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Tuesday, 29 March 2022
An extraordinary audio archive from NUI Galway will be showcased at this year's Cúirt International Festival of Literature in Galway. Nearly 100 years after they were first captured, wax cylinder recordings held in the University Library were digitised last summer with support from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. The recordings were made by Tomás Ó Máille (1880-1938), the inaugural Professor of Irish at the University. Appointed in 1909, the Joyce Country native held the professorship until his premature death in 1938. A pioneer in many ways, Tomás Ó Máille’s greatest foresight was his commitment to the newest technology of his day - audio recording. Focusing on folklore, song, and dialects, he created hundreds of recordings of Irish speakers from every county in Connacht and also Co Clare. He assisted the recording work of other collectors and scholars including Wilhelm Doegen, head of the Sound Department at the Prussian State Library in Berlin. In this concert as part of the Cúírt festival, Dr Deirdre Ní Chonghaile will introduce Tomás Ó Máille and his work, along with excerpts of his recordings from the NUI Galway archive. She will also introduce three special guests - singers Sarah Ghriallais, Mary Staunton, and Saileog Ní Cheannabháin - who will perform their own renditions of songs retrieved from Ó Máille’s recordings. Speaking ahead of the Cúirt showcase, Dr Ní Chonghaile said: "This event sees one of Ireland’s most significant audio archives come to life for the first time and witnesses songs returning to their rightful place - in each community’s repertoire. We are thrilled to partner with Cúirt and Arts-in-Action to celebrate Tomás Ó Máille’s outstanding legacy in capturing artistic treasures of the Irish language from every county west of the Shannon." With surtitles in English, An Chartlann Bheo - Animating the Archive takes place at An Taibhdhearc on Wednesday 6 April at 1pm. It is free to attend but booking is advisable at https://www.cuirt.ie/whats-on/an-chartlann-bheo-animating-the-archive/. Ends
Tuesday, 29 March 2022
Den chéad uair ó 1930 i leith, beidh seod-chartlann fhuaime de chuid Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh i lár an aonaigh ag Féile Idirnáisiúnta na Litríochta, Cúirt na Gaillimhe. Beagnach céad bliain ó gabhadh iad ar fhiteáin céireacha, rinneadh na taifeadtaí i Leabharlann na hOllscoile a dhigitiú an samhradh seo caite le tacaíocht ón Roinn Turasóireachta, Cultúir, Ealaíon, Gaeltachta, Spóirt agus na Meán. Is taifeadtaí iad seo a chruthaigh Tomás Ó Máille (1880-1938), an chéad Ollamh le Gaeilge san Ollscoil. De bhunadh Dhúiche Sheoigheach, ceapadh Tomás ina ollamh i 1909 agus lean sé air sa ról go bhfuair sé bás go hanabaí in 1938. Ceannródaí ab ea an Máilleach ar mhórán bealaí ach is suntasach go háirithe mar a dhírigh sé ar nua-theicneolaíocht a linne fhéin – an taifeadadh fuaime. Ag diriú ar bhéaloideas, amhráin, agus canúintí éagsúla, chruthaigh sé na céadta taifeadadh fuaime de chainteoirí Gaeilge as gach contae i gConnacht agus as an gClár. Freisin, chuidigh sé le bailitheoirí agus scoláirí eile taifeadtaí a chruthú, ina measc Wilhelm Doegen, stiúrthóir Roinn na Fuaime i Leabharlann na Prúise i mBeirlín. Sa cheolchoirm seo mar chuid d'fhéile Cúirt, cuirfidh Deirdre Ní Chonghaile Tomás Ó Máille agus a shaothar i láthair, agus cloisfear blaiseadh beag dá thaifeadtaí. Freisin, déanfaidh triúr aíonna speisialta – Sarah Ghriallais, Mary Staunton agus Saileog Ní Cheannabháin – a leagan féin d’amhráin as cartlann an Mháilligh a chanadh. Ag labhairt di roimh na hócáide uathúla seo, dúirt an Dr Ní Chonghaile: "Beidh an chartlann ina steillbheatha, beo ar ardán, agus na hamhráin a chruinnigh Tomás ar ais i mbéal an phobail. Tá ríméad orainn an deis seo a chruthú i gcomhpháirt le Cúirt agus Arts-in-Action. Seo ceiliúradh ar mhór-obair a rinne an Máilleach ag cruinniú saibhreas na n-ealaíon Gaeilge ó gach contae taobh thiar den tSionainn." Le fortheidil i mBéarla, beidh An Chartlann Bheo - Animating the Archive ar siúl sa Taibhdhearc ar an gCéadaoin 6 Aibreán ag 1.00in. Tá sé saor in aisce ach ní mór ticéid a chur in áirithe: https://www.cuirt.ie/whats-on/an-chartlann-bheo-animating-the-archive/. Críoch
Monday, 28 March 2022
Tá fáilte ar ais á chur roimh na mílte céimithe de chuid OÉ Gaillimh ar an gcampas an tseachtain seo lena muintir agus lena gcairde ag na searmanais bhronnta a bheidh ar siúl as seo go ceann coicíse. Beidh an ceiliúradh ar siúl ón Déardaoin, an 31 Márta go dtí Dé Máirt, an 12 Aibreán agus beidh céimithe agus na daoine a bhfuil céim le bronnadh orthu a d’fhreastail ar cheithre choláiste na hOllscoile agus ar an Ionad Foghlama agus Forbartha Gairmiúla d’Aosaigh i láthair. Tá na searmanais á reáchtáil do chéimithe a chríochnaigh a gcuid staidéir in 2021 agus ar cuireadh a searmanas bronnta céime geimhridh ar athló, agus tá ceiliúradh speisialta bronnta céime ar siúl freisin do chéimithe a chríochnaigh a gcuid staidéir in 2020 agus ar bronnadh a gcéim orthu in absentia mar gheall ar shrianta na paindéime. Chláraigh thart ar 3,000 céimí ó 2020 agus thart ar 4,000 ó 2021 le freastal ar na searmanais. Déanfar sruthú beo ar gach searmanas bronnta freisin chun freastal ar mhic léinn agus