All 2012

President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins finds Alma Mater in Global Village

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

NUI Galway Pavilion attracts thousands of visitors at Volvo Ocean Race Finale Festival The relocation of NUI Galway’s Quadrangle to the Global Village last week, created somewhat of a stir locally where the University created a partial replica of its Quadrangle building, to front its Pavilion at the Global Village during the Volvo Ocean Race. NUI Galway graduate and now President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins paid a special visit to see for himself how his Alma Mater looked in South Park. The Global Village is a free exhibition arena, open for the duration of the festival, located in South Park. The NUI Galway pavilion has been a central attraction, recreating a sense of the University’s iconic Quadrangle building, which dates back to 1845. Inside, the NUI Galway pavilion looks to the future, with interactive demonstrations and exhibitions showcasing the cutting-edge innovation and research for which the University has a world-wide reputation. “This is the largest sporting event in Ireland this year, and a wonderful opportunity to promote all that is great about Galway”, said NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne. “The event had almost 100,000 visitors to the City last time round, over half of whom came from abroad, with significant international media reach also. Our whole-hearted involvement, in the volunteering aspects of this event and in the exhibitions, is a reflection of the importance of reaching such a world-wide audience.” The NUI Galway pavilion, which will remain until the end of the festival, features four zones based on themes of Exploration, Innovation, Creativity and Go Global as well as Ideas Lab. Activities also include an Alumni Family Day to which all NUI Galway graduates are invited on Sunday, 8 July. NUI Galway has also been the official education partner of Volvo Ocean Race Galway’s volunteering programme, bringing its considerable experience in the field of volunteering and community engagement to the event to recruit the ‘small army’ of volunteers needed to support the overall festival. As well as NUI Galway having a presence in the Innovation and Marine Pillars at the Global Village, a separate Speaker Session pavilion in the Global Village has featured some of NUI Galway’s experts. In addition, the Inmarsat Film Lecture in association with NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film & Digital Media takes place on Thursday, 5 July, presenting a unique sense of what is required of an extreme sports reporter onboard a multi-million dollar round the world racing yacht. Official Festival App The official ‘Volvo Ocean Race Festival Galway’ App, specifically designed for the event, was the creation of a team of researchers based at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) in NUI Galway. The free app, billed as a must for all visitors to Galway during the festival, providing maps, a full festival programme and lots of visitor information about Galway City. With tens of thousands of visitors in Galway for the festival, the app allows individuals to make the most of the experience, while able to track their friends and network with groups. Vice-Director of DERI, Professor Manfred Hauswirth, said: “This app demonstrates the leading role of DERI in cyber-physical systems. DERI technology makes real-world sensor input easy to use in any application.” With over 140 researchers, DERI is the largest web science institute of its kind in the world, but were thrilled to get behind this local project as DERI’s Brian Wall explains: “We really embraced the whole concept of ‘get onboard’ for the festival, so developed this unique app which is a must for every visitor.” The app is available for free from the Apple App Store and from the Google Play Android store. The app will be updated and improved as new information becomes available so please check for updates during the festival. Find out more about the University’s involvement at  -ends-

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Galway Arts Festival and NUI Galway’s Volunteer and Selected Partnership

Monday, 2 July 2012

Galway Arts Festival and NUI Galway announced details of their 2012 partnership on Monday, 2 July. This is the second year of the partnership and will focus on several different initiatives. NUI Galway will partner the 35th Galway Arts Festival’s Volunteer Programme where the University is one of the leaders in the field of volunteerism through its ALIVE programme. SELECTED is an artist development strand of the Festival for emerging artists and producers developed by NUI Galway and the Festival in 2011. The programme will be expanded and developed in 2012 and will see six students from the MA in Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway take part in the initiative, which will allow them full access to every aspect of the Festival.  The programme will offer the students the opportunity to see how a Festival of this magnitude is put together while also attending shows, post-show talks and getting a hands-on experience from performers and organisers. The students will also have the opportunity to meet with visiting international Festival Directors. Commenting on the SELECTED Programme, Galway Arts Festival's Artistic Director, Paul Fahy said, "SELECTED is amongst the most exciting of initiatives that the Festival has introduced in the past few years. It affords participants a brilliant opportunity to see a wide variety of the programme on offer and to gain insight through a series of seminars with world leading producers, curators, directors and artists of the professional arts world. Taking part in these seminars are key executives from Edinburgh Festival, London’s National Theatre and leading Irish artists and producers amongst many others.” NUI Galway’s Dr Patrick Longergan added, “NUI Galway is delighted to be involved in the SELECTED programme again this year. SELECTED gives our students the opportunity to meet with some of the world's great artists in one of the world's great arts festivals. That involvement has a massive impact, not only on our students' education but also on their future careers as writers, directors, producers and so on. SELECTED is one of the key examples of how our drama and theatre programmes set out to blend excellent academic tuition with world-class practical experiences. It is also one of the major ways in which NUI Galway is involved in the Galway Arts Festival - allowing us to play our part in making Galway Ireland's cultural capital, and in developing future generations of Irish artists.” In 2012 NUI Galway will also partner with the Festival on a new strand of programming called First Thought Talks. This new initiative will feature a series of lectures, talks and “in conversations with” on the subject of creativity and will take place during this year’s Festival. Festival Chief Executive, John Crumlish commented, "The Festival is delighted that NUI Galway will once again be partnering the Festival on a number of initiatives. The continuing support for both the Festival Volunteer and SELECTED programmes is very important and also very exciting while the new partnership focused on The First Thought Talks will permit this new strand of programming to develop significantly over the next number of years.” For further information on the festival, bookings and GAFTV previews and exclusive interviews visit Ends    

