All Year 2010

Economist Dr Alan Ahearne Predicts Growth in 2010

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Galway Chamber and NUI Galway last night (Monday, 18 January) hosted the third Paddy Ryan Memorial Lecture. This event, which alternates between the University and GMIT, honours the memory of the late Paddy Ryan. Dr Alan Ahearne, Special Advisor to Mr Brian Lenihan T.D., Minister for Finance, was the guest speaker at the event which was held at NUI Galway and attended by some 500 people. Currently on a leave of absence from positions at NUI Galway and at Bruegel, the influential Brussels-based economics think tank, Dr Ahearne gave his view on the country's current economic situation in a lecture entitled 'Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Policy Making in a Time of Economic Crisis.' A number of factors are starting to fall into place to ensure that economic growth can be anticipated in 2010, according to Dr Ahearne. He said that 2009 was a year for stabilisation and that the measures taken last year should result in growth later this year. According to Dr Ahearne, a number of factors gave rise to such optimism. He said there was a 5% improvement in unit labour costs in Ireland since the autumn. The unit cost in Ireland dropped 2% in Ireland last year at a time when they increased by 3% in the Euro area. "This is already kickstarting growth. We are starting to gain market share but we need to do more as we lost our competitiveness during the boom years," said Dr Ahearne. He said that export-led growth would be the engine for the recovery but that it would probably be 2011 before real impact would be felt, after years of over-dependence on house building. "We are on the road to recovery but it will be a bumpy road. It is still an uncertain world and the financial markets are fragile. "Unemployment is still increasing, although the rate has slowed down," he noted. He said that as firms expand in the recovery it was crucial banks could provide credit, so sorting out the banking sector was key to this. "There needs to be a proper sequence of events and that is what is happening. Around €19billion will be transferred into NAMA next month and that first transfer will give us a lot of information," he said. Dr Ahearne said that the remainder should be transferred by the end of September and that the cost of recapitalising the banking sector would become apparent in between. He said that when the 'risky' loans were gone off the balance sheet and the banks were recapitalised, the banking sector would be well able to meet the needs of the economy. Dr Ahearne dismissed suggestions that banks should default on bondholders. "The bulk of bonds in Irish banks are ordinary senior bonds. They are part of the banks' funding and not risk capital. They are owned by pension funds, insurance companies, credit unions and other long-term providers of funds," said Dr Ahearne, who added that, in any event, such bonds were covered by the Bank Guarantee scheme. Dr Ahearne and the Paddy Ryan Memorial Lecture was introduced by NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne. He said that people in Ireland today owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Paddy Ryan and to his generation. "Paddy Ryan and his peers worked to build the modern Ireland. He will be remembered for his contribution to Galway's business and civic life and as an exemplar of the nation-builders of the 50s, 60s and '70s. "Like many of his generation, he believed in 'giving something back'. He had a strong sense of responsibility towards helping those less fortunate. "In many ways, he embodied what is nowadays referred to active citizenship and social responsibility," said Dr Browne. President of Galway Chamber Mr Paul Shelly presented Dr Ahearne with a specially commissioned medal designed by the artist and sculpture Padraic Reaney following his lecture. The medal was sponsored by Schneider Electric IT Logistics Europe (formerly APC). The Paddy Ryan Memorial Lecture alternates between GMIT and NUI Galway. Paddy Ryan was a former Mayor of Galway who was a successful businessman in the city until his death in 2004. Dr Ahearne's presentation can be viewed at -Ends-

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NUI Galway to Host Public Lecture Series on the Humanities

