Monday, 29 April 2024

Shannon College of Hotel Management has established a School Advisory Board, aimed at providing independent external guidance to the Head of School and School Executive Board, and actively supporting the delivery of the School’s mission and strategy. Comprised of esteemed regional, national, and international members from diverse fields and sectors, the School Advisory Board brings a wealth of experience and expertise to support the holistic development of students and the advancement of the hospitality industry. Chairing the Advisory Board is Gerald Lawless, former CEO of Jumeirah Group and former Chair of the World Travel and Tourism Council. The Board includes prominent industry leaders such as Frankie Whelehan, Managing Director of the Chesway Group; Mary Considine, CEO Shannon Group; John Brennan, Owner Dromquinna Manor; Professor Tom Garavan, Professor of Leadership Practice in CUBS, UCC; Quinn Pu, Hotel Manager, Mandrian Oriental, Shanghai; Gillian Horan, Owner, The Pudding; John Clendennen, MD of Giltraps Pub, Townhouse and Glamping, and President of the Vintners Association; Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, Fitzgerald’s Woodland House Hotel and Chairperson Irish Tourism Industry Confederation; Paul Carty, Tourism Consultant and Former MD of Guiness Storehouse; and Niamh O’Neil,: International Business Development Manager for the O'Donoghue Ring Collection. Mr. Lawless expressed his honour at leading the Advisory Board, highlighting the strong track record of Shannon College of Hotel Management in shaping successful careers in the hospitality industry. He emphasized the Board's commitment to providing guidance and mentorship to the future leaders of the industry: "Shannon College of Hotel Management has been the foundation of so many successful careers in the Hotel industry. It has the proud record of having a 100% employment at graduation for its students since the founding of the college by Brendan O'Regan in 1951. I am deeply honoured to have been asked to chair the newly formed Advisory Board. The members of the Board greatly reflect the strength of the industry in Ireland and overseas. We look forward to our engagement with the College and to assisting Head of School Adrian Sylver and his colleagues with advice on the future strategy and direction of Shannon College of Hotel Management. Finally, we all recognise our responsibility to the students of the college where we can offer advice and mentorship to the future leaders of this great industry." Head of Shannon College of Hotel Management, Adrian Sylver said: "We are thrilled to have such a distinguished group of industry experts on board to support our mission of providing a world-class education in business and hotel management.” Ends

Friday, 26 April 2024

University of Galway has awarded the inaugural Hygeia Scholarship to first year Bachelor of Commerce student Joseph Cunnane. Over the next 10 years Hygeia will support ten students with a financial award as well as the opportunity of undertaking work placement and internships with the company. The scholarship will include mentorship by Hygeia employees, supporting students through their academic and personal development, as well as opportunities for work placements and internships so that students gain valuable skills and insight for their future careers. Joseph Cunnane, from Kilkelly, Co Mayo, is from a farming background and hopes to establish his own business in his home county at some stage in the future. Commenting on his award Joseph Cunnane said: “I am delighted to be a recipient of the Hygeia Scholarship. This provides me with an excellent opportunity to pursue my degree here at University of Galway. Thank you to the management team at Hygeia and all the staff at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics for providing me this once in a lifetime experience. This is an incredible programme that helps improve accessibility to higher education, and I look forward to expanding my insight and knowledge into the world of business.” John Byrne, chief executive of Hygeia, said: “This scholarship is important for Hygeia as it allows us to work more closely with the University and support students to get the most from their University experience. We are really proud to be a Galway based business and we want students at the University to think about a career with Hygeia so we will be here for the next 80 years.” President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “We are extremely grateful to Hygeia for their generosity and support of students at University of Galway. We are deeply committed to supporting students from diverse backgrounds in Galway including ensuring that our university can be an ambition for all young people in our region. I congratulate Joseph who is a very impressive recipient of this inaugural award.” Established in Galway City in 1939 by Dr Donny Coyle and now based in Oranmore, Hygeia manufacture and distribute high performance garden care, agricultural and animal care products. They continue to offer innovative solutions and strive to select the most environmentally friendly and sustainable options. Hygeia has ambitious plans for growth over the coming years and plan to contribute to the local jobs market and local community. Ends

Thursday, 25 April 2024

Special screening of feature film ‘That They May Face The Rising Sun’ ahead of cinema release  Director Pat Collins and producer Philip King announced as Adjunct Professors   New photographic exhibition showcases McGahern country landscapes and everyday inspirations  University of Galway has announced a special celebration of links to revered writer John McGahern with a special screening of the feature film That They May Face The Rising Sun, a unique photographic exhibition and new adjunct professorships.  The film screening took place at Pálás Cinema, Galway on Wednesday April 24th, ahead of the UK and Ireland cinema release.  To coincide with the film production and its partnership with University of Galway, director Pat Collins has been announced as Adjunct Professor of Film with the Huston School of Film and Digital Media for a period of three years and producer Philip King has been named Adjunct Professor of Cultural Entrepreneurship for a period of three years.  The exhibition – A Deep Well of Want: Photographs and Archives of McGahern Country – featuring photographs by Paul Butler and new material from the John McGahern archive at University of Galway Library is being launched on the same day as the screening as part of Cúirt Festival of Literature.  President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “Our University has a strong tradition of links to the arts, creativity and of archives – both in their preservation and in making them accessible to the public. Our work on this front is true to our values of openness, excellence, respect and sustainability and our support for the film, for the adjunct professorships for Pat Collins and Philip King and for the exhibition, demonstrates our ambition to bring John McGahern and his contribution to Ireland’s literary heritage to audiences where we can. I would like to congratulate all those involved in the feature film That They May Face The Rising Sun and also to those who delved into the archives to shine a light on the everyday inspirations for one of the finest writers this country has ever produced.”   Dr Barry Houlihan, Archivist at University of Galway Library and curator of the exhibition, said: “Our exhibition presents a visual and documentary journey through the sites, places, words and ideas that formed a wellspring for the literary imagination of John McGahern. We are delighted to have created and host this evocative trove of imagery, alongside manuscripts and materials from the McGahern archive, as a superb addition to the Cúirt Festival of Literature. Combined with the beautifully captured and evocative photographs by Paul Butler, the exhibition is a unique opportunity to explore the visual and the written landscapes of McGahern and of Co Leitrim.”   That They May Face The Rising Sun is the third feature from Irish director, Pat Collins (Song of Granite, Silence), and had it is Irish premiere as the closing gala for Dublin International Film Festival on March 2nd.  It was produced by Tina O’Reilly and Brendan J. Byrne and Executive Produced by Philip King with backing from Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland and the support of University of Galway.   That They May Face The Rising Sun was McGahern’s final book, published in 2002, capturing a year in the life of a rural, lakeside community in Ireland in the 1970s after Joe and Kate Ruttledge return from London to live and work among the small, close-knit community near to where Joe grew up.  Directed by renowned director Pat Collins, the film stars Barry Ward (Jimmy’s Hall, Bad Sisters) and Anna Bederke (Soul Kitchen, Sterben) in the lead roles. Lalor Roddy (Grabbers, God’s Creatures), Sean McGinley (Michael Collins, Braveheart), Ruth McCabe (Philomena, Joy Ride) and first-time actor Phillip Dolan are part of a rich cast of supporting characters.  Speaking on the upcoming release, Nell Roddy from Break Out Pictures said: “That They May Face The Rising Sun is a beautifully observed and emotionally charged film from one of Ireland's most prolific directors. We hope audiences across the UK and Ireland will embrace the film as much as we did when we bring it to the big screen this April.”  University of Galway is home to the John McGahern Archive, which was acquired in 2003 and runs to more than 50 boxes of literary papers, drafts, manuscripts, letters and photographs documenting his life and writing.   The exhibition draws on Butler’s recently published photo-memoir book, A Deep Well of Want: Visualising the World of John McGahern (Peter Lang Press, 2023), as well as the archive. The images and written materials bring the viewer and the reader into a unique visualisation of the world of McGahern Country through words, photographs and manuscripts.  Ends

Wednesday, 24 April 2024

Tá laghdú fógartha ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ar an táille atá le híoc chun scrúdú a dhéanamh an athuair. Tá Comhaltas na Mac Léinn san Ollscoil agus Déan na Mac Léinn, an tOllamh Ciara Meehan, tar éis dul i gcomhar le chéile agus tá glactha leis an moladh a rinne siad aon trian den chostas a bhaineann le scrúdú a dhéanamh an athuair a bhaint, rud a fhágfaidh go n-ísleofar an costas ó €295 go €195. Beidh feidhm ag an ráta níos ísle do mhic léinn a bhfuil scrúduithe á ndéanamh an athuair acu i samhradh 2024. Ráta amháin a bheidh i gceist, agus ní dhéanfaidh líon na scrúduithe atá le hathshuí ag an mac léinn difear. Tá scéim tarscaoilte ar leith i bhfeidhm dóibh siúd a bhfuil deacrachtaí airgeadais acu. Dúirt Déan na Mac Léinn in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciara Meehan: "Rinneadh an cinneadh an táille athscrúdaithe a laghdú tar éis do Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn agus an Ollscoil dul i gcomhar le chéile.  Tuigimid nach beag iad na costais a bhaineann le hoideachas, agus an brú atá ar dhaoine óga i láthair na huaire i ngeall ar an gcostas maireachtála. Is mian le gach duine a bhfuil baint acu leis an oideachas go mbainfidh ár gcuid mac léinn barr feabhais amach agus bíodh is nach bhfuil muid ag iarraidh go mbeidh ar aon mhac léinn a scrúduithe a dhéanamh an athuair, tá a fhios againn chomh maith go mbeidh tionchar dearfach ag an laghdú táille seo." Bhí an méid seo le rá ag Uachtarán Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn, Dean Kenny: "Tá an-áthas orainn go bhfuil an cinneadh seo déanta, arb é an toradh é ar na hiarrachtaí atá déanta ag feidhmeannais éagsúla Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn le tamall anuas. Tá an táille athscrúdaithe ina cnámh spairne dár gcuid mac léinn le fada an lá, go mór mór le linn na paindéime Covid-19, agus bíodh is nach réitíonn an laghdú €100 seo an scéal ina iomlán, cúnamh a bheidh ann do go leor mic léinn i mbliana, agus sa todhchaí. Tugaim moladh faoi leith do bhainistíocht na hOllscoile agus do Dhéan na Mac Léinn as oibriú linn ar an gceist seo, agus do na mic léinn trí chéile as a dtuairimí a chur in iúl dúinn go leanúnach. Tacóidh Comhaltas na Mac Léinn, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe i gcónaí le deireadh a chur leis an táille seo, agus is faoi fheidhmeannas nua Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn anois é leanúint leis an mbrú ar bhainistíocht na hOllscoile agus a chinntiú go dtabharfar tús áite do laghduithe eile a bhaint amach." Críoch

Wednesday, 24 April 2024

University of Galway has announced a reduction to the fee for repeat examinations. Following collaboration between the University’s Students’ Union and Dean of Students Professor Ciara Meehan, a joint proposal has been approved to reduce the cost of resitting examinations by one third – bringing the rate from €295, down to €195. The lower rate will be in effect for students who are repeating exams in summer 2024. It will be a flat rate, regardless of how many exams a student is required to retake, and a special waiver scheme is available for those in need of financial support. University of Galway’s Dean of Students, Professor Ciara Meehan, said: “The reduction in repeat exam fees comes following collaboration the University and the Students’ Union. We are conscious of the costs associated with education and the cost-of-living pressures on young people nowadays. Everyone involved in education wants our students to excel and to achieve their best, and while we do not want to see any student have to repeat their exams, we also know that the fee reduction will have a meaningful impact.” Students’ Union President Dean Kenny said: “We're absolutely delighted with this decision, which comes off the back of a significant amount of effort from multiple Student Union executives. Our repeat fee has long been a contentious issue for our students, particularly through the Covid-19 pandemic, and while this €100 reduction is not a silver bullet, it's going to help a lot of students out this year and into the future. I'd particularly like to commend University management and the Dean of Students for working with us on this, and to the student body for continually making their feelings known. Comhaltas na Mac Léinn, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe will always support eventual abolishment, and it's now over to the incoming SU executive to keep the pressure on University management and ensure that further reductions remain a top priority."   Ends