a dteaghlaigh agus a gcairde nach bhfuil in ann a bheith i láthair. Tá sé fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh cé hiad an t-ochtar a mbronnfar Céimeanna Oinigh orthu ag na searmanais chomh maith: Jean Kelly – Príomh-Stiúrthóir Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais ar scor, Grúpa Cúraim Sláinte Ollscoile Saolta, Ospidéal na hOllscoile, Gaillimh. An tOllamh David Harper – Ollamh le Pailé-ointeolaíocht in Ollscoil Durham agus saineolaí idirnáisiúnta mór le rá ar phailé-ointeolaíocht agus ar éabhlóid. Evelyn O’Toole – Bunaitheoir agus Príomhoifigeach Feidhmiúcháin Complete Laboratory Solutions (CLS). An tOllamh Hubert McDermott – iarOllamh le Béarla in OÉ Gaillimh agus iarbhall d’Údarás na hOllscoile. Dick Byrne – Ailtire a chuireann go mór leis na healaíona i nGaillimh. Ronnie O’Gorman – Bunaitheoir agus úinéir an Galway Advertiser. Ailbhe Smyth – Acadóir agus gníomhaí Éireannach. Bob Quinn – Déantóir scannán, stiúrthóir, grianghrafadóir, scríbhneoir, eagarthóir agus ball d’Aosdána. Ag labhairt dó roimh na searmanais bhronnta, dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Is iontach an rud é go bhfuil na searmanais bhronnta ar ais ar an láthair, agus muid ag fáiltiú roimh na mic léinn sin ar fad ar ais ar an gcampas seo lena dteaghlach agus lena gcairde. “Ba mhaith liom ár gcéimithe go léir ó 2020 agus 2021 a mholadh as a bheith i mbun léinn fad a bhí an phaindéim ann, agus comhghairdeas a dhéanamh leo as a bhfuil bainte amach acu thar aon bhaicle eile. “Is mór againn ár gcéimithe go léir agus chuir gach duine den ochtar laoch a bhfuil Céim Oinigh á bronnadh orthu go mór le réimsí éagsúla ─ na healaíona, cúrsaí gnó, an litríocht agus an iriseoireacht, an t-oideachas, agus an eolaíocht agus an leigheas. Tá an-áthas ar OÉ Gaillimh a bheith in ann meas a léiriú agus aitheantas a thabhairt go hoscailte do shárshaothar na ndaoine eisceachtúla seo.” Tá sceideal iomlán shearmanais bhronnta an gheimhridh 2021 agus 2020 le fáil ag https://www.nuigalway.ie/conferring/. Críoch
Monday, 28 March 2022
Thousands of NUI Galway graduates are being welcomed back to the campus this week with families and friends for almost two weeks of conferring ceremonies. The celebrations take place from Thursday March 31 to Tuesday April 12 involving graduates and graduands of the University’s four colleges and the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development. The ceremonies are being held for graduates who completed studies in 2021 and whose winter conferring was postponed and special graduation celebrations are also being held for graduates who completed studies in 2020 and were conferred in absentia due to public health restrictions during the pandemic. Several thousand graduates from 2020 and 2021 have registered to attend the ceremonies. All ceremonies will be live streamed to accommodate students and their families and friends who cannot attend in-person. NUI Galway has also announced the names the eight individuals to be conferred with Honorary Degrees at the ceremonies: Jean Kelly - Retired Chief Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Saolta University Health Care Group, University Hospital Galway. Professor David Harper - Professor of Palaeontology at Durham University and leading international expert on palaeontology and evolution. Evelyn O’Toole - Founder and CEO of Complete Laboratory Solutions (CLS). Professor Hubert McDermott - Former Professor of English at NUI Galway and former Governing Authority member. Dick Byrne - Architect by profession and life-long contributor to the arts in Galway. Ronnie O’Gorman - Founder and owner of Galway Advertiser. Ailbhe Smyth - Irish academic and activist. Bob Quinn - Filmmaker, director, photographer, writer, editor and member of Aosdána. Speaking ahead of the conferring ceremonies, NUI Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “It is great to see the return of the conferring ceremonies in person, welcoming all those students back to our campus with family and friends. “I would like to commend all of our graduates from 2020 and 2021 for learning through the pandemic, and congratulate them on their unparalleled achievements. “We cherish all our graduates and each of the eight extraordinary Honorary Degree recipients has made an outstanding and distinctive contribution to the diverse fields of the arts, business, literature and journalism, education, and science and medicine. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to openly respect the excellence of these individuals.” The full schedule for the winter 2021 and 2020 conferring ceremonies is available at https://www.nuigalway.ie/conferring/. Ends
Friday, 25 March 2022
