'Understanding Bloody Sunday' Public Lecture at NUI Galway

Thursday, 24 January 2008

On Wednesday 30 January, the 36th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, NUI Galway's Centre for Irish Studies will host a public talk entitled 'Understanding Bloody Sunday'. Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh, author of From Civil Rights to Armalites and a lecturer in the University's School of Political Science and Sociology, will deliver the lecture at 8pm in the Joseph Larmor Theatre, Arts & Science Building. Bloody Sunday, as it became known, took place on 30 January 1972 when thirteen civilians were shot dead by British soldiers at a civil rights march in Derry. This tragic part of history will be in focus again this year with the expected publication of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry report, also known as the Saville Inquiry. According to Dr Ó Dochartaigh, "In the weeks before Bloody Sunday, efforts were made to use proven channels of communication between the security forces and the Catholic community to avert confrontation. These efforts were clearly and decisively rejected at the highest levels of the British army command structure in Northern Ireland." During the talk, Dr Ó Dochartaigh will trace the development of British security policy in Derry in the months before Bloody Sunday, examining the way in which deep divisions between military and police commanders on the ground were reflected in changing policies at the highest levels of the British state. While some in the security forces desperately attempted to prevent the outbreak of violence at the march, others deliberately prepared to stage a major confrontation. Dr Ó Dochartaigh will follow the development of this struggle through the decisions of the British government in the months before the march, in the shaping of the British army's plan to deal with the march on the day, and in the minute-by-minute details of the army operation on Bloody Sunday. Everyone is welcome to attend the event. For further information contact the Centre for Irish Studies on 091 492051. ENDS

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NUI Galway Launches Múscailt 2008

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Múscailt 2008, NUI Galway's Spring Arts Festival, takes place from 4-8 February. For five days, the campus will be alive with concerts, theatre, dance, exhibitions, story-telling, films and live performances from student societies and special guests. Produced by the University's Arts Office and Societies Office, Múscailt is now in its eighth year. As always, the Societies have put together an action-packed week of events including the Witless Music Festival, Poetry Slam, Fleadh Imboilg, Ceili Mór, Art Soc's Up on the Down side, and a New Talent Comedy Night. Flamboyance and fun are big on the agenda with the festival taking inspiration from this year's musical in the Black Box Theatre Back to the 80's. The musical is modelled on classic movies like Back to the Future, and follows the graduating class of William Ocean High School set to a soundtrack of the biggest hits of the 80's. NUI Galway is a great source of new writers, dramatists and performers and the Jerome Hynes Original One Act Play Series promises to be very special, with nine new works being premièred and judged. Several young original artists will be featured this year including students and graduates including: Heather Murphy and her glorious photographic show Seascape; Aimee Jeane Levey with her drama Cryptosporidium Town; and David Rock with his kaleidoscope of colour images in Pushing the Light 2. Limerick four piece Indie pop band We should be Dead will play at the Gala Opening in the Aula Maxima on Monday, 4 February, at 1pm. The group exploded onto the Irish music scene in 2007 with their debut single Forget Romance Let s Dance', and their debut album is one to watch in 2008. For fans of traditional music and dance the Arts in Action Traditional Concert takes place on Thursday, 7 February, at 7.30pm in the Aula Maxima. This evening features internationally renowned musicians such as Frankie Gavin, Mairtín Ó Connor, Ronan Browne, Arty McGlynn and Roisín Elsafty. Also on the line up are sean nós dancer Roisín Ni Mhainín, singer Mary MacPartlan and storyteller Clare Muireann Murphy. To add to the evening each of the artists will give a brief history of their art form and instrument. For those interested in the visual arts, highly regarded Welsh artist Timothy Emlyn Jones' installation on the glass bridge called 'The Idea of the Rain' is a piece of art that people can actually walk through. Jones also brings his fascinating Gallery Exhibition called 'In Praise of Bad Weather' which includes a variety of studies of rain that he has made since he settled in the Burren in 2003. Equally exciting is a new show from acclaimed artist Michael Mayhew, who presents 'Upon Reflection - a look back at The Rituals of Being not Being'. Mayhew was Tulca Artist in Residence at NUI Galway in November 2007, and he returns to tell the amazing story of his performance where 14 stories of people who have vanished from other's lives were heard, words selected and then tattooed onto his body. There will be an opportunity to view the work as a whole on DVD, and to listen to Mayhew engage in a conversation focusing on the issues of new approaches within Live Art Practice. These and many more events are all open to the public. For further information call the Socs Box on 091-492852 or visit www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie -ends-