Tuesday, 23 April 2024

Tá an Teanglann seolta go hoifigiúil ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Seomraí ateangaireachta comhdhála agus áis teagaisc í an Teanglann agus léiríonn sí seasamh na hOllscoile mar phríomhinstitiúid na hÉireann chun oideachas a chur ar ateangairí. Is léiriú iad na háiseanna ar an éacht atá déanta i ndáil le hoiliúint, oideachas agus taighde ar an ateangaireacht in Éirinn agus ní fhéadfaí iad a fhorbairt murach an comhoibriú leis an gCoimisiún Eorpach, an Roinn Turasóireachta, Cultúir, Ealaíon, Gaeltachta, Spóirt agus Meán agus Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. D’oscail Ard-Stiúrthóir Ateangaireachta an Choimisiúin Eorpaigh (DG SCIC), Genoveva Ruiz Calvera, An Teanglann go hoifigiúil. Dúirt Genoveva Calvera: “Is mór an onóir freastal ar shearmanas oscailte na teanglainne ateangaireachta agus a fheiceáil go bhfuil toradh ag teacht ar an gcomhoibriú atá le fada an lá idir an Ard-Stiúrthóireacht SCIC agus Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus céimithe óga ateangaireachta i mbun ateangaireacht Ghaeilge d’Institiúidí an AE cheana féin.” Dúirt Thomas Byrne T.D., an tAire Stáit le freagracht as an nGaeltacht: “Is cúis áthais dom go raibh sé ar chumas mo Roinne, i gcomhar leis an gCoimisiún Eorpach, an maoiniú a chur ar fáil do na seomraí oiliúna ateangaireachta comhdhála seo in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Is mór an t-éacht é áiseanna den scoth a bheith ar fáil do mhic léinn chun ceird na hateangaireachta comhdhála a fhoghlaim agus níl aon amhras orm ach go meallfaidh na seomraí oiliúna ateangaireachta seo go leor mic léinn chuig an MA san Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála; dá thoradh sin beidh soláthar de chéimithe oilte ateangaireachta a bhfuil líofacht acu sa Ghaeilge agus i dteangacha eile ar fáil le dul i mbun róil thábhachtacha san Eoraip.” Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Ollamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe: “Is ócáid thar a bheith tábhachtach é seoladh na Teanglainne Ateangaireachta Comhdhála seo don Ollscoil agus d’Éirinn trí chéile agus is léiriú maith iad ar luach an bhairr feabhais agus ar an deis atá againn na caighdeáin is airde san oideachas a chur ar fáil. “Ba mhaith liom aitheantas a thabhairt don tacaíocht fhíorluachmhar ón gCoimisiún Eorpach agus ón Rialtas don tionscadal seo chun na chéad ateangairí eile a oiliúint don Eoraip agus níos faide i gcéin. Leis an deis seo is féidir ár gcuid mac léinn a chumasú mar cheannairí na todhchaí i réimse na hateangaireachta comhdhála agus cuireann sé béim ar thiomantas an ilteangachais agus na caighdeáin is airde ateangaireachta a chur chun cinn san AE agus níos faide i gcéin.  “Cuirimid fáilte mhór roimh an Ard-Stiúrthóir Genoveva Ruiz Calvera chuig an Ollscoil. Ó tharla í a bheith anseo linn is léiriú é ar an tábhacht a bhaineann lenár gcomhoibriú agus an tiomantas atá againn araon oideachas agus cleachtas ateangaireachta teanga a chur chun cinn.”  Dúirt an tOllamh Rebecca Braun, Déan Choláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh: “Trí iarrachtaí comhoibríocha agus tionscnaimh nuálacha, tá Ollscoil na Gaillimhe tiomanta i gcónaí do thodhchaí an oideachais ateangaireachta teanga a mhúnlú agus cumarsáid thraschultúrtha a chur chun cinn ar scála domhanda. Tá ríméad orainn na deiseanna a chuireann na háiseanna ateangaireachta comhdhála ar fáil dár gcuid mac léinn a fheiceáil, chomh maith le caidrimh a fhorbairt agus a chothú le heagraíochtaí ar nós an tAE agus na NA agus le daoine gairmiúla san earnáil.” Dúirt Susan Folan, Ateangaire Gairmiúil Comhdhála agus Stiúrthóir Cláir an MA san Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála: "Deimhníonn an áis nua seasamh Ollscoil na Gaillimhe mar an t-aon institiúid in Éirinn a thairgeann sainoiliúint d’ateangairí comhdhála. Trí na seomraí nua seo beimid in ann cruinnithe ilteangacha a reáchtáil le hateangaireacht i 6 theanga dhifriúla ag an am céanna. Nascann an teicneolaíocht ár gcuid mac léinn le hoiliúnóirí gairmiúla agus le taighdeoirí ateangaireachta ar fud an domhain as croílár an champais. Tá gairm fhuinniúil dhomhanda roimh chéimithe tar éis taithí a fháil ar sheomra ranga fuinniúil agus cuimsitheach.” Tá trí sheomra ateangaireachta sa Teanglann agus sé bhoth san iomlán. Tá dhá chonsól chaighdeánacha ateangaire i ngach both agus tá siad feistithe leis an teicneolaíocht is nuaí. Is féidir na trí sheomra a nascadh le chéile do chruinnithe móra, le clúdach teanga níos fearr, agus freisin bíonn oiliúint chianda chomhuaineach (RSI), atá tagtha chun cinn sa mhargadh ó aimsir Covid níos éasca dá bharr. Tá an Teanglann deartha ar mhaithe leis an eispéireas tumfhoghlama, chun oideachas ateangaireachta agus an teagasc hibrideach a chur chun cinn. Tá idir oiliúnóirí na hOllscoile, ar gairmithe cleachtacha iad go léir, agus ateangairí atá ag obair in institiúidí comhpháirtíochta idirnáisiúnta amhail an Coimisiún Eorpach, Parlaimint na hEorpa, Cúirt Bhreithiúnais na hEorpa agus na Náisiúin Aontaithe ag obair sa Teanglann, rud a chuireann leis an eispéireas foghlama agus a chinntíonn go bhfuil sé ábhartha do chásanna i saol an lae inniu.  Tá an áis á húsáid acu siúd atá i mbun an MA san Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála, ar a mbíonn 15 mhac léinn in aghaidh na bliana faoi láthair. Is as Éirinn, Ceanada, an Spáinn, an Cholóim, an Iodáil agus an Fhrainc na mic léinn ar an gclár Máistreachta i mbliana, le raon teangacha dúchasacha na dtíortha sin, chomh maith le Gearmáinis agus Béarla. Is féidir freastal ar theangacha eile ar an gclár freisin, ag brath ar éileamh. Críoch

Tuesday, 23 April 2024

University of Galway has officially launched its new state-of-the-art conference interpreting suites and teaching facility An Teanglann, marking its position as the lead institution in Ireland for educating interpreters and translators. The facilities mark a significant milestone in the advancement of language interpretating training, education and research in Ireland and their development was made possible thanks to collaboration of the European Commission, the Department for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media and University of Galway. Director General for Interpretation at the European Commission (DG SCIC), Genoveva Ruiz Calvera, officially opened An Teanglann. Ms Calvera said: “It is an honour to attend the opening ceremony of the interpreting suite and to see that the long-lasting cooperation between DG SCIC and University of Galway is bearing fruit with young interpreter graduates already providing Irish interpretation for the EU Institutions.” Thomas Byrne T.D., Minister of State with responsibility for the Gaeltacht, said: “I am delighted that my Department, in conjunction with the European Commission, has been able to provide the funding for this hugely impressive conference interpreting training suite at University of Galway. Having state-of-the-art facilities available for students to learn the craft of conference interpreting is a great achievement and I have no doubt that the addition of the conference interpreting training suites will attract many students to the MA in Conference Interpreting and will lead to a steady stream of skilled interpreting graduates with proficiency in Irish and in other languages who are available to take up important roles in Europe.” Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of University of Galway, said: “The launch of these Conference Interpreting Suites represents a momentous occasion for our University and for Ireland as a whole and they are a strong symbol of our value of excellence and the opportunity for the highest standards in education. “I would like to acknowledge the invaluable support of the European Commission and the Government for this project to train the next interpreters for Europe and around the world. It is enabling the empowerment of our students as future leaders in the field of conference interpreting and underscores a commitment to promoting multilingualism and the highest standards of interpreting in the EU and beyond.  “We warmly welcome the Director General Genoveva Ruiz Calvera to our University, whose presence underscores the significance of our collaboration and the mutual commitment to advancing language interpreting education and practice.”  Professor Rebecca Braun, Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, said: “Through collaborative efforts and innovative initiatives, University of Galway remains dedicated to shaping the future of language interpretation education and advancing cross-cultural communication on a global scale. We are delighted to see the opportunities that the conference interpreting facilities presents for our students, as well as for developing and sustaining the relationships with organisations such as the EU and the UN and professionals in the sector.” Susan Folan, Professional Conference Interpreter and Programme Director for the MA in Conference Interpreting, said: “The new facility confirms University of Galway’s standing as the sole institution in Ireland offering specialised training for future conference interpreters. These new suites allow for multilingual meetings with interpretation in six different languages simultaneously. The technology links our students with professional trainers and interpreting researchers all over the world from right here on campus. Graduates are entering a dynamic and global profession having experienced a dynamic and comprehensive classroom.” An Teanglann is made up of three interpretation suites, with a total of six booths, each of which has standard two interpreter consoles and is equipped with the latest technology. All three suites can be connected to allow for larger meetings, with greater language coverage, and also allow for remote simultaneous (RSI) training, which has become a market reality post-Covid. The suites are designed to facilitate immersive learning experiences, further advancing interpreter education and hybrid teaching, which involves University trainers, who are all practising professionals, and interpreters working in international partner institutions such as the European Commission, European Parliament, European Court of Justice and the United Nations, which enriches the learning experience and ensures relevance to real-world scenarios.  The facility is being used by those studying on the MA in Conference Interpreting, which currently takes 15 students a year. Students on the Masters programme this year come from Ireland, Canada, Spain, Colombia, Italy and France, with a spread of languages native to each country, as well as German and English. The programme has capacity to cater for other languages, depending on demand. Ends  

