth, and survivors of domestic violence. Recognised as 1 of “50 Period Heroes” nationwide, Her Drive is partnering with Always and Walmart this year to distribute 50,000 period products to people in need in Georgia, Illinois, and Louisiana.  At Emory, Alexa has conducted research in neuroethics, compassion-based ethics, and feminist neuroscience with aims to integrate feminist, cross-cultural perspectives into our scientific and legal awareness. This past year, she also worked for the non-profit, New American Pathways, where she supported newly arriving refugees in Georgia by improving their access to community resources as they underwent the resettlement process.  She is the principal percussionist of the Emory University Symphony Orchestra and is proficient in Persian and French. Long-term, Alexa is driven to improve women’s health outcomes through rights advocacy and reform and will study MA in Gender, Globalisation, and Rights at the University of Galway. Ends

Tuesday, 14 February 2023

University of Galway will lead on seven research projects and partner on four funded by the Environmental Protection Agency Eleven research projects from University of Galway have been awarded funding from the Environmental Protection Agency to support academics endeavouring to address climate change and other emerging, complex environmental problems.  University of Galway had the highest success rate in the call for projects, receiving more than €2.3 million in grants. The researchers are focused on addressing issues related to greenhouse gas emissions, ozone levels, radon, human biomonitoring and earth observation. The funding was awarded across four thematic areas: addressing climate change evidence needs; delivering a healthy environment; facilitating a green and circular economy; and protecting and restoring our natural environment. The seven funded projects led by University of Galway researchers under the EPA categories are: Addressing climate change evidence needs  Professor Colin O’Dowd will develop a Nitrous Oxide emissions verification system for Ireland. The two critical components are an operational network of precise long-term Nitrous Oxide measurements and a model, which can generate accurate estimates of emissions of the gas. Dr Liz Coleman will assess knowledge regarding factors influencing ozone pollution relative to the Irish atmosphere. The project aims to improve the understanding of ozone levels and trends in Ireland, with a particular focus on the contribution of methane to the formation of ozone and the interplay between climate policy and air pollution policy and potential for targeted policy to limit ozone pollution in a changing climate.  Delivering a Healthy Environment Dr James McGrath and Dr Miriam Byrne will deliver a comprehensive and scientifically-robust assessment of the implications of radon in deep-retrofitted dwellings. It will also develop a tool to estimate renovation measures on pre/post radon concentrations. This will help to strategically inform national policies on protecting citizens from indoor radon in homes undergoing deep retrofitting and ensure that national retrofits commitments remain achievable. Facilitating a green and circular economy   Dr Liam Heaphy’s project will make a strategic contribution to recent initiatives to bring back town centre living by comparing the carbon costs of new build versus restoration. Building on the Town Centre Living Initiative pilot scheme, the project aims to advance analysis of the costs and barriers to adaptive reuse of buildings by including embodied emissions and life cycle analysis into cost-benefit analysis, while also connecting to strategic initiatives to reinvigorate rural villages and towns. It therefore extends the discussion on end-of-life and upcycling in life-cycle analysis to expand into wholesale reuse of existing buildings, relevant for Ireland with its particularly high rate of vacancy and dereliction in urban centres of all scales. Protecting and Restoring our Natural Environment Alastair McKinstry’s project aims to build data infrastructure which will makes it easier and more affordable to access Earth Observation and climate data. The project will also focus on statistics of land use change from 1990 to present, and also generate statistics of flood occurrences in Ireland. Dr Agnieszka Indiana Olbert’s project aims to use Copernicus data to improve efficiency, accuracy and implementation of coastal water monitoring programmes. It will allow deeper understanding of nutrient cycling, water quality problems and environmental stressors/pressures in our waters related to human activities including climate change.  Dr David Styles will develop a model framework to generate key indicators of land use sustainability across air emissions (greenhouse gases and ammonia), nutrient losses to water at catchment scale and economic outcomes at farm and national scale. Researchers from University of Galway will partner with other institutions on four projects including:  Dr Liam Morrison - Occurrence and sources of Persistent, Mobile and Toxic substances in Irish waters  Dr Liam Heaphy - Fire, Land and Atmospheric Remote Sensing of Emission-Projections, Policy and Land use and cover Synthesis Professor Dearbhaile Morris and Dr Georgios Miliotis - Investigating integrated constructed wetlands as a means to reduce antimicrobial resistance and carbon emissions in the environment Professor Chaosheng Zhang - Characterising the relationship between soil geochemistry and biodiversity in Ireland Professor Jim Livesey, Vice-President Research and Innovation at University of Galway, said: “This investment by the EPA is a testament to the success of research across higher education in Ireland. It is a huge bonus to see such a high level of achievement for our researchers in University of Galway, where we lead eight of the EPA-backed projects and partner on another four. The focus of this funding on environmental research further demonstrates the drive among our researchers to collaborate for the public good and the ambition to respond to the challenges facing humanity and society, now and in the years ahead.” The EPA Research Programme is a Government of Ireland initiative funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.  Ends

Thursday, 9 February 2023

Students at Claddagh National School in Galway paint mural inspired by Galway’s marine, medtech and football culture CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at University of Galway, has partnered with local artists Birgit and Peter Lochmann, to create a large-scale mural with students from Claddagh National School. The mural, funded by Claddagh Credit Union, was tailor-made to reflect the spirit of the school and community. Incorporating themes of the Galway community is at the heart of the mural, which was designed to reflect the students’ talents and interests. Galway’s marine culture and medtech industry are represented by the marine materials scientists research to identify new ways to heal the body.  In keeping with the school’s love of football, the mural was installed on the Astro pitch and features the late Eamonn “Chick” Deacy, a local Galway football legend. Through a cross-curricular co-creation process, students became aware of their locality and its link to scientific achievements, conservation, and the role of their community. CÚRAM researchers and the artists gave a series of art science workshops through which students learned how scientists use marine-inspired materials to discover ways of developing cures to treat various illnesses. This helped illustrate the importance of keeping our oceans healthy to keep our bodies healthy as well. The workshops reflected CÚRAM’s “Marine Meets Medtech” exhibit developed and hosted in partnership with Galway Atlantaquaria, National Aquarium of Ireland. The mural was officially launched on Wednesday, February 8 by players from the Galway United men's and women's squads: Conor O'Keeffe, Mikie Rowe, Abbie Callanan, Anna Fahey. Mark Langtry (‘Mark the Science Guy’) also performed his “Football Physics” show to teach students how science can enhance their sports performance. Gabriel Farragher, 6th class teacher at Claddagh National School, said: “We were delighted to participate in the project as it provided the pupils with an exciting opportunity to get involved in hands-on, cross-curricular workshops, on a weekly basis, incorporating the areas of Science and Art. The football angle added an even greater interest in the project for the pupils. The icing on the cake is the colourful mural that now brightens up our Astro pitch.” Louise Shields, CEO of Claddagh Credit Union, said of the project: “With community at the centre of this incredible project, reflecting community at the heart of our credit union, we were delighted to support this mural project. We are so impressed to see the outcome of this collaboration in the mural in Claddagh National School.” Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, said: "We are always trying new ways for our researchers to collaborate with community partners to create a better understanding and awareness of our research and its importance for society. This collaboration with the Claddagh Credit Union and students of the Claddagh National School promotes the idea of transdisciplinary research and showcases the value of bringing the worlds of art and science together.” Ends