Monday, 18 January 2010

A new public lecture series by recently-appointed NUI Galway Established Professors in the School of Humanities will commence on Wednesday, 27 January. NUI Galway's President, Dr James J. Browne, will launch the first of the series of free talks at the Galway City Museum at 7.30pm. Designed to make a case for the role of the Humanities in society today, the lectures address fundamental questions from the perspectives of English, Philosophy and History. The talks will follow a lively, informative and provocative format and will be relevant to how we think of ourselves as a society today. The first lecture, 'Literature in a Digital Age', will be given by Sean Ryder, Established Professor of English and an international authority on text-editing with new technologies. His talk will question the use of literature in the contemporary world. On Wednesday, 24 February, Paul Crowther, Established Professor of Philosophy at NUI Galway and world-renowned expert in aesthetics, will pose the question 'what is it to be free?' and address the uses of non-practical knowledge. The third and final lecture will be delivered by Steven Ellis, Established Professor of History at NUI Galway, on Wednesday, 24 March. Professor Ellis, who is a specialist in Tudor Ireland and Britain, will examine the role of political unions and partitions in early modern Ireland. This lecture series is designed to appeal to a broad audience and each 40 minute lecture will be followed by a short question and answer session. Light refreshments will be available before each lecture. The lecture series is organised by the Civic Engagement Forum of the School of Humanities. For further information, contact Karen Walsh 091-495689 or email: -ends-

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NUI Galway on Enterprise Ireland Visit to US to Enhance Research Collaboration

Monday, 18 January 2010

Representatives from NUI Galway and Ireland's six other universities are this week travelling to New York and Washington, in a joint initiative coordinated by Enterprise Ireland. The aim of the initiative is to boost collaboration between Irish and US institutes of higher learning. The visit is part of the Education Ireland strategy to draw new waves of US students to Ireland for undergraduate and graduate studies and to broaden the network of research partnerships between higher learning institutions in both countries. Enterprise Ireland's Manager of International Education Services Terry McParland said: "Ireland's third level institutions, with the support of the Irish Government are investing heavily in research in strategically important areas such as science, engineering, biotechnology and medical disciplines. It is hoped that increasing the collaboration between higher level institutions in Ireland and the US will foster new and greater synergies that will yield inventive research and breakthroughs. "The initiative also aims to increase the flow of US students to pursue studies in Ireland's higher education institutes. International education is already a high growth sector in Ireland as global demand for quality, overseas tertiary education continues to grow despite the economic downturn. This initiative aims to highlight the quality of third level education in Ireland and attract more American students to study in Ireland." Anna Cunningham, Director of International Affairs at NUI Galway added: "NUI Galway has a long tradition of welcoming North American students for both semester abroad and summer school programmes. In recent years, increasing numbers of US students have chosen NUI Galway to complete their full degree programmes, thus adding to the rich culture diversity already evident on campus. Students regularly comment on how welcome they are made not just at the University but also by the people of Galway City. Every year approximately 800 US students choose Galway for their short-term study programmes, contributing significantly to the local economy. These students return to the US and act as important ambassadors both for Galway and Ireland". This initiative is being coordinated by Education Ireland. Education Ireland is dedicated to the development and promotion of Ireland as an international education centre of excellence. The Education Ireland brand is managed by Enterprise Ireland. The seven universities participating in this pilot visit include Dublin City University, National University of Ireland, Galway, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College, Dublin and the University of Limerick. -Ends-

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NUI Galway announce 2010 Alumni Award Winners

