Wednesday, 22 June 2022

School of Health Sciences becomes ninth school in the University to achieve Athena Swan Bronze Award All three schools in NUI Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences now hold Bronze awards  NUI Galway has reached a new level in advancing gender equality, with the School of Health Sciences securing the ninth Athena Swan Bronze Award for the University. The award recognised the commitment to advancing gender equality in health sciences for both staff and students, and in creating cultural change within the University.  NUI Galway Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Helen Maher, said: “All of us at NUI Galway are sharing in the congratulations for the School of Health Sciences. We are greatly encouraged by the progress our university has made on gender equality, particularly in the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences – where all three schools have secured bronze awards”.  “This latest award demonstrates that our efforts and our commitment on this unfinished journey are embedding equality, diversity and inclusion in our culture and our collective responsibilities.”  The Athena Swan Bronze Award represents the commitment to equality in the School of Health Sciences and highlights the work which has been undertaken to identify gender equality issues, such as the underrepresentation of men and understaffing in some areas and the ongoing impacts of the pandemic. Professor Martin O’Donnell, Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at NUI Galway, said: “We would like to congratulate the School of Heath Sciences in attaining the Bronze medal award, particularly the work of the self-assessment team. All three Schools in our College have now attained Bronze Awards, which demonstrates an important but initial step in our commitment to advancing equality, diversity and inclusion in our College and wider community.”   Professor Caroline McIntosh, Head of the School of Health Sciences at NUI Galway, said: “I am very proud to have the School of Health Sciences awarded the Bronze Athena Swan award. I look forward to supporting the implementation of our action plan to foster an environment where all staff feel that they have ample prospects to reach their potential.  “Our action plan lays the foundation for embedding equality, inclusion, and support within our School. A particular challenge for our School is the extreme gender imbalance- our professions are predominantly female with low male representation, which is clearly reflected in our own academic and student profile. Through the implementation of our action plan we aim to work towards greater gender representation in our professions while also addressing the more well-known gender equality issues associated with a predominantly female School.” Ends

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Minister for State for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan T.D. has today opened the international Health Promotion Conference at NUI Galway. National and International experts are presenting on topics under the theme of this year’s event - “Health Inequality: Action for Change”. The annual Health Promotion Conference at NUI Galway is in its 26th year and is co-hosted by the Health Service Executive, the Department of Health, the Association for Health Promotion Ireland and the Institute of Public Health.  Minister Feighan addressed the conference, saying: “The annual conference provides a great opportunity for more cutting-edge health promotion research, as well as expanding links between knowledge and implementation and broadening connections between researchers, policy makers and practitioners. Ultimately in society, everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.” The aim of the conference is to address health inequalities associated with socio-economic factors in Ireland and internationally, and the impact these factors have on life expectancy rates, mortality, chronic conditions depending on education, employment, income level, living environment and ethnicity.  The conference will hear how these factors have been exposed and amplified by the pandemic. This will be specifically addressed by Sir Michael Marmot, keynote speaker from the Institute of Health Equity in University College London.  Professor Margaret Hodgins, Conference Co-Chair, Health Promotion Research Centre and Discipline of Health Promotion, NUI Galway, said: “This conference is bringing together the best of NUI Galway and national and international experts on health inequalities to look to highlight cutting-edge research and innovation initiatives as well as to expand links between research and action, and to broaden connections among a diverse community of researchers, policymakers and practitioners. It will provide the opportunity to discuss meaningful action for change and to learn from the experiences of international colleagues.”  The conference will focus on reframing lifestyle approaches to health improvement to ensure they are underpinned by an approach that recognises and addresses the wider determinants of health. This is consistent with the Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme, launched by the HSE in 2021 to address health inequity, a place-based approach that aims to focus on local areas in which health and wellbeing risk factors are particularly concentrated.  International and national keynote addresses include  Sir Michael Marmot, Professor of Epidemiology at University College London since 1985, Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity and advisor to the WHO Director-General on social determinants of health.  Professor Jane South, Professor of Healthy Communities at Leeds Beckett University, UK and the Office for Health Improvement & Disparities, will explore the importance of community-centred approaches as a way of reducing health inequity. Professor Jennie Popay, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Public Health at Lancaster University. Dr Helen McAvoy. Director of Policy, Institute of Public Health, Ireland. Greg Straton. Assistant Principal Officer, Health and Wellbeing Unit, Department of Health, Ireland. For further information on the conference and full programme details, visit:  Ends

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

ICHEC (Irish Centre for High-End Computing) welcomes EU support for supercomputing  The Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) at NUI Galway has been selected by the EU as the home for a new supercomputer. Ireland is one of five successful countries, along with Germany, Hungary, Greece and Poland, chosen to operate the next generation of European High Performance Computing. The announcement of EU funding is the first step in a process which will be completed subject to national co-funding arrangements.  President of NUI Galway Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “The key benefit of a super-computing technology of this excellence is its capacity to model complexity and to radically expand our research opportunities. “Our core values at NUI Galway include openness and respect and computing infrastructure of this capacity will be a significant asset in that regard as it futureproofs our approach to research, respecting the evidence and making a major contribution to openly supporting the scientific research community in Ireland. It also fits with so many aspects of our research strategy, using data to support research and policy-making in the environment, marine, healthcare, and in supporting a good society.” Commenting on the successful bid Professor. J-C Desplat, ICHEC, said: “A new supercomputer, expected to be around 25 times more powerful than the current national supercomputer Kay, would provide a national competence development platform for both numerical modelling and for the next generation of data-centric techniques and platforms and, as such, accelerate the adoption of powerful new hybrid techniques embedding machine learning within mainstream computational science models and Grand Challenges.”  Professor Jim Livesey, Vice President Research and Innovation, NUI Galway, said: “The key feature of machine of this nature is its capacity to model complexity. As weather patterns change, as the future of distributed energy networks change, as we attempt to predict food supply needs of the future, we need a totally new kind of computing capacity to support our endeavours in these areas for the public good.” EuroHPC supercomputers will be available to serve a wide range of European users, including  the scientific community, industry and the public sector, powering new applications in a wide range of areas, from designing medicines and new materials to fighting climate change, they will advance science, boost the innovation potential of enterprises while ultimately improving the citizens’ quality of life. Ends

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Honorary doctorate awarded to world renowned creator of music scores for hit films and video games as university celebrates summer conferring  World renowned composer and conductor Eímear Noone was today awarded an honorary doctorate by NUI Galway.  The award-winning artist and creator of scores for 26 film and video game titles was conferred a Doctor of Music honoris causa at the university’s summer conferring. Almost 300 NUI Galway students were conferred at the ceremony. The largest cohort included more than 180 doctors who received their Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) degree. Eímear Noone said: “I am delighted to be getting this honorary Doctorate of Music and it’s particularly poignant that it’s the same year that the first students of the university’s Bachelor of Music are graduating from NUI Galway.  “To be honoured in my own home county, in Galway, is so meaningful and overwhelming. If I was to offer any advice to the graduates of today it’s this -  take the ‘don’t be bold’ that we are told as kids, and turn it on its head, and go out there and be bold.”  A world-renowned conductor and award-winning composer, Eímear Noone is based out of Los Angeles and Dublin. Originally from Kilconnell, Co Galway, she made history in 2020 when she became the first woman to conduct the orchestra at the Academy Awards.  Eímear Noone has composed extensively for film and video games. Her portfolio of scores for 26 film and video-game titles has reached more than 100 million people worldwide and has won multiple industry accolades including the Hollywood Music in Media Award for Best Video Game Score. The honorary conferring took place at a special graduation celebration for more than 150 former students who completed studies in 2021 and whose winter conferring was postponed, along with graduates who completed studies in 2020 and were conferred in absentia due to public health restrictions during the pandemic.  President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “On behalf of NUI Galway, I congratulate each of the graduates on their hard work and achievement in challenging times. We in NUI Galway are determined that this University will continue play its full part in developing graduates who make a profound difference in the world and for the world, and shape the future needs of our society. “I would also like to extend my congratulations to Eímear Noone. We are delighted to be able to recognise her outstanding contribution to the world of music and gaming.” Twelve Final Medical Medals were presented to seven graduates for their outstanding academic performance in the studies, with Dr Róisín Thornton from Corcullen, Co Galway receiving five medals. Every year the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences presents the medals to students who receive the highest grade in each subject area.  Ends