Wednesday, 8 February 2023

University of Galway has outlined plans for a new Water Sports Centre following the approval for planning by Galway City Council.  The proposed Water Sports Centre will primarily aim to offer first-class facilities for Rowing, Kayak and Sub Aqua clubs at the University and their 150-plus members. The new development will also house a gym, which will be open to other athletic clubs on campus, with the potential to cater for members of all other athletic clubs in the University. President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “At University of Galway, investment of this nature enables us to support our students and our coaches, their achievements and their sporting endeavours. As a university on the Corrib, with longstanding, outstanding success on the water, it is our hope that enhanced facilities will empower excellence, further success and the wellbeing of our students.” University of Galway Director of Sport Mike Heskin said: “This new Water Sports Centre is designed to provide state of the art training facilities for watersports that University of Galway has excelled in, both at national and international level.  “In 2022 our rowing club took home the biggest medal haul from the nationals. We are proud to have had two Olympians on our teams in recent years – Fiona Murtagh and Aifric Keogh. Now we have an opportunity to provide top grade facilities to help others excel.” The development has been approved for planning permission on a site on the western bank of the River Corrib, near the Alice Perry Engineering Building on the North Campus. It will offer more secure facilities for water sports and also enhance safety for water users.  It includes:   :: Reception; first aid; changing rooms and bathrooms; gym; training room; comms room; offices; test room; café; mother and baby room. :: Drying room; plant room; function room kitchenette; equipment storage facilities; a new storage shed for rowing.  :: Two floating pontoons on the bank of the Corrib.  :: A pedestrian and cycling riverside greenway.  Ends

Tuesday, 7 February 2023

Fort Wayne Metals to support students with overseas study and internships University of Galway has announced a new partnership with Fort Wayne Metals, a world leading manufacturer of medical grade wire and components, to provide scholarships and bursaries to engineering students.  The five year partnership will be open to high-achieving students of Mechanical Engineering, while it will also provide internship opportunities for exceptional female students. Welcoming the partnership, President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “Meitheal is an Irish word used to describe the old practice of people coming together pooling talent and resources to complete the harvest. Working closely with our industry partners, we are confident of our capacity to inspire and lead a Meitheal to the benefit of our region, our country, and our world. I am delighted that the Meitheal approach is evident in Engineering at University of Galway, driven as it is by close collaboration between us and industry to solve shared problems, and enhance outcomes and I thank all our colleagues who contribute to making it so.” The Fort Wayne Metals Scholarship will facilitate travel for two outstanding students in Mechanical Engineering to study at Purdue University (August to May each year), and intern with Fort Wayne Metals Ireland (May to September each year). Separately, the Fort Wayne Metals Bursary will recognise and reward the potential of exceptional female students with an annual award to one student who is selected to complete their internship at Fort Wayne Metals Ireland. The Fort Wayne Metals Scholarship will be open to all third year Mechanical Engineering students. The Fort Wayne Metals Bursary will be open to all third year female Mechanical Engineering students for the academic year 2022/23. Michael O’Donnell, Managing Director, Fort Wayne Metals Ireland, said: “Fort Wayne Metals are delighted to partner with the University of Galway on these scholarship and bursary programmes for engineering students. Key to the success of our Industry is the development of talented Engineers and we are proud to be able to collaborate with the University of Galway in making this funding available.” Shauna Crossan, Strategy Development Manager, said: “Fort Wayne Metals has a successful relationship established with Purdue University over many years, with our Headquarters based in Indiana. It is great for Fort Wayne Metals Ireland to be part of this association in the future, to provide funding and industrial experience for talented engineers.” Mary Dempsey, Vice Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the College of Science and Engineering, said: “Working in partnership with our industry partners, we are better able to attract the best and brightest students and support them in their learning to become global citizens in an engineering ecosystem. The mobility and placements offer a rewarding environment which supports diversity, innovation and excellence. It will also accelerate our undergraduate students’ capacity for leadership and global curiosity.” Ends 

Tuesday, 7 February 2023

Fort Wayne Metals chun tacú le mic léinn tabhairt faoi staidéar agus intéirneachtaí thar lear  Tá comhpháirtíocht nua fógartha ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe le Fort Wayne Metals, déantóir ceannródaíoch sreinge agus comhpháirteanna de ghrád leighis, chun scoláireachtaí agus sparánachtaí a chur ar fáil do mhic léinn innealtóireachta. Beidh an chomhpháirtíocht cúig bliana oscailte do mhic léinn ardfheabhais san Innealtóireacht Mheicniúil, agus beidh deiseanna intéirneachta ar fáil freisin do mhic léinn bhaineanna thar barr. Agus é ag cur fáilte roimh an gcomhpháirtíocht, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Is focal Gaeilge é Meitheal a úsáidtear chun cur síos a dhéanamh ar an tsean-nós a bhíodh ann nuair a thiocfadh daoine le chéile ag roinnt a gcuid scileanna agus acmhainní chun an fómhar a bhaint. Ag obair go dlúth lenár gcomhpháirtithe tionscail, táimid muiníneach as ár gcumas Meitheal a spreagadh agus a threorú chun leas ár réigiúin, na tíre agus an domhain. Tá lúcháir orm go bhfuil cur chuige na Meithle le sonrú san Innealtóireacht in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, agus é á thiomáint ag dlúth-chomhoibriú eadrainn féin agus an tionscal chun fadhbanna comhroinnte a réiteach, agus torthaí a fheabhsú agus gabhaim buíochas lenár gcomhghleacaithe go léir a chuidíonn ina leith.” Éascóidh Scoláireacht Fort Wayne Metals taisteal do bheirt mhac léinn den scoth san Innealtóireacht Mheicniúil chun staidéar a dhéanamh in Ollscoil Purdue (Lúnasa go Bealtaine gach bliain), agus intéirneacht a dhéanamh le Fort Wayne Metals Ireland (Bealtaine go Meán Fómhair gach bliain). Anuas air sin, tabharfaidh Sparánacht Fort Wayne Metals aitheantas agus luach saothair d’acmhainneacht na mac léinn baineann thar barr trí dhámhachtain bhliantúil a bhronnadh ar mhac léinn amháin a roghnaítear chun a hintéirneacht a dhéanamh in Fort Wayne Metals Ireland. Beidh Scoláireacht Fort Wayne Metals oscailte do gach mac léinn sa tríú bliain atá i mbun na hInnealtóireachta Meicniúla. Beidh Sparánacht Fort Wayne Metals ar oscailt do gach mac léinn baineann sa tríú bliain atá i mbun na hInnealtóireachta Meicniúla don bhliain acadúil 2022/23. Dúirt Michael O'Donnell, Stiúrthóir Bainistíochta, Fort Wayne Metals Ireland: “Tá áthas ar Fort Wayne Metals dul i gcomhpháirtíocht le hOllscoil na Gaillimhe ar na cláir scoláireachtaí agus sparánachtaí seo do mhic léinn innealtóireachta. Tá forbairt Innealtóirí cumasacha ríthábhachtach do rathúlacht ár dTionscail agus táimid bródúil as bheith in ann comhoibriú le hOllscoil na Gaillimhe chun an maoiniú seo a chur ar fáil.” Dúirt Shauna Crossan, an Bainisteoir Forbartha Straitéise: “Tá caidreamh rathúil bunaithe ag Fort Wayne Metals le hOllscoil Purdue le blianta fada anuas, agus tá ár gCeanncheathrú lonnaithe in Indiana. Is iontach an rud é go mbeidh Fort Wayne Metals Ireland mar chuid den chomhlachas seo amach anseo, chun maoiniú agus taithí thionsclaíoch a sholáthar d’innealtóirí cumasacha.” Dúirt Mary Dempsey, an Leas-Déan Comhionannais, Éagsúlachta agus Cuimsithe i gColáiste na hEolaíochta agus na hInnealtóireachta: “Agus sinn ag obair i gcomhar lenár gcomhpháirtithe tionscail, táimid in ann na mic léinn is fearr agus is éirimiúla a mhealladh agus tacú leo ina gcuid foghlama le bheith ina saoránaigh dhomhanda in éiceachóras innealtóireachta. Cuireann an tsoghluaisteacht agus na socrúcháin timpeallacht fhiúntach ar fáil a thacaíonn le héagsúlacht, nuálaíocht agus barr feabhais. Cuirfidh sé dlús freisin le cumas ceannaireachta agus fiosrachta domhanda ár gcuid mac léinn fochéime.” Críoch 

