All 2011

NUI Galway Hosts Fáilte Ireland Conference Ambassador Programme Launch

Monday, 31 January 2011

A Fáilte Ireland Conference Ambassador Programme launch was held at NUI Galway recently to encourage the University's academic staff to become conference ambassadors with the focus on the development of International Conferences being hosted on campus. NUI Galway hosted over 40 conferences in 2010 attracting over 5,000 delegates to the region, many of whom were international. Speaking at the launch of the Fáilte Ireland Conference Ambassador Programme, Orla Canavan, Business Tourism Manager, Fáilte Ireland stated that the average spend per overseas delegate attending a conference is €1,500 with the aforementioned conferences contributing significantly to the local economy by well over €5 million. The University facilities have been dramatically transformed through an extensive ongoing capital development programme. The University now boasts one of the finest conference centres in the West of Ireland which includes the recently opened Bailey Allen Hall with capacity for 1,200 delegates. Speaking at the launch, Professor Nollaig Mac Congáil, Registrar, NUI Galway said: "The Conference Ambassador event highlighted the excellent facilities and services at this University to support world-class conferences, meetings and events. We look forward to attracting significant International Conferences to our campus and the impact of this will be twofold; bring real academic benefits for the University – networking, reputation and peer review, and also it will have an enormously important economic benefit to tourism and business in our region." For further information please contact Patricia Walsh at the Conference Office on 091 493467 or email -Ends-

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NUI Galway Host Emily Anderson Memorial Concerts

Monday, 31 January 2011

NUI Galway and Music for Galway will celebrate the memory of Galway scholar Emily Anderson (1891-1962) with two concerts featuring the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet performing Beethoven's late quartets. Both concerts will take place in the Aula Maxima in the Quadrangle Building at NUI Galway from 11 to12 February, at 8pm. Emily, a daughter of former NUI Galway President, Alexander Anderson, held a position as German lecturer at the University before settling in London where she worked in the Foreign Office. However, her international reputation was secured by translating the complete correspondence of Beethoven and Mozart into English. Sponsored by NUI Galway, the programmes of the memorial concerts alternate between the two master composers and this year Beethoven is featured. The members of the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet have been living and working in Cork since 1986 when they became the fourth ensemble to hold the RTÉ string quartet residency, established in Cork in 1959. They were appointed Artists-in-residence to University College, Cork in 1991. In 2009, the Quartet took up a position as part-time lecturers in chamber music at DIT Conservatory of Music. The quartet has nurtured, inspired and supported countless young Irish musicians and has commissioned and championed dozens of new works by Irish composers. At the same time it has built an enviable international reputation, regularly touring Europe, the Americas and the Far East. The quartet has released twenty-five CDs, including the complete Beethoven quartets. As part of Music for Galway's outreach programme, the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet will present and discuss excerpts from various string quartets for the students of Maoin Cheoil na Gallimhe on Saturday at 11am. The Huston School of Film and Digital Media will show the documentary In search of Beethoven by Phil Grabsky on Saturday at 2pm. For booking information contact Music for Galway 091 705962. Tickets are available from Opus II in the Cornstore Shopping Mall in Galway City or -Ends-

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NUI Galway Graduates Undertake Volunteer Teaching in Tanzania

Monday, 31 January 2011

NUI Galway's ALIVE programme in partnership with Tanzanian Village Renewal have announced a new initiative whereby five graduates of NUI Galway commenced work as volunteer teachers in Suji Malindi Secondary School, Tanzania from January to December 2011. The initiative was conceived by Lorraine McIlrath of the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) and Maureen Mescall, formerly of the Discipline of Economics, NUI Galway and founder of the registered charity Tanzanian Village Renewal. The five graduates; Aine Staunton, B.A., H.Dip. Tourmakeady, Co. Mayo, Aisling Mitchell, B.A., H. Dip. Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim, Belinda Crossan, B.A., H.Dip. Letterlenny, Co Donegal, Aaron Cunningham, B.Comm. Letterkenny, Co. Donegal and James Lovett, B.Sc., M.Sc., Newcastle, Galway accompanied a group of builders to Tanzania on 31 October, 2010 where they assisted in the construction of a large extension to Suji Malindi Secondary School. Once the builders returned to Ireland following their two week building blitz, the graduates began teaching English to local adults, the girls set up net ball and basket ball courts to the delight of the pupils while Aaron took charge of football matters. The academic year is now in full swing in Suji and with the addition of the five Irish volunteer teachers and their organisational abilities; pupils who had left the school have returned. There are increased numbers of first year students and this year for the first time in many years there will be a fourth form class as retention has improved. The Chairman of the School Board, Mr Nyanga said "It is wonderful to have these teachers here in Suji, and already we are seeing the benefits of their role in our community. We thank them for volunteering and we are grateful to NUI Galway and Tanzanian Village Renewal for organising the initiative and we look forward to many years of continued involvement with our school and village. The people of Suji value education very much and we see it as the means of providing a secure future for our people." The volunteer teachers are setting up a library in the school which they hope will be of benefit to the local community as well. In this regard Maureen Mescall of Tanzanian Village Renewal is appealing to parents, schools and pupils to donate old school books (except through the medium of the Irish language) and appropriate novels which will be sent to Suji at the end of February for the library The books for the curriculum are too expensive for the local parents to purchase and the teachers are currently organising an initiative in conjunction with Tanzanian Village Renewal whereby they will purchase a complete set of all school books for all years and rent them to pupils at a nominal fee for the year. The books would be returned at year end to be rented out the following year again. You can get details of this and follow the progress of the teachers on and you if you feel you would like to help by sponsoring a uniform or school books you will find details of how to do so at Further information contact Maureen at -Ends-