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Dochtúireacht oinigh bronnta ar dhuine a chuir ceol le mórscannáin agus le cluichí físeáin a bhfuil an-tóir orthu ag searmanas bronnta an tsamhraidh san Ollscoil  Bhronn OÉ Gaillimh dochtúireacht oinigh inniu ar Eímear Noone, cumadóir agus stiúrthóir a bhfuil clú agus cáil uirthi ar fud an domhain. Bronnadh Dochtúireacht le Ceol honoris causa ar an ealaíontóir seo a bhfuil go leor duaiseanna bainte aici agus a chuir ceol le 26 scannán agus cluiche físeáin ag searmanas bronnta an tsamhraidh san Ollscoil. Bronnadh a gcéim ar nach mór 300 mac léinn de chuid OÉ Gaillimh. Ina measc bhí breis agus 180 dochtúir ar bronnadh Baitsiléir Onóracha sa Leigheas, Baitsiléir sa Mháinliacht agus Baitsiléir sa Chnáimhseachas (MB, BCh, BAO) orthu. Is in Los Angeles agus i mBaile Átha Cliath atá cónaí ar Eímear Noone, stiúrthóir agus cumadóir a bhfuil go leor duaiseanna bainte aici. Is as Cill Chonaill, Co. na Gaillimhe, di ó dhúchas agus rinne sí gaisce in 2020 nuair a bhí sí ar an gcéad bhean a stiúir an cheolfhoireann ag ócáid bhronnta Ghradaim Acadamh Ealaíon agus Eolaíochtaí na Scannán (Academy Awards). Tá ceol cumtha ag Eímear Noone do réimse leathan scannán agus cluichí físeáin. Tá níos mó ná 100 milliún duine ar fud an domhain tar éis a portfóilió de scóir scannán agus cluichí físeáin a chloisteáil agus is iomaí gradam de chuid an tionscail sin atá buaite aici, Gradam Hollywood Music in Media don Scór is Fearr do Chluiche Físeáin ina measc. Rinneadh an bronnadh oinigh ag searmanas bronnta céime ceiliúrtha ar leith do níos mó ná 150 iar-mhac léinn a chríochnaigh a gcuid staidéir in 2021 agus ar cuireadh a mbronnadh geimhridh ar athló, agus do chéimithe a chríochnaigh a gcuid staidéir in 2020 agus ar bronnadh a gcéim orthu in absentia mar gheall ar shrianta poiblí le linn na paindéime.  Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Thar ceann OÉ Gaillimh, déanaim comhghairdeas le gach céimí as an obair chrua a rinne siad agus as a bhfuil bainte amach acu ainneoin na ndúshlán a bhí le sárú le tamall anuas. Táimidne in OÉ Gaillimh diongbháilte de go ndéanfaidh an Ollscoil seo a cion féin le céimithe a oiliúint a fhágfaidh a lorg ar an domhan trí chéile, agus a bheidh in ann freastal ar riachtanais ár sochaí amach anseo. “Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh le hEímear Noone chomh maith. Is mór againn a bheith in ann aitheantas a thabhairt don obair mhór atá déanta aici i saol an cheoil agus na gcluichí físeáin.” Bronnadh dhá cheann déag de Bhoinn don Bhliain Deiridh Leighis ar sheachtar céimithe as a fheabhas a d’éirigh leo i mbun staidéir. Bronnadh cúig cinn de na boinn sin ar Róisín Thornton as Corr Chuilinn, Co. na Gaillimhe.  Gach bliain bronnann Coláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte na boinn ar na mic léinn a fhaigheann an grád is airde i ngach réimse ábhair. Críoch

Friday, 10 June 2022

NUI Galway is celebrating the success of seven academics, researchers and graduates named among the 40 Fulbright Irish Awardees for 2022-2023. The Fulbright Programme in Ireland was established in 1957 and annually awards grants for Irish citizens to study, research, or teach in the US and for American citizens to do the same in Ireland. The seven NUI Galway Fulbright awardees are: Dr Sharon Glynn - Associate Professor in Pathology at the Lambe Institute for Translational Research at NUI Galway, and a Funded Investigator in CÚRAM. Dr Glynn’s Fulbright Scholar Award with be hosted at Houston Methodist Hospital Weill Cornell and is linked to breast cancer research. Dr Glynn will explore the use of multiplex spatial digital pathology to understand tumour microenvironment in patients with breast cancer responds to cancer therapy, and to identify factors that contribute to successful treatment response. She will also visit the Harper Cancer Center at Notre Dame University to build new collaborations.  Dara Kerins - Social scientist with a BSc (Applied Social Sciences) and Higher Diploma (Economic Science) from NUI Galway. Dara Kerrins has worked as a community development officer, a director/trustee of a marine conservation organisation, and an award-winning fundraiser for the humanitarian-aid organisation Concern, and has founded, and currently coordinates a sustainability initiative at NUI Galway entitled Glassary. Building upon his passion to help people through the development of a more safe, sustainable, and equitable world, he will use his Fulbright-EPA Award to undertake a Master’s programme in financial economics, before embarking upon a PhD in public policy in the years to come.  Dr Jenny Mc Sharry - Chartered Health Psychologist, lecturer in the School of Psychology and Assistant Director of the Health Behaviour Change Research Group at NUI Galway. As a Fulbright-HRB HealthImpact Scholar at City University New York, she will complete “Student Experiences of Health Psychology in the US (STEP-US): A mixed methods study with US Health Psychology doctoral students and programme leads”. The project will facilitate the development of international recommendations to support students from a diversity of backgrounds in training as Health Psychologists and to become the future leaders needed to address global healthcare challenges.  Dr Ruth Melia - Senior Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Lead at HSE Mid-West, and a researcher on the use of mobile health technology in suicide prevention at NUI Galway. She is Principal Investigator on the SafePlan trial, a National Office for Suicide Prevention-funded study of mobile-based safety planning within Irish mental health services. Ruth is an Adjunct Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at NUI Galway, and provides teaching and research supervision to psychologists across institutions. As a Fulbright-HRB HealthImpact Scholar, Ruth will further her work on the use of Artificial Intelligence in Suicide Prevention with researchers at the Joiner Lab, Florida State University.  Aoibhín Sheedy - PhD student in Biomedical Engineering and CÚRAM at NUI Galway. Her PhD is funded by the SFI LiFTETIME CDT Programme and investigates advanced immunotherapy and delivery strategies to treat ovarian cancer. As a Fulbright-Enterprise Ireland Awardee at the University of Minnesota, she will investigate the currently developed therapeutics at the Miller Lab through the device developed at the Dolan Lab in NUI Galway.  Ciara Shortiss - PhD student in the Anatomy Department and Regenerative Medicine Institute, NUI Galway. Funded by the Irish Research Council her research investigates viral gene therapy vectors to reduce the production of molecules in spinal cord injury scarring. The scar that forms after injury is one obstacle stopping nerve re-growth, preventing signals from being transmitted to and from the brain. Therapies that target multiple obstacles preventing regeneration show the most promise in treating spinal cord injury. As a Fulbright-Enterprise Ireland Awardee at the Neurobiology Lab, Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, Ciara will investigate combining her gene therapy with a biomaterial scaffold developed in the Mayo Clinic to further promote nerve growth after spinal cord injury.  Dr Eoin Whelan - Professor of Business Analytics and Society at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics in the NUI Galway. He is also a visiting professor at the Institute d’Economie Scientifique et de Gestion, France, and a visiting researcher at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. His research explores the psychology underlying engagement with interactive digital media. As a Fulbright-TechImpact Scholar in the summer of 2023, he will work alongside colleagues at the University of Colorado Boulder to determine if an abstinence from social media, commonly known as a digital detox, is an effective intervention strategy for promoting a healthy way of life for teenagers.  Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, NUI Galway President, said: “I would like to commend the seven awardees on their achievement. NUI Galway has a proud history of excellence in education and research, and the internationally-recognised Fulbright Awards are associated with excellence and prestige. We are proud to have them represent our university. Fulbright made a big difference to my academic, research career and, as a Fulbright alumnus, I wish our awardees the very best of success in the United States.” The Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Joe Hackett and the Deputy Chief of Mission, Alexandra McKnight, announced the Fulbright awardees on behalf of US Ambassador to Ireland Clare Cronin.  The next round of applications for Fulbright Irish Awards will open on August 31, 2022. Interested candidates should visit for more information. Ends