Monday, 22 April 2024

University of Galway has today marked Earth Day 2024 by announcing the winners of the Student Sustainability Leadership Awards 2024: Molly Hickey and Peter O’Neill.     Molly Hickey is a second year BA with human rights student from Co Laois and the Students’ Union Environmental Awareness and Sustainability Officer. Molly said: “I am delighted to be a sustainability leadership awardee because it gives me the opportunity to continue working on increasing the University's sustainability and getting more students involved in it.”    Peter O'Neill is a first-year history student from Ballymacward, Mountbellew, Co Galway. Peter has been involved in youth activism for four years, culminating in representing Ireland at the 13th UNESCO Youth Forum. He said: “Sustainability has become a defining feature of my work and studies, and I'm really excited to work with the University to encourage an interest in sustainability with students and to get discussion going about the SDGs and what we can do here in Galway.”    Both students receive a €4,000 prize and will take part in an 8-week internship with the University’s new Sustainability Office this summer.      The office has been launched to lead and promote sustainability in all aspects of university activities including teaching, learning, research, operations, governance, and engagement endeavours. Its aim is to empower the University’s diverse communities of staff, students and partners to work together in the development of a sustainable campus and to deliver on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).     University of Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “As a university that is committed to serving the public good and whose community has defined sustainability as a core value, I am delighted to announce the winners of the Student Sustainability Leadership Awards and the launch of the new Sustainability Office. We are delighted to be recognised as Sustainability Champions and are determined to do more. I hope that through this office our sustainability efforts will continue and intensify and that we will use the office to highlight the breadth of activities our students and staff are undertaking to advance sustainable solutions and to share our learning with others, playing our part in tackling climate change and preserving our precious biodiversity for generations to come.”    Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Deputy President and Registrar and Chair of the University Sustainability Advisory Board, said: “Our sustainability progress to date is rooted in the commitment over and above the day job of academics, professional support staff and, crucially, students. Through this new Sustainability Office, we are now formalising our support for them and building on our success in this space. Accelerated by the Office, the vision is that in a few short years’ time every student graduating from University of Galway will have confronted diverse aspects of sustainability and the UN SDGs in their degrees. Galway graduates will have learned about sustainability, learned to live by it, and will go out to lead as global, responsible, and inspiring citizens. That is where our sustainability journey is taking us.”     Ends 

Monday, 22 April 2024

Study of brain activity sees no difference in impact of self-view video conferencing on men or women   A study of brain activity has confirmed users’ fears that viewing your own image on video conferencing calls leads to mental fatigue.  A newly published study conducted by academics at University of Galway has found that people who took part in meetings on Zoom become more fatigued when they can see themselves on-screen.    Led by Professor Eoin Whelan, of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at the University, and Dr Ann O’Brien, J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, and Dr Denis O’Hora, School of Psychology, the research also found that men and women become equally fatigued when viewing their own image, a finding which contradicts prior research which suggested women experience more fatigue from self-view video conferencing than men.  The research team conducted an experiment using electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring of 32 volunteers - 16 men and 16 women – all of whom participated in a live Zoom meeting, with the self-view mode both on and off at different times.  EEG non-invasively records spontaneous electrical activity in the brain using electrodes placed on the head and can detect the onset of mental fatigue.  The monitoring confirmed that fatigue levels were significantly greater during the times participants could view their own image.  Prior research, which largely relies on self-reported data gathered through surveys and interviews, has suggested that women experience more Zoom fatigue than men. Reasons offered for this gender difference centre on the increased self-awareness women have of their appearance when they view themselves in a mirror.  The University of Galway study, which measures fatigue at a neurophysiological level, questions whether gender differences actually exist for video conferencing fatigue.  The findings not only contribute to our understanding of fatigue incurred as a result of the dramatically increased use of video conferencing in the workplace but also offer practical insights for organisations aiming to protect employee well-being in the era of hybrid and remote work.   Speaking of the findings, Professor Eoin Whelan said: “The use of video conferencing platforms exploded during the lockdown. They continue to be heavily used in work and education today and offer some advantages over in-person meetings. But people often report feeling exhausted by video conference meetings. Our study shows that those feelings of fatigue you get during video calls are real, and seeing your own reflection makes it even more tiring. Simply turning off the mirror image can help offset fatigue in virtual meetings.”  Ends 

Friday, 19 April 2024

Construct Innovate, the national research centre for construction technology and innovation hosted by University of Galway, has announced the Land Development Agency (LDA) as its first Patron Member. Construct Innovate has more than 60 industry associate member organisations as it aims to provide industry-led, independent, evidence-based research through collaboration, focusing on devising solutions for key industry challenges and meeting the demands of Ireland’s major building and investment programmes. The LDA Patron Membership builds on the collaboration already underway with Construct Innovate on several projects and initiatives to support the work of the LDA and the wider Irish built environment sector. Dr Magdalena Hajdukiewicz, Director of Construct Innovate, said: “We are thrilled to welcome the Land Development Agency as Construct Innovate’s first Patron Member. LDA’s vision to provide housing that supports sustainable, inclusive, and vibrant communities aligns very closely with Construct Innovate’s focus on people-centric research and innovation. This collaboration will drive the transition towards a sustainable construction and built environment sector.” John Coleman, Chief Executive of the Land Development Agency commented: “The LDA is proud of its sustainability record and this partnership with Construct Innovate will place us at the centre of innovative design and technological research. This important collaboration will enable us to develop new building methodologies and help shape the environmental credentials of the next generation of LDA homes.” A series of projects and initiatives delivered by the LDA in collaboration with Construct Innovate partners, are underway: HEATCHECK is a platform developed through funding from the Sustainable Energy Association of Ireland (SEAI), which uses sensors to monitor CO2, humidity and temperature in about 100 LDA developed homes to understand building performance and behaviour when occupied. The data will help to inform future building standards to ensure healthy, low energy homes. INDICATE is a Carbon Life Cycle Assessment Procedure offering a standardised approach to calculating the carbon associated with the production, construction, operation and end-of-life stages of a building life cycle. It benchmarks the carbon associated with different building types in Ireland (residential, offices, hospitals etc) which the LDA uses to understand and minimise the carbon impact of their developments and support the development of policy recommendations. The LDA is partnering with the Irish Green Building Council (IGBC) on a project to mainstream biodiversity in the construction sector by developing high-quality, practical case studies on how to protect and enhance biodiversity in the most common building typologies and infrastructure found in Irish towns and cities. It is supported through the first Construct Innovate Seed Fund call from 2023. The LDA is a member of the IGBC’s Community of Practice on Biodiversity and the Built Environment, which Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcom Noonan T.D. launched in May 2023 to share and promote discussion and what is working well in Biodiversity and the Built Environment. Ends

Wednesday, 17 April 2024

University of Galway students have won big at the annual National Student Media Awards (Smedias) and the BICS – Board of Irish College Societies.  The Discipline of Journalism praised the standard of work and achievements of MA and BA students, after scooping a Smedias award for their online newspaper Galway Pulse.  Law student Tom O’Connor made it a success two-years in a row at the Smedias, walking off with three awards for his radio reports on politics, refugees, religion and education in Uganda as well as the Sleep Out for Simon event on campus. In 2023, Tom O’Connor won the Smedias podcast of the year for a documentary on Kevin Boyle, a leading figure in the Northern Ireland civil rights movement.  Societies took home seven awards from the BICS – more than any other university.   Ríona Hughes, Societies Officer at University of Galway, said: “I could not be more proud of all the students from the University who represented us at the BICS National Society Awards. They represent the vital impact societies have on campus life creating invaluable opportunities for the students to enrich their learning journey and creating meaningful opportunities for their fellow students. Winning these seven awards is a fitting end to a very busy year for our societies.”  Dr Mei-Ling McNamara, Assistant Professor and Programme Director of the MA/BA Journalism, said: “The MA Journalism and BA Journalism students at University of Galway have shown exceptional talent and dedication to high-production multimedia storytelling. They should all be very proud that their hard work in journalism is being recognised at the national level.”  Enda Cunningham, editor of Galway City Tribune and lecturer, said: “The awards are fantastic news and a well-deserved win for all involved. It gives recognition to the hard work and dedication of University of Galway students against the backdrop of very strong competition from their peers across the country. The exceptionally high standard of content produced by the Galway Pulse team over the past year is indication that the future of journalism is in safe hands.” The full list of University of Galway winners from the Smedias is:  Website of the Year – online newspaper Galway Pulse.  Virgin Media Belonging Award - MA student Michelle Geraghty for her work on accessibility in Galway’s parks  Radio Journalist of the Year – Tom O’Connor – Law  Radio Doc of the Year and Radio Production – News and Current Affairs – Tom O’Connor – Law  The full list of University of Galway winners from the BICS is:  Best Mental Health Promoting Event - University of Galway Law Society Best Green Initiative - Environmental Society for the Organic Garden relocation Best Fresher Large College - Latisha McCrudden, Law, Politics and Minceirs Whidden Societies University of Galway Best Event Large College Fansci - Itzacon University of Galway Best Departmental Society Large College - University of Galway Zoological Society Best Society Charity Civic Large College - University of Galway Feminist Society Best Society Cultural Academic Social Large College - University of Galway Dramsoc Ends 

Tuesday, 16 April 2024

Tá bailiúchán grianghraf foilsithe ina dtugtar spléachadh ar stair Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Bailíodh na grianghraif agus rinneadh iad a chartlannú mar chuid de thionscadal arna urrú ag Agallamh na Seanórach. Tháinig breis agus 350 íomhá chun solais agus rinneadh iad a dhigitiú. Isteach is amach le céad bliain atá i gceist leis an tréimhse a chlúdaítear leo, ó dheireadh an naoú céad déag go dtí lár na 1990idí. Tugann siad léargas ar shaol na hOllscoile ar bhealaí éagsúla, idir ócáidí foirmeálta, naisc leis an gcathair agus an réigiún, scéalta mac léinn agus comhaltaí foirne mar aon leis an gcaoi ar tháinig athrú ar charachtar agus ar thimpeallacht an champais. Cuireadh tús leis an tionscadal i mí na Samhna 2021 tráth a raibh ceiliúradh á dhéanamh ar na 175 bliain atá caite ó bunaíodh an Ollscoil in 1845.   Rinne Oifig Uachtarán na hOllscoile an cinneadh sé thionscadal a urrú trí chiste speisialta chun stair institiúideach na hollscoile a thaifeadadh agus a roinnt, agus ceann de na tionscadail sin taighde a dhéanamh ar sheanghrianghraif agus iad a dhigitiú.  An toradh air sin bunachar sonraí de ghrianghraif ina léirítear an stair go físiúil dar teideal Stair Fhísiúil Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, Bailiúchán Agallamh na Seanórach, ar comhpháirtíocht a bhí ann idir an fhoireann taighde agus cartlannaithe i Leabharlann na hOllscoile. Tá fáil ar an mbailiúchán, ar féidir é a chuardach, ar líne ag https://exhibitions.library.universityofgalway.ie/s/visual-history-retired-staff Seo mar a labhair Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: "Ní ann d'Ollscoil na Gaillimhe gan pobal na hOllscoile. Stair an phobail atá anseo, agus táimid faoi chomaoin ag na comhaltaí foirne sin atá imithe ar scor a mhol an togra iontach seo. Tá brí agus anam curtha ag an togra san Ollscoil agus muid i mbun machnaimh ar an am a caitheadh freisin. Is mór an t-áthas atá orainn as bheith in ann tacú leis an tionscadal seo, agus lenár gcomhaltaí foirne atá imithe ar scor chomh maith lenár gcomhghleacaithe sa Leabharlann. Léiriú atá ann ar stair agus ar oidhreacht na hOllscoile, agus orthu siúd a bhí páirteach iontu. Is saibhre muid dá bharr sin." Is í an Dr Lisa Griffith, Stiúrthóir ag Taisclann Dhigiteach na hÉireann a sheol an Tionscadal. Is í Ollscoil na Gaillimhe an chéad ollscoil in Éirinn a bhfuil a leithéid de thionscadal seolta aici, ar taifead físiúil é ar an am a caitheadh. Is as bailiúcháin phríobháideacha a tháinig na híomhánna agus d'éirigh leis an tionscadal i ngeall ar a fhlaithiúla a bhí comhaltaí foirne ar scor, cairde, gaolta agus alumni a thug a ngrianghraif ar iasacht agus a roinn a gcuimhní. Tarraingíonn sé aird ar a thábhachtaí atá peirspictíochtaí an mhic léinn agus an chomhalta foirne aonair i dtaobh eispéireas laethúil na hollscoile a ghabháil, ar minic peirspictíochtaí iad nach mbeifeá ag súil leo. Cuireann na grianghraif seo, agus na cuimhní pearsanta agus taighde a ghabhann leo, lenár dtuiscint ar stair shóisialta agus institiúideach oideachais ollscoile in Éirinn, agus ar na hathruithe suntasacha atá tarlaithe i rith na tréimhse sin.  Seo a leanas an fhoireann taighde a bhí i bhfeighil an tionscadail: an tOllamh Jane Conroy (Emerita, Fraincis); an Dr Séamus Mac Mathúna (iarRunaí Acadúil); an tOllamh Stephen G. Jennings (Emeritus, Fisic Thurgnamhach); agus léachtóir le Stair, an Dr Jackie Uí Chionna. Chuaigh siad i gcomhar le comhghleacaithe sa Leabharlann maidir le forbairt an taispeántais dhigitigh, agus chuir comhairle orthu maidir le digitiú, meiteashonraí agus riachtanais rochtana. D'oibrigh Eimhin Joyce, Oifigeach na dTionscadal Digiteach le foireann na mBailiúchán Oidhreachta agus Digitithe, as lámha a chéile leo chun an taispeántas a chur i dtoll a chéile trí úsáid a bhaint as ardán Taispeántas Digiteach Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Críoch

