NUI Galway announces green-light for 3 projects totalling €80 million

Thursday, 16 October 2003

National University of Ireland Galway has announced the immediate development of three new capital projects totalling €80 million, as part of the first phase of a development programme contained in the University's recently adopted Strategic Plan 2003 - 2008. The projects, to be started immediately, include a new Graduate School of Business, a new Engineering Building, and a major new Sports Centre and Cultural Facilities for the University's 13,800 students, as well as associated essential infrastructural developments. Announcing this initiative, University President, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh stated "We in NUI Galway have been very deliberate about our planned development over the next 5 years. These three projects reflect key components of the strategic plan, and I am delighted that we can now proceed towards their completion. This decision would not have been possible without the support for these projects of Atlantic Philanthropies, who recently confirmed a donation of €18m to the University. This represents the largest single gift to the University in its history." The announcement of this donation coincides with the public launch of the University's fundraising campaign - entitled The People & Place Campaign – which has a target of €50m from private sources. The campaign is part of a projected overall €250 million investment in seventeen new buildings, academic programmes and student facilities at the University. John MacNamara, Chairman of Galway University Foundation welcomed the announcement. "With support from Atlantic Philanthropies and other donors The People and Place Campaign is now over half-way to its target. This is a great endorsement of NUI Galway's vision, and I hope friends and graduates of the University will become involved with the Campaign in order to ensure we meet these ambitious targets." The People & Place Campaign has grouped its seventeen projects around eight themes. Further information is available on www.nuigalway.ie/foundation President Ó Muircheartaigh said that he hoped that the University's efforts to fundraise from the private sector would "highlight to Government that we intend to maximise income from all sources" and went on to call on Government, for its part, to continue its policy of investment in education in order to accelerate Ireland's development as a leading "knowledge economy". Student leaders also welcomed the announcement. Tony McDonnell, Student's Union President, said that these developments "would greatly enhance the sports and cultural dimension of student life on campus, as well as provide much-needed academic facilities in engineering and business." Ends

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NUI Galway to honour individuals for service to their communities

Monday, 13 October 2003

Honorary Master degrees will be conferred on five individuals during the October conferring ceremonies which take place next week from the 20 – 24 October, 2003. Those conferred include the following: · Jim Callery (M.A) A native of Elphin, Co. Roscommon, Mr. Callery, a successful businessman, has an abiding interest in local history. In 1979, he purchased Strokestown House with the intention of retaining the land and selling on the house. However, he decided that the house was a vital part of our national heritage and embarked on the most significant private restoration project in Ireland. The house, which dates back to the 1600s was restored and opened to the public in 1987. The Irish National Famine Museum was built in the stable yards of the house and opened in 1994. · Frank Canavan (M.Ed.) Former headmaster of Coláiste Iognáid, Galway, Mr. Canavan continues his commitment to professional development through membership of the Curriculum Development Association, Education Committee, ASTI, membership of and attendance at Congresses of Heads of European Jesuit Schools. · Brendan Flynn (M.Ed) Vice-Principal of Clifden Community School, Mr. Flynn has been closely associated with Clifden Arts Festival which began in 1977. He has been Director of the Festival for the last 26 years. He was appointed to the Arts Council in 1998 and has edited the 'Clifden Anthology 1' and the 'Clifden Anthologe 2', which include submissions from literary figures who have been associated with the Festival through the years. · Tom Connolly (M.R.D) From Clifden, Co. Galway, Mr. Connolly is a leader in local and community development in West Connemara. He is Chairman of the Clifden and District Community Council and Director and Chairman of the Western Regional Tourism Organisation. · Pádraig Mac Gréine (M.A.) Born in 1900 in Co. Longford, this 103-year old is still active as a teacher and scholar. He is best known for his work with the Irish Folklore Commission. He has collected stories, fables and descriptions of customs, in particular those of the travelling community. He collected most of the material for the collection "To shorten the Road: Traveller Folktales of Ireland," and his work is also included in "The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing." Ends

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NUI Galway launches new learning and volunteering scheme

Monday, 13 October 2003

An initiative which encourages students to combine learning with volunteer work is commencing at NUI Galway this week. Known as "ALIVE" or "A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience," the course, which has been established under the University's Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI), is an effort to recognise the potential support students can make to various communities. The initiative is based on service learning: a pedagogy of action and reflection, which is fairly new to Ireland. "Service Learning is a form of experiential learning where students apply academic knowledge and critical thinking skills to address genuine community needs," explains CKI Project Manager Jacinta Barrins. "It enables students to bring their knowledge base to the benefit of a wide range of organisations and to take their learning from that experience back to the classroom, where the analysis becomes a significant part of their education." The proposed course builds on the strong tradition in some faculties of staff involvement in community activities and on student-initiated and student led volunteer activities currently underway at NUI Galway. The course, which is available to all NUI Galway students, combines 12 hours of lectures with an additional 45 hours of volunteering over two semesters. The student chooses a not-for-profit organisation to work with from partnerships developed by CKI which include a number of organisations under the umbrella group of Galway Volunteering Network, IRD, Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo, and Galway Leader Companies. According to Jacinta Barrins, "NUI, Galway is currently promoting the development of student-led projects on campus. We hope that students will create their own student initiated and led volunteering projects on campus," The aim of this initiative is to develop various characteristics among students, with a positive spin-off for the community. The course will develop university-community interaction, civic responsibility and self development in students." There are various positive outcomes for students who participate in the project. Participating in the course could assist in enhancing your employability skills, particularly as employers are now looking for the more 'holistic' employee," she says. Most organisations who are involved in the ALIVE partnership provide basic training. In addition, the ALIVE course provides training in a number of areas including Personal Development Planning, Communication Skills, Civic Engagement Issues, Teamwork and Self Management. Ends