Thursday, 28 July 2022

NUI Galway has announced the recipients of the inaugural Dr Karzan Sabah D Ahmed Memorial Research Bursary, which was established to remember the researcher who died with his wife Shahen Qasm and their baby daughter Lina in a road accident in 2021.  The successful students are Aoife Murphy, from Loughrea, Co Galway, who has completed her BSc in Environmental Science, and Niamh Nolan, from Listowel, Co Kerry, who is a final year student of BSc in Environmental Science.  The students were awarded the summer scholarship created in partnership with NUI Galway and the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. Both students will undertake a three month research scholarship in High Nature Value farmland during the summer of 2022.  Andy Bleasdale, Director of Scientific Advice and Research, National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, said: "Honouring the memory and legacy of Karzan is particularly important to NPWS. We are delighted to partner with NUI Galway in developing the skills and expertise of new generation of ecologists, through research bursaries in High Nature Value farmland.” Speaking on behalf of NUI Galway, Julie Stafford, Director of Development, Community & Alumni Relations at the University, said: “We are delighted to partner with NPWS to remember Karzan, Shahen and Lina in such an appropriate way by continuing Karzan important work. Karzan was a great colleague and friend to many at NUI Galway and this bursary will continue his legacy. It is our hope that students who are awarded the bursary will contribute in a small way to continuing the legacy of Karzan at our university.” Ends

Friday, 15 July 2022

Eleven NUI Galway students from a multiplicity of disciplines are taking part in an intensive two-week professional development programme at Galway International Arts Festival (GIAF) this week. SELECTED is NUI Galway and Galway International Arts Festival’s professional development programme for emerging artists, theatre makers, curators and producers studying at NUI Galway. Previously open to NUI Galway students with an interest in the arts, including drama, film, music and writing, earlier this year it was expanded to students interested in business, including management, social media marketing and communications. The programme offers students an opportunity to see how the festival is put together, with intimate meetings with GIAF staff, international and Irish producers and creative entrepreneurs and artists. SELECTED students are also offered Festival Ambassador roles within the GIAF Volunteers' Programme, where they are immersed in all aspects of the festival and shown how to advise audiences in choosing the right shows for them. There are also given theoretical, practical, and GIAF-specific social media training to generate content delivery packages prior to the start of the festival. Commenting on this year’s programme, Rena Bryson, SELECTED Coordinator, said: “This year marks the return of live SELECTED events, making the experience for this group even more special. In the summers that we've missed the Big Top, spectacular theatre and innovative visual arts, we've grown to appreciate GIAF and what it brings to Galway even more. The programme offers a chance to really experience the creativity and teamwork behind the scenes, as well as take in high quality national and international art. It's a once in a lifetime experience this group will always remember.” Galway International Arts Festival CEO John Crumlish stated: “SELECTED is a key component of the partnership with NUI Galway and is now an important part of the festival. We are now seeing SELECTED alumni coming back to the festival in companies that are in the programme, which is a very positive outcome and something we intend to build on further.” Professor Patrick Lonergan, NUI Galway Vice-Dean for Engagement in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, described SELECTED as a key example of the university’s approach to working with external partners. “Galway International Arts Festival is one of the world’s greatest arts festivals. Giving our students the chance to learn from international experts allows them to form ambitions that are equally focussed on the local and the global. GIAF’s rigour, professionalism and creativity is a true inspiration to the next generation of artists, audiences, and creative entrepreneurs,” Professor Lonergan said. Galway International Arts Festival acknowledges the support of its principal funding agencies, The Arts Council and Fáilte Ireland, Galway City Council, its Education Partner NUI Galway, its Energy Partner Flogas, and Drinks Partner Heineken®.  Ends

Wednesday, 13 July 2022

Six Master of Laws (LLM) students from the Irish Centre for Human Rights in NUI Galway have launched a five-episode podcast series titled ‘My Country is My Prison’.  The podcast series aims to promote awareness of human rights violations perpetrated against women and children in Ireland’s institutions in the 20th century, using international human rights law as an illustrative framework. The podcast is a continuation of the memoralisation project students completed with Mary Harney for the Human Rights Clinic since 2019 to ensure that the history of these institutions is not forgotten. The podcast joins the Open Heart City website which compiles relevant information and analysis, and a lesson plan for teachers.  The Master in Laws students who developed the podcast series are Emily Williams, Fernanda Souza, Holly Hayes, James Spillane, Maria Tapias Serrano and Shauna Joyce. The goal of the podcast is to provide a comprehensive overview of the institutions, the human rights violations (including how they continue today) and how transitional justice can be used for Ireland to respond to these egregious and systematic human rights violations.  Episode 1 discusses the history of Ireland’s institutions and how the repercussions of their human rights violations influence politics and public policy today.  Episode 2 examines illegal adoptions in Ireland, the right to identity and how the effects of Ireland’s illegal adoptions remain present today with a discussion of the Birth Information and Tracing Bill.  Episode 3 focuses on how children were confined in the system of industrial schools.  Episode 4 explores the institutions that targeted women: Magdalene Laundries and Mother and Baby Institutions.  Episode 5 reviews Ireland’s obligations to provide remedies and the steps that must be taken now to prevent the institutional abuses from re-occurring. All five episodes, along with two bonus episodes that feature the full length interviews conducted with survivor Elizabeth Coppin and Dr Conor O’Mahony, Special Rapporteur on Child Protection to Government of Ireland, 2019-22, are now available to listen to on Spotify: In conjunction with the podcast release, the students will host a conference for Irish secondary school teachers in October 2022. Hosted in partnership with a cross-sectional group of academics, activists and teachers from the Irish Centre for Human Rights, the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies and Waterford Institute of Technology, the conference will focus on why this history should be taught in schools and how it may be implemented in Transition Year classrooms. Drawing upon lesson plans already designed and implemented in schools, the conference is intended to facilitate discussion among teachers and to draw, in particular, on first-hand experiences of other teachers, as well as the testimonies of survivors of the institutions, to demonstrate the importance of memorialisation through education.  The conference will be an all-day event hosted on the NUI Galway campus, with a range of speakers and workshops throughout the day.  For further information about the conference please contact Shauna Joyce, To listen to the podcast online go to Instagram: @mycountryismyprisonpodcast, and on Twitter: @mcimp_podcast,  For more information about the podcast contact Emily Williams, NUI Galway at and 087 1737402, or Maria Tapias Serrano at and +34 690 23 22 49. Ends