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Minister Martin announces significant R&D collaboration

Monday, 21 January 2008

R&D collaboration the first for Beckman Coulter in Ireland Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin TD today (Monday 21st January 2008) announced that Beckman Coulter Inc, a worldwide provider of biomedical testing systems, with the support of IDA Ireland, is to launch an innovative four year collaborative research programme with NUI Galway in the field of Molecular Diagnostics. Headquartered in Fullerton, California, Beckman Coulter is a leading manufacturer of biomedical testing instrument systems, tests and supplies that simplify and automate laboratory processes. The company's facility in Galway manufactures a wide range of chemistry, haematology and immunoassay reagent products used in conjunction with the company's diagnostic systems. Molecular Diagnostics is a major growth sector in the diagnostics industry and has a market potential of $2bn annually. It can provide rapid and sensitive alternatives to traditional microbiological tests and immunoassays by detecting molecules of DNA from bacteria, viruses and cancer cells in patient samples with 'sample-to-answer' results. This investment represents the first collaborative research project undertaken by Beckman Coulter in Ireland. The collaboration will involve the creation of a research team of 10 Masters and PhD researchers based in NUI Galway and building on Intellectual Property already developed in the university. Welcoming the ground breaking collaboration Minister Martin said "Government policy and IDA Ireland's strategy is working to establish Ireland as a world class strategic location for research and development in the fields of science and technology and to foster novel approaches to R&D through innovative investments and industry academic partnerships". "IDA Ireland in supporting this complex industrial research programme between Beckman Coulter and NUI Galway is building on historic research in NUI Galway which was funded by Enterprise Ireland. NUI Galway's unrivalled reputation as a centre of excellence in the field of molecular biology diagnostics was a major factor in the decision by the company to proceed with this research collaboration. The high quality of the Beckman Coulter management team and its Galway workforce were critical considerations in attracting this next generation R&D investment to Galway. It is anticipated that success in this project potentially could lead to future manufacture of the company's Molecular Diagnostic assays in Galway" concluded the Minister. Mike Whelan, Group Vice President of Beckman Coulter's High Sensitivity Testing group said "With these agreements, we will take a big step toward the launch our 'sample-to-result' molecular diagnostic system, including a differentiated menu of moderately complex tests that address urgent clinical decisions. The agreements give us access to intellectual property for the development of tests for infectious diseases including sepsis; hospital-acquired infections; and sexually transmitted diseases, such as Chlamydia and Neisseria." Mr Whelan added, "The combination of NUI Galway technologies with ours gives us a glimpse of the next generation of molecular diagnostics. Our goal is that our simplified, automated solution will allow these time-consuming, complex, and labour-intensive tests to migrate into the routine hospital lab. So physicians will get diagnostic information within hours, instead of days or weeks, and be able to begin treating patients much sooner." Welcoming this new partnership with Beckman Coulter, NUI Galway President, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh praised the work of the University s National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) and the Microbiology Department who are leading this research initiative. "The work of these departments harnesses the skills of leading edge researchers who are addressing some of the most challenging and important issues at the frontier of modern biomedical research – with the ultimate goal of changing the way patients are treated and healed. The research and technology development collaboration with Beckman Coulter will ultimately improve patient care and is a strong endorsement from industry of the quality and importance of the research being undertaken at NUI Galway." Commenting on the announcement, Professor Terry Smith, Director of the NCBES, and Molecular Diagnostics Programme Director said "This is a very significant research collaboration for both NUI Galway and Beckman Coulter, in that it leverages the combined diagnostics test and instrumentation capabilities of both partners resulting in the development of break-through technologies for the diagnosis of infectious diseases in humans. These partnership agreements also validate the infectious disease molecular diagnostics test R&D being carried out at NUI Galway, highlighting our world-leadership in this area." ENDS

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Fógraíonn an tAire Martin comhoibriú suntasach Taighde & Forbartha idir