New Citizen Science survey led by NUI Galway to record sightings of red and grey squirrels in cities NUI Galway researchers are asking for public support as the battle for the revival of the red squirrel moves to the streets, parks and gardens of cities across the island of Ireland. The Urban Squirrel Survey, led by the University, is on a quest to find out more about the urban squirrel population, both the native red species and its rival, the invasive grey squirrel. The research is focusing on the seven largest urban areas on the island of Ireland - Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Derry, Limerick, Galway and Waterford. Since their introduction to Ireland in 1911, the grey squirrel has caused a number of problems for the red squirrel. The larger greys, which out-compete the reds for food and pass on a fatal disease to them, began to displace the red squirrel in many parts of the island of Ireland. However, in some rural areas, the recovery of the pine marten, a native predator which predates on the larger, less vigilant grey squirrel, has contributed to the recovery of the red squirrel. A number of surveys on squirrel species have been carried out since 2007 showing the recovery of the red squirrel, however recent studies suggest that urban areas may act as a refuge for the grey squirrel, which may hinder red squirrel re-establishment in towns, cities, and urban parks, and may act as a source for further grey squirrel spread in the future. The survey will be carried out by NUI Galway PhD researcher Emma Roberts and Dr Colin Lawton, researcher with the Ryan Institute in NUI Galway and lecturer in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Biology in the University’s School of Natural Sciences. It is being run in collaboration with the National Biodiversity Data Centre, a programme of the Heritage Council. Ms Roberts said: “With the spread of urbanisation, parks and urban green spaces are becoming important habitats for squirrels. By understanding where both species occur in urban areas, we can plan conservation actions to protect our native red squirrel. “Red squirrels need a woodland to live in, so it can be difficult for an urban area to accommodate these animals. By researching their distribution in urban areas across Ireland, we can investigate the likelihood of their continued survival in certain areas and reestablishment in others.” Dr Lawton said: “Previously, surveys have been looking for squirrel records in all areas of Ireland, but this year we are focusing on urban areas, to highlight the increasing importance of these habitats to our wildlife and to see if they will remain a stronghold of the invasive grey squirrel. “We rely on the help of the public, our Citizen Scientists to provide us with information from their local parks and gardens.” During the course of 2022, The Urban Squirrel Survey' is looking for information on squirrel sightings from the following urban areas; Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Limerick, Derry, Galway, and Waterford. More information can be found on the survey Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@urbansquirrelsurvey) pages or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The online survey can be found at www.biodiversityireland.ie. Ends
Tuesday, 22 March 2022
University organises weekend of events on March 25 and 26, showcasing everything on offer for new students NUI Galway is to welcome hundreds of prospective students, parents, guidance counsellors and teachers back to campus for a weekend of Undergraduate Open Days. The University will be pulling out all the stops on Saturday March 25 and 26, from 9am to 3pm, as it showcases everything it has to offer for studies and life at NUI Galway. The Spring Undergraduate Open Days are the biggest events to take place on campus since 2020 and include five exhibitions and a schedule of more than 50 talks each day. There are almost 70 undergraduate degrees on offer at NUI Galway in 2022. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet lecturers, staff and students at the exhibitions to discuss courses, entry requirements, work placements and career opportunities. Prospective students can explore the campus with seven different guided tours available including campus tours, accessibility tours and guided visits to teaching and learning spaces including engineering, nursing and midwifery and the library’s Makerspace. Sarah Geraghty, Director of Student Recruitment and Outreach, is encouraging visitors to view the open day programme in advance. “With over 50 talks scheduled, representing all courses, subjects and student supports on offer, it’s important for prospective students to plan their day and know in advance which talks are most relevant to them," Ms Geraghty said. “After two years of virtual open days, we are very excited to bring this informative and dynamic event back on campus to showcase the endless career opportunities that await students. Nothing can match the sense of possibility that a student gets from visiting the university in person. It helps them to visualise college life and to explore very thoroughly the potential courses and pathways that are right for them.” The talks schedule will feature all courses across Arts, Science, Engineering, Business, Law, Nursing, Health Sciences and Medicine. It also includes talks on Student Life, Sport, Study Abroad, Careers and ALIVE volunteering. The Access Centre will host session on alternative pathways, mature student supports and the QQI/FETAC/PLC entry route. Parents will also be interested in the Parents’ Talk taking place on Saturday only at 11am and again at 1pm which will address topics such as fees, funding, accommodation and student supports. Advance registration is required in order to attend the event, with further info at www.nuigalway.ie/opendays, or by emailing email@example.com. Ends
Monday, 14 March 2022