Tuesday, 12 July 2022

Researchers at NUI Galway have discovered a coral in the Atlantic Ocean which contains a potential wonder drug chemical compound that acts against the virus responsible for Covid-19.  The cauliflower coral, so named due to its colour, shape and structure, was found on the seabed about half a mile below the surface on the edge of Ireland’s continental shelf. It contains a previously unknown chemical compound. Professor Louise Allcock, Professor of Zoology at NUI Galway, said: “While we did not set out to find this specific species, we were hunting for corals, especially soft corals, because of their potential in bio-discovery. "Nature never ceases to amaze - to think that a coral, which spends its life on the sea bed and is never exposed to viruses and diseases which affect humanity so profoundly, has the potential to influence treatments and therapies. Drug development is a lengthy process, but the first step is finding the magic compounds with bio-reactivity in the laboratory.” Professor Allcock is Director of the Ryan Institute’s Centre for Ocean Research & Exploration (COREx) at NUI Galway. As part of a research project funded by Science Foundation Ireland, she deploys the ROV Holland I submarine from RV Celtic Explorer to hunt for deep-sea corals and sponges which may have novel chemical compounds with pharmaceutical potential. The research into the chemical make-up of the cauliflower coral is being conducted in partnership with South Florida University in the US.  The compound isolated has been named "tuaimenal". The word is a portmanteau - blending "tuaim", alluding to “tuaimneacha” as used in old Irish to describe the sounds of the sea, and “enal”, which is a chemistry term for a compound with an alkene aldehyde functional group. Tuaimenal A was discovered to block the major enzyme of the Covid-19 virus, known as Main Protease, which is responsible for the manufacture of virus particles inside the infected cell. Dr Carolina De Marco Verissimo of the Molecular Parasitology Laboratory at NUI Galway carried out detailed study of the coral-derived Tuaimenal and how it interacts with the Covid-19 enzyme.  She said: “Tuaimenal A represents what we term in science as a ‘lead compound’ – that is, a basic structure from which scientists can produce more potent and specific drugs that could be used for the treatment of Covid-19 and perhaps other viruses.” The complete work was recently published and can be accessed fully at: Ends

Monday, 11 July 2022

NUI Galway and HSE collaborate to analyse patient and service user complaints to identify ‘hot spots’ and ‘blind spots’ in healthcare delivery to better target service improvements A new collaborative project by researchers at NUI Galway and the HSE has evaluated acute healthcare services and complaints to identify growing problems as well as opportunities for improvements in clinical safety and quality. This study is the first national and systematic study of healthcare complaints, and was conducted during the last quarter of 2019. Using the London School of Economics Healthcare Complaints Audit Tool (HCAT), an innovative and internationally recognised method of classifying complaints, the study identified key issues that those who use healthcare services complain about. Analysis of patient complaints about hospital care found that more than one-in-four issues relate to situations while the patient is receiving care on the ward. Other common complaints related to accessing appointments, treatment, safety, and cleanliness of hospital environments. Dr Paul O’Connor, Senior Lecturer in Primary Care at the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at NUI Galway and Research Director of the Irish Centre for Applied Patient Safety and Simulation, said: “By examining trends in complaints our research team has identified where healthcare quality improvement efforts should be focused. “Using HCAT to analyse complaints helped us to identify hot spots - where problems occur most frequently or cause major impact- and blind spots - where problems occur but cannot be easily observed by healthcare staff. The findings can positively impact healthcare by guiding us and the health service to prioritise the issues in relation to patient safety and focus quality of care improvement efforts. “The research has shown that there is potential for patient complaints to be used as a source of information for identifying where safety and quality improvement efforts are needed.”  Welcoming the study Chris Rudland, Assistant National Director, National Complaints Governance and Learning Team, HSE said “Using data such as complaints from patients and family members ensures their voices are represented in service improvements. This joint research initiative with NUI Galway can help develop how the HSE analyses and learns from patient complaints and can guide ongoing quality improvement initiatives in our hospitals to improve patient experience. “The HSE is committed to ensuring that improving patient experience continues to be a key focus for us all throughout the healthcare system. HSE services encourage patient feedback through our complaints and feedback policy, and through other initiatives such as the National Inpatient Experience Survey. Listening to patients and asking them for feedback is a central tenet of improving patient care and the hospital experience for patients and their loved ones. “It is encouraging to note that in the most recent National Inpatient Experience Survey findings, 83% of our patients rated their overall hospital experience in hospitals as “good” or “very good”. Many of our hospitals now have patient liaison and patient advocacy services in place to support patients throughout their time in our care.” The research included a number of recommendations: Institutional process issues were the most prevalent in the complaints, and the system/hospitals should focus on improving the issues raised in these complaints. High-severity complaints, and those perceived by patients as being of high harm, need to be prioritised and used alongside other data in order to improve patient safety.  Stakeholder workshops with healthcare staff and patients should be used to identify useful and feasible solutions to improve safety and quality from issues identified in patient and service user complaints. Dr Paul O’Connor added: “The next steps will be to work with healthcare providers, managers, and policymakers to support tangible improvements in patient care based on the findings of our complaints analysis.”  The report is available at: Ends

Friday, 8 July 2022

Celebrating student entrepreneurs Start100 showcase allows students to pitch investible ideas and innovations IdeasLab, the entrepreneurial and innovation hub at NUI Galway, has announced ICTUS Medical and IRIS as the inaugural Start100 winners for 2022.  ICTUS Medical received the overall award for Start100, with IRIS receiving the One to Watch award. Nine teams of students presented at a special showcase event bringing their innovative ideas to a panel of judges from the worlds of academia, research, industry and enterprise after an intensive six week programme hosted by IdeasLab. IdeasLab launched their new student incubator programme, Start100 earlier this year. Start100 helps students with an early-stage concept to transform their ideas into potentially investible innovations.  The Start100 programme provides physical space, key networking opportunities, expert mentorship from alumni and enterprise, as well as a support fund of over €40,000. Students have access to funds to research and develop their idea throughout the programme and have the chance to win a final event prize fund to kick-start their innovation journey.  Start100 offers students the opportunity to connect with expert mentors and speakers spanning sectors including medical devices, creative production, agritech, consumer technology and wellbeing.  The programme has connected students into the thriving community of innovators and entrepreneurs in the West of Ireland, including BioInnovate Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Westbic, Galway City Innovation District and the Local Enterprise Offices and has been supported by companies in the region including Mbroynics, Boston Scientific, Aerogen, Medtronic, SAP, Galway International Arts Festival, Channel Mechanics, Veryan and Orreco. President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh launched the showcase event. “At NUI Galway, our values - respect, openness, excellence and sustainability - are what define us and more importantly we strive to see them become not just words but actions and deeds. Supporting students on a journey of societal impact through enterprising ideas is part of that mission for the public good. It’s a great encouragement to see young people finding solutions to problems through innovation, ideas and solutions and also to see them being supported in that journey by our educators, our university community, and our civic and business networks,” Professor Ó hÓgartaigh said. ICTUS Medical is spearheaded by Peter Best-Lydon and Ciarán McDermott. Peter, a Galway native and recently graduated NUI Galway Biomedical Engineering student, and Ciarán, an NUI Galway Electronic Engineering final year student, are developing a painless monitoring device that empowers stroke survivors to take control of their health by detecting sleeping strokes.  Speaking on behalf of ICTUS Medical Peter Best-Lydon said: “We are absolutely delighted to win. Start100 has been a massive help to us with all of the connections that we have made. There is a buzz every week in IdeasLab and it was great to get a sense of working in a start-up. We are really looking forward to making a significant impact to the patient.’’ The One to Watch prize was awarded to IRIS, which was co-founded by Keelan Rowley and Michael Dillon, both recent graduates of NUI Galway’s BSc in Project and Construction Management. IRIS is a safety device that helps detect the presence of people and animals from machinery like Tractors, Diggers, Dumpers. A cost effective device that saves lives and families. Winning this award will allow Michael and Keelan to focus on prototyping and validating their idea.  The difficult decision of selecting the most investable idea was made by a diverse judging panel representing some of Irelands best and brightest entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and academics. The panel for the final showcase included: Dr Helen McBreen, Partner Atlantic Bridge; Professor Michelle Millar, Dean of Students at NUI Galway; Dr Paul Dodd, Vice President Engagement, NUI Galway; Dr Vanessa Creaven Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Spotlight Oral Care; and Finn Hegarty, Co-Founder and Chief Procurement Officer at GloFox, and NUI Galway graduate.   Dr Natalie Walsh, Director of Entrepreneurial Development at NUI Galway, said: “In recent years, we have seen some fantastic student entrepreneurs create global businesses in the west of Ireland.  Through Start100 we now have a platform to support more students to achieve this type of success through the creation of commercial and social enterprises. Start100 is the first student incubator to launch in the University, designed with former and current students, our alumni and enterprise partners, we are incredibly proud to see Start100 come to life on our campus.” A summary of nine projects showcased at the event included: I Said Speak - An information awareness video that delves into Ireland’s drink culture among students  Receipt Relay - A customer insights software for retail and hospitality chains using point of sale and consumer app integrations IRIS - A safety device that helps detect the presence of people and animals from farm machinery – saving lives and families Matán Marketing - Digital marketing for gyms Scrunch-UP - An anti-spike scrunchie for university students ThoughtGarden – Self-administered CBT mobile game to reduce anxiety and depression - A data-driven e-commerce agency that builds and optimises high-performance Shopify stores - An application that facilitates the remote capture of patient's foot scan data using just a smart phone ICTUS Medical - A painless monitoring device that empowers stroke survivors to take control of their health by detecting sleeping strokes For more information visit  Ends