Monday, 21 January 2008

An chéad chomhoibriú Taighde & Forbartha do Beckman Coulter in Éirinn Inniu (Dé Luain, 21 Eanáir 2008) d'fhógair an tAire Fiontar, Trádála agus Fostaíochta, Micheál Martin TD, go bhfuil Beckman Coulter Inc, soláthraí domhanda de chórais tástála bhithmhíochaine, le tacaíocht IDA Ireland, chun comhchlár taighde ceithre bliana a bhunú le OÉ Gaillimh – taighde a bheidh bunaithe ar Dhiagnóisic Mhóilíneach. Is in Fullerton, California atá ceanncheathrú Beckman Coulter – ceann de phríomhdhéantúsóirí córas tástála ionstraimí, tástálacha agus soláthairtí bithmhíochaine a shimplíonn agus a uathoibríonn próisis saotharlainne. Déanann an chuideachta atá bunaithe ag Beckman Coulter i nGaillimh raon leathan táirgí imoibrithe ceimice, haemaiteolaíochta agus imdhíon-mheasa agus úsáid á baint as córais diagnóisice na cuideachta. Tá fás as cuimse ag teacht ar Dhiagnóisic Mhóilíneach laistigh den tionscal diagnóisice agus d'fhéadfadh sé $2 billiún a shaothrú go bliantúil. Is féidir leis an earnáil seo roghanna tapa agus íogaireacha a sholáthar seachas na tástálacha traidisiúnta micribhitheolaíocha agus imdhíon-mheasa trí mhóilíní DNA a bhrath ó bhaictéir, víris agus cealla ailse i samplaí othair agus i dtorthaí 'sampla go freagra'. Is ionann an infheistíocht seo agus an chéad chomhthionscadal taighde atá déanta ag Beckman Coulter in Éirinn. San áireamh sa chomhthionscadal seo beidh foireann taighde a chruthú – deichniúr taighdeoirí Máistreachta agus PhD – foireann a bheidh bunaithe in OÉ Gaillimh, mar aon le cur leis an Maoin Intleachtúil atá forbartha san Ollscoil cheana féin. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Aire Martin le linn dó an comhthionscadal taighde seo a fhógairt, "Tá beartas an Rialtais agus straitéis IDA Ireland ag feidhmiú ar mhaithe le hÉirinn a bhunú mar ionad straitéiseach den chéad scoth do thaighde agus d'fhorbairt i réimse na heolaíochta agus na teicneolaíochta agus chun cur chuige nua i ndáil le Taighde & Forbairt a bhunú trí infheistíochtaí nuálaíocha agus comhpháirtíochtaí acadúla sa tionscal". "Trí thacú leis an gclár casta tionsclaíoch taighde seo idir Beckman Coulter agus OÉ Gaillimh tá IDA Ireland ag cur le taighde atá déanta cheana féin in OÉ Gaillimh; taighde a fuair maoiniú ó Fiontraíocht Éireann. Is léir go raibh tionchar ag dea-cháil OÉ Gaillimh mar ionad taighde den scoth sa diagnóisic bhitheolaíoch mhóilíneach sa chinneadh a rinne Beckman Coulter leanúint ar aghaidh leis an gcomhthionscadal taighde seo. Bhí an-tionchar ag foireann bainistíochta ardcháilithe Beckman Coulter agus lucht oibre na cuideachta i nGaillimh ar an infheistíocht Taighde & Forbartha seo a mhealladh i dtreo na Gaillimhe." Ina theannta sin, dúirt an tAire, "má éiríonn go maith leis an tionscadal seo go mb'fhéidir go mbeadh ar chumas na cuideachta imdhíon-mheasa Diagnóisic Mhóilíneach a fhorbairt i nGaillimh amach anseo." Dúirt Mike Whelan, Leas-Uachtarán Grúpa ar Ghrúpa Tástála Ard-Íogaireachta Beckman Coulter, gur "céim mhór chun tosaigh na socruithe seo maidir le córas diagnóiseach móilíneacha 'sampla go toradh' a fhorbairt, lena n-áirítear sraith dhifreáilte de thástálacha measartha casta a d'fhéadfadh tionchar a imirt ar chinntí práinneacha cliniciúla. Ciallaíonn na socruithe seo go bhfuil teacht againn ar mhaoin intleachtúil chun tástálacha a fhorbairt do ghalair thógálacha lena n-áirítear seipseas; ionfhabhtuithe a fhaigtear san ospidéal; agus galair ghnéas-tarchurtha cosúil le Clamaidia agus Neisseria." Ina theannta sin, dúirt an tUasal Whelan, "Trí leas a bhaint as na teicneolaíochtaí atá ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh agus ár dteicneolaíochtaí féin féadfaimid tuairim éigin a fháil ar a bhfuil i ndán dúinn sa réimse diagnóisic mhóilíneach amach anseo. Is é atá mar aidhm againne go gciallóidh ár réiteach simplí, uathoibrithe gur féidir na tástálacha casta, fada agus dlúthfhostaíochta seo a áireamh mar chuid de ghnáthchleachtas saotharlainne in ospidéil. Ciallóidh sé seo go mbeidh teacht ag dochtúití ar eolas dhiagnóiseach taobh istigh d'uaireanta an chloig, seachas a bheith ag fanacht laethanta nó seachtainí, agus go mbeidh ar a gcumas tús a chur le cóireáil othar níos luaithe." Le linn d'Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh a bheith ag labhairt faoin gcomhpháirtíocht nua seo le Beckman Coulter mhol sé obair an Ionaid Náisiúnta um Eolaíocht Innealtóireachta Bithmhíochaine (NCBES) agus Roinn na Micribhitheolaíochta, a bhfuil ról lárnach acu sa tionscnamh taighde seo. "Cinntíonn obair na rann seo go mbaintear leas as scileanna taighdeoirí den scoth atá ag obair ar chuid de na ceisteanna is dúshlánaí agus is tábhachtaí sa taighde bithmhíochaine. Is é atá mar aidhm leis an obair seo an modh a bhfuil cóir leighis á fáil ag othair a athrú. Is é a bheidh mar thoradh ar an gcomhthionscadal forbartha taighde agus teicneolaíochta le Beckman Coulter go gcuirfear feabhas ar an gcúram atá á fháil ag othair agus léargas maith an méid seo ar an tacaíocht atá á tabhairt ag an tionscal don taighde atá ar bun in OÉ Gaillimh." Le linn don Ollamh Terry Smith, Stiúrthóir NCBES, agus Stiúrthóir an Chláir um Dhiagnóisic Mhóilíneach, a bheith ag labhairt ag an ócáid dúirt sé gur "comhthionscadal suntasach taighde é seo do OÉ Gaillimh agus Beckman Coulter, agus go mbaineann sé leas as acmhainní tástála agus ionstraimíochta diagnóisice an dá pháirtí, rud a chiallíonn gur féidir teicneolaíochtaí nua a fhorbairt a chabhróidh chun galair thógálacha a aithint i ndaoine. Ina theannta sin, tacaíonn na socruithe comhpháirtíochta seo le Taighde & Forbairt atá ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh ar dhiagnóisic mhóilíneach galar tógálach, léiriú eile fós ar ár seasamh domhanda sa réimse seo." CRÍOCH