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Major New Research, funded by the EPA, Details New Links Between Water Quality and Health

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published the results of significant research completed by a NUI Galway research team led by Professor Martin Cormican.  The research details new links between water quality and health. The report, entitled Enhancing Human Health through Improved Water Quality, provides an overview of this research and includes new data on: How the growing global emergency of antibiotic resistant bacteria is connected to our water.  It demonstrates how widespread the problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria has become and adds to the evidence that there is a need to extend current campaigns to reduce the use of antibiotics in human and animal healthcare.  The findings of this part of the research will feature on RTE’s The Science Squad tomorrow, Thursday, 5 July, at 8.30pm. How DNA technology can be used to find disease-causing bacteria and viruses in water.  It demonstrates how bacterial contamination of water can be tracked back to sources such as humans or animals (e.g. cows or pigs), leading to faster corrective actions. How heavy rainfall can result in sudden changes in water quality as bacterial contamination gets washed into groundwater from farm sources and septic tanks.   The research is also important for families and businesses using private wells as it shows how poorly protected wells or water treatment can have an adverse impact on their health. Key recommendations include: Reducing the use of antibiotics in human and animal healthcare. Classifying water sources - to highlight those at greatest risk. Applying computer models to predict changes in water quality, so that it is possible to plan and respond. Implementing total quality management systems approach to water treatment plants, as operational failure is identified as a major risk. The need for proper well construction and water treatment and protection of water sources from contamination from farms, septic tanks or other sources. Dara Lynott, EPA Director, said: “The rainfall that renews our rivers, lakes and ground water is the foundation for good health as well as an important resource for tourism, farming and industry.  It is important to recognise and deal with the threats to water quality and health which are highlighted in this project. But it is also important to see the opportunities identified for Ireland to develop and provide tools for monitoring and addressing the challenge of protecting our water resources.” Professor Martin Cormican, NUI Galway, lead author of the report, said: “Water is an increasingly scarce resource in an increasingly crowded world.  We are privileged to have a lot of it and we have tended to take it for granted.  This project is part of a process of developing the science and the policies to treat water for what it is – the foundation of life and health for the people of Ireland and a tremendous sustainable natural asset in our engagement with the rest of the world.” This research was conducted in the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway and in UCD, with partners in the HSE and local authorities.  The full report, Enhancing Human Health through Improved Water Quality, is available on the EPA website at: ENDS  

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NUI Galway to Launch Ryan Institute with Public Symposium