Thursday, 7 July 2022

Eight NUI Galway students were among a special group of inspirational young people presented with the Gaisce Gold Award by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins recently for their civic engagement and personal development. The students, Catherine Mohan, Ciara McDaid, Erin Shimizu, Jason Sherlock, Kirsty Moran, Odhran Wheelan, Sinéad Reidy, and Orla Masterson, volunteered hundreds of hours with a variety of nonprofit organisations including Ability West, SVP, Barretstown Childrens Camps, Tidy Towns and Childline, as well as undertaking student leadership roles working towards inclusion and diversity.   The CEO of Gaisce, Yvonne McKenna said: “Gaisce – The President’s Award is unique in the sense that it encourages young people to set their own personal development goals within a framework that allows them to achieve them and contribute to their communities in their own way. “Every single day I am inspired by the courage, the energy and the commitment of young people doing their Gaisce Award, and I am so thrilled we are getting to celebrate the breadth of their achievements, from tackling global challenges like biodiversity to local supports for neighbours in need, young people are consistently push themselves for others.” Gaisce – the President’s Award is a programme that aims to foster and develop young people's potential. It is a guided and supported framework that is provided for young people aged 14 -25 to explore their natural skills and gain confidence and wellbeing through participation in personal, physical and community challenges. Lorraine Tansey, NUI Galway’s President’s Award Leader, said: “Throughout the pandemic students committed to undertaking the Gaisce award challenge in their communities volunteering and building their mental and physical health skills. We are inspired by the commitment students made and look forward to building on their leadership offering students continued civic learning opportunities with our university community partners.”  Ends

Thursday, 7 July 2022

President of NUI Galway Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh has been announced as the new President of Universities Ireland Council. Universities Ireland was founded in 2003 by the nine university presidents on the island of Ireland to promote and develop cooperation between their institutions on a cross-border basis. The council brings together, at the highest level, the academic and administrative leaders of all the universities in Ireland, identifying the need for an all-island structure through which they can cooperate on issues of higher education policy and act together to influence change such as supporting peace and reconciliation.   Professor Ó hÓgartaigh said: “Co-operation is central to the future of universities and their continued potential to make a difference to society and our economy, for the public good. Creating communities of scholars and students contributes to a greater understanding of each other’s challenges and a greater impetus to grasp together the opportunities that face us all. As we navigate a set of relationships in transition, we recognise that the issues we face are increasingly complex, cross-disciplinary and inter-generational.  “Research and teaching – universities on the island of Ireland – have a particular role to play in helping us to navigate social and economic change. These are better addressed together than apart. We are a small island on the edge of Europe but at the centre of things, between continents. Valuing each other’s traditions, we look forward to working together - thegither – le chéile – with all our stakeholders, North and South, East and West, in further strengthening the ties that bind us and the future that we shape and share together.” Professor Ó hÓgartaigh’s appointment was confirmed at a meeting of the Universities Ireland Council in the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin yesterday. He takes on the role at a crucial time for the populations in both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland, with continued challenges and opportunities which have shared solutions on the island of Ireland in areas such as health, housing and the environment.  Universities Ireland will act as a catalyst for all-island collaboration between universities to accelerate the recovery, and to strengthen positive North-South relations and East-West relations at a time of transition politically and economically. As a network, it provides a unique structure within which the universities can liaise at the highest level and through which there can be North-South cooperation that adds value to the education systems on both sides of the border. Through Universities Ireland the institutions cooperate on a wide range of issues related to higher education policy as well as to act jointly.  Ends

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Galway International Arts Festival and its Education Partner NUI Galway are delighted to announce that they have been shortlisted in the Best Long-Term Partnership category of the Business to Arts Awards 2022.  The shortlisting, which was announced this morning, acknowledges the long-standing partnership between the two bodies, which sees the parties collaborate across education, culture and vision.  The partners have collaborated on the creation and delivery of postgraduate courses in Creative Arts Management and the SELECTED internship programme, which educate the next generation of arts professionals.  The partnership also covers GIAF’s very successful volunteer programme, which, with a recruitment of 1,000 volunteers in a ‘normal’ year, is integral to the delivery of the festival.  In terms of culture, GIAF has assisted NUI Galway in establishing itself as a Cultural Campus, with an increasing number of productions presented on campus and NUI Galway associated with award-winning productions, bringing an average of 80,000 visitors to campus each year.  GIAF and NUI Galway collaborate by playing a central role in re-imagining Galway, defining the landscape in which NUI Galway graduates operate by supporting new career pathways, and pursuing a creative industries development strategy. GIAF and NUI Galway also activate the partnership via an archive agreement, whereby the college holds GIAF’s archives. The partners are also collaborating to create oral histories of the festival, kicking off earlier this year with a podcast on the making and staging of GIAF’s major artwork Mirror Pavilion during the global Covid pandemic. Commenting on the announcement, GIAF CEO John Crumlish said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for the award and have the partnership recognised in this way. The relationship with NUI Galway is a very valuable one, which has grown significantly in recent years. It plays a role in the development of the next generation of artists and arts producers while also facilitating the development of a best practice volunteer programme. It provides a very valuable resource for GIAF and also helps inform our thinking as to what a festival can be.” NUI Galway Vice-Dean for Engagement, Patrick Lonergan said: “At a time when NUI Galway is focussing on the links between the arts, business, and our communities, our relationship with Galway International Arts Festival is ever more important. Being shortlisted for a Business to Arts award is a huge honour - and a huge boost to our joint efforts to transform the cultural landscape of Galway, the west of Ireland, and the nation.” Galway International Arts Festival 2022 kicks off next Monday, 11th July. Back to full size, the festival will take over the city once more with a huge programme of events spread across various locations and venues until 24 July. 16% of the shows will take place on the college campus.  Ends