Tuesday, 7 February 2023

University of Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences will hold an interactive taster programme for transition year students, offering hands-on experience of how healthcare teams work together. The Health Professional Taster Day takes place on Saturday April 1 and Saturday April 22 in the University’s new state-of-the-art simulation facility, located at the Clinical Science Institute on the grounds of Galway University Hospital. The facility – the Irish Centre for Applied Patient Safety and Simulation at the School of Medicine - opened in 2022 and is recognised as an international centre for excellence in education. The taster programme is open to post-primary students in the 41 schools in Galway city and county. It is the first of its kind to bring healthcare professions together to demonstrate all skill sets across multiple degrees - Medicine, Nursing, Midwifery, Occupational Therapy, Podiatric Medicine and Speech and Language Therapy.   Dr Dara Byrne, Professor of Simulation at University of Galway said: “In the Simulation facility we will recreate realistic clinical experiences for Transition Year students, and will give them a flavour of what is on offer for those who choose to study at University of Galway. It will also give a sense of what a career as a healthcare provider is like. “The students will see how simulation recreates real-life medical procedures and scenarios such as endoscopy, childbirth and medical emergencies in a safe environment. We are excited to give the students hands-on experience and they will also get an opportunity to try suturing, cannulation, fixing fractures and much more. While this is a simulated environment it is also very real and students should be aware of that when they come along.” Registration is now open for the Taster Day and applications will be accepted from February 7 until February 24 at 5pm. For further information or to register visit Professor Byrne explained the rationale for this event: “The theme for these taster days is community. It is a community outreach event, delivered by a community of practice- our multiprofessional team. Through this event we are reaching out to our Galway county and city transition year students, including those who traditionally would not have envisaged a career in healthcare. “Widening participation is a key component of our College strategy. With that in mind we are offering the same number of places on the programme to each and every school. We particularly welcome applications from DEIS schools and from students taking QQI (FETAC or NCVA) qualifications. We are also looking forward to introducing the concept of inter-professional teams and to showing how key team-work is part of the education of health professionals.” “Parents are also welcome to accompany the students, and there will be a specific information talk at the start of each session for parents and students.” Ends

Thursday, 2 February 2023

University of Galway researcher Dr Erin McCarthy has been awarded a €1.86million grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for a unique project to analyse poetry. Dr McCarthy, a Senior Research Fellow with the University’s Moore Institute, is one of 321 researchers in the EU to benefit from a €657million fund under the EU Horizon Europe programme. The researchers are being supported with ERC Consolidator Grants which are aimed at distinguished scientists who have between seven and 12 years’ experience after their PhDs, to help them to pursue their most promising ideas. Dr McCarthy’s project - Systems of Transmitting Early Modern Manuscript Verse, 1475–1700 (STEMMA) - will run over five years, offering the first large-scale quantitative analysis of the circulation of early modern English poetry in manuscript over more than two centuries. “Scholars have tended to address individual manuscripts as case studies. Through my research project, STEMMA, our aim is to revolutionise the study of manuscript poetry by taking a data-driven approach to identify patterns and trends at scale,” Dr McCarthy said. At its centre is the poet John Donne, whose reluctance to circulate his verse makes the survival of at least 4,249 manuscripts of his work all the more puzzling; the poems of his next most-circulated contemporary survive in fewer than 1,000 witnesses. Dr McCarthy added: “Initially what we’re doing is looking at handwritten collections of poems called manuscript miscellanies to see where there are overlaps in their contents that suggest shared sources or copying. This kind of work has been hard to do for small groups of manuscripts because we often don’t know much about the people who copied them or, in many cases, the poets they’re copying.” Dr McCarthy has secured permission to use six of the most comprehensive datasets about the contents of early modern manuscripts, about 1 million records in total, in order to understand how poetry circulated in the English-speaking world. “The idea is that we’ll combine and clean these datasets, assign each poem a unique identifier, and then run network analysis on the poems and manuscripts rather than the people. This may then turn up people, whether or not we know their names,” she said. Dr McCarthy added: “This research will allow us to see how surviving manuscripts connect, but it will also show us where documents may be missing or overlooked, all of which should change our understanding of who shared early modern English verse in manuscript, how, and to what ends.” Dr McCarthy first joined University of Galway as a Postdoctoral researcher on Professor Marie-Louise Coolahan’s RECIRC project in 2014. After working as a lecturer and later a senior lecturer in Australia, she return to the University in 2022 as an IRC Consolidator Laureate. The ERC Consolidator Grant will enable Dr McCarthy to build an interdisciplinary team of three postdocs and a PhD student to conduct archival research and computational analysis. Ends