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NUI Galway Society Cares for Bears

Friday, 18 January 2008

Almost 400 children, aged 3 to 7, were at NUI Galway today for the University's third annual 'Teddy Bear Hospital'. The main aim of the day was to help dispel some of the fears children may have of a hospital environment. The event was organised by the Sláinte Society (the NUI Galway branch of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations - I.F.M.S.A.). At the 'Teddy Bear Hospital' children and their teddies visited the team of 'Teddy Doctors' and 'Teddy Nurses' who examined the patients and took a full medical history. Appropriate medical action was taken, whether it was applying bandages, or taking a trip to the Teddy X-ray machine or the Teddy MRI machine. There was also a Teddy Pharmacy fully stocked with nourishing vitamin juices and other healthy treats to promote healthy eating and dietary well being. Over 150 students volunteered their time to explain how treatments worked and dispel any fears the children might have. Many of the students who took part are studying health related disciplines at the University. NUI Galway's Juggling Society was also on hand to provide entertainment. The event was supported by Kelkin, Medtronic and Eli Lilly & Co. According to Riona Hughes, NUI Galway Societies Officer, "The Teddy Bear Hospital is just one example of the enthusiasm and creativity of our students. This event has gone from strength to strength each year and is of huge benefit to the local schools and children. This is just one small example of the community engagement that happens here on campus". The University has 89 active societies through which students make friends, pursue their interests, learn new skills and organise events such as the Teddy Bear Hospital. NUI Galway also runs the ALIVE programme to assist students who wish to volunteer with community organisations. -ends-

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