A group of 22 female Afghan refugees have been welcomed to NUI Galway to learn about the opportunities for higher education at the University. The women fled their homeland less than five months ago following the fall of Kabul to the Taliban and have begun to make new lives in Galway and in the east of the country. The group were hosted by NUI Galway’s University of Sanctuary initiative and were given the chance to learn about the University, the campus, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes on offer, entrance pathways and scholarships. An Afghan and Irish cultural evening also took place in the Quadrangle with food and music bridging East and West for students, staff and visitors. Welcoming the refugees to campus, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of NUI Galway, said: “Diversity in our University is a source of enrichment for our students and staff alike. As an institution we not only teach, but we also learn from the diversity of our community. Two of the core values at NUI Galway are Openness and Respect - these are realised through our University of Sanctuary initiative and we are proud to play a role in supporting the continuation of education for refugees.” Galway East Fine Gael TD Ciarán Cannon also joined the visit, after supporting some of the group to settle in Galway and working with Government to ensure the women secured refugee status and PPS numbers. Aidan Harte, NUI Galway’s University of Sanctuary Coordinator, said: “An increasing number of conflicts around the world are causing a staggering rise in displaced communities. This affects not only the countries which neighbour the conflict zones but it affects us here in Ireland as well. Ireland has an international obligation to offer protection to those fleeing conflict, and NUI Galway, as a designated University of Sanctuary, will offer a welcoming environment as a beacon of hope for those seeking sanctuary.” Professor Afshin Samali, Professor for Cancer Biology at NUI Galway, came to Ireland as a refugee in his late teens in 1985. He was introduced to the Afghan group by the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, last November and has since then supported and mentored them to navigate the education system in Ireland. Professor Samali said: “The visit was a very special day for our community. It provided us with the opportunity to identify ways to help these young people reach their full potential. It also gave the group an insight into University life, and gave them something to aspire to.” Ends
Wednesday, 9 March 2022
Research team at the University exploring sustainable solutions for Tidal Energy NUI Galway has today announced the first project under its Global Challenges Programme - a targeted research initiative to tackle six of the world’s most pressing issues. The Tidal Energy project will focus on solutions to secure transition to affordable and clean energy that also enhance the health and resilience of communities, wildlife and environment. Professor Jamie Goggins, Professor of Civil Engineering, MaREI Centre, Ryan Institute & School of Engineering, NUI Galway, will lead the project. Professor Goggins said: “The NUI Galway Tidal Energy project will engage with multiple stakeholders - including the people living in the coastal communities - to unlock the potential benefits for them in our drive to decarbonise the economy. “The just transition is crucial in the work towards decarbonisation. So too is the importance placed on biodiversity and how we enhance the health and resilience of our ocean & coastal communities. Our aim in the Tidal Energy project is to create a blueprint to simultaneously achieve these ambitions.” The NUI Galway Global Challenges fund was unveiled as part of the University’s new Research and Innovation Strategy 2021-26. There are six areas of focus in the Global Challenges programme - Antimicrobial Resistance, Decarbonisation, Democracy, Food Security, Human-centred Data, and Ocean and Coastal Health. The Tidal Energy project is being supported under the theme of Decarbonisation. Further information is available at https://stories.nuigalway.ie/project-TIDAL-GES/index.html Professor Jim Livesey, Vice-President for Research and Innovation at NUI Galway, said: “Through our Global Challenges programme we are inviting our researchers to focus on the most pressing questions and the most difficult issues. As part of our mission as a research-led institution, it is incumbent upon us to work for the public good and also with communities and stakeholders, both local and globally, to respond to the challenges facing humanity.” The Tidal Energy project involves a number of key, interconnected elements: :: Exploring the development of next-generation tidal energy technology and tidal turbine blades. :: Site modelling and the assessment of the impact of climate change on site characteristics and extreme events for tidal energy technology. :: Economic appraisal of tidal energy and the investigation of societal attitudes. :: Stakeholder engagement to better understand the needs and concerns of tidal energy developers, local authorities and the coastal communities. :: Systems to assess the interactions of tidal energy infrastructure with wildlife. :: Recruitment of five PhD researchers to the project. Globally, the tidal energy resource is estimated at more than 1200 terraWhats per annum. The world uses 17.7 terrawhats a year. The Tidal Energy project brings together a wealth of academic and research expertise and knowledge from across NUI Galway. The team includes Professor Goggins; Dr Stephen Nash, Senior Lecturer School of Engineering; Dr William Finnegan; Senior Research Fellow, School of Engineering; Professor Stephen Hynes, Professor in Economics and Director of the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit; Dr Thomas Van Rensburg, Senior Lecturer, School of Business & Economics; Dr Gesche Kindermann, Lecturer, School of Natural Science; Dr Anne Marie Power, Senior Lecturer in Zoology, School of Natural Sciences), and Dr Colin Lawton Senior Lecturer, School of Natural Science. Ends