Monday, 18 January 2010

NUI Galway has announced the winners of the 2010 Alumni Awards to be presented at the tenth annual Alumni Awards Gala Banquet on Saturday, 6 March, 2010 in the newly opened Bailey Allen Wing on campus. The Alumni Awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University's more than 70,000 graduates worldwide. The awards programme boasts an impressive roll call of 61 outstanding graduates who have gone on to honour their alma mater, including, for example, Michael D. Higgins, Ciarán FitzGerald, Sean O'Rourke, Professor Frank Gannon, Dr Luke Clancy and Gráinne Seoige. The winners of the eight alumni awards to be presented at Gala 2010: AIB Award for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies Gerard Donovan BA 1983, MA 1988, Novelist. Bank of Ireland Award for Business, Public Policy and Law Margaret Sweeney BComm 1981, Chief Executive, Postbank Ireland Ltd. Bank of Ireland Award for Engineering and Informatics Professor Brian Moran BE1980, MEngSc.1982. Acting Provost and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia. Duais Hewlett-Packard don Ghaeilge Pádraig Ó hAoláin LLB 1985, Príomhfheidhmeannach, Údarás na Gaeltachta. Medtronic Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Professor Rose Anne Kenny MB, BCh, BAO 1977, MD 1986, Head of Department of Clinical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin and Consultant Physician in Medicine at St James' Hospital. Seavite Award for Science Dr J. Paul Duffy BSc 1986, PhD 1992, Vice President Operations, Primary Care/Oncology Operating Unit for Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals. Speaking on the announcement of the Awards recipients, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne said: "Our Alumni Awards programme recognises the many Galway alumni who are leaders in their professions and excel in their pursuits at national and international levels. These awards celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual achievements among the University's more than 70,000 graduates worldwide. I congratulate each of the Award winners and look forward to welcoming them back to their alma mater for the Gala Banquet in March". The new Gala Banquet venue, The Bailey Allen Wing in the newly refurbished Áras na Mac Léinn, is dedicated to the arts and societies and will include performance facilities, exhibition space and an auditorium for University, civic and public events. Through a generous bequest of the late Angela Allen the spirit of her son, Frank Bailey, will be immortalised at NUI Galway with the development of the new venue. Francis J. Bailey is fondly remembered for his theatre productions on campus in the 1960s. The University is proud to honour this remarkable man who died tragically in 1972. The Bailey Allen Hall will provide the University with a prime theatre space to be used by students for performance as well as by the University for conferrings and other significant events. For booking information contact Catherine Conroy at 091 492972 or For further information and online booking, click here. -Ends-

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Minister Lenihan Announces Winner of School Science Essay Competition

Friday, 15 January 2010

Monaghan Secondary School Scoops Science Essay Competition for Second Consecutive Year Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Conor Lenihan T.D., has today announced the winner of the All-Ireland Science Essay Competition, organised by the Science Foundation Ireland-funded 'Regenerative Medicine Institute' (REMEDI), based at NUI Galway. Visiting the Science Foundation Ireland stand at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, Minister Lenihan presented first prize in the Essay Competition to Lisa Duffy of Castleblayney College, Co. Monaghan. Lisa, a fifth-year student, received a trophy, high-spec laptop and a €500 science bursary for her school from Minister Lenihan. This is the second consecutive year that a student from Castleblayney College has taken first prize in the competition. In making the presentation, Minister Lenihan said: "For the past five years, the REMEDI Science Essay Competition has invited young people to express their views on modern-day scientific challenges, and has sought to encourage students to consider pursuing science and engineering-related studies at third-level". The Minister added, "The theme of this year's competition – "Are people's DNA sequences their business and nobody else's?" – generated considerable interest in schools nationwide, with over 100 essays received from around the country. I welcome initiatives such as this in their drive to foster a greater awareness of science and its impact in our daily lives". The Minister added "The Government places great emphasis on the importance of science to Ireland in an educational, social and economic context and, through a number of channels, continues to prioritise science-related disciplines from primary through to fourth-level education." Scientific Director of REMEDI, Professor Frank Barry commented: "One of the important requirements for a successful career in science is an ability to communicate scientific ideas, debate important questions and report research findings in a clear and unambiguous way. The quality and originality of the winning essays in this competition are very impressive and I congratulate all the students who participated". Dr Mark Foley, Vice-Dean for Communication and Strategy in the College of Science and Lecturer in the School of Physics, at NUI Galway remarks: "The College of Science was delighted to come on board this year to support the REMEDI Annual Science Essay Competition. I am extremely encouraged by the quantity and quality of submissions which showcases the continued interest in Science at Secondary level. I hope that participation in science programmes at third-level continues to grow in the coming years and that these students will be key to the success of Ireland's Smart Economy". center-Ends-

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