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NUI Galway acquires literary archive of John McGahern

Monday, 6 October 2003

At a reception in NUI Galway today (October 6th 2003) John McGahern, the most accomplished and acclaimed writer of Ireland's living fiction writers, officially handed over his literary archive to the President of NUI Galway, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh. The archive will be housed in the James Hardiman Library alongside other renowned literary works. The extensive archive is enormously rich in content and consists of forty years of writings, personal papers, novella and short stories, correspondence and the manuscript of a novel, which although accepted for publication was subsequently withdrawn by Mr McGahern. The collection includes the manuscripts of earliest works including The Dark and The Barracks, Amongst Women and his latest novel - That they may face the Rising Sun. Importantly, all future work will also be part of the archive and will include John McGahern's memoirs on which he continues to work. Commenting on the importance of the acquisition of the archive, the President of NUI Galway, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh said, "We are honoured that John McGahern is with us here today as we take into our possession this outstanding and extensive literary archive. His influence on Irish literature of this era has been immense, as he captures the narratives of our changing society and the transition from rural values to the alternative challenges of urban living and economic modernisation. This is a significant achievement for this University and an enormous enhancement of our literary and Irish Studies resource base. It firmly enhances NUI Galway as a centre of excellence for national and international scholars. We look forward to the new research possibilities that have been made possible as a result of this acquisition." Ms. Marie Reddan, James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway said, "The acquisition of this archive greatly enhances NUI Galway, as a location of research into generations of Irish tradition and complements existing library strengths collected over centuries. Balancing our archival and preservation skills with our ability to exploit such collections using 21st century technology, will ensure access to this unique and highly valuable primary research resource for the benefit of both international scholars and McGahern's own regional community." Dr Riana O'Dwyer, Department of English, NUI Galway added, "John McGahern's reputation as a consummate stylist and master of fiction extends throughout the English-speaking world and he is particularly appreciated in North America. The setting of these texts ranges from the rural west of Ireland, to Dublin and abroad, but returns always to the fulcrum of lived experience: the inland fields and lakes and bogs of Connaught and the lives of people rooted there. John McGahern is arguably the most important Irish novelist since James Joyce. Today we are honoured with his presence at NUI Galway." Professor Ger Hurley, Dean of Research, at NUI Galway said, "Having the original papers of John McGahern is a tremendous research resource for the University and will be eagerly sought after by literary scholars inside and outside the University." Dr. Louis de Paor, Director of NUI Galway's Centre for Irish Studies, where John McGahern has been Adjunct Professor since 2001 added, "This archive will provide a unique insight into the working methods and technical development of one of the most meticulous and scrupulous Irish writers of our time. It will be an invaluable resource for generations of literary and cultural scholars." Professor Chris Curtin, Department of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway concluded, "John McGahern's work provides a deep and exceptionally insightful view of rural life in Ireland. His books represent a major source of information for a range of social sciences but for sociologists in particular." Other works housed at the James Hardiman library include the Douglas Hyde manuscripts, O Tuairisc papers and the O Domhnalláin papers with an excellent collection of Theatre archives – Druid, An Taibhdhearc, Galway Arts Festival, Macnas and the archive of the early years of the Lyric Theatre Belfast. Ends

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NUI Galway Professor elected to leading Scientific Organisation

Tuesday, 18 November 2003

Professor Noel Lowndes of NUI Galway's Department of Biochemistry has become a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO). He is just one of three Irish-based scientists elected to the prestigious organisation which includes 36 Nobel Prize laureates among its members. Professor Lowndes, who has established an international reputation in cellular responses to DNA damage, leads Ireland s first Genome Stability Cluster at NUI Galway. His research team is studying how normal cells respond when the genetic material is damaged and how defects in these responses result in cancer. DNA damage is caused by diverse agents ranging from sunlight and cigarette smoke to ionising radiation from either natural sources or from nuclear power plants. Responding to the news of his appointment to EMBO, Professor Lowndes said, "This is a great honour for me personally but is also recognition of the recently established Genome Stability Cluster at NUI Galway. This cluster, a team of four distinct laboratories working on related aspects of the biological responses to DNA damage, is unique in Ireland and has exciting potential for our understanding of the underlying causes of cancer." Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said the University was proud of the depth and strength of research being carried out across all disciplines. "The election of Professor Lowndes to EMBO is an endorsement of his ground-breaking research and its potential to alleviate suffering caused by cancer. He and his team of international scientists bring a wealth of experience and expertise to their work," he said. Professor Frank Gannon, Executive Director, EMBO said, "Election to EMBO is based on the votes of the EMBO members. It is an honour that is much sought after and the inclusion of Noel Lowndes in this elite group sends a very positive message about his research reputation and the growing recognition of the quality of science in Galway and Ireland." EMBO, established by leading scientists in 1964, promotes biosciences in Europe. The organization raised the standards in this area of science through the establishment of a specialist laboratory (EMBL), the provision of training through practical courses and workshops and by stimulating mobility through its Fellowship Programme. Today EMBO has 1200 elected members in 24 countries. Ends

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