Tuesday, 8 March 2022
NUI Galway has joined a new European project to investigate how local initiatives can help meet climate change targets. The five-year Shared Green Deal is funded through the EU’s Horizon2020 scheme with researchers working with families in fuel poverty, schools, housing associations and businesses to slash carbon emissions. The overall project involves 24 separate social experiments - taking place in neighbourhoods across Europe - looking at how organisations and individuals can work together to make daily lives more sustainable. The research is intended to assist the EU in reaching the target of carbon neutrality by 2050 and to create change at the local level. Researchers in Geography at NUI Galway are leading the Clean Energy strand of the research, working with communities in four locations across the continent to develop community visions for desirable energy futures. The NUI Galway research team is led by Professor Frances Fahy, a leading scholar and international researcher in social science and sustainability. Professor Fahy said: “Over the next five years we will be working alongside communities and local authorities to gain a deeper understanding of what local stakeholders want and expect for the future of energy and what EU energy targets can be most beneficial to local communities.” Under Shared Green Deal, 22 partner institutions across Europe will work together to examine the role social sciences can play in helping countries, communities and neighbourhoods to dramatically reduce carbon emissions. Professor Fahy said: “Much of the recent focus on tackling climate change has centred on green technology development. However aspects of social justice and exploring how communities can respond at a local level are key pieces in the jigsaw of climate action. “This new Shared Green Deal project provides more social scientists in NUI Galway with valuable opportunities to build on our existing significant sustainability research profile and more importantly, to work with our communities on the transition toward sustainable futures”. As part of the project, skill-sharing workshops, toolkits for other local networks, and accessible training videos will be developed which especially focus on sharing energy-saving know-how between generations. Diversity and inclusivity will be at a key priority in Shared Green Deal, to ensure disadvantaged and vulnerable social groups are supported with the changes. For more information on the project please see: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/101036640 Ends
Monday, 7 March 2022
DERIVE project aims to manage toxic E. coli threat to private water supplies Researchers at NUI Galway are to carry out a large-scale project that aims to protect private well owners from infection from potentially lethal bacteria. The team based at the University’s Antimicrobial Resistance and Microbial Ecology Group (ARME) have been awarded funding by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop detection and risk-management models. The DERIVE project focuses on pathogenic E. coli VTEC. The bacteria is carried naturally and harmlessly in the gut of cattle and sheep but it can cause severe gastrointestinal infection in humans. Ireland has the highest incidence of VTEC infection in Europe with between 700 and 900 cases a year. Most people recover fully, but in up to 10% of cases the infection can progress to the potentially fatal kidney disease Haemolytic Uremic Syndrome, which may lead to long-term health consequences. The innovative research project will develop new, rapid, on-site detection methods, as well as risk models and open-source risk-management software to predict private drinking water contamination. Principal Investigator Dr Liam Burke said: “Ireland represents the perfect storm for groundwater contamination with VTEC, as we have a lot of livestock and unfavourable geology, with often thin layers of soil and permeable underlying rock. “Our frequent heavy rainfall also helps move pathogens from dung and land spread slurry, and even from our domestic wastewater treatment systems, into surface and ground waters.” The research will be an important step for Irish authorities in implementing risk-based “source to tap” approach under the new European Drinking Water Directive. Dr Burke added: “To protect well owners, we need to understand more about how VTEC is transported in natural water catchments. “We want to identify the importance of factors such as climate and geology in order to be able to