Wednesday, 17 April 2024

University of Galway has launched a new scholarship in honour of the renowned actress of stage and screen Siobhán McKenna.   The award is being established to support the next generation of student creatives in theatre at the University and will run alongside a lecture series, with the inaugural address given by Lelia Doolan, the theatre and film actor, director and producer who was also a collaborator and close friend of Siobhán McKenna. Siobhán McKenna was born in Belfast and a world-renowned actress of stage and screen, starring in Dr Zhivago, King of Kings and Of Human Bondage. Her career started in An Taibhdhearc Theatre in Galway and she went on to appear in Abbey Theatre productions in the 1940s before making her London debut in 1947 in The White Steed. She was also a theatre director, translator and activist, as well as an alumna of University of Galway. Her archive is held by University of Galway, which has long been committed to the preservation and extension of her legacy. The new Siobhán McKenna Scholarship Award will be awarded annually to one student on the MA in Drama and Theatre Studies, based on previous practical experience and academic achievement; potential for a rewarding career in the arts or politically-engaged arts; use of native languages. The inaugural recipient of the Siobhán McKenna scholarship was also announced - theatre maker and scenographer, Nouf Rafea. Donnacha O’Dea, Siobhán McKenna’s son who initiated the lecture series and scholarship award, said: "My family and I are delighted to celebrate my mother's legacy by establishing the Siobhán McKenna Award and Lecture Series to support the next generation of creatives in Theatre at University of Galway. We are proud to honour Nouf Rafea, as the inaugural recipient for the award. Nouf is a theatre maker and activist, making brave, innovative performance who follows in the footsteps of my mother." Dr Charlotte McIvor, head of Postgraduate Programmes in Drama and Theatre Studies in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, University of Galway said: “This visionary initiative places students and bringing together our wider community to reflect on McKenna’s legacy together in a dynamic package which we hope will have an impact on the future of Irish theatre. Nouf Rafea, our first scholarship recipient, epitomizes this promise.” Professor Rebecca Braun, Executive Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies at University of Galway, said: “As a College we are delighted to honour of the impact of Siobhán McKenna’s legacy and to recognise the achievement of Nouf Rafea as the inaugural recipient of this scholarship. This scholarship speaks to our signature research areas of Creativity, Culture and Inclusion and Transnational Encounters and Global Legacies.” This event was co-presented by the Galway University Foundation, the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, Drama and Theatre Studies, Arts in Action, and the Alumni Office. Ends

Tuesday, 16 April 2024

A collection of photographs documenting the history of University of Galway has been published after being collected and archived in a project sponsored by Agallamh na Seanórach/Retired Staff Association. More than 350 images, ranging from the late 19th century to the mid-1990s, have been discovered and digitised, illustrating the University in diverse ways from formal occasions; to connections to the city and the region; to real-life stories of students and staff; and the changing character and environment of the campus. The project began in November 2021 as part of the celebrations which followed on from the 175th anniversary of the foundation of the University in 1845. The research and digitisation of old photos was one of six projects sponsored by the Office of the University President through a special fund to record and share our institutional history. The result is visual history photographic database entitled Visual History of the University of Galway, Retired Staff Collection, which involved a partnership between research team and archivists in the University Library. The collection and searchable database is available online at https://exhibitions.library.universityofgalway.ie/s/visual-history-retired-staff President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “University of Galway is nothing without its people, its community. This is the people’s history and we are indebted to the retired staff who have brought forward a vibrant idea and brought new life to our University while reflecting on our past. We are delighted to have been able to support this project and the community of retired staff and our Library colleagues in order to illustrate our history and heritage and the people who made it. It is a much richer tapestry for it.” The Project was launched by Dr Lisa Griffith, Director at the Digital Repository of Ireland. University of Galway is the first university in Ireland to launch such a project, with a visual, fully-documented record of its past, going back several generations. The images are from private collections and the project was made possible because of the generous response of retired staff, friends and relations and alumni who loaned their photos and shared their recollections. It highlights the importance of students' and staff's individual, and sometimes unexpected, perspectives in capturing the lived experience of university life. Together with the personal memories and research that accompany them, they contribute to the social and institutional history of a period of significant change in university education in Ireland. The research team which led the project are Professor Jane Conroy (Emerita, French); Dr Séamus Mac Mathúna (former Runaí/Academic Secretary); Professor Stephen G. Jennings (Emeritus, Experimental Physics); and History lecturer Dr Jackie Uí Chionna. They collaborated with Library colleagues on the development of the digital exhibition, advising on digitisation, metadata and access requirements. Eimhin Joyce, Digital Projects Officer with the Heritage Collections and Digitisation team, worked closely with them on the creation of the exhibition using the University of Galway Digital Exhibition platform. Ends

Monday, 15 April 2024

University and Medtronic announce winners of seven week ‘Grand Challenge’     University of Galway and Medtronic plc, a global leader in healthcare technology, have announced Team EdgeMed as the winner of the Medtronic ‘Grand Challenge’, whose project featured improved storytelling, bioprinting, and robot assisted surgery simulation lab as part of a competition to ‘Design a Customer Innovation Centre of the Future’.   The competition, run by University of Galway’s IdeasLab and Medtronic, brought together multidisciplinary students from more than seven countries, to solve the challenge set by Medtronic: Envision what its Customer Innovation Centre (CIC) could look like in 10 years’ time.    The CIC is a space in Medtronic’s Parkmore Galway facility where clinicians come to collaborate and innovate with engineers and scientists to improve healthcare technologies.   The competition is part of Medtronic’s €5 million Signature Innovation Partnership with University of Galway, announced in 2023.   The six teams presented their entries at a special event attended by Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Dara Calleary T.D., in the Medtronic CIC. Ideas presented included the use of AI-powered learning platforms, VR, rapid prototyping workshop, collection of real-time data about visitor engagement using developing technologies.   The winning team, EdgeMed, whose solution was based on improved storytelling, bioprinting, and a robot assisted surgery simulation lab, were chosen as their solution aligned with the current and future values of Medtronic, for their in-depth analysis of the problem statement and their storytelling in explaining and bringing their solution to life for the judges.   Joint runners up were Phi Verse who recommended a robot guide for visiting physicians and VR assisted demonstrations, and TechCure whose solution included employing AI/Machine Learning to collect real-time data about visitor engagement to better understand and improve the visitor's experience.   The competition engaged 30 students - including Irish, EU and international students- across 5 teams who worked together over seven weeks to work through a design sprint incorporating team development, empathy, problem definition, ideation, prototyping, testing and storytelling to develop a solution direction for Medtronic.   Running alongside their weekly workshops were five mentoring sessions guided by mentors from Medtronic, helping students to develop understanding of the problem and the solution fit for the industry.   Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Dara Calleary TD, speaking at the event said: “The Medtronic Customer Innovation Centre plays an important role in driving healthcare technology advancements, and this Grand Challenge created by University of Galway and Medtronic plc has showcased remarkable talent and creativity from students in how they envisage its future impact. The forward-thinking approach from all teams involved symbolises the spirit of innovation that is crucial for advancing healthcare and improving patient outcomes. This competition serves as a testament to Medtronic and the University of Galway’s commitment to fostering innovation and nurturing the next generation of leaders in this space.”   Ronan Rogers, Senior Director of R&D at Medtronic, said: “Our Customer Innovation Centre fosters opportunities for collaboration with customers from across the globe in order to better understand their needs, and the needs of their patients, and together develop therapies that meet today's, and tomorrow’s, healthcare challenges. This past year we celebrated 10 years of the CIC and our work with thousands of physicians, it has been fascinating to look forward and see what the students envision the centre to look like in the next 10 years. Considering all the digital and technological advancements that will occur between now and then, we were impressed by the student’s ambitious and innovative designs.”   Dr Natalie Walsh, Director of Entrepreneurial Development at University of Galway (IdeasLab) said: “We are incredibly proud of our partnership with Medtronic. Through the Grand Challenge we have bridged the gap between education and industry to work together to create a future vision for the Customer Innovation Centre in Medtronic.  The centre is the epicentre of innovation in Medtronic and to have our students work onsite in this environment, be mentored by clinicians, engineers and commercial experts has fostered a deep understanding of real-world problem-solving and solution optimisation. This collaboration underscores the University of Galway's commitment to shaping the future of innovation through hands-on learning, critical thinking, and creative problem-solving, preparing students not just for their careers but for a lifetime of impactful contributions to our society.”   Ends

Thursday, 11 April 2024

Findings are first in the field and will pave the way for the development of new therapeutic devices Researchers at CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at University of Galway, together with collaborators at the Medical University of South Carolina and Vienna University of Technology, have for the first time identified critical targets in the molecular signature of Parkinson's disease across different stages of the disease's progression. The results of their research are published in the prestigious journal PNAS Nexus. More than 10 million people are living with Parkinson's disease worldwide, making it the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's disease. The complete molecular signature of Parkinson’s, however, remains unclear. In particular, untangling molecules related to the disease called glycans has been challenging due to their complexity and lack of analytical tools. Glycans (sugars) are found on the cell's surface and are fundamental in ensuring the correct flow of information between cells. Glycans participate in cell-to-cell communication by attaching to other molecules, such as fats (lipids) and proteins. The research published in PNAS Nexus provides a complete characterisation of the glycans associated with the connections in the brain that are affected by Parkinson’s disease. These findings can potentially advance the development of glycan-focused therapeutic devices to treat and diagnose Parkinson’s. Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM and project lead, said: "The work presented here will act as a valuable resource for subsequent investigations into the impact of brain glycans on neurodegeneration. It has been established that modifications in glycans have a bearing on other physiological aspects, which could potentially serve as catalysts for additional degeneration. Our study has specifically focused on Parkinson's disease, but there are other neurodegenerative conditions for which the glycan environment remains unexplored, and this research will therefore lay the groundwork for future studies on other diseases." Ana Lúcia Rebelo, lead author of the study, said: "In this study, we aimed to specifically look at a side of the Parkinsonian brain that was previously unexplored – the glycome. This research is a significant step towards understanding, in-depth, what is happening in this life-altering condition and exploring other therapeutic avenues that could target previously unaccounted-for changes. Emerging technologies currently in development will be instrumental in expanding upon the preliminary ‘glyco’ characterization that has been initiated with this research, culminating in further discoveries in future." Ends

