All Year 2010

Druid and NUI Galway Announce Collaboration

Monday, 13 December 2010

The West of Ireland has always been renowned for the central role played by the creative arts and NUI Galway has provided a breeding ground for the development of artistic talent in successive generations of students. Now, in a groundbreaking initiative, NUI Galway and Druid are coming together to form a partnership that will be crucial in maintaining and developing the performance arts of the region into the future. In an exciting new collaboration, NUI Galway will contribute to the development of Druid's next major theatre event (to be produced in 2012/13) while Druid, in turn, will develop a range of practice-led workshops and seminars including a series of Master classes for BA and MA students. In addition, in a move that highlights the new initiative, a Druid Director-in-Residence will be appointed who will co-ordinate the joint Master classes and workshops and offer classes and mentoring in various aspects of directing and stagecraft to NUI Galway students. These contributions will enhance two successful NUI Galway academic programmes: the MA in Drama and Theatre Studies and BA Connect in Theatre and Performance. The relationship between NUI Galway and Druid is a long and fruitful one. The company was founded on campus in 1975 by graduates Mick Lally, Marie Mullen and Garry Hynes. Through the years the two organisations have collaborated at various times including notably the housing of the Druid archive at the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway and the establishment of a playwriting award in memory of the late Jerome Hynes who was General Manager of Druid at a formative stage in the company's development. The three founders, as well as being graduates, have all been awarded Honorary Degrees by the University. Commenting on the new partnership, NUI Galway President James J. Browne said, "We are very excited by this new and innovative partnership with Druid, which, I believe, holds wonderful opportunities for both organisations. For the University it represents a new creative thrust for our academic programmes in theatre and drama, which will be enriched by the talent and experience of a world leading professional theatre company. In turn we are able to play a role in Druid's ability to continue to present first class theatre for stages both here in Ireland and abroad." Garry Hynes commented that, "Back in 1975 NUI Galway helped Druid launch into the world with the provision of various facilities and continued to help us informally through the years. Now 35 years later we are at the beginning of a new and very exciting partnership. Without NUI Galway, and other partners, Druid simply would not be able to produce these major projects that have become such central events for our actors and our audience alike. Just as I - informally - took my first steps in the theatre in NUI Galway, I am now, through this programme looking forward to helping the emergence of the next generation of theatre makers from my alma mater." Druid would like to acknowledge the continued support of the Arts Council in funding the company's work and also the support of Culture Ireland in funding its international touring programme. ENDS

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NUI Galway to Host Seminar on Rural Ageing and the Recession

Thursday, 9 December 2010

"An Age Old Problem - Where Now for Rural Services" The Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway is hosting a seminar on rural ageing and the recession, in conjunction with the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI), Irish Rural Link and the Rural Community Network Northern Ireland. The seminar, which is part of CARDI's Older People and the Recession Series, is taking place today, Thursday, 9 December and tomorrow, Friday, 10 December in the Martin Ryan Institute (Annex) at NUI Galway. This event will focus on ageing in rural Ireland, North and South, and will examine crucial issues of concern for researchers, policymakers and older people themselves about the impact of the recession. The keynote address will be given by Professor Norah Keating, Co-Director of Research on Aging, Policies and Practice, Department of Human Ecology, University of Alberta, Canada. It will also feature contributions from national experts in the fields of ageing research, policy and practice and will showcase findings from two CARDI funded research projects relating to ageing in a rural context. Professor Thomas Scharf, Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology (ICSG), says the event is particularly timely: "At a time when everyone is facing up to the new realities of economic uncertainty, it is useful to reflect on what works and what doesn't work in meeting the needs and aspirations of older citizens living in rural communities across Ireland. This seminar brings together some of the country's best people to help shape the future of rural services for a growing proportion of our population." Dr Roger O'Sullivan, Director of CARDI says, "Older people make up a significant part of the rural population of Ireland, North and South. This seminar not only addresses the particular issues facing older people in terms of accessing transport and other services but also takes a closer look at the positive contribution older people make to rural communities. The CARDI funded research projects which will be launched at the event underline the importance of listening to older people's voices when making decisions on rural policy and services in Ireland, North and South. Recognising the value of rural communities and older people who live in them will be especially important in the context of the difficult decisions about public spending that lie ahead." Dr Kieran Walsh, NUI Galway, will present findings from a CARDI funded project entitled 'Older people in Rural Communities: Exploring Attachment, Contribution and Diversity in Rural Ireland and Northern Ireland' focusing on case studies of the experiences of older people. The report, which was written in collaboration with colleagues at NUI Galway, Queens University, the Rural Community Network and FORUM Letterfrack, is a part of a larger programme of work on rural ageing being pursued by the Healthy Ageing in Rural Communities (HARC) research network. Dr Aoife Ahern, University College Dublin, will also present a project exploring the issue of rural transport for older people. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Alumni Christmas Gathering