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Lecturer Says Irish Plays Central Role in Socio-Ecomonic Development

Monday, 31 January 2011

The promotion of Irish has a positive influence on Ireland's socio-economic development and the language should have a central role in the effort now needed to rebuild the country, that's according to the author of a new book entitled Contests and Contexts: The Irish Language and Ireland's Socio-Economic Development. In his book, NUI Galway lecturer in Irish at the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Dr. John Walsh illustrates how historians and commentators on Irish society have ignored the consequences of the rapid decline of Irish. "There is virtually no discussion of language shift in most of the general histories of Ireland published in the past forty years," said Dr. Walsh. "On the other hand, there is another tradition stretching back as far as Thomas Davis and Douglas Hyde of authors who argue that the promotion of Irish has a positive impact on the development of Ireland. I survey those authors, from Davis to contemporary commentators such as Joe Lee, Michael Cronin and Finbarr Bradley and then examine their arguments in the light of various theoretical fields such as sociolinguistics, political economy and development studies. I conclude that we need a new theoretical model, combining elements of sociolinguistics and socio-cultural development, in order to better understand the link between language and development." The language-development link is examined in a number of contexts. Three Gaeltacht areas are chosen as case-studies of the ways in which the promotion of Irish interacts with local socio-economic development. The new developmental policy of Údarás na Gaeltacht is examined, as is the changing focus of the organisation, particularly in the light of renewed concern about the strength of Irish in the Gaeltacht. Areas outside the traditional Gaeltacht – west Belfast and Galway City – are also examined. The book was launched on Friday, 28 January in the Galway City Museum by Peadar Kirby, Professor of International Politics and Public Policy at the University of Limerick. "This is one of the most important books written on the Irish language for a very long time", said Professor Kirby. "For the first time, it examines the claim made by authors as far back as Thomas Davis in the 1840s and continued up to Joe Lee's magisterial book of 1989, that the decline of Irish as the vernacular language of the Irish people has had a detrimental effect on Ireland s socio-economic development. Walsh's book adopts a rigorous social scientific approach to interrogating this claim, contributing important insights not only to debates about Ireland's future development but also to international debates about culture and development. Coming at a time of major national re-appraisal of where we are going as a society, this book has a huge contribution to make to charting the road towards a better future." Dr Walsh was appointed as a Fulbright Irish Language Scholar in 2009 and spent six months researching for the book at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Contests and Contexts: The Irish language and Ireland's Socio-Economic Development is published by Peter Lang in the 'Reimagining Ireland' series. It can be ordered at Further information available from Dr. John Walsh at 091 492563 or -Ends-

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NUI Galway Authors Argue Roy Keane was 'Fantasy Embodiment of Celtic Tiger'

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Can sport tell us who we are, where we come from, and even where we may be going? A new book by researchers at NUI Galway provides strong evidence that it can. And, just as recent developments have shown in the economic sphere, Europe is a big part of our sporting past, present and future. Sport, Representation and Evolving Identities in Europe examines, among other areas, the media construction of former Irish international Roy Keane in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s economic boom. The relevant chapter, by Marcus Free of Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, argues that the Manchester United star and former Ipswich manager was the fantasy embodiment of Celtic Tiger Ireland. Free's essay is just one of fifteen in a new collection edited by Philip Dine, Senior Lecturer in French at NUI Galway and Seán Crosson, Programme Director of the MA in Film Studies in the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, also at NUI Galway. Sport Representation and Evolving Identities in Europe opens with a foreword by Paddy Agnew, Rome correspondent of the Irish Times. The book then looks at the role sport has played in the evolution of various regional, national and international identities across Europe. Also examining the Irish experience, Alan Bairner explores the life stories of soccer players from a Catholic background who have represented Northern Ireland in international competition, including Pat Jennings, Martin O'Neill and Neil Lennon. This contribution particularly considers the link between the new political arrangements in the North and the possible emergence of a more widely shared sense of Northern Irishness. Other essays in the volume look at the role sport has played in countries across Europe, including France, Greece, Spain, Germany, England, Italy and Hungary, as well as exploring international governing bodies such as UEFA, which have significantly influenced the development of sport across the continent. The sports featured range from boxing to association football and athletics, including a study of the impact of the Olympic Games on Greek national identity by Eleni Theodoraki, a member of the Athens 2004 Organising Committee. Among the contributors are James Riordan, former professional footballer, Russian scholar and author of the bestselling Comrade Jim: the Spy who played for Spartak (Fourth Estate, 2008), who examines sport and politics in Russia and the former Soviet Union; eminent European sports specialist, Arnd Krüger, who looks at sport and identity in Germany since reunification; and Trinity College's very own 'boxing professor', David Scott, who traces the relation between boxing and masculinity from the later nineteenth century to the present day, focusing particularly on textual and visual representation. Sport Representation and Evolving Identities in Europe was launched earlier today in the Huston School of Film & Digital Media by Professor Mike Cronin, co-author of The GAA: A People's History and Academic Director, Boston College Ireland. -Ends-

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