Tuesday, 9 April 2024

ReelLIFE SCIENCE public engagement programme hosts showcase of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) from Foróige youth groups in Galway City, Gort, Ballyhaunis, Ballaghaderreen and Athlone From dancing robots to dancing rappers, the next generation of scientists, engineers and filmmakers have taken part in University of Galway’s inaugural ReelLIFE SCIENCE STEAM Showcase. More than 100 young science enthusiasts, aged from 10 and 18, exhibited their Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) projects developed in 10 Foróige youth services and youth development programmes in Galway, Mayo, Roscommon and Westmeath. Young people from Eastside Youth Service in Ballybane demonstrated chemical reactions via exploding volcanoes Ballyhaunis Targeted Youth Service Programme youth members built and coded a dancing robot using Lego Education Spike kits On the big screen, Gort Youth Project presented a time-lapse of their street art mural project Galway City Youth Project members debuted a short film about science and nature and a drama entitled The Things I Could Have Said. The Foróige Roscommon rap group The Roma Boys’ music video Yeshua was also well received by the audience A gallery of images is available at ReelLIFE Science The STEAM Showcase was funded by the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Discover Programme and is a joint initiative between ReelLIFE SCIENCE and Foróige. Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of Science for Society at SFI, said: “SFI would like to congratulate all of the participants of the ReelLIFE SCIENCE and Foróige STEAM Showcase. STEAM initiatives are vital for broadening participation in science and technology, promoting greater engagement with and understanding of STEM topics and to break down STEM stereotypes and misconceptions. Learning to communicate STEM is a vital skill that will stand to all of the participants going forward.” Speaking at the event, Foróige Digital Youth Work Coordinator, Megan Depinna, said: “As we celebrate the young people’s work, fusing science and creativity, we are reminded of the boundless possibilities that emerge when we combine knowledge with imagination. The projects showcased are not just demonstrations of STEM knowledge; they are displays of curiosity, determination, and imagination.” Foróige’s Digital Youth Work Strategic Plan aims to ensure that all young people develop the key digital skills, values and competencies necessary to excel in the digital era by design and not simply by chance. The University of Galway ReelLIFE SCIENCE programme challenges young people in schools and youth groups across the island of Ireland to engage with science and technology while developing the communication and digital skills so important for the 21st century. Attendees at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society took part in activities run by Foróige’s Digital Youth Work Team, including GO Build, GO Virtual, GO LevelUP, GO Safely and GO Sonic as well as ReelLIFE SCIENCE stop-motion animation workshops run by College of Science and Engineering students. Since 2013, more than 26,000 young people, supported by teachers and youth workers in 750 schools and youth groups, have taken part in the ReelLIFE SCIENCE video competition. More information about this year’s competition, which closes for entries on October 11, can be found at www.reellifescience.com Ends

Monday, 8 April 2024

Research and analysis at the University’s CORRIB Core Lab at the cutting edge of cardiovascular and coronary artery disease planning Trial shows non-invasive cardiac-CT, with AI-powered blood flow scanning, is safe and feasible and a potential game-changer for planning coronary artery bypass grafting   A new approach to the guidance, planning and conduct of heart bypass surgery has been successfully tested on patients for the first time in a clinical trial coordinated by a research team at University of Galway.   The FAST TRACK CABG study, overseen by the University’s CORRIB Research Centre for Advanced Imaging and Core Lab, has seen heart surgeons plan and carry out coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), based solely on non-invasive cardiac-CT scan images, with HeartFlow’s AI-powered blood flow analysis of the patient’s coronary arteries.   The research was published today in the European Heart Journal.   The key findings of this first-in-human study is the 99.1% feasibility, which means that heart bypass surgery without undergoing invasive diagnostic catheterisation is feasible and safe, driven by the good diagnostic accuracy of the cardiac CT scan and AI-powered blood flow analysis.   The trial was sponsored by University of Galway and funded by GE HealthCare (Chicago, USA) and HeartFlow, Inc. (Redwood City, California, USA).   In comparing the safety and effectiveness of heart bypass surgery, the trial had similar outcomes to recent surgical groups of patients who underwent conventional invasive angiogram investigations, which involves inserting a catheter through an artery in the wrist or groin to access diseased arteries and using dye to visualise blockages.   The findings of the FAST TRACK CABG trial suggest that the less invasive approach to heart bypass surgery offers comparable safety and efficacy to established methods. The research team noted that safety issues inherent to invasive investigation can be replaced by a non-invasive technique using CT scan imaging and AI-powered blood flow analysis.   Trial chairman Professor Patrick W Serruys, Established Professor of Interventional Medicine and Innovation at University of Galway, said: “The results of this trial have the potential to simplify the planning for patients undergoing heart bypass surgery. The trial and the central role played by the CORRIB Core Lab puts University of Galway on the frontline of cardiovascular diagnosis, planning and treatment of coronary artery disease.”   The study was carried out in leading cardiac care hospitals in Europe and the US and involved 114 patients who had severe blockages in multiple vessels, limiting blood flow to their heart.   The cardiac CT used in this study (Revolution CT, GE HealthCare) has a special resolution that makes the non-invasive images as good or even better than the images traditionally obtained by a direct injection of contrast dye in the artery of the heart through a catheter.   During the trial, the analysis of high resolution cardiovascular imagery and data was carried out by the CORRIB Core Lab team and shared by telemedicine with surgeons in trial hospitals.   The HeartFlowTM Analysis, which provides AI-powered blood flow analysis called Fractional Flow Reserve derived from CT (FFRCT), quantifies how poorly the narrowed vessel provides blood to the heart muscle, assisted the surgeon in clearly identifying which of the patient’s vessels should receive a bypass graft.   Professor Serruys added: “The potential for surgeons to address even the most intricate cases of coronary artery disease using only a non-invasive CT scan, and FFRCT represents a monumental shift in healthcare. Following the example of the surgeon, interventional cardiologists could similarly consider circumventing traditional invasive cineangiography and instead rely solely on CT scans for procedural planning. This approach not only alleviates the diagnostic burden in cath labs but also paves the way for transforming them into dedicated ‘interventional suites’- ultimately enhancing patient workflows.”   Dr Yoshi Onuma, Professor of Interventional Cardiology at University of Galway and the medical director of CORRIB Research Centre, said: “Exploring the potential for minimising diagnostic catheterisation procedures is important for several reasons- a catheterisation procedure is invasive and it is unpleasant for the patient. It is also costly for the health service. While there is a minimal risk associated with the procedure, it is not entirely risk free.   “CT scan analysis, FFRCT, and guidance from the team in Galway is a world first in bypass surgery. It may become a game-changer, altering the traditional relationship between GP, radiologist, cardiologist and cardio-thoracic surgeon for the benefit of the patient.”   Dr Saima Mushtaq, Director of Cardiovascular CT in Centro Cardiologico Monzino, Milan, Italy, said: “This is a historical trial that may change our approach for patients who are candidates for CABG revascularisation and with the FAST TRACK CABG trial we have been part of this revolution in which a CT scan is considered a tool to plan revascularisation skipping invasive coronary angiography.”   Dr John Puskas, Mount Sinai Morningside, New York and Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Atlanta, Georgia, said: “As the only North American surgeon, enrolling many patients in this trial, I have a unique perspective: I can conclusively state that there is no loss in diagnostic precision or accuracy nor any decrement in the quality of surgical planning or performance when the surgical team is guided solely by data from a latest-generation, non-invasive coronary CT scan. Once the surgeon is familiar with this new imaging modality, there are several ways in which it is actually a better guide than the historical invasive coronary angiogram.”   Professor Fidelma Dunne, Director of the Institute for Clinical Trials at University of Galway, said: “The outcomes of this inaugural human trial are highly promising, prompting further exploration of the advantages offered by this non-invasive methodology through an extensive randomised trial. At the Institute for Clinical Trials we are committed to conducting high-impact trials that have the potential to revolutionise patient care globally.”   The pioneering research of the CORRIB Core Lab at University of Galway into cardiovascular diagnosis and coronary artery disease will be further investigated in a large scale randomised trial. The research team is planning it will involve more than 2,500 patients from 80 hospitals across Europe. Ends

Wednesday, 3 April 2024

University announces eight recipients of the 2024 Alumni Awards University of Galway has announced the recipients of our 2024 Alumni Awards, celebrating 25 years of recognising our graduates. These awards celebrate outstanding individuals among the University's 131,000 alumni, recognising their remarkable accomplishments across various fields on both local and global scales. The Alumni Awards Gala Banquet will be held on campus in the Bailey Allen Hall, University of Galway on Friday May 10, 2024. Among the distinguished honourees to date are President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins; journalist and broadcaster Seán O’Rourke; broadcaster Gráinne Seoige; Goldman Sachs Executive Adrian Jones; former Labour Party leaders Eamon Gilmore and Pat Rabbitte; Court of Appeal Judge Máire Whelan; Olympian and World Champion Olive Loughnane; actress and Druid Theatre founder Marie Mullen; and actress Nicola Coughlan.   The 2024 University of Galway alumni awardees are:   Alumni Award for Business and Commerce - Sponsored by Bank of Ireland             James Murphy – CEO, Lifes2good Alumni Award for Arts, Literature and Celtic Studies Maureen Kennelly – Director at The Arts Council Alumni Award for Engineering, Science and Technology Caitriona Walsh – Country President and Managing Director, Novartis Ireland Alumni Award for Law, Public Policy and Society - Sponsored by RDJ Shawan Jabarin - General Director of Al-Haq Alumni Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences - Sponsored by Medtronic             Dr Dermot Phelan - Former Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine, Mater Hospital            and Associate Professor, UCD Gradam Alumni don Ghaeilge Diarmuid de Faoite – Writer, Actor, Director Alumni Award for Contribution to Sport Heather Boyle – Former International Rower, Cyclist, Head of Communications at the Olympic Federation of Ireland Alumni Award for Emerging Leader Jack O’Meara – CEO, Ochre Bio Speaking on the announcement of the Awards recipients, President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “We are honoured to recognise these outstanding alumni who have made significant contributions to their alma mater and to civic society in often challenging times. Consistent with our sense of the role of University of Galway in the world and for the world, they are all an important voice in their areas of endeavour. Each of them demonstrates the impacts that our graduates can have, and we are proud to be able to recognise and celebrate their achievements in keeping with our values of excellence, openness, respect and sustainability.” For ticket reservations, visit https://www.universityofgalway.ie/alumni-friends/alumniawards/ or contact Colm O’Dwyer, Alumni Relations at colm.odwyer@universityofgalway.ie. Ends