predict VTEC contamination under changing conditions. It’s also important that we can detect VTEC, and part of the project is focused on the development of rapid molecular tests that can be used on site.” The researchers will use DNA sequencing methods to characterize the VTEC found in water and compare them to VTEC causing human infection and to those found in animals and food. The project will begin in April 2022 and involves collaboration with University College Cork (UCC), Technological University Dublin (TUD) and Teagasc. Once the study catchments are selected in summer 2022, the DERIVE team will engage with private well and private group scheme owners, farmers and local water groups to participate in the project. Anyone interested in finding out more can visit www.nuigalway.ie/bac/ Ends
Friday, 4 March 2022
Clinical simulation and interprofessional education facility developed in partnership with Saolta University Health Care Group Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly T.D. today officially launches the Clinical Simulation and Interprofessional Education Facility at NUI Galway. The state-of-the-art space spans more than 20 immersive learning rooms, across 100m2, fitted out to hospital standard and simulating all aspects of a leading healthcare environment. All training rooms are fitted with high-powered cameras and audio-visual equipment with remote and observation spaces for assessing and reviewing learning. Patients are replaced by complex manikins with physiological characteristics that respond to medical treatments and procedures in safe and realistic environments. Based at NUI Galway’s Clinical Science Institute, on the grounds of University Hospital Galway, it is the largest and most modern facility of its kind on a clinical site in Ireland. The facility is a partnership between NUI Galway and Saolta University Health Care Group. Minster Donnelly said: “This new facility at NUI Galway is at the forefront of delivering the best quality teaching and learning for our medical students and healthcare providers. Healthcare simulation brings the students and professionals together in a modern methodology for training. “Advances such as this have tangible benefits to the staff delivering quality care within our health service and this, of course, benefits patients. This type of innovation and forward thinking is what will help to elevate the delivery of our world class health service and it is the cornerstone of the future of healthcare in Ireland.'' Healthcare simulation is an approach to training and education that aims to improve the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of clinical care through high impact, evidence-based training. There is growing evidence that it contributes to increased quality of patient care and survival. NUI Galway Clinical Simulation and Interprofessional Education Facility Unique in Ireland - co-located on a clinical site and medical school - the facility includes: :: Skills labs, operating theatres, ICU space, emergency bays, in-patient wards, outpatient consultation rooms, delivery suites. :: Complex manikins range in age from premature infants to adults and maternity manikins simulate pregnancy and childbirth. :: Audio-visual system for recording training, streaming and linking to all areas of Saolta University Health Care Group :: Education and training for more than 600 medical students in clinical years and accessible space for more than 4,000 multi-professional clinical staff in Galway University Hospitals. :: Observational rooms with one-way glass and multi-functional rooms with mobile furniture, easily switching from clinical to tutorial and debrief rooms. The official opening took place alongside the launch of the National Strategic Guide for the Implementation of Simulation on Clinical Sites. The National Chief Academic Officers, working with Dr Colm Henry, Health Service Executive Chief Clinical Officer, and the National Doctors Training and Planning, have championed simulation and the development of the guide. The guide was written by Professor of Simulation Education Dara Byrne, School of Medicine, NUI Galway and Saolta University Health Care Group, and the simulation team at NUI Galway to support the strategic development of similar facilities on clinical sites in Ireland. Professor Byrne said: “The old, apprentice-style of learning for healthcare students and clinicians is no longer considered acceptable because of the increasing concern for the quality of patient care and safety and change in health care systems. “As a result, there are fewer opportunities for the student to experience and build confidence dealing with a wide variety of diseases, traumas and treatment responses. As well as that, Covid-19 shone a light on the importance of simulation based education as the pandemic severely limited direct clinical exposure for students and trainees.” Professor Antony O’Regan, Director of Postgraduate Clinical Education, Saolta University Health Care Group and NUI Galway, said: “The launch today is a milestone for the west of Ireland. It represents the integrated work across the university and health sectors. It highlights the potential benefits of developing Academic Health Science Systems. “Saolta and NUI Galway aspire to be leaders