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Users can see funding and services provided by the 31 local authorities Researchers from the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway have launched the 2022 edition of the local authority finances website. Compiled by economics lecturers Dr Gerard Turley and Stephen McNena, the 2022 local authority budgeted income and expenditure data are available on the online platform Aimed at improving the transparency and accountability of local authorities, users of the interactive website can discover the different sources of local council funding, from commercial rates, residential property tax, charges and fees, and central government grants. Users can also see the services provided by the 31 local authorities, including, for example, spending on social housing, local and regional roads, fire and library services, and public parks and amenities. Users can view the income and spending of their own local council, or they can compare to other local councils. Dr Gerard Turley notes: “Local authorities plan to spend over €6 billion in 2022. To date, this is the largest day-to-day spending by the local government sector in Ireland. During the years of the Covid-19 pandemic, higher levels of council spending have been supported by central government grants, in the form of increased specific-purpose transfers but also compensation payments for loss of income from rates and charges adversely affected by government restrictions. The website allows citizens to see how this six billion euro of taxpayers’ money is spent locally. “A goal of any university is to contribute to place and to wider society. As NUI Galway’s mission is for the public good, this project is aimed at promoting more informed public policy choices and decisions, by making local authority budgets easier for voters and citizens to access and understand.” On using the interactive web application, Stephen McNena advises: “Users should click on the council spending or council income weblinks and then choose a local authority to find out where your money is spent, and where it comes from. The data are presented in a user-friendly way, and expressed in euros, euros per person or as a share of the local authority budget. Everything from spending on planning and local development to the operation of leisure facilities is listed, and on the income side, revenue from the Local Property Tax (LPT) to fees and charges for local services.” At the aggregated level, some of the highlights from the 2022 data are as follows: -          Dublin City Council’s revenue budget exceeds €1.1 billion; -          The smallest budget is €44 million, for Leitrim County Council; -          Expenditure per person varies from €794 for Kildare County Council to €2,038 for Dublin City Council; -          Spending on housing and roads are the two largest local service divisions, with housing supports the single biggest expenditure item; -          Central government grants constitute the largest share of local government funding, at 40 per cent and rising, with the smallest share from the LPT at less than 7 per cent and falling. To find out more about your local authority’s budget for 2022, visit For further information contact the authors at or Ends

Monday, 4 July 2022

University to develop roadmap to create safe, legal routes for displaced people to study in Ireland NUI Galway has joined forces with the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, on a pioneering initiative to create opportunities for refugee students to come to Ireland to study. The University is taking part in the EU-PASSWORLD project, with a specific focus on developing a roadmap to create new, safe and legal routes for displaced people to secure education scholarships in Ireland.  The aim is for NUI Galway to offer the first higher education scholarship to a refugee by the end of the year. UNHCR and NUI Galway aim to create a roadmap for other higher education institutions in the country to follow as the project expands. Only 5 percent of refugees have access to higher education worldwide, according to UNHCR, which has an enrolment target of 15 percent of young refugee women and men in higher and further education by 2030.  President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “We have a responsibility to provide access and formal education pathways to support a refugee’s educational ambitions and skills development. The EU-PASSWORLD project provides a platform for educators, employers and the community to work together towards a sustainable solution.” The EU-PASSWORLD project runs from 2022-2024 and is funded by the EU’s Asylum, Migration & Integration Fund (AMIF). National coordination of the project is being led by UNHCR Ireland and Nasc, the Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre. It builds on other successful programmes from Italy, Germany and Canada, which have seen thousands of refugees arrive to work and study.  UNHCR will support third level institutions to establish dedicated application procedures in certain refugee hosting countries. When refugees arrive in Ireland through the project, they will receive wrap-around integration support from members of their community, through a national programme called community sponsorship. This form of integration has been noted for improving outcomes for refugees, enriching and strengthening host communities, in addition to improving narratives towards refugees and migration. Professor Ó hÓgartaigh added: “Our partnership with the EU-PASSWORLD project seeks to provide such educational opportunities through our University of Sanctuary commitments, which in turn will enrich our student experience through diversity and internationalisation. The EU-PASSWORLD project reflects our values of respect, openness, inclusivity and sustainability through increased social responsibility and a commitment to humanitarianism while creating a more welcoming society. “In collaboration with our industry partners, this initiative also aligns with our commitments to broaden access through the provision of Medtronic funded University of Sanctuary scholarships and Merit Medical’s support of the Youth Academy programme which offers 25% of places on a scholarship basis to participants from DEIS schools.” Enda O’Neill, Head of UNHCR Ireland said: “NUI Galway is leading the way by pioneering this innovative refugee scholarship programme. Access to education is a fundamental human right and by establishing this first scholarship, NUI Galway truly demonstrates its commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.  “We hope this will inspire other universities to do the same. We can all help to broaden the response to refugee situations, while also benefitting from the richness that refugee students bring to university life.” NUI Galway’s involvement in the EU PASSWORLD project is led by Associate Professor Mary Dempsey, Vice Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the College of Science and Engineering and Dr Andrew Flaus, Vice Dean for International in the College of Science and Engineering. It is supported by Aidan Harte, co-ordinator of the University of Sanctuary initiative at NUI Galway.  It follows the signing of the Manifesto on Expanding Refugee Tertiary Education Pathways in Europe by Professor Ó hÓgartaigh in May of this year. This manifesto underpins NUI Galway’s commitment to work towards common advocacy, strategies, and the design of operational frameworks to further expand and create tertiary education pathways for refugees in Europe. Ends

Tuesday, 30 August 2022

Three NUI Galway researchers have secured funding as part of a new collaborative initiative between Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Irish Research Council (IRC) to support Ireland’s emerging research talent. The announcement of an investment of €28.5 million was made by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris today.   The SFI-IRC Pathway programme aims to support early career research across all disciplines and to encourage interdisciplinary approaches. Professor Jim Livesey, Vice President for Research and Innovation, NUI Galway, said: “I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to our researchers on being awarded the SFI-IRC Pathway funding for their innovate projects. This initiative allows researchers to develop the essential skills and experience necessary to become research leaders of the future, and I would like to thank the Irish Research Council, Science Foundation Ireland and the Government for supporting these important research projects.” Under the new partnership programme, one NUI Galway project will be supported in the area of STEM - science, technology, engineering and maths, with two supported in arts, humanities and social sciences. Each of the NUI Galway projects is supported with a research grant in the region of €500,000 over four years and support the appointment of a postgraduate student. :: Dr Eavan O’Dochartaigh - Exploring the Arctic Archive: Recovering Documentary Visual and Literary Sources of the Circumpolar North in the Long 19th Century. This project will explore the images and associated texts documenting the western Arctic environment - Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and the Nordic countries, during the period of intense exploration from 1789-1914. It will involve archival research in museums, institutes, and libraries around the world to recover little-known drawings, sketches, and small paintings. Such documents show biodiverse and inhabited places that sharply contrast with the icy realm in people’s imaginations. The work will use archival resources to challenge the persistent image of the Arctic as a “frozen wasteland” and aims to increase public understanding of the region. :: Dr Jane Conway - Characterizing the contribution of metacognitive deficits to socio-cognitive impairments in neurodevelopmental and mental health disorders. Social misjudgements can have negative outcomes, from momentary awkwardness to chronic problems that affect one’s health and wellbeing. Difficulties in understanding other people’s thoughts and feelings are a symptom of many neurodevelopmental and mental health disorders. However, making a mistake but realising that you have made an error is a step towards more accurate social inferences. This ability to evaluate the reliability of your own thoughts is called metacognition. This project examines the role metacognition plays in social skills by studying its relationship with mental health problems, and by investigating whether metacognitive training improves social judgements. :: Dr Alison Connolly - EIRE - nEonicotinoid Insecticide exposuREs: an environmental and occupational exposure study of neonicotinoid insecticides. Neonicotinoid insecticides (NNIs) are used intensively worldwide, and there are growing concerns regarding their possible adverse health effects on humans, as minimal information is available about the magnitude of NNI exposures. This study aims to measure NNI exposures among gardeners working with these products, their families, bystanders and the general population. The research requires the refinement of an analytical method to measure NNIs and their breakdown products in human urine. EIRE will revolutionise our understanding of human NNI exposures and their pathways and stimulate intervention development, such as public health policy, to eliminate or reduce exposures.  Ends