Wednesday, 3 April 2024

Fógraíonn an Ollscoil an t-ochtar a mbeidh Gradam Alumni á bhronnadh orthu in 2024 Tá liosta na ndaoine a mbeidh Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ag bronnadh Gradam Alumni orthu in 2024 fógartha agus an Ollscoil ag déanamh ceiliúradh i mbliana ar na céimithe a bhfuil an t-aitheantas sin tugtha dóibh le 25 bliain anuas. Déanann na gradaim seo ceiliúradh ar dhaoine den scoth as 131,000 alumnus na hOllscoile trí aitheantas a thabhairt dá n-éachtaí suntasacha i réimsí éagsúla, idir áitiúil agus domhanda. Beidh Mórfhéasta na nGradam Alumni ar siúl ar an gcampas i Halla Bailey Allen, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe Dé hAoine, an 10 Bealtaine 2024 I measc na ndaoine mór le rá ar bronnadh Gradam Alumni orthu chun dáta tá Uachtarán na hÉireann, Micheál D. Ó hUigínn; an t-iriseoir agus an craoltóir, Seán O'Rourke; an craoltóir, Gráinne Seoige; Feidhmeannach de chuid Goldman Sachs, Adrian Jones; iarcheannairí Pháirtí an Lucht Oibre, Eamon Gilmore agus Pat Rabbitte; an Breitheamh de chuid na Cúirte Achomhairc, Máire Whelan; an lúthchleasaí Oilimpeach agus Curadh an Domhain, Olive Loughnane; an t-aisteoir agus duine de bhunaitheoirí Amharclann an Druid, Marie Mullen; agus an t-aisteoir Nicola Coughlan.   Seo a leanas na daoine a mbronnfadh Ollscoil na Gaillimhe gradam alumni orthu in 2024:   Gradam Alumni don Ghnó agus an Tráchtáil – urraithe ag Banc na hÉireann             James Murphy – Príomhoifigeach Feidhmiúcháin, Lifes2good. Gradam Alumni do na Dána, an Litríocht agus an Léann Ceilteach Maureen Kennelly – Stiúrthóir na Comhairle Ealaíon. Gradam Alumni don Innealtóireacht, an Eolaíocht agus an Teicneolaíocht Caitriona Walsh – Uachtarán Tíre agus Stiúrthóir Bainistíochta, Novartis Ireland. Gradam Alumni don Dlí, an Beartas Poiblí agus an tSochaí – urraithe ag RDJ Shawan Jabarin – Stiúrthóir Ginearálta Al-Haq. Gradam Alumni don Leigheas, an tAltranas agus na hEolaíochtaí Sláinte – urraithe ag Medtronic An Dr Dermot Phelan – Iar-Chomhairleoir le Leigheas Dianchúraim, Ospidéal an Mater agus Ollamh Comhlach, COBÁC Gradam Alumni don Ghaeilge Diarmuid de Faoite – Scríbhneoir, Aisteoir, Stiúrthóir. Gradam Alumni don Rannpháirtíocht sa Spórt Heather Boyle – Iar-rámhaí idirnáisiúnta, Rothaí, Ceann Cumarsáide le Cónaidhm Oilimpeach na hÉireann. Gradam Alumni do Cheannaire Nua Jack O’Meara – Príomhoifigeach Feidhmiúcháin, Ochre Bio. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, nuair a fógraíodh buaiteoirí na nGradam: “Údar bróid dúinn a bheith in ann aitheantas a thabhairt do na halumni mór le rá seo a bhfuil an méid sin bainte amach acu ar mhaithe lena n-alma mater agus leis an tsochaí shibhialta i dtréimhsí dúshlánacha. Agus a bhfuil le rá acu ag teacht lenár dtuiscint féin ar ról Ollscoil na Gaillimhe sa tsochaí, glórtha tábhachtacha atá iontu ar fad ina réimsí féin. Léiríonn gach duine acu an tionchar a d’fhéadfadh a bheith ag ár gcéimithe, agus is mór an onóir dúinn a bheith in ann aitheantas a thabhairt dóibh agus a bhfuil bainte amach acu a cheiliúradh, agus béim againn ar ár gcuid luachanna mar atá meas, oscailteacht, barr feabhais agus inbhuanaitheacht.” Téigh chuig www.universityofgalway.ie/alumni-friends/alumniawardsgalabanquet chun ticéid a chur in áirithe nó déan teagmháil le Colm O’Dwyer ag colm.odwyer@universityofgalway.ie. Críoch

Monday, 27 May 2024

The Access Centre at University of Galway has marked 25 years of creating opportunities for people to find pathways into higher education. Since its foundation in 1999, more than 3,500 people have been supported by the Access Centre, with the numbers of students from groups traditionally underrepresented in university continuing to grow. The anniversary celebrations have been led by Mayor of Galway Councillor Eddie Hoare who unveiled a plaque at the Access Centre offices and was guest of honour at the Uni4U awards ceremony which provides experience of university for sixth class pupils in Deis and Link primary schools in Galway. Mayor of Galway Councillor Eddie Hoare said: “As an alumnus of University of Galway it was my great pleasure to join the University’s Access Centre to celebrate 25 years. In that time more than 3,500 students have enrolled in their programmes which helps to play such a key role in removing barriers to third level education for so many. The Uni4U Programme is another great initiative rolled out by the Access Centre that provides opportunities for DEIS primary school pupils to see first-hand what the University has to offer. I’d like to congratulate Imelda Byrne as Head of the Access Centre and all the team for the great work they continue and wish everyone involved continued success.” President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “Our values are what we strive for and to live by at University of Galway. In many respects the Access Centre is the embodiment of all those - openness; respect; excellence; sustainability. As we mark 25 years of creating opportunities and supporting the people in our community and hinterland, we should acknowledge the great work of those who dedicate more than just their time, knowledge and expertise to this endeavour - it is their passion and their motivation. And when we do that, we also celebrate all the 3,500 students who have travelled this path in the hope of making the most of these opportunities.” Imelda Byrne, Head of the Access Centre, said: “2024 is a significant milestone for us all at the Access Centre, University of Galway, as we celebrate 25 years of our Access Programmes. More than 3,500 students have participated on our programmes, which is 3,500 people whose lives have been significantly changed by the opportunities which we have been able to give them.  “Our focus is on supporting and empowering people in the Galway city and county, the western region, the border counties, and the midlands, to give them a path into higher education and to address the barriers which they experience. Our ambition is to ensure everyone has equal access to higher education and that no-one feels like an outsider. We are proud of the huge impact we have had and we are committed to growing our achievements.” Access programmes were established at the University in 1999, with the aim to provide a supportive, educational environment that prepares students academically and personally for a full-time undergraduate degree at third level.  Highlights of achievements and growth of Access: On average, 629 students enrol on undergraduate programmes through the Access Centre each year. In 2022, more than 150 students were supported in education at the University through the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR), which focuses on students from socio-economically disadvantaged groups, and another 281 were supported through the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE), which focuses on students with a disability. Since 2015/16 to 2022/23, there has been a 132% increase in students registering for the Disability Support Service at the University. The service is available to University of Galway students who need support or reasonable accommodations due to the impact of a disability, ongoing physical or mental health condition, or a specific learning difficulty. Since 2018/19, on average almost 500 students from DEIS schools have enrolled in University of Galway each year. Almost 100 students a year have enrolled at University of Galway from Further Education and Training since 2018/19. Along with the plaque unveiling, alumni events and panel discussions to mark the 25th anniversary of Access programmes at University of Galway, a Widening Participation Report was published to highlight and evaluate the progress that has been made to create a more level playing field for students from underrepresented groups in society to find a path to higher education. The University of Galway Access programmes involve a range of educational approaches and services to support students who are regarded by the Higher Education Authority as non-traditional and are perceived as disadvantaged or excluded from mainstream higher education. It has a particular focus on meeting the educational needs of citizens and supporting regional development in a catchment area of low density and dispersed rural population and includes students from under-represented, disadvantaged and minority groups, mature students and students with disabilities. Applications are now open for individuals to apply to a range of programmes, including programmes for school leavers and full/part-time courses for mature students. Students can opt to study on the University campus or in the Tuam area and An Cheathrú Rua area, depending on where they are located. Further information is available on Access Programmes - University of Galway Ends

Monday, 27 May 2024

Researchers at University of Galway have secured five major grant awards totalling almost €6 million to advance scientific and medical breakthroughs. The awards have been made under Science Foundation Ireland’s Frontiers for the Future programme, focusing on protein-based treatments; wind turbine technology; methane recovery; air quality; and diabetes. The projects are: Professor Alan Ryder – Awarded €1.23 million Downstream Protein Analysis - Polarized Emission Spectroscopy (Dpa-Pes) Making protein-based treatments like vaccines, antibodies and insulin - safely and in large volumes - poses many challenges, one of which is accurately measuring protein size, purity and stability during manufacturing. Proteins are inherently sensitive and are easily damaged, reducing their therapeutic effectiveness and the biggest issues are when protein shape or size changes. Professor Ryder’s research will develop fast, inexpensive, non-destructive and non-contact, light-based techniques for measuring proteins during manufacturing. This novel Dpa-PES measurement methodology exploits aspects of chemistry, physics, mathematics, and optics to better measure protein quality via their interaction with polarised light, ultimately leading to better quality medicines. Professor Sean Leen – Awarded €1.3 million Tailored Manufacturing For Safe, Sustainable Offshore Wind Turbine Support Structure Materials (Transforrm) This project proposes to use a combination of laboratory testing and computer modelling to improve manufacturing processes for high temperature rolling and welding of steels for more sustainable, safe, design of support structures for larger offshore wind turbines. Computer models will be developed to determine the effect of the rolling and welding processes on through-thickness non-uniformity of mechanical properties, especially cracking due to fatigue. The models will be verified by experimental testing. Digital tools will be developed using these models and applied to design case studies for fixed and floating offshore wind turbine structures, to demonstrate the sustainability benefits Guangxue Wu – Awarded €911,903; and co-funded by SFI and the Sustainable Energy Association of Ireland (SEAI) Alleviation Mechanisms And Microbial Interactions Induced By Conductive Materials In Sulphate-Stressed Anaerobic Digestion Ecosystems Methane recovery from waste reduces the dependence on fossil fuel energy, fulfilling UN Sustainable Development Goals. In this project - by combining advanced techniques from microbiology, engineering, and chemistry - underlying microbial mechanisms and interactions for methane production will be investigated with the dosage of conductive materials for alleviating sulphate inhibition. The outputs will provide knowledge for developing novel methane recovery biotechnologies from waste to protect ecosystem and conserve natural resources. Jurgita Ovadnevaite - Awarded €1.2 million Fingerprinting Climate Change And Air Pollutant Culprits (Epic-Air) Atmospheric aerosol particles contribute to more than 8 million premature deaths per year around the world due to their important role in climate change and air quality. It is crucial to understand the sources of these particles, as well as to assess their impacts on human health and climate. This project will deploy a sophisticated online instrumentation and develop new methods to allow the concurrent assessment of particle health and climate impacts. The project will use models to evaluate how toxic particles affect climate change and how climate change impacts the properties of the particles. Cynthia Coleman and Pilib Ó Broin - Awarded €1.3 million Midios: Microrna In Diabetic Osteopathy Type 2 diabetes can lead to unusual changes in bones, where higher bone density surprisingly results in more fractures. These fractures heal slowly, limit mobility, and extend hospital stays. The Midios team is working on a new therapy to address bone issues caused by type 2 diabetes. This collaborative project involves experts from various fields, including cell and molecular biology, biomedical engineering, computational biology, and clinical medicine. They will study adult stem cells in the bone to understand the changes diabetes causes and how these changes affect bone strength. The goal is to develop treatments that counteract the impact of diabetes on bones, ultimately improving the quality of life for people with type 2 diabetes. Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Patrick O’Donovan T.D., said: “These awards support the development of world-class research in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The projects and higher education institutions are focusing on will help deliver solutions to some of the major challenges facing society, including in healthcare, the environment and technology.” Professor Jim Livesey, Vice-President Research and Innovation at University of Galway, said: “Each individual researcher is to be congratulated for having the excellence of their research recognised in this way. We are intensely proud of their achievement and look forward to the results of the research. Moreover, the University is delighted at this support from SFI for researchers in two of our key strategic areas. Galway is committing significant resources to work in biomedical science and to sustainability and these awards will amplify the scale and scope of those investments.”  Dr Ruth Freeman, Director, Science for Society at Science Foundation Ireland, said: “The SFI Frontiers for the Future awards provide opportunities for independent investigators to conduct highly innovative, original research on important questions. I would like to thank SEAI for collaborating on this programme with SFI, supporting vital research in the area of sustainability.” Ends

Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Scientists and theatre makers are joining forces to bring a new interactive comedy show - driven by hopepunk, climate research, music and what matters most to the local community - to rural Ireland. The first performance of We Built This City on Rock and Coal will take place at University of Galway on Thursday May 30th, with other shows scheduled for Galway, Cork, Donegal, Mayo and Antrim. The venues range from arts centres to ringforts and the project will visit three offshore islands: Inishbofin, Arranmore and Rathlin. By bringing shows to rural centres like Ionad Cois Locha, Interface Inagh, Wild Nephin National Park, and the Centre of Excellence for Climate Action and Sustainability in west Cork, the project aims to prompt discussion and change around environmental topics, while finding local positive steps towards solving climate change. Each live show will include sustainability workshops and citizen science activities, along with a space for audience members to speak up or be interviewed. These material from the audience will then be used to improvise scenes, songs and sketches, making each of the shows unique. We Built This City on Rock and Coal is co-created by Dr Jessamyn Fairfield, award winning science communicator and performer and lecturer at University of Galway’s School of Natural Sciences, and Katy Schutte, global improvisation practitioner and author. They will partner with Dr Gesche Kindermann, sustainability and conservation expert and lecturer with University of Galway School of Natural Sciences, and storyteller Órla McGovern, among others. Audience stories about climate change and climate action will also be collected and shared online as part of the Caomhnú citizen science initiative. Dr Jessamyn Fairfield said: “The whole idea of this project is reclaiming our agency when we talk about climate change. We worked with rural communities to develop this project, and we’re thrilled to be exploring climate action, citizen science and sustainability through a comedic lens with people up and down the coast of Ireland.” Katy Schutte said: “It's a great project where comedy gets to make the world a better place! The more we enjoy our local natural environment and the people in it, the more we care about the global climate crisis.” We Built This City on Rock and Coal is a recipient of the Creative Climate Action fund, an initiative from the Creative Ireland Programme. It is funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media in collaboration with the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications. The fund supports creative, cultural and artistic projects that build awareness around climate change and empower citizens to make meaningful behavioural transformations. The project is also supported by University of Galway and iCRAG, the SFI Research Centre in Applied Geosciences hosted at University College Dublin. More information including show dates and ticket links is available at http://webuiltthiscity.ie/  Ends

Monday, 20 May 2024

Chun 20 bliain den bpáirtnéireacht atá ar bun acu le hEalaín na Gaeltachta a cheiliúradh, tá ceochoirm mhór shean-nóis á reachtáil ag Ionad Léann na hÉireann in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. In Amharclann Mick Lally, Dé Máirt 4 Meitheamh, 8-10pm a bheidh an ócáid ar siúl agus scoth na n-ealaíontóirí as Gaeltacht Chonamara ar stáitse.  Ina measc san a bheidh páirteach sa léiriú diamhair seo, beidh Bríd Ní Mhaoilchiaráin, Máire Ní Mhaoilchiaráin, Sarah Ghriallais, Máire Pheter Uí Dhroighneáin, Áine Ní Dhroighneáin, Róisín Ní Mhainín, Pádraic Ó hOibicín, Máirín Mhic Lochlainn, Mairéad Ní Fhlatharta, Treasa Ní Mhiolláin, Seosamh Ó Neachtain, Saileog Ní Cheannabháin, Gearóid Ó Dubháin, agus Micheál Ó Cuaig. Deir an Dr Méabh Ní Fhuartháin, Ceann an Ionaid: “Tá breis agus 20 bliain ann ó cuireadh an pháirtnéireacht idir Ionad Léann na hÉireann agus Ealaín na Gaeltachta ar bun chun ealaíon an tsean-nóis agus na healaíona dúchais béil i nGaeltacht Chonamara a chur chun cinn. Dar linn gur fiú an méid sin a cheiliúradh agus a chraobhscaoileadh le ceolchoirm mhór a thabharfaidh deis dúinn a bhfuil bainte amach againn ó cuireadh an pháirtnéireacht eadrainn ar bun a thaispeáint don bpobal. Beidh cuid de na healaíontóirí comhaimseartha is cumasaí dá bhfuil ag obair i nGaeltacht Chonamara ar an ardán in Amharclann Mick Lally, rud a fhágann gur showcase iontach don nGaeilge, don nGaeltacht, agus d’ealaíona an tsean-nóis a bheidh sa cheolchoirm neamhchoitianta seo.” Cosnaíonn na ticéid €10 agus tá an t-airgead uilig ag dul chuig Clann Shíomóin na Gaillimhe, agus tá siad ar fáil ag https://buytickets.at/theblackgateculturalcentre/1253133. Tuilleadh eolais ó irishstudies@universityofgalway.ie Críoch

Monday, 20 May 2024

University of Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies is marking the 20th anniversary of its partnership with Ealaín na Gaeltachta by hosting a gala concert featuring some of the finest exponents of sean-nós singing, dancing, and storytelling.   The concert takes place at the Mick Lally Theatre, Druid Lane, Galway City, on Tuesday June 4th, from 8-10pm.   Performers at this one-off event will include most of those who spent time as artists-in-residence at the Centre for Irish Studies, with the support of Ealaín na Gaeltachta.   The line-up includes Bríd Ní Mhaoilchiaráin, Máire Ní Mhaoilchiaráin, Sarah Ghriallais, Máire Pheter Uí Dhroighneáin, Áine Ní Dhroighneáin, Róisín Ní Mhainín, Pádraic Ó hOibicín, Máirín Mhic Lochlainn, Mairéad Ní Fhlatharta, Treasa Ní Mhiolláin, Seosamh Ó Neachtain, Saileog Ní Cheannabháin, Gearóid Ó Dubháin, and Micheál Ó Cuaig.   Dr Méabh Ní Fhuartháin, Head of Irish Studies at University of Galway, said: “The living link with the vernacular arts traditions of the Connemara Gaeltacht is central to the work we do at University of Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies. This unique concert is an opportunity to celebrate the vitality of those traditions and to acknowledge the generosity of the remarkable artists who have contributed so much to their own communities and to our understanding of the Gaeltacht arts. This event is a salute from us to a remarkable group of artists and colleagues who have had a significant impact on all those who have benefited from their work at the Centre for Irish Studies over the past two decades.”   Tickets are €10 with all proceeds going to the Galway Simon Community and are available at https://buytickets.at/theblackgateculturalcentre/1253133.   For more information contact irishstudies@universityofgalway.ie   Ends

Monday, 20 May 2024

Three primary schools have been awarded a 2024 START Competition Trophy by University of Galway for using randomised trial methodology to answer a question related to their environment or lifestyle.  The Schools Teaching Awareness of Randomised Trials (START) is an annual competition encouraging children throughout Ireland to learn about healthcare decisions and how health and well-being can be improved by learning about randomised trials. Sometimes called clinical trials, randomised trials are a type of research study often used to find out if a new medicine or treatment works. The three schools awarded for their research projects are: Holy Family Senior National School, Swords, Co Dublin came in the third place with the randomised trial: “Does being on a device affect your sleep?” The young trialists randomly divided participants into groups, some on devices before bed, and others who were not. Their trial involved the support of parents who had to check how quickly their child fell asleep. Their results indicate that having a device before bed negatively affects children’s sleep. Coolmeen National School, Kilrush, Co Clare claimed second place for their trial: “Do children learn more when working in groups or doing independent work?” The students randomised their fellow schoolmates into two groups with a spinner wheel. Using a standard test for both groups, one group completed the test independently and the other group in teams of two. The children concluded that working as a team or independently resulted in similar test scores, showcasing the importance of varied learning approaches. Duleek Girls National School in Co Meath went home with the award for first place after the girls investigated the question: “Does 10 minutes of daily ambulatory activity have an effect on the speed and mood of 10-year-olds?” Activities like jogging, walking, and sprinting were tested, and the children’s emotions were recorded. This school concluded that among all tested activities, walking was the most efficient way to improve speed and mood. The school children were commended for their activities, including for writing letters to President Michael D. Higgins, Minister for Education Norma Foley T.D. and former Taoiseach Leo Varadkar T.D. about the importance of ambulatory activity. Professor Declan Devane, Scientific Director of the HRB-Trials Methodology Research Network at University of Galway, said: “We started this competition for two reasons. Firstly, we wanted to raise awareness of the importance of randomised trials with children. Secondly, we wanted to harness the creativity and imagination of children in the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of trials. The high standard and variety of applications we receive each year demonstrate that the START Competition has indeed raised the awareness of randomised trials and capitalised on children’s innate ability to explain difficult concepts clearly and in a fun way.” Dr Sandra Galvin National Programme Manager of the HRB – Trials Methodology Research Network, said: “Since the competition’s inception in 2016, the questions that the children come up with every year amaze the team. Typically, they focus on an aspect of their own lives in the classroom, working together to create the trial, while also having a lot of fun. The curiosity and creativity of their bright young minds means they usually challenge our concepts and get us to think more creatively.” The START Competition website provides tools needed to allow children and teachers to create their own randomised clinical trial in the classroom. It also addresses key aspects of the current school curriculum in several subjects including Mathematics, Science, SPHE and ICT. The three shortlisted schools were selected by four judges: Iseult Mangan, former primary school principal Cloghans Hill National School, Ballina, Co Mayo, (2017 START winner) and teacher; Aisling Murray, St Joseph’s National School, Kinvara, Co Galway and teacher of the 2018 START Competition winning class; Professor Shaun Treweek, Professor of Health Services Research, University of Aberdeen, UK; and Sarah Chapman, former Knowledge Broker at Cochrane UK. Iseult Mangan said: ”Participating in the START competition sees classes adopt a fun project-based approach which aligns to key aspects of the curriculum. It allows a class to collaborate and work as team encompassing so many different individual talents from design thinking and organisation to maths and creative display. The three shortlisted schools showcased their understanding and execution of clinical trials in really creative ways with teamwork and fun was evident in each of them.” Professor Shaun Treweek said: “The START competition challenges children to design, do and describe a randomised trial. Every year children from across Ireland smash that challenge in spades, and do so with enthusiasm, breathtaking creativity, and laughter.  The competition is a glorious inspiration to everyone– children, teachers, and researchers alike.” The competition is supported by the Health Research Board, through the HRB-Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN), Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), and is part of the celebration of International Clinical Trials Day across five collaborating university partners: University of Galway, University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, and the University of Limerick. For more information about the START competition and how it transforms classrooms across Ireland into hubs of scientific exploration, please visit STARTcompetition.com. Stay updated with us on X @STARTSchools and Facebook at STARTCompetition. Ends