in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education both nationally and internationally. This is reflected in the ongoing work to establish resources for clinical simulation across our region in order to support inter-professional education and lifelong learning. “We are looking forward to the future and continued strategic development of our academic infrastructure and resources that are vital to patient care”. The National Strategic Guide for the Implementation of Simulation on Clinical Sites provides a framework for the resourcing and delivery of sustainable simulation that is multi-professional with a focus in team training for patient safety. It identifies the priority areas that should be addressed in establishing and delivering high quality healthcare simulation facilities, including human factors testing of new hospital equipment and medical devices before introduction to the clinical environment, of particular importance to the medtech industry in Galway. Ends
Wednesday, 2 March 2022
NUI Galway and Ulster University lead flagship €4 million project to advance understanding of region and foster sustainable innovation Cross-border research unveiled under Government’s Shared Island North-South Research Programme NUI Galway and Ulster University have been announced as the lead partners on a new strategic regional development research project under the Government’s North-South Research Programme. The Atlantic Innovation Corridor is a cross-border collaboration focusing on themes such as rural entrepreneurial ecosystems, business scaling, female entrepreneurship, digitalisation, freight connectivity and mental health. University of Limerick and Galway Mayo Institute of Technology are co-partners on the research. The Atlantic Innovation Corridor will create a research team organised in hubs in Derry/Londonderry and Limerick and administered in the third hub in Galway. The four year project was announced by Taoiseach Michéal Martin T.D. and Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris T.D. as part of the Government’s Shared Island North South Research Programme. The Atlantic Innovation Corridor involves a series of research work programmes on sustainable regional development for the north-west of the island, the west and mid-west. Among the projects in the partnership are: Mentoring scheme for female entrepreneurs in the region. Identifying economic growth bottlenecks and how to take action; Business masterclasses for growth Mental health promotion Digital skills development, transformation and policy interventions in rural and peripheral regions Impact of Brexit and Covid on female entrepreneurship Establishing the region and the partnership as an internationally recognised centre of excellence for impactful research. Exploring international freight transport connectivity through the north-west of the island, including rail connectivity and the potential of Foyle Port. Professor Jim Livesey, Vice President Research and Innovation at NUI Galway and Principal Investigator for the Atlantic Innovation Corridor, said: “This investment in large-scale social science research will create a resource for the region and the country. “Our collaboration will produce engaged research that will help guide us through the transitions, digital, green and energy, that are before us. It will also form a base from which we can share our insights and experience with other regions of Europe and the world which have difficult histories and borders but seek to make progress together. “This ambitious agenda is shared with our partners in the Western Development Commission, the North West Regional Development Authority and our collaborators in AwakenHub. We see this investment as a foundation from which we will build partnerships and engagement key across all these projects, our NUI Galway research community playing a great role and the Atlantic Innovation Corridor is an opportunity to deeply explore and understand our region with the express intent to leverage this to further sustainable develop. We are delighted to work with colleagues in Ulster University and in multiple other institutions across our island.” Professor Liam Maguire, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research, Ulster University said: “Alongside the well-documented environmental factors of sustainable development, this unique partnership aims to explore and address human considerations including the responsiveness of communities and sectors to mobilise for collective action and innovation.” “From our progressive campus in Derry~Londonderry, we are uniquely placed to contribute to this three-city regional collaboration, incorporating research that can contribute insights, inform policy and drive forward practical solutions for the benefit of individuals, organisations and communities.” University of Limerick Vice President Research Professor Norelee Kennedy said: “UL is delighted to partner with our colleagues in NUI Galway, Ulster University and GMIT on the Atlantic Innovation Corridor exploring social capital and collective action capacity of the region. Through exploring entrepreneurship ecosystems in rural regions, business scaling in the Atlantic Corridor and the challenges and opportunities for smaller regional innovation systems UL will support the consortium in this ambitious programme of impactful, policy informing research.” The North-South Research Programme is a collaborative scheme funded through the Government’s Shared Island Fund. It is being administered by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. Ends