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science and Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to attend NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research will be officially launched on Tuesday, 10 July, by Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science. TheRyan Institutehas over 300 researchers making itIreland’s largest research institute to focus on some of the most pressing environmental and energy issues of the 21st century. The official launch will coincide with a public symposium entitled ‘Green Shift, Blue Growth, Bright Future?’ featuring leading international experts in the environmental marine, energy and smart infrastructure research. EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: “If Europe is to become more competitive and innovative, we need the best brains working together to face the challenges and seize the opportunities ahead. This new Institute, embedded in NUI Galway, will build on the long-standing excellence of the Environmental Change Institute and the Martin Ryan Institute for Marine Science, and will pool resources and expertise. I am convinced that the Ryan Institute will increase Ireland’s already considerable contribution to European environmental, marine and energy research.” The symposium will be opened by Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. The keynote address, ‘A global perspective on the environment in 2040’, will be delivered by Dr Aaron Bernstein, Director of the Centre for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. He is co-author of the acclaimed book Sustaining Life, which examines the threats that diminishing biodiversity pose to human health. Other speakers at the symposium will include: Dr Kristina Johnson, former Under Secretary for Energy at the Department of Energy in Washington, DC; Dr Diarmuid O’Donovan, Centre for Health from Environment, Ryan Institute; Dr Lisa Amini, Head of IBM’s Smarter Cities Technology Centre in Dublin; and Dr Niall McDonough, European Science Foundation. Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute, said: “NUI Galway has a long history of engaging with vital environmental and marine issues through our research, especially in the areas of climate change, water resources, marine ecosystems, biodiversity and sustainability. As energy research - bioenergy and ocean energy – has become a recent strength in NUI Galway, we realised that bringing all these researchers together in the Ryan Institute could help to unlock creative solutions to some of the pressing resource problems facing us in the near future.” In the afternoon, sessions will focus on national and regional issues, with a specific focus on how Ryan Institute research can feed into regional development. Members of the Galway 2040 Initiative, whose supporters are interested in developing a vision and plan for sustainable development of Galway city and county, will be contributing strongly to the discussions. Other high-profile guests and researchers will stimulate discussion on some of the most important technological, scientific and socio‐economic global and local perspectives on environmental, marine and energy issues. NUI Galway’s formal research in this area goes back to the early-1990s when a donation from Dr Tony Ryan, founder of Ryanair, was made in memory of his father Martin. The symposium is free and all are welcomed to be involved. Registration and programme details for the day can be found on -ends-   Seolann OÉ Gaillimh Institiúid Uí Riain ag Siompóisiam Poiblí I láthair beidh Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, an Coimisinéir Eorpach um Thaighde, Nuálaíocht agus Eolaíocht agus Pat Rabbitte TD, an tAire Cumarsáide, Fuinnimh agus Acmhainní Nádúrtha Is í Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, an Coimisinéir Eorpach um Thaighde, Nuálaíocht agus Eolaíocht, a dhéanfaidh Institiúid Uí Riain do Thaighde Comhshaoil, Muirí agus Fuinnimh in OÉ Gaillimh a sheoladh go hoifigiúil Dé Máirt, an 10 Iúil.Tá breis agus 300 taighdeoir ag obair in Institiúid Uí Riain, agus í ar an institiúid is mó in Éirinn atá ag plé le cuid de na ceisteanna is práinní maidir leis an gcomhshaol agus le cúrsaí fuinnimh na haoise seo. Ag an am céanna leis an seoladh beidh siompóisiam poiblí ar siúl dar teideal ‘Green Shift, Blue Growth, Bright Future?’, áit a labhróidh saineolaithe idirnáisiúnta ar thaighde comhshaol muirí, fuinnimh agus infreastruchtúir chliste. Dúirt an Coimisinéir Eorpach um Thaighde, Nuálaíocht agus Eolaíocht, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn: “Más le hÉirinn a bheith níos iomaíche agus níos nuálaí, ní mór dúinn na daoine is éirimiúla a chur ag obair as lámh a chéile chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar na dúshláin agus chun na deiseanna a bheidh ann amach anseo a thapú. Cuirfidh an Institiúid nua seo, atá i gceartlár OÉ Gaillimh, leis an bhfeabhas atá ag baint le fada leis an Institiúid um Athrú Comhshaoil agus le hInstitiúid Mháirtín Uí Riain don Mhuireolaíocht, agus cuirfidh sí acmhainní agus saineolas ar fáil in aon áit amháin. Táim cinnte go gcuirfidh Institiúid Uí Riain leis an méid suntasach atá déanta ag Éirinn cheana féin ar mhaithe le taighde comhshaoil, muirí agus fuinnimh na hEorpa.” Is é Pat Rabbitte TD, an tAire Cumarsáide, Fuinnimh agus Acmhainní Nádúrtha a osclóidh an siompóisiam. Is é an Dr Aaron Bernstein, Stiúrthóir an Centre for Health and the Global Environment i Scoil Leighis Harvard a thabharfaidh príomhchaint an tsiompóisiam, ‘A global perspective on the environment in 2040’. Is comhúdar é ar an leabhar cáiliúil Sustaining Life, a dhéanann iniúchadh ar na bagairtí ar shláinte an duine a bhaineann le bithéagsúlacht laghdaitheach. I measc na gcainteoirí eile ag an siompóisiam beidh: An Dr Kristina Johnson, iarFho-Rúnaí Fuinnimh sa Roinn Fuinnimh i Washington, DC; an Dr Diarmuid O’Donovan, Lárionad Sláinte Faoi Scáth an Chomhshaoil, Institiúid Uí Riain; an Dr Lisa Amini, Ceannasaí Ionad IBM do Smarter Cities Technology i mBaile Átha Cliath; agus an Dr Niall McDonough, Fondúireacht Eolaíochta na hEorpa. Dúirt an tOllamh Colin Brown, Stiúrthóir Institiúid Uí Riain: “Tá dea-cháil ar OÉ Gaillimh le fada mar gheall ar an obair atá déanta aici le haghaidh a thabhairt ar phríomhcheisteanna comhshaoil agus muirí trína cuid taighde, go háirithe sna réimsí a bhaineann le hathrú aeráide, acmhainní uisce, éiceachórais mhuirí, bithéagsúlacht agus inbhuanaitheacht. Le tamall anuas tá láidreacht ar leith léirithe ag OÉ Gaillimh i gcúrsaí taighde fuinnimh - bithfhuinneamh agus fuinneamh farraige, agus thuigeamar go mbeadh tairbhe ar leith ag baint leis na taighdeoirí seo ar fad a thabhairt le chéile in Institiúid Uí Riain d’fhonn teacht ar fhreagraí cruthaitheacha ar chuid de na fadhbanna acmhainní is mó atá os ár gcomhair sa ghearrthréimhse.” Díreoidh na seisiúin sa tráthnóna ar cheisteanna náisiúnta agus réigiúnacha, le béim ar leith ar an gcaoi ar féidir le taighde Institiúid Uí Riain cabhrú le forbairt réigiúnach. Beidh ról ar leith sna cainteanna ag comhaltaí ón Galway 2040 Initiative, ar spéis leo fís agus plean a chur i dtoll a chéile d’fhorbairt inmharthana chathair agus chontae na Gaillimhe. Cuirfidh aíonna agus taighdeoirí iomráiteacha eile leis an bplé ar chuid de na peirspictíochtaí teicneolaíochta, eolaíocha agus socheacnamaíocha domhanda agus áitiúla is tábhachtaí maidir le ceisteanna muirí agus fuinnimh. Cuireadh tús le taighde foirmiúil OÉ Gaillimh sa réimse seo i dtús na 1990idí nuair a thug an Dr Tony Ryan, bunaitheoir Ryanair, deontas don Ollscoil i gcuimhne a athar Martin. Tá an siompóisiam saor in aisce agus tá fáilte roimh chách. Is féidir teacht ar eolas faoi chlárúchán agus ar chlár an lae ag -críoch-