Thursday, 6 April 2023

Tá Oifigeach Sláine Acadúla ceaptha ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe den chéad uair. Tá an té sin freagrach as oideachas a chur ar an bhfoireann agus ar na mic léinn maidir le sláine acadúil, tacú le Comhairleoirí Sláine Acadúla, agus imscrúdú a dhéanamh ar chásanna mí-iompair acadúil. Beidh an Dr Justin Tonra, léachtóir i nDisciplín an Bhéarla san Ollscoil, lárnach i gcur i bhfeidhm, i measúnú agus i bhfeabhsú an Pholasaí Sláine Acadúla agus na bpróiseas a bhaineann leis. Leagadh amach sa Pholasaí Sláine Acadúla a cuireadh i bhfeidhm san Ollscoil i mí an Mheithimh 2022 an cód cleachtais chun déileáil le cásanna ina sáraíonn mic léinn sláine acadúil trí mhí-iompar acadúil. Bhí an méid seo le rá ag an Dr Tonra: “Cé gur tharraing nithe a tharla le déanaí i réimse na hintleachta saorga aird ar an gceist, ba cheart go mbeadh mic léinn agus teagascóirí ar an airdeall i gcónaí faoi shláine acadúil. Is iad na prionsabail a bhaineann léi, macántacht, muinín agus freagracht atá ina gcrann taca ag an gcleachtas acadúil agus a chuireann bonn láidir faoi luach agus sláine oideachais ollscoile agus cáilíochtaí ollscoile. Tá deis againn anois aird phobal uile na hollscoile a dhíriú an athuair ar luachanna agus ar phrionsabail na sláine acadúla agus muid ag obair le chéile chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar na dúshláin agus na deiseanna a bhaineann le teagasc agus foghlaim sa lá atá inniu ann.” Bhí an méid seo le rá ag an Ollamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Uachtarán Ionaid agus Meabhránaí Ollscoil na Gaillimhe: “Is ceist ríthábhachtach í an tsláine acadúil don Ollscoil. Aithnítear go gcaithfidh institiúidí ardoideachais dul i ngleic le séitéireacht ar conradh, bradaíl, agus sláine na measúnuithe agus na hoibre acadúla ar bhealach comhordaithe agus córasach. Le feidhmiú an Pholasaí Sláine Acadúla agus le ceapachán an Dr Tonra, tá an Ollscoil ag léiriú a thiomanta atá sí maidir leis an fhoireann agus na mic léinn a oiliúint agus a chur ar an eolas maidir le dea-chleachtas acadúil.”  Bhain an Dr Tonra PhD amach sa Bhéarla ó Ollscoil na Gaillimhe in 2010. D’oibrigh sé mar Léachtóir i nDisciplín an Bhéarla ó 2016 i leith. Bhí poist aige roimhe sin in University College London agus in University of Virginia. Baineann a chuid spéiseanna taighde leis an litríocht agus an teicneolaíocht agus tá obair déanta aige i réimsí na ndaonnachtaí digiteacha, stair na leabhar, staidéar ar théacsúlacht agus ar bhibleagrafaíocht, eagarthóireacht léannta, agus filíocht agus ealaín na filíochta. Tá sé ar dhuine den dream a bhunaigh Cumann na nDaonnachtaí Digiteacha idir an Ríocht Aontaithe agus Éire, agus bhí sé ina Chomhordaitheoir Náisiúnta do DARIAH-Ireland. Bhí sé i gceannas ar ghrúpaí oibre do thionscadail atá maoinithe ag an Choimisiún Eorpach ar an Chianléitheoireacht (COST Action) agus ar an Léann Liteartha Ríomhaireachtúil (Fís 2020). In Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, is é an Stiúrthóir Cúrsa reatha é ar an MA Literature and Publishing agus roimhe sin bhí sé ina Stiúrthóir ar an PhD Struchtúrtha in Digital Arts and Humanities. Tá sé ina bhall freisin den Chomhairle Acadúil agus de Choiste Feidhmiúcháin Institiúid de Móra. Críoch

Friday, 31 March 2023

University of Galway has appointed its first Academic Integrity Officer with responsibility for educating staff and students on academic integrity, supporting Academic Integrity Advisors, and investigating cases of academic misconduct. Dr Justin Tonra, a senior lecturer based in the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) in the University, will be central in implementing, evaluating and refining the Academic Integrity Policy and its associated processes.  Introduced by the University in June 2022, the Academic Integrity Policy sets out the code of practice for dealing with instances where students breach academic integrity by engaging in academic misconduct. Dr Tonra said: “While recent developments in the field of artificial intelligence have brought the issue into focus, academic integrity should be of enduring concern for students and teachers. Its principles of honesty, trust, and responsibility are what sustain academic practice and uphold the value and integrity of a university education and its qualifications. Now is an opportune time to return the focus of the entire university community to the values and tenets of academic integrity as we work together to address the challenges and opportunities of teaching and learning today.” Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Deputy President and Registrar at University of Galway said: “Ensuring academic integrity is a critical issue for the University. There is a recognition that higher education institutions need to tackle contract cheating, plagiarism, and the integrity of assessments and academic work in a coordinated and systematic manner. With the introduction of the Academic Integrity Policy and the appointment of Dr Tonra, the University is committed to educating and informing staff and students on good academic practice.”   Dr Tonra received his PhD in English from University of Galway in 2010. He has worked as a Lecturer in the Discipline of English since 2016 after holding previous appointments at University College London and the University of Virginia. His research interests lie at the intersections of literature and technology and comprise work in the fields of digital humanities, book history, textual studies and bibliography, scholarly editing, and poetry and poetics. He is a founding member of the UK-Ireland Digital Humanities Association, a former National Coordinator for DARIAH-Ireland, and has led working groups for European Commission-funded projects on Distant Reading (COST Action) and on Computational Literary Studies (Horizon 2020).  At the University of Galway, he is the current Course Director of the MA Literature and Publishing and has previously been Director of the Structured PhD in Digital Arts and Humanities. He also holds membership on Academic Council and the Executive Committee of the Moore Institute. Ends

Monday, 27 March 2023

At a special ceremony celebrating 20 years of student volunteering and community engagement at University of Galway, Irish rugby player and Barretstown Ambassador Mack Hansen joined students to share experiences of volunteering.   At the event more than 500 student volunteers were recognised for their efforts with an ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering, joining the 15,000 plus students who, over the last 20 years, have given their time and energy to build and strengthen communities.    The students were acknowledged by University of Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh for their volunteering commitments with national non-profit organisations such as Barretstown and campus student initiatives.    The ALIVE Student Volunteering Programme aims to connect students with volunteering projects that not only make an impact for the individual student’s personal and professional development but also creates social change through community solidarity.   Mack Hansen said: “As an ambassador for Barretstown I see firsthand the impact of volunteering and just how much volunteers get from their experience too. I was delighted to join the team from Barretstown and University of Galway for this special event to recognise the fantastic students who have given up their time to volunteer for organisations across Ireland.”    Lorraine Tansey, ALIVE Student Volunteer Programme Coordinator, said: “Since the pandemic we have now seen a resurgence of volunteering projects and a dramatic increase in volunteer recruitment campaigns from nonprofits, community groups and NGOs. As a result, University of Galway students have taken up the call to action and been volunteering with charity shops, fundraisers, health organisations and environmental campaigns to mention a few.”    May Queen Tugap, student of the College of Business, Public Policy and Law, said: “By giving my time and energy to support cultural events like the Baboro Festival and Music for Galway, I believe I am making a valuable contribution to the community and helping to create a more vibrant and inclusive society, where people of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy and engage with the arts.”    As part of its commitment to civic engagement, University of Galway recently launched the first Civic Engagement Scholarship in an Irish higher education institution. The aim of the scholarship is to contribute to building global citizenship skills among students by enabling them to take on community action at Ireland’s leading campus for civic engagement.     Directed at new entry undergraduate students and valued at €1,500 per academic year for the duration of their degree programme, the scholarship provides training and hands-on skills development workshops, access to specialised conferences and networking, internship experience with the ALIVE Volunteering programme, and insight across a wide range of non-profit, humanitarian and social justice programmes.   Ends 