Monday, 29 August 2022

As part of NUI Galway’s Autumn Conferring, which saw more than 1,700 graduates return to campus, the University today recognised and celebrated one of the oldest graduates to have attended a conferring ceremony. Frank Feely, a retired teacher and politician, completed a Bachelor of Arts in History, Irish and English in the late 1950s but did not have the opportunity to attend his graduation ceremony. NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh welcomed Mr Feely back to campus and to the stage to be recognised and celebrated alongside his granddaughter Tara Savage, who was conferred with a Bachelor of Arts. Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, NUI Galway President, said: “All of us at the University are honoured to be able to recognise Frank Feely after all these years and in a special way on the day that his granddaughter Tara Savage is conferred. I am aware of Mr Feely’s regret at not being able to attend his own graduation ceremony with his classmates and it is a great delight that we got to play a small part in his celebration as he took to the stage with his granddaughter today.” Born in Kiltimagh, Co Mayo in 1937, Mr Feely was one of the youngest ever students to attend the University having commenced his studies in October 1955 aged 17. He earned a place after successfully completing the Matric Entrance Examination a year early as part of his studies as a boarder at St Nathy's College, Ballaghadereen, Co Roscommon. Mr Feely secured a role as a teacher in St Colman's College, Newry, within weeks of completing his degree and he went on to be Head of History in the school. In 1968, Mr Feely became involved in politics and the Civil Rights Movement and the foundation of the SDLP, remained involved in politics being elected the First Mayor of Newry and also being part of negotiations for the Good Friday Agreement.  Mr Feely’s political endeavours for peace in the North have been acknowledged in an exhibition in the museum in his home town of Kiltimagh. Mr Feely said: “I am very happy and incredibly grateful to be able to share this wonderful occasion with my granddaughter Tara. I loved the ceremony and to see the large number of people there today. When I was here in the 1950’s there was only a few hundred of students studying altogether, and most were male, but today about 70% were female so it’s fantastic to see the developments that have happened over the years. I would like to thank my family, the University and Tara for organising to allow me to come today and participate in the ceremony. It was well worth waiting over 60 years.” Tara said: “It has been a couple of months in the planning so it was great to be able to finally see it happen and to unveil the big surprise to him. It is such a special day, made even more special by being able to share it with granddad.” Now aged 84 Mr Feely and his wife Ella still lives in Newry, where they raised their three children, daughter Noreen and sons Kieran and Niall. The conferring celebrations for undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD degrees took place from Thursday August 25, to Monday August 29.  Ends

Monday, 29 August 2022

NUI Galway study shows Noble False Widow spider venom 230 times more potent than that of native spiders  A team of scientists from the Ryan Institute in NUI Galway has found that not only is the venom of the Noble False Widow much more potent than any of the common Northern European spiders they tested, but the spider is also able to adapt its attacking behaviour to prevail in different battle scenarios. In a bid to understand why the Noble False Widow spider is so successful at spreading in towns and cities throughout the world, the team investigated the potency of its venom and compared it with the venom of some of the native spiders it competes with for available resources.  The new study, published in the international journal Toxins, demonstrates that the Noble False Widow spider possesses venom up to 230 times more potent than that of native Northern European species it routinely encounters in and around our homes.  This may explain why Noble False Widows can tackle a range of organisms much larger than themselves, including lizards, bats, shrews, and other spiders. The study also found that Noble False Widows can make calculated decisions on whether to attack large or small prey depending on how much venom is left in their venom glands. If little venom is available, they avoid facing large opponents that could injure them, and instead focus on small prey.  Scientists also demonstrate that in a battle, the Noble False Widow does not inject its venom randomly, but instead targets the most innervated body parts of its enemy, where the neurotoxic venom is most efficient.  Overall, the Noble False Widow spider killed and ate 95% of its opponents over the course of the study. The Noble False Widow is known for its medical significance, having the ability to cause a range of mild to severe symptoms in people who are bitten, but little is known about its ecological impact on native species.  Over the past five years, the team at the University’s Venom Systems Lab, led by Dr Michel Dugon, have been studying a wide range of characteristics specific to the species including its venom, symptoms after envenomation, ecology and behaviour.  Dr Dugon, senior author of the study, said: “Over the years, we have learned a lot about the Noble false widow and its venom. This study is another important step to understand the true impact this species has on the ecosystems it invades throughout the world.” Dr John Dunbar, Irish Research Council Post-Doctoral fellow, Venom Systems Lab, Ryan Institute, NUI Galway and co-senior author of the study, said: “The Noble False Widow spider is a truly remarkable animal; at every turn this species has surprised us in its ability to become globally invasive and dominate habitats it occupies. The tiniest amounts of venom - about 1,000th of a raindrop - can cause medically significant symptoms in humans that are about 250,000 times larger than them. Each new study brings us closer to understanding how exactly they are achieving their success.” Originating from Madeira and the Canary Islands, the Noble False Widow spider Steatoda nobilis has the potential to become one of the world’s most invasive species of spider.  It was first reported in southern England in 1879. In recent decades it has increased its range and population density, spreading northwards towards Scotland and westward through Wales and Ireland. In that time the species has also spread globally across Europe, East Asia, North America, and South America.  Joint first author of the study and NUI Galway graduate, Sean Rayner, said: “Over the past number of years we have seen a noticeable increase in Irish populations of Noble False Widow. This study will help us further understand what makes them so successful and hopefully highlight their potential impact to our ecosystems.” Aiste Vitkauskaite, researcher at the Venom Systems Lab and a joint-first author of the study, said: “This is an important study which provided evidence of the Noble False Widow's superiority as a competitor in terms of its venom and predatory strategies against the native spider populations in the laboratory setting. We are hoping that our findings will lead to wider field-based studies to quantify the true impact of this alien species on native arachnids.” The team of scientists are encouraging members of the public to email them at to report sightings of the Noble False Widow spider. Read the full study in Toxins here: Ends