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Festival Season at NUI Galway

Friday, 6 July 2012

As part of the Galway Fringe Festival running from 12-30 July, NUI Galway will host eight plays, two literary events, plus music, dance and exhibitions. All the shows will take place in the new Cube Theatre, Áras na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway. Wildebeest Theatre Company will perform ‘Tan’, while Youth Work Ireland are performing their black comedy ‘Banged Up Broads’. Galway Actors Workshop will perform ‘The Heroism Hotline’  and Floating World Productions will present ‘Saol’. NUI Galway Students and Staff will also present a series of new original works. Ríona Hughes will perform the comic one woman show ‘Ballyganruaile’ and Dramsoc presents ‘Rewind’. There are also a series of plays written or directed by recent NUI Galway graduates of Drama. The Cube Triple Bill featuring award winning playwright Paddy O’Byrne’s ‘Ahhh Lad!’. Other plays to feature include ‘The Thee Women’, ‘Cathleen Ní Houlihan 2, and ‘The Berlin Decision’ by Shaun Leonard. New writing is also featured in ‘Girl Uninterrupted’ by Eve O’Mahony and a rehearsed reading of ‘Life Security’ by Drew Dunlop. Award winning Cúirt poetry slam winner Shaun Leonard is hosting four nights of poetry and music with guests including former All-Ireland Slam winner Miceál Kearney, comedian Steve Bennett and poets Kevin Higgins, Anne Irwin and Nicholas Fitzgerald. Children are catered for with a production of Truth Fairy and ‘Do you Speak Mermish’, a multi Sensory drop in room creating an undersea experience to stimulate the senses and imagination. Tickets are from €3-€12 and can be purchased at the SocsBox, NUI Galway, or at the Fringe Festival Box Office on Frances Street or on line at  For more information on all the on campus events call 091 492852 or check out and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Shows and times as follows: ‘Tan’: 12-14 July at 8pm ‘Banged Up Broads’: 19 July 8.30pm and 20 July at 6.30pm ‘The Heroism Hotline’: 28 and 29 July at 5.30pm ‘Saol’: 19 July at 6pm Ballyganruaile’: 23–26 July at6pm, and 27 July at 8.30pm ‘Rewind’: 26, 28 and 29 July at 8.30pm, and 27 July at 6pm ‘Ahhh Lad!’: 22-25 July at 8.30pm ‘The Thee Women’: 22–25 July at 8.30pm ‘Cathleen Ní Houlihan 2’: 22–25 July at 8.30pm and ‘The Berlin Decision’: 22–25 July at 8.30pm Shaun Leonard poetry nights: 15-18 July at 7pm ‘Truth Fairy’: 28-29 July at 12.30pm ‘Do you Speak Mermish’: 24-29 July from 11am–3pm -ENDS-

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