Monday, 27 March 2023

University of Galway research has highlighted significant gaps in Ireland’s education system which are holding back digital teaching and learning for young people.   The report, commissioned with the support of Google, identified how Ireland is experiencing a significant shortage of teachers, with Maths, Engineering and new STEM subjects such as Computer Science among the hardest vacancies to fill.    The new research - Capacity for, Access to, and Participation in Computer Science Education in Ireland - was led by the School of Education at University of Galway and looked at what is holding back Ireland’s digital education, and what can be done to address the challenges.   A copy of the report is available via University of Galway's School of Education publications' webpage   It found that one of the main barriers to expanding Computer Science education in Ireland’s schools is a lack of qualified teachers.    :: As of August 2022, there were just 34 accredited Computer Science teachers.    :: Out of a total of 140 teachers involved with the Computer Science programme, the vast majority of those teaching it were doing so without Teaching Council accreditation for the subject.    :: In focus groups with school leaders and teachers, the research revealed that a lack of qualified teachers was the number one barrier to making Coding and Computer Science available at their school.   Dr Cornelia Connolly, lecturer in University of Galway’s School of Education and lead author of the report, said: “Although the Irish education system has embraced computing in the curriculum at post-primary - by introducing Coding as a Junior Cycle short course and Computer Science as a stand-alone Leaving Certificate subject - we are a long way off making this important 21st century subject available to all students.”   The research report noted that as Ireland is working to become a digital leader at the heart of European and global digital developments – the development of computing skills and a flourishing Computer Science education ecosystem are essential to this transformation.    It also highlights the necessity for Ireland’s education system to incorporate significantly more digital skill and computational development in schools if we are to ensure the ongoing digital transformation of the economy.    The researchers found a low level of understanding of the importance of the subject of Computer Science amongst students, teachers and the relevant stakeholders, with other courses such as Wellbeing pushing Coding and Computer Science off the timetable.   The report highlighted that in 2022:  Only 15.6% of schools offered Computer Science at Leaving Certificate -  114 out of 728 post-primary schools  117 out of 728 post-primary schools offered Junior Cycle Coding  34 accredited Computer Science teachers in Ireland  Of a total of 140 teachers involved with the Computer Science programme, the vast majority of those teaching the subject are doing so without Teaching Council accreditation for the subject A significant gender gap in participation in the subject is emerging: 60% of Junior Cycle Coding, and 70% of Leaving Certificate Computer Science students in 2022 were male  The report highlights a range of emergent challenges and recommendations for the effective integration of Computer Science skills and practices within formal education in Ireland across the primary and post-primary sector.    There is a necessity for all students attending primary and post-primary school to have equal opportunity to develop basic Computer Science understanding and skills, including computational thinking and coding.   Dr Connolly added: “We need to develop a shared understanding and strengthen the acceptance of Computer Science as a foundational competence for all, enabling young people to become active participants in a digital economy and society. While young people are often assumed to be ‘digital natives’ who can pick up computer skills with ease, the research indicated this is not the case. Young people have a high level of access to phones and smart technology, yet teachers report that their technical use and understanding of computers is much lower. To address this, the report recommends that computing education needs to be introduced at an earlier age.”    Ends

Tuesday, 21 March 2023

University of Galway’s Access Centre and Grant Thornton have celebrated five years of their joint Professional Engagement Module, an experience-based module of learning for Access students.  Over an eight-week period, Access Students are assigned a mentor from Grant Thornton Galway and take part in a specifically designed module of structured, interactive learning. As a result of taking part in the programme, students gain exposure to the professional environment, develop career skills, and increase their career readiness.  The mentoring, time spent in the Grant Thornton offices and workshops run as part of the module combine to give the students self-belief around progression in education and in planning for their careers. Aengus Burns, Advisory Partner with Grant Thornton, said: “This is our fifth year of interaction with the University on this programme, we are delighted to support it. We believe it is very important to show students through the Access Programme what opportunities there are in this industry, how Grant Thornton interacts with its own staff and clients, and present opportunities to these students.”  Vice President for Engagement at University of Galway, Dr Paul Dodd, said: “This programme speaks to the importance of diverse learning experiences and collaborations with the wider community and industry. The benefits of this relationship between the Access Centre and Grant Thornton are very apparent in the way that the students speak about their mentors and the motivation it has given them to persist and strive for success within their chosen courses.” The Access Programmes are for those with the ability to benefit from and succeed in higher education but who, for a variety of socio-economic reasons, are under-represented at third level. Dr Mary Surlis, Senior Academic Manager in University of Galway’s Access Centre, said: “This year marks the fifth year of Professional Engagement Module and our much-valued relationship with Grant Thornton. The programme offers a very exciting opportunity to our students to engage in a professional setting, and to experience the support and encouragement of dedicated committed professionals, this will benefit our students enormously.” University of Galway Access student Nathan Martin said: “To visit the Grant Thornton offices and see how things operate in a real business setting, not just theorizing it, actually getting to see it in action, is hugely beneficial to us. It keeps our drive going. That for me fermented it in my own head that I really do want to do the course that I have chosen, and I believe for my fellow students it has given them the same passion and drive to keep going as well.”  Ends

Tuesday, 21 March 2023

University of Galway has launched its inaugural Nelson Mandela Anti-Racism Week. Taking place throughout the week until Friday March 24, the events coincide with International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, observed each year on March 21st.  The week-long programme also commemorates the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela being awarded an honorary doctorate by University of Galway in 2003. On that occasion, Mandela said: “It is a source of great pride to be honoured by an Irish university. To stand here at the University and receive an honorary doctorate makes one feel part of that proud lineage of scholarship, learning and wisdom that had been passed down the centuries of Irish history.” The extensive range of initiatives outlined in the programme of events includes both student and staff led activities such as workshops, a diversity café, exhibitions, virtual reality experience, race equality training, Traveller and Roma film festival, society events, and cultural events. Guest speakers include Emer O’Neill, Rosemarie Maughan, Dr Amanullah De Sondy, Ikenna Anyabuike, Ashwin Chacko, Mary Watson and Sharmilla Beezmohun. Highlights during the week include: Photo Exhibition: Celebrating Racial Diversity at University of Galway Experiencing Direct Provision through the eyes of University of Galway Students (Virtual Reality Experience),  Remembering Nelson Mandela’s Conferring Ceremony at the University of Galway, (Thursday, March 23 at 11.30am in the Aula Maxima, Quadrangle) where South African Ambassador to Ireland, Yolisa Maya, will deliver the keynote address Panel discussion: The Intersection between Racism and Public Spaces by Emer O'Neill, Rosemarie Maughan and Amanullah De Sondy (Friday March 24 at 11am, The Cube, Áras na Mac Léinn) Dr Helen Maher, Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion said: “The week aims to empower the University community to act on Nelson Mandela’s Anti-Racism vision and the University’s values of respect, openness, excellence and sustainability, through the advancement of race equality and anti-racism which aligns with the University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy. I very much look forward to continuing to engage with everyone in progressing a transformative equality, diversity and inclusion agenda at University of Galway.”  To mark the inaugural Nelson Mandela Anti-Racism Week, the Office of the Vice President for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion has awarded funding to 11 projects as part of the annual Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Project Fund. The funding is available to staff and students on a competitive basis for a variety of Anti-Racism projects within the University. In addition, the University is hosting the first national HEA conference on Race Equality in Higher Education on March 20 to highlight the structural, institutional, and historical dimensions of racism which have informed past and current practices in HEIs and the societies in which they are situated. Owen Ward, EDI Programme Manager for Race Equality at University of Galway, said: “The diverse programme of events during Nelson Mandela Anti-Racism week is based on a collaborative approach throughout the university, supported by the Office of the Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. The events are designed to be deliberative and interactive, facilitating discussion, learning and engagement on a wide range of issues relevant to race, ethnicity and anti-racism.” For further information and to register for events visit  Ends