Tuesday, 1 March 2022
Protected Pipistrelle bats found in attic, captured and entangled in Noble False Widow Spider’s web Scientists from the Ryan Institute in NUI Galway have published the first record of a Noble False Widow spider feeding on a protected species of Pipistrelle bats in the UK. The new study, published in the international journal Ecosphere, demonstrates that False Widow spiders continue to impact native species. It is the first time a member of this family of spiders, called Theridiidae, has been recorded preying on a bat anywhere in the world, or any vertebrate in Britain. It is also the first time for any species of false widow spider to be recorded preying on mammals. The extraordinary discovery was made by wildlife artist Ben Waddams at his home in north Shropshire, England. On two consecutive days, bats living in the attic were found entangled on the spider’s web below the entrance to the roost. The first bat, a young pup, was completely immobilised with its limbs pinned tightly to the torso with silk. It was slightly shrivelled and discoloured from the spider feeding off the remains. A second, much larger adult bat, was also captured and entangled in the web but as it was still alive, the bat was rescued from the web and released. In Britain, the Pipistrelle bats are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017. The rather grisly event is not as uncommon as people might expect, three years ago the Noble False Widow spider was reported feeding on a protected species of native lizard in Ireland. Originating from Madeira and the Canary Islands, the Noble False Widow spider Steatoda nobilis has the potential to become one of the world’s most invasive species of spider. It was first reported in southern England in 1879 and has increased its range and population density in recent decades, spreading northwards towards Scotland and westward through Wales and Ireland. In that time the species has also spread globally from across Europe, East Asia, North America, and South America. The species is known for its medical significance, having the ability to cause a range of mild to severe symptoms in people who are bitten, but little is known about its impact on native species. Over the past five years, the team led by Dr Michel Dugon in NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, have been studying a wide range of characteristics specific to the species including its venom, symptoms after envenomation, ecology and behaviour. Dr Michel Dugon, Head of the Venom Systems Lab, Ryan Institute, NUI Galway and senior author of the study, said: “We have been working on the Noble False Widow for the past five years, and have learnt a great deal about this species - yet, we are still surprised by its ability to adapt to new environments and make the most of the resources available. It is a truly remarkable species.” Dr John Dunbar, Irish Research Council Post-Doctoral fellow, Venom Systems Lab, Ryan Institute, NUI Galway and lead author of the study, said: “In more exotic parts of the world, scientists have been documenting such predation events by spiders on small vertebrates for many years, but we are only beginning to realise just how common these events occur. Now that this alien species has become well established in Ireland and Britain, we are witnessing such fascinating events on our very own doorstep. “Even other, much smaller, species of false widows are known to capture and feed on snakes and lizards. This study presents yet another example of the invasive impact by the Noble false widow spider on native species. We know they are much more competitive than native spiders, and this further confirms their impact on prey species.” They possess a fast-acting neurotoxic venom with a very similar composition to true black widows that can cause neuromuscular paralysis in terrestrial vertebrates which allows them to occasionally feed on small reptiles and mammals. Aiste Vitkauskaite, researcher at the Venom Systems Lab, Ryan Institute, NUI Galway, said: “False widow spiders, just as their close relatives’ black widow spiders, have extraordinary prey capture techniques and remarkably potent venom which allows them to capture small vertebrate prey many times larger than the spider itself with surprising ease. “In the last three years alone, we have observed two occasions of the alien Noble False Widow capturing and feeding on protected species of vertebrate animals in Ireland and Britain. As the Noble False Widow continues to expand its range and increase populations across Ireland and Britain, we should expect to observe similar predation events on small vertebrate animals by this spider, including protected species.” The team of scientists are encouraging members of the public to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org to report sightings of the Noble False Widow spider. Read the full study in Ecosphere here: https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ecs2.3959 View a short video about the study here: https://youtu.be/zLOhGfaLrng -Ends-