Monday, 20 May 2024

World Bee Day marked as public urged to monitor wild native Irish honeybee colonies World Bee Day on Monday May 20th is being marked by researchers at University of Galway with a quest for the public to support the monitoring of more than 500 wild and native honey bee colonies. The team of academics at the Galway Honey Bee Research Centre (galwayhbrc.com) aim to use the data being recorded and reported on the free-living bees as part of efforts to devise better strategies for their conservation. Citizen science has already supported the recording of 541 nests of wild and native honeybees – or Apis mellifera mellifera if you prefer - across the island of Ireland. Now researchers need data from ongoing monitoring which will be submitted to the National Biodiversity Data Centre and further understanding survival of bees once thought to have been wiped out by the invasive parasite, Varroa destructor. The project, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, involves samples from wild colonies being compared to those from managed and historical ones, as well as studies of the ecology of the colonies, pathogen type and load and the genetics of the bees. Professor Grace McCormack, Head of the School of Natural Sciences at University of Galway, said: “When I first tried to embark on research into Ireland’s wild native honey bee, I was told they don’t exist. But they do and Ireland is the last stronghold for the black bee in Europe, which has been under threat from parasites, loss of natural habitat and biodiversity, climate change and hybridisation from imported bees. “Our quest now is to learn as much as we can about our bees; to monitor colonies and confirm that they have survived in the wild for more than two years. With the data that is provided by the public – our citizen scientists - we can devise conservation strategies.” The Galway Honey Bee Research Centre based at University of Galway is asking would-be citizen scientists to locate colonies - but not to report individual bee sightings - and for some people to become colony custodians, by regular monitoring and reporting on the survival of the colonies. How to tell a native Irish honeybee Black bees are smaller than a bumblebee. They are dark brown, almost black in colour, with narrow or no bands on the abdomen and can be seen foraging in damp or drizzly weather. How to tell a wild colony Free-living bee colonies are classed as having survived for more than two years in the wild - nesting outside a man-made hive/box. Wild honey bees are cavity dwellers and colonies can usually be found by observing the activity and noise of a large number of bees at a small entrance. Colonies are usually seen in elevated positions, a few meters high above the ground, in trees in old woodlands or in walls and roofs of buildings which is common in Ireland. Hive entrances have been found in unlikely places such as hollow statues, compost bins, bird boxes and graveyard crypts. For more information or to report a colony visit https://galwayhbrc.com/ Ends

Friday, 17 May 2024

Key policy proposals presented by a University of Galway journalism academic to the Oireachtas Taskforce on Safe Participation in Political Life have been adopted in the final report. The Oireachtas Task Force report on Safe Participation in Political Life was published this week by Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl T.D. and Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann, Senator Jerry Buttimer. The report outlines comprehensive recommendations to address the pervasive issue of abuse and harassment faced by politicians, with a particular focus on protecting women and minority groups, enhancing security measures and holding social media platforms accountable for online abuse. Associate Professor of Journalism Tom Felle presented research findings about digital harassment and cyber abuse of female politicians to the expert group in September 2023. He emphasised the urgent need for robust measures to combat cyber violence against female politicians. His presentation highlighted critical research findings from University of Galway, demonstrating the pervasive nature of online abuse and its severe impact on women in politics.  Key Findings from the University of Galway’s research included: Approximately 96% of female politicians reported receiving abusive social media or electronic messages containing hate speech, foul language, and inappropriate comments 73% faced threats of physical violence, with 38% subjected to threats of rape or sexual violence 28% reported being verbally abused in public, including disturbing incidents such as faeces being thrown and threats of acid attacks One in five considered quitting politics due to online harassment, underscoring the chilling effect of cyber violence. Associate Professor Tom Felle’s key policy proposals are reflected in the Task Force’s recommendations, including: Security and Support: Improve cooperation with An Garda Síochána in the reporting and investigation of digital threats; and providing psychological support services to local representatives. Political Parties and Conduct: Equip election candidates with training to protect against abuse. Social Media Regulation: Coimisiún na Meán should fully utilise its powers to regulate social media platforms and address online abuse. Associate Professor Tom Felle said: "Adopting these critical measures is a significant step towards creating a safer and more inclusive political environment. By enforcing stringent regulations on social media platforms, enhancing security for politicians, and promoting respectful discourse within political parties, we can combat the pervasive issue of cyber violence against women. These changes will not only protect current politicians but also encourage more women to participate in political life, ensuring that our democratic institutions are truly representative of our diverse society.” The University of Galway and Associate Professor Felle remain committed to supporting efforts that promote a safe and inclusive political landscape for all. Ends

Thursday, 16 May 2024

Ian Quinn Centre for Health Technology Innovation formally launched at University of Galway in honour of pioneering medtech entrepreneur BioInnovate programme forms part of Government of Ireland Innovators’ Initiative and will create opportunities to identify solutions to unmet clinical needs   Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Emer Higgins T.D. has today announced €7 million funding, over the next six years, for University of Galway’s flagship BioInnovate fellowship programme, the only European affiliate of Stanford BioDesign. The announcement coincides with the official launch of the Ian Quinn Centre for Health Technology Innovation, on the University campus, named in honour of the late Ian Quinn who was central in establishing Galway as a global medtech hub. BioInnovate Ireland is one of four programmes under the Government of Ireland Innovators’ Initiative and co-funded by the EU under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and administered by Enterprise Ireland. It was initially established in 2011 with the aim of anchoring the medical device sector in Ireland by educating and training future entrepreneurs. To date the programme has trained 150 Fellows and led to 33 companies - 23 of which are high potential start-ups. The Ian Quinn Centre will build on the success of the BioInnovate programme and the wider medtech and digital health community by providing co-working space, mentorship and global connections to emerging start-ups, as well as being a venue for industry, clinicians and campus-based innovators to come together and accelerate health technologies.  Speaking at the annual BioInnovate Ireland Symposium at University of Galway Minister Higgins said: “BioInnovate Ireland is a remarkable programme and a huge inspiration for Ireland’s innovation ecosystem. Its success to date in terms of entrepreneurship, indigenous business creation and answering healthcare needs, is testament to those who brought the concept to Ireland, and to University of Galway for hosting the fellowship programme. The new, six-year, €7 million funding from Government and the European Regional Development Fund will empower those who have the foresight to conceive healthcare and treatment solutions for patients, while also embedding the fellowship even further with the best international practice, talent development and business creation mentorship for medtech in the west of Ireland and beyond.”   Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of University of Galway, said: “We are delighted to receive this significant funding allocation, and it is apt that it coincides with the launch of the Ian Quinn Centre for Health Technology Innovation. This dual announcement represents a pivotal moment for University of Galway and a significant step forward in our journey to further advance healthcare innovation. We are grateful for the generous contribution from Chip Hance, which has made it possible to initiate the Ian Quinn Centre. His support, alongside support from others in the community, underscores the importance of our work for the public good and for fostering innovation which will greatly benefit future medtech solutions and development, both here in Galway and globally.” Marina Donohoe, Head of Research and Innovation at Enterprise Ireland, said: “Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting the development of Irish-owned companies on their journey to achieving their global ambition. A really important element of this is helping to foster the development of Irish innovators who are driving transformation around the world, and programmes like BioInnovate and facilities like the Ian Quinn Centre are key to that. Ireland has established a reputation as being a global leader in healthcare innovation, and this funding will help to further build out that pipeline of talented innovators. Enterprise Ireland has been proud to support this project since its inception, and we wish everyone involved continued success.” Robert (Chip) Hance, a veteran of cardiovascular, diabetes and diagnostics devices, chief executive of Regatta Medical, and long-time colleague of the late Ian Quinn, said: “Ian Quinn was not just a visionary leader, but also a cherished friend and colleague whose dedication to healthcare innovation was unparalleled. He recognised the pivotal role of the BioInnovate Ireland programme within the broader ecosystem of Ireland's device industry, envisioning its potential to evolve and expand with a significant indigenous emphasis. Naming this centre in his honour is a fitting tribute. It is poised to inspire future entrepreneurs to carry forward his legacy as we move into a golden age of medical device innovation that will transform healthcare and change the face of medicine.” Teresa Hooks, Programme Executive with the Northern and Western Regional Assembly, the ERDF Managing Authority, said: "BioInnovate Ireland is funded under the Innovators Initiative scheme, which is included in the Northern and Western Regional Programme and is another positive example of EU funding helping to develop a smarter more competitive region. The objective of the Innovators Initiative scheme is closely aligned to the priorities of our ERDF Programme and Ireland’s Smart Specialisation Strategy and will train more than 70 participants in our region. They will observe and identify commercial opportunities, with the aim of developing high potential start-ups, directly contributing to job creation in the region.” The Ian Quinn Centre for Health Technology Innovation at University of Galway will build on the success of BioInnovate since its inception, by becoming a new home for the fellowship programme. It will be a hub of innovation, focused on driving transformative change in the healthcare sector. It will have a strong focus on emerging medical technologies and digital health and it will also be open to industry and clinicians outside of the fellowship programme, providing space to spark and grow innovations and ultimately becoming a destination of choice in Europe for innovators, industry and investors. Ian Quinn was a visionary in medical device design and innovation. He founded Creganna with his brother, where he served as chief executive for 25 years. Having witnessed the decline of the IT hardware industry and other industries in Ireland, Ian Quinn set about ensuring that the medical device industry would not suffer the same fate. Following a visit to Stanford BioDesign, Ian Quinn was involved in the foundation of BioInnovate Ireland, along with Professor Mark Bruzzi, bringing the BioDesign model to Ireland, with the aim of creating a fellowship programme to educate and train innovators. More than a decade later, Ireland has become a global hub for medtech and digital health, with more than 450 companies, of which, more than 200 are homegrown. One in 8 Irish medtech companies have come from fellowships at BioInnovate Ireland. The programme takes in 12 fellows a year on a 10-month specialist, medical device innovation. It combines teams of high-calibre, experienced fellows from medical, engineering, business and technical backgrounds whose aim is to discover unmet clinical needs and align them with market opportunities. The fellows are rigorously selected to contribute their skills, knowledge and expertise as part of multi-disciplinary teams. During the programme they are awarded a scholarship and focus on one specific clinical area, and receive mentorship from industry, clinicians, venture capitalists, domain experts and academics. The Fellowship teams perform their clinical immersion phase at hospitals in Galway and nationwide. Ends

Tuesday, 14 May 2024

 Transition Year Students from DEIS and Link post-primary schools in the border, midlands and western region have taken part in the final of the Uni4U+ College Cookbook Competition at University of Galway.   The students were tasked with coming up with five dinners for one person – all for less than €35 per week. Students were also required note if the recipe was high in protein, low in calories, vegan friendly, coeliac friendly and so on.   The recipes were judged by chef, restaurateur and author, Dr JP McMahon, who said: “For me, it’s really important to show young students the different opportunities there are to get them into university but also to get them interested in cooking.”  The winners included:  Overall Individual Entry: Ashton Greer from Coláiste Muire Máthair, Galway City  Overall Group Entry: Joe Sullivan, James Murray, Seoijin Lee and Krzysztof Kotarba from Coláiste Muire Máthair, Galway City  Best Design: Jaynel Almanzar Cordero, Coláiste Muire Máthair, Galway City   Most Creative Recipie: Iarla Ó Brádaigh, Aodháin Ó Donnchadha, Ciarán Dwyer and Diarmad Ó Fátharta from Coláiste Cholmcille, Inverin, Co. Galway  Most Nutritious Recipe: Aedín Ní Chualáin from Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin, Carraroe, Co. Galway  Most Budget-Friendly Recipe: Amelia Dlugoskecka from Roscommon Community College   Roscommon Community College student Amelia Dlugoskecka said: “The whole competition got me really interested in nutrition and it’s something I will consider doing in the future.”   The Uni4U+ Programme gives secondary school students the opportunity to visit University of Galway’s campus and gain an insight into university life and is an integral part of the outreach work undertaken at the University of Galway Access Centre.  Speaking about the project, Dr Mary Surlis, Senior Academic Manager at University of Galway’s Access Centre said: “Our outreach work is core to the Access Centre’s regional commitment, to both our DEIS schools and the wider communities. Our primary aim is to design creative interventions in these areas, which promote accessibility to higher education by informing, empowering, and inspiring all. This event epitomises such work.”  For further information on the work of the Access Centre, head to Access Centre - University of Galway.  Ends