Monday, 20 March 2023

Tá tús curtha leis an gclárú do lá oscailte bliantúil fochéime Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, a thabharfaidh deis do na mílte dalta agus a dtuismitheoirí nó a gcaomhnóirí cuairt a thabhairt ar an gcampas stairiúil cois abhann seo i gcroílár chathair na Gaillimhe.  Beidh Lá Oscailte an Earraigh ar siúl ar an gcampas Dé Sathairn, an 25 Márta idir 9am agus 3pm.  Tá sé oscailte do gach scoláire sa tsraith shinsearach, iad siúd atá ag déanamh na hidirbhliana san áireamh. Buailfidh cuairteoirí le mic léinn reatha Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus cloisfidh siad ó ollúna agus léachtóirí den scoth faoi na cúrsaí ceannródaíocha atá ar fáil agus an taighde nuálach atá idir lámha. Ní iontas ar bith go bhfuil an ollscoil seo i measc an 2% is fearr d’ollscoileanna an domhain. Dúirt Sarah Geraghty, Stiúrthóir Earcaíochta Mac Léinn agus For-rochtana: "Tugann lá oscailte Ollscoil na Gaillimhe deis do mhic léinn ionchasacha agus do thuismitheoirí eolas a chur ar chúrsaí, ábhair, slite beatha agus saol an mhic léinn san Ollscoil agus is deis iontach atá anseo bualadh lenár n-ollúna, léachtóirí agus mic léinn reatha agus labhairt leo. Tá cúig thaispeántas i gceist leis an imeacht agus beidh an clár is mó riamh againn le níos mó ná 100 caint faoi chúrsaí, ábhair, gairmeacha agus tacaíochtaí do mhic léinn. I measc na mbuaicphointí áirítear Saol na Mac Léinn, Spórt, Staidéar Thar Lear, Gairmeacha agus obair dheonach ALIVE. Eagróidh an tIonad Rochtana seisiún ar bhealaí iontrála eile, ar thacaíochtaí do mhic léinn lánfhásta agus ar an mbealach iontrála QQI/FETAC/PLC. B’fhéidir go mbeadh suim ag muintir na ndaltaí i gCaint na dTuismitheoirí a bheidh ar siúl ag 11.30am áit a mbeidh comhairle agus treoir le fáil ar an gcaoi is féidir le tuismitheoirí tacú lena gclann agus iad ag dul ar aghaidh chuig an tríú leibhéal.    Leag Sarah Geraghty, Stiúrthóir Earcaíochta agus For-rochtana na Mac Léinn, béim ar an tábhacht a bhaineann le deiseanna a sholáthar do dhaltaí chun an campas a fheiceáil agus smaoineamh ar a gcuid staidéir amach anseo. Táimid ag súil fáilte a chur roimh na daltaí go dtí an campas áit a bhfaighidh siad taithí mhaith ar shaol na hollscoile, áit a bhfuil teagasc bunaithe ar thaighde, béim ar scileanna infhostaitheachta, socrúcháin, staidéar thar lear agus córas tacaíochta a thabharfaidh deis dóibh barr feabhais a bhaint amach. Tabharfaidh an lá oscailte blaiseadh de shaol an choláiste do dhaltaí na sraithe sinsearaí agus tá súil againn go dtuigfidh siad go mbeidh deis iontach acu agus iad ag staidéar san ollscoil amach anseo.”  -      Cuireann an Ollscoil os cionn 60 bunchéim ar fáil a aithnítear go hidirnáisiúnta i réimsí cosúil le Leigheas, Altranas, Eolaíochtaí Sláinte, na Dána, Eolaíocht, Innealtóireacht, Gnó, Dlí agus Bainistíocht Óstáin. -      Tugann breis agus 90% de na cúrsaí deis do mhic léinn tabhairt faoi shocrúchán oibre agus/nó staidéar thar lear chun a chinntiú go mbíonn céimithe réidh don ionad oibre, agus go mbíonn tóir ag fostóirí sa bhaile agus thar lear orthu. -      Féadfaidh mic léinn a roghnaíonn staidéar a dhéanamh in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe a bheith muiníneach go dtabharfar aitheantas ar fud an domhain dá n-obair chrua agus dá gcáilíochtaí. Tá creidiúnú aitheanta go hidirnáisiúnta ag go leor de na cúrsaí a chuireann Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ar fáil agus ní iontas ar bith í a bheith ar an 2% is fearr de na hollscoileanna ar fad ar domhan. Mar chéimí de chuid na hollscoile, beidh mic léinn páirteach i bpobal domhanda láidir agus dinimiciúil de bhreis agus 110,000 alumni. Is gá clárú roimh ré, agus tá tuilleadh eolais agus an clár iomlán ar fáil ag, nó ríomhphost a sheoladh chuig Críoch

Thursday, 16 March 2023

Tá Gradaim Aitheantais bronnta ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ar scoláirí ar éirigh leo pas le gradam, idir 90% agus 100%, a bhaint amach i scrúduithe ardleibhéil Gaeilge an Teastais Shóisearaigh.  D’fhreastail breis agus 100 scoláire as Co. Dhún na nGall, Co. an Chláir, Co. Mhaigh Eo, Co. Liatroma, Co. Shligigh, Co. Ros Comáin agus Co. na Gaillimhe ar ócáid speisialta a reáchtáladh i Halla Bailey Allen ar champas na hOllscoile chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar na héachtaí a bhain na scoláirí meánscoile seo amach.   Áirítear na scoláirí seo i measc an 2.6% de scoláirí na tíre ar éirigh leo pas le gradam a bhaint amach sa pháipéar ardleibhéil T2 Gaeilge go náisiúnta, nó an 3.6% de na scoláirí a bhain pas le gradam amach sa pháipéar ardleibhéil T1 Gaeilge sa Teastas Sóisearach in 2022. Chuir Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh fáilte chroíúil roimh na scoláirí agus a dteaghlaigh, agus rinne sé comhghairdeas leis na príomhoidí agus leis na múinteoirí a bhí i láthair ón 36 scoil ar a bhfuil na scoláirí ag freastal freisin, agus é ag tabhairt aitheantais dóibhsean as an dea-obair atá ar bun acu féin sna scoileanna. “Tá mé chomh sásta go bhfuil ar ár gcumas ómós a thaispeáint don chéad ghlúin eile Gaeilgeoirí, i bhfianaise go bhfuil an Ghaeilge chomh tábhachtach dúinn ar fad anseo san Ollscoil agus go bhfuil an Ghaeilge chomh lárnach inár bhféiniúlacht.” Bhí an méid seo le rá ag an t-Ollamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Uachtarán Ionaid agus Meabhránaí Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus é ag tréaslú leis na scoláirí: “Ba cheart go mbeadh sibhse an-bhródúil asaibh féin.  Is léir gur scoláirí eisceachtúla sibh, a bhfuil sárchumas sa Ghaeilge agaibh, agus is údar misnigh dúinne é go bhfuil bhur leithéid ann, agus go bhfuil todhchaí na Gaeilge slán.” Aithnítear an tábhacht a bhaineann lena chinntiú go mbeidh pobail bhisiúla Ghaeilge sa Ghaeltacht agus taobh amuigh den Ghaeltacht i gcéad straitéis Ghaeilge na hOllscoile, Straitéis na Gaeilge 2021-2025, a seoladh i mí Iúil 2021.  Tugadh aitheantas do na pobail sin ag an ócáid cheiliúrtha seo agus an Ollscoil ag déanamh cúraim don ról a chuir sí roimpi sa Straitéis, ó thaobh ceannasaíocht a thabhairt don ardoideachas i nGaeilge agus meas a léiriú ar lucht labhartha na Gaeilge. Críoch 