Thursday, 9 December 2010

The NUI Galway Alumni Association invites all graduates, returning to Galway for Christmas, to the annual Alumni Christmas Gathering. Now in its sixth year, the Christmas Gathering is a great reason to return to campus and catch up with old friends over a glass of mulled wine and some mince pies. To ensure a festive atmosphere, the Orbsen Choir will be on hand singing carols to get everyone in the mood for Christmas. "Coming back to NUI Galway at this time of year is a wonderful experience, especially as a graduate. Unlike your time spent here as a student, there are no exams to worry about, and you never know who you'll bump into" says Mairin Gilvarry, Chairperson of the Alumni Association Board. "We encourage all graduates to come along, bring a friend and pass on the message to former classmates." The Christmas Gathering, a free event, will take place on Friday, 17 December, in the Quadrangle from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Please RSVP to Colm O'Dwyer, Alumni Office, on 091 493 750 or -Ends-

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€3.7 Million EU Grant Awarded to the Centre for Disability Law and Policy

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway has been awarded an EU Framework 7 grant worth €3.7 million to develop and lead a Pan-European doctoral research project over four years. The focus of the research will be to find practical ways of making the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities a reality in the daily lives of people with disabilities in the EU. The FP7 grant will enable the Centre to lead a network of six other leading disability policy research Centres across Europe (including the Netherlands, UK, Norway, Spain, and Iceland). Several leading disability research institutes in the world will also contribute to its work including the Harvard Project in Disability. The project – called DREAM (Disability Rights Expanding Accessible Markets) – is premised on the idea that smart EU policy initiatives on disability are not just good for people with disabilities, but also help expand markets and increase overall levels of economic activity. Digital Europe, the main umbrella body for European software and hardware manufactures and services, acts as a key commercial partner. All of the researchers will also have the opportunity to gain invaluable and funded work experience with leading European civil society groups such as Interights (London), Mental Disability Advocacy Centre (Budapest), the European Disability Forum (Brussels) and the European Group of Human Rights Commissions. This will help sharpen their analysis and lead to policy recommendations that are well grounded in experience. The Centre, which is based in the School of Law at the College of Business, Public Policy and Law at NUI Galway, is part of the emerging Lifecourse Institute at the University which combines the research strengths of three NUI Galway Centres on ageing, children and families as well as disability. Director of The Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, Professor Gerard Quinn says, "This places the Centre at the very forefront of research that points the way toward better European law and policy on disability. It will train a new breed of policy entrepreneur in the disability field. This is the vital bridge to creating better living conditions for the over 60 million Europeans with disabilities. We are honoured to have been chosen to lead on this project which has European level significance. The researchers will have unrivalled access to world authorities on disability from Australia to Harvard." NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne says, "This is great news for the University and indeed for Ireland. It is a good example of university research that is both socially responsible and that also aims at increasing economic activity. I understand it is the single largest FP7 grant given to a research Centre at an Irish Law School. It augurs well for the new Lifecourse Institute at the University of which this Centre is a part". ENDS

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NUI Galway Co-hosts Irish Open Data Hackathon

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway and the Galway community space 091 Labs co-hosted the only Irish Open Data Hackathon on December 4 2010. The event led to the creation of useful websites and software applications which improve citizens' access to public data and services and knowledge and understanding of work of governments. A piece of data is described as open if people are free to use and redistribute it, subject only to the requirement to attribute and share-alike. The goal of the one day Hackathon event was to encourage the adoption of open data policies by the world s local, regional and national governments. Open Data policies increase government transparency, spur the digital economy, and improve civic participation. Applications created on the day in Galway included a website that helps citizens track the latest planning applications submitted to Galway City Council, and an integrated online bus schedule for all Galway-Dublin coach connections. Another website allows users to utilise an improved way of accessing Dublin Bus schedules. A team produced an online visual report that shows where Arts Council funding goes. A new application showing all the public toilets in Galway city including wheelchair accessible toilets was created. The NUI Galway based Hackathon was part of a global series of events, ranging from Bangalore to Los Angeles and from Brasilia to Thailand, celebrating and highlighting the use of Open Data for citizens. More than 1000 people in over 73 cities on five continents dedicated time to helping foster both a local and international community of open data hackers, advocates and citizens. Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI Galway, said: "DERI's participation in the Open Data Day shows that Irish researchers do not only publish academic papers, but are actively involved in shaping their community. To maximise the value I would like to encourage local and national governments to make their data available." Declan Elliott, founder of 091 Labs in Galway, said: "Open Data is a grassroots effort. In times when politics cannot solve major problems, collaborative community spaces like 091Labs in Galway encourage public participation. This fosters creativity which in turn produces value by creating new ideas which enable entrepreneurs and spur economic growth." ENDS

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