Thursday, 16 March 2023

University of Galway has presented students who achieved a distinction, between 90% and 100%, in their higher level Irish Junior Certificate examination with a Special Irish Recognition Award. Over 100 students from Donegal, Clare, Mayo, Leitrim, Sligo, Roscommon and Galway attended a special event in the Bailey Allen Hall in University of Galway to recognise and celebrate their achievements. These students are among the 2.6% of students across the country who achieved a distinction in the higher level T2 Irish paper, or the 3.6% of students who achieved a distinction in the higher level T1 paper in the 2022 Junior Certificate examinations. University of Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh welcomed the students and their families and also congratulated the teachers and principals from the 36 schools they are attending while recognising the hard work being done in the schools.  “I am very pleased that we can give the next generation of Irish speakers the respect and recognition they deserve, particularly as the Irish language is so important to us here at Ollscoil na Gaillimhe and that it is such a central part of our identity.” Deputy President and Registrar, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh also congratulated the students saying: “You should all be very proud of yourselves. You are exceptional students, with exceptional ability in the Irish language, and you are all a great source of encouragement to us as we can rest assured that the future of the Irish language is in safe hands.” The importance of thriving Irish-speaking communities in the Gaeltacht and beyond is recognised in the University’s first Irish language strategy, A Strategy for the Irish Language 2021-2025, which was launched in July 2021.  These communities were given due recognition at this event with the University fulfilling its role in leading higher education in the Irish language and showing Irish speakers respect, as is set out in the Strategy. Ends 

Wednesday, 15 March 2023

Business leaders from the west of Ireland are invited to a University of Galway business summit, focusing on addressing challenges companies face in terms of talent attraction and retention, and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and sustainability issues. Organised by the University’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, the Regional Business Summit – Engaging People and Leading on Sustainability, takes place on campus on Friday March 31, from 8.45am to 1.30pm in the Bailey Allen Hall. The goal of the event is to provide business leaders with the tools and strategies they need to succeed in today's rapidly changing business landscape. Attendees will hear from speakers in Enterprise Ireland and Ibec, experts in local and national companies including PwC, Deloitte, Fidelity, Genesys and Nulla Carbon, as well as academics, who will share strategies for attracting and retaining top talent. They will also gain insights into how sustainability considerations can be integrated into business operations and decision-making processes and develop a better understanding of ESG. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with other business leaders and share their own experiences and best practices. Professor Alma McCarthy, Head of J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at University of Galway, said: "Attracting and retaining top talent is a critical issue for businesses of all sizes in the region, and with the growing importance of ESG and sustainability, companies are under increasing pressure to operate responsibly and ethically. Our event will provide attendees with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed in this new era of business." The Regional Business Summit is the second in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics Thinking Beyond event series and is held in partnership with Galway Chamber and ITAG. For further information or to register visit   Ends

Wednesday, 15 March 2023

Registration has opened for University of Galway’s annual spring undergraduate open day, which will provide an opportunity for thousands of students and their parents or guardians to visit the historic, riverside campus in the heart of Galway city.    The University’s spring open day will take place on campus on Saturday March 25 from 9am to 3pm. It is open to all senior cycle students, including those doing transition year. Visitors will meet current University of Galway students and hear from world leading professors and lecturers about the cutting-edge courses on offer and the innovative research that puts it among the top 2% of universities on the global stage.  Sarah Geraghty, Director of Student Recruitment and Outreach, said: “University of Galway open day offers prospective students and parents an opportunity to explore courses, subjects, careers and student life at the University and a great chance to meet and talk to our professors, lecturers and current students.”  The event is spread across five exhibitions and the schedule includes the largest ever programme of talks with more than 100 talks featuring all courses and subjects, as well as career and student support. Some highlights includes Student Life, Sport, Study Abroad, Careers and ALIVE volunteering. The Access Centre will host a session on alternative pathways, mature student supports and the QQI/FETAC/PLC entry route.  Parents may be interested in the Parents’ Talk taking place on at 11:30am with advice and guidance on how parents can support the progression to third level.   Sarah Geraghty, Director of Student Recruitment and Outreach, highlighted the importance of providing students with opportunities to explore the campus and think about their future studies: “We look forward to welcoming students to the campus where they can expect a true university experience with research-led teaching, a focus on employability skills, placements, study abroad and a support ecosystem that prepares individuals to reach their potential. The open day will give senior cycle students a taste of college life and hopefully a sense of great possibility for their future university studies.”   The University offers more than 60 internationally recognised undergraduate degrees coverings areas such as Medicine, Nursing, Health Sciences, Arts, Science, Engineering, Business, Law and Hotel Management.  More than 90% of courses offer students a work placement and/or study abroad opportunity ensuring graduates are work place ready, and sought after by employers at home and abroad.  Students choosing to study at University of Galway can be confident that their hard work and qualifications will be recognised worldwide.  Ranked in the top 2% of universities globally, many of the courses provided by University of Galway hold internationally recognised accreditation. As a graduate of the university, students will be joining a strong and dynamic global community of over 110,000 alumni.  Advance registration is required, with further information and the full programme available at, or by emailing  Ends

Monday, 13 March 2023

University of Galway has appointed its second ever full-time Traveller Education Officer to lead on the recruitment of and support students from the Irish Traveller community. Anne Marie Stokes, a Traveller and alumnus of the University, succeeds Owen Ward in the role and will manage the Mincéirs Misl'd in Education - Empowering Irish Travellers project to transition and build a sense of belonging in Higher Education. The project is funded by the Higher Education Authority's Programme for Access to Higher Education (PATH 3) fund, and the role will be shared across University of Galway and Atlantic Technological University Galway-Mayo. As Traveller Education Officer, Anne Marie Stokes will work in partnership with various stakeholders, including Irish Traveller organisations and the Irish Traveller community, and build on critical government policies and strategies to provide a detailed, evidence-based understanding of barriers to access, progression and retention in higher education for Irish Travellers. Anne Marie Stokes, Traveller Education Officer, said: “I am proud to take up my new role with the Access Centre at University of Galway as I have seen the University’s commitment to increasing the number of Travellers reaching higher education. I am very passionate about education, and I have a Bachelor of Arts and a Master’s degree from University of Galway, and I look forward to supporting the further development of outreach, recruitment and support strategies to not only enable Traveller students to access university but to succeed once they do.” Having previously worked with the Galway Traveller Movement, Anne Marie Stokes has also delivered cultural awareness training and anti-racism training to numerous service providers and industries. She now joins a multi-disciplinary team of professionals supporting students that are under-represented in higher education from the pre-entry stage of the student journey and throughout their time in University of Galway and Atlantic Technological University Galway-Mayo.  Imelda Byrne, Head of the Access Centre at University of Galway, said: “The need for further engagement with the Irish Traveller Community has been identified through both practice and policy. A lot of progress has been made in recent years, but Irish Travellers are still heavily under-represented in higher education. We are delighted with Anne Marie’s appointment to continue and build on the work that has been done to date and look forward to new collaborations.”  Ends

Friday, 10 March 2023

Shannon College of Hotel Management has presented over 100 students with degrees from its world-renowned institution, while also celebrating the recovery of the hospitality industry globally which has faced many challenges as a result of the pandemic. Founded by Dr Brendan O’Regan in 1951, Shannon College is part of University of Galway and is the only third level college in the country with 100% graduate employment. Many of its graduates are currently working in some of the most renowned hotels around the world including Claridge’s London, Intercontinental Miami, Hilton Seychelles and the Ritz Carlton Toronto.  The most recent cohort of graduates hailed from ten countries including Ireland, India, China, Malaysia, South Korea, Seychelles and Germany.  Speaking at the conferring ceremony which took place on Thursday, Adrian Sylver, Head of Shannon College, said: “The industry is rebounding after a turbulent period. Central to this resurgence is the people. You graduate today with a degree in International Hotel Management, your degree has equipped you with skills highly sought in the industry. You have mastered modules in all the key business disciplines and those specific to the hospitality industry. Additionally in Shannon we have strived to hone your management and interpersonal skills. The Shannon qualification goes beyond the academic studies, lifelong skills are developed that will make you stand out in the industry. Tourism, Ireland's largest indigenous sector and biggest regional employer, is on a strong recovery trajectory after the difficulties of the pandemic.”  Professor Geraint Howells, Executive Dean of the College of Business, Public Policy and Law at University of Galway, said: “It was wonderful to attend the conferring at Shannon College. The Shannon College spirit was present as ever and it was obvious why our graduates are so sought after due to their wide range of skills and professional and welcoming attitude.” Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, Chairperson of the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation, said: “There are significant opportunities for new graduates starting their tourism careers as well as those seeking career progression across the length and breadth of the country. This is one of Ireland’s most exciting sectors.”  Ends 

Friday, 10 March 2023

Preclinical validation to commence following EU funding of €4.5m The European Union has awarded a European Consortium €4.5 million for the ELR-Scar project to validate a novel hydrogel biomaterial that will prevent scar tissue from forming in the heart following a heart attack. Myocardial infarction (MI), or heart attack, happens as a result of ischaemic heart disease (IHD). Europe has the highest rates of IHD worldwide, equalling almost 26.5 million patients. In the days and weeks following a heart attack, the damaged cells of the heart are replaced by scar tissue. This scarring or 'remodelling 'of the heart tissue can cause further dysfunction and complications for the patient. Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices at University of Galway, said: "There is a clear medical need for new treatment solutions that can prevent scar tissue formation and irreversible cardiac remodelling. Our hope is that this hydrogel will do exactly that to fundamentally improve clinical practice, reducing the enormous burden that a heart attack and its leading cause, ischaemic heart disease, places on society and the individual patient." Professor Pandit leads the ELR-Scar consortium and recently received the prestigious George Winter Award 2022 from the European Society for Biomaterials. The consortium includes seven industry and academic partners across Ireland, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Lithuania, Poland and the Netherlands. The hydrogel solution being developed by the team is biospecific, which means that its properties or activities vary according to the specific biological molecule it interacts with. It will have enhanced adhesion to cardiac tissue and is made of a degradable biomaterial that would be administered to the patient through an intravenous, endocardial catheter.  This EU funding recognises the importance of tackling economic and personal health burdens and adds to the €70 million in EU investment generated by CÚRAM researchers during its first eight years.  ELR-SCAR draws on collaborations across Western and Eastern European countries to work on the project's regulatory, manufacturing, and clinical needs.  Ends

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Researchers at University of Galway have found that people with symptoms of depression were more likely to suffer an acute stroke and have a worse recovery afterwards. The findings come from a new INTERSTROKE study, published in Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The research paper is available here.  INTERSTROKE is a global study of 26,877 adults with an average age of 62, across 32 countries including participants in Europe, Asia, North and South America, the Middle East and Africa. Participants with stroke were matched to controls who had not suffered a stroke, but were similar in age, gender, racial or ethnic identity. Dr Robert P Murphy was the study author and consultant Stroke Physician and researcher at the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at University of Galway.  Dr Murphy said: “Depression affects people around the world and can have a wide range of impacts across a person’s life. Our study provides a broad picture of depression and its link to risk of stroke by looking at a number of factors including participants’ symptoms, life choices, and antidepressant use. Our results show depressive symptoms were linked to increased stroke risk and the risk was similar across different age groups and around the world.” The INTERSTROKE study found:  Of study participants, 18% of those who had a stroke had symptoms of depression compared to 14% of controls who did not have a stroke. After adjusting for age, sex, education, physical activity and other lifestyle factors, people with depressive symptoms before stroke had a 46% increased risk of stroke compared to those with no depressive symptoms. The more symptoms of depression participants had, the higher their risk of stroke.  Participants who reported five or more depressive symptoms had a 54% higher risk of stroke than those with no symptoms. Those who reported three to four depressive symptoms and those who reported one or two symptoms of depression had 58% and 35% higher risk, respectively. While people with symptoms of depression were not more likely to have more severe strokes, they were more likely to have worse functional outcomes one month after the stroke than those without depressive symptoms. Professor Martin O’Donnell, Professor of Neurovascular Medicine at University of Galway and Consultant Stroke Physician at Galway University Hospitals, co-led the international INTERSTROKE study in partnership with Professor Salim Yusuf from the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University, Canada. Professor O’Donnell said: “The goal of INTERSTROKE is to better understand the importance of risk factors for stroke in different regions of the world and impact of stroke. In the INTERSTROKE study we have previously examined the roles of hypertension, alcohol, lipids and psychosocial stress as global determinants of stroke risk. The current analysis provides deeper insights into the association of depressive symptoms with stroke risk, reporting an increased risk. These analyses suggest that effective identification and management of depression may also be associated with reduce stroke risk, although the observational nature of the study does not permit definitive conclusions.” A series of findings have been released as part of the wider INTERSTROKE project including:  Alcohol risk factors for acute stroke Anger, emotional upset and heavy physical exertion may trigger stroke Psychosocial stress tied to higher risk for acute stroke Ends