Thursday, 25 August 2022

Tá an tríú bliain de Scéim Iasachta na Ríomhairí Glúine do mhic léinn lánaimseartha agus páirtaimseartha fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh. Glacfar le hiarratais don scéim ón lá inniu go dtí Dé Sathairn, an 15 Deireadh Fómhair 2022. Bhain corradh agus 960 mac léinn leas as Scéim Iasachta Ríomhairí Glúine OÉ Gaillimh le dhá bhliain anuas. Is cuid de phacáiste an scéim chun tacú le mic léinn faoi mhíbhuntáiste lena staidéir trí ríomhaire glúine a chur ar fáil do mhic léinn incháilithe ar iasacht fadtéarma a fhad is a mhairfidh a dtréimhse mar mhic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh. Seo mar a labhair Imelda Byrne, Ceann an Ionaid Rochtana in OÉ Gaillimh: “Ní beag an costas ríomhaire glúine a cheannach i gcás teaghlaigh ar ioncam íseal, agus ní féidir le mic léinn a bheith páirteach go hiomlán sa chóras oideachais dá uireasa. Is mór ag an Ollscoil luachanna na hoscailteachta agus bairr feabhais, agus tuigimid go bhfuil i gceist leis sin ní díreach rochtain ar oideachas tríú leibhéal ach an tacaíocht agus na hacmhainní atá de dhíth le go mbeidh duine in ann tabhairt faoina gcuid staidéar i gceart. “Rinne an scéim seo éascaíocht dúinn gléas digiteach a chur ar fáil go cothrom do mhic léinn arb as teaghlaigh ar ioncam íseal iad mar aon le mic léinn arb as grúpaí iad nach mbeadh traidisiún láidir acu freastal ar oideachas tríú leibhéal, agus ar an gcaoi sin an t-ualach airgeadais atá orthu a laghdú.” Seo mar a labhair Caroline O’Toole, mac léinn le hEolaíocht Bhithleighis in OÉ Gaillimh, a fuair a ríomhaire glúine faoin scéim: “’Aoibhinn beatha an scoláire’ a deirtear, ach bíonn dúshláin le sárú chomh maith agus ina measc siúd tá easpa airgid, agus gan a bheith in ann íoc as soláthairtí scoile. Bhí sé sin amhlaidh i mo chás. Ba mhór an faoiseamh é nuair a chuala mé faoi scéim iasachta na ríomhairí glúine, agus d’éirigh liom ríomhaire glúine a fháil ar feadh thréimhse mo chéime. Bhain sé an brú díom. Bhí cúnamh ag teastáil uaim, agus éisteadh liom.” Déantar incháilitheacht don scéim a rangú ar bhunús riachtanais an iarratasóra. Tá mic léinn arb as teaghlaigh ar ioncam íseal iad nó na spriocghrúpaí aitheanta atá in ann a thaispeáint nach bhfuil sé d’acmhainn acu ná ag a dteaghlach a leithéid de ghléas a cheannach, i dteideal iarratas a dhéanamh faoin scéim. Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoin scéim, na critéir agus an próiseas iarratais, téigh chuig: Críoch

Tuesday, 23 August 2022

NUI Galway has announced a third year of the Laptop Loan Scheme for full-time and part-time students. Applications for the scheme are being accepted from today until Saturday October 15, 2022. Over 960 students benefitted from the NUI Galway Laptop Loan Scheme over the last two years. The scheme is part of a package to support disadvantaged students by providing eligible students with a laptop, on long-term loan, to help them with studies for as long as they are students at NUI Galway. Imelda Byrne, Head of the Access Centre at NUI Galway, said: “Purchasing a laptop can be a significant financial consideration for low-income households and a barrier to students participating fully in their education. The University values openness and excellence and we understand that means students not only accessing third-level education but having the supports and resources necessary to participate in their studies to the best of their abilities.  “This scheme allowed us to provide students from low-income households and students who would not traditionally be well represented at third-level with equal access to a digital device and to reduce their financial burden.” NUI Galway Biomedical Science student Caroline O'Toole, who received a laptop under the scheme, said: "Being a student is an exciting and fun journey but also it can come with some challenges, for example financial issues, not being able to afford school supplies. This was an issue for me. When I heard of the laptop loan scheme, I was so relieved as I was given a laptop for the duration of my degree. This lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. I needed help and I was heard." Eligibility is prioritised on a needs basis. Students from low-income households and the identified target groups who demonstrate that they or their family do not have the means to purchase such a device themselves qualify to apply for the scheme. For more information on the scheme, criteria and application process visit:  Ends

Tuesday, 23 August 2022

Cuirfidh OÉ Gaillimh fáilte roimh breis agus1,700 céimí, a dteaghlaigh agus a gcairde chuig an gcampas an tseachtain seo ar ócáid bhronnta a gcéimeanna.  Reáchtálfar na searmanais bhronnta do mhic léinn céime, iarchéime agus PhD ón Déardaoin, 25 Lúnasa go dtí Dé Luain, 29 Lúnasa. Seo mar a labhair an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Ba mhaith liom, thar ceann OÉ Gaillimh, tréaslú le gach duine de na céimithe atá ag filleadh ar an gcampas i gcaitheamh na dtrí lá ar an lá mór seo ina saol. Ceiliúradh atá ann ar a dtiomantas, ar a gcumas agus ar a ndúthracht i rith na mblianta. Táimid ar iontaoibh 175 bliain de thraidisiún agus ar a bhfuil bainte amach ag na glúnta céimithe a chuaigh romhainn ón ollscoil seo, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe – University of Galway." Déanfar raon céimeanna a bhronnadh i rith na dtrí lá ar chéimithe ó Choláiste na hEolaíochta agus na hInnealtóireachta, Coláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí agus an Dlí, Coláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte agus Coláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh. Tá sceideal iomlán shearmanais bhronnta an Fhómhair le fáil ag Críoch

Tuesday, 23 August 2022

NUI Galway will welcome over 1,700 graduates, their families and friends to the campus this week for their conferring ceremonies.  The celebrations for undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD degrees take place from Thursday August 25, to Monday August 29. Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, NUI Galway President, said: “On behalf of NUI Galway, I would like to congratulate each of graduates returning to campus over the three days on what will be a milestone day in their lives. It is a celebration of their dedication, talent, and commitment over many years. We stand on the shoulders of over 175 years of tradition and the strength of generations of graduates from this university, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe – University of Galway.” Over the three days a range of degrees will be awarded to graduates from the College of Science and Engineering, College of Business, Public Policy and Law, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. The full schedule for the University’s Autumn Conferring ceremonies is available at Ends

Monday, 22 August 2022

Breakthrough study follows collaboration between NUI Galway and Massachusetts Institute of Technology A team of researchers from NUI Galway and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has devised a new design that prevents the build-up of scar tissue and extends the therapeutic lifespan of an implanted medical device.  The breakthrough device/development, which does not rely on immunosuppressing drugs, may assist efforts to develop an artificial pancreas to treat diabetes. The study was published in the international journal Nature Communications. Implantable drug delivery devices that release insulin into the body over long periods of time hold promise as an alternative way to treat diabetes without insulin injections or cannula insertions.  However, one obstacle that has prevented their use so far is that the immune system attacks them after implantation, forming a thick layer of scar tissue that blocks insulin release. This cascade of events, known as the foreign body response, can also interfere with many other types of implantable medical devices which leads to premature failure.  The NUI Galway-MIT research team incorporated mechanical actuation in their design which enabled small and regular movements of the implanted device. The research showed that just by moving the device every 12 hours, the device remained functional after eight weeks of implantation and was as good as a freshly implanted device. It also showed that this type of motion modulates how immune cells respond to the implanted device, which extends its lifetime and efficacy. NUI Galway’s Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineer Dr Eimear Dolan said: “We are very excited about the results of this study. We believe our approach holds promise to improve the performance of a range of implantable drug delivery devices - from insulin to cancer therapy delivery. It is a privilege to work with such a talented multi-disciplinary team and I look forward to continuing working together.” Professor Garry Duffy, Professor of Anatomy and Regenerative Medicine, NUI Galway, said: “This is a continuation of our efforts to thwart the foreign body response to allow long term lifespan of implantable drug delivery devices with a specific focus on improving the lives of people living with Type 1 diabetes. Soft robotics allow us to make the implants active and to influence how the immune system perceives medical device implants. We will continue to translate this technology through to the clinic in the coming years.” Professor Ellen Roche from MIT said: “You can imagine that we can apply this technology to anything that is hindered by a foreign body response or fibrous capsule and have a long-term effect. I think any sort of implantable drug delivery device could benefit.” In this study published in Nature Communications, the team applied their design to diabetes to see if that immunomodulatory effect could help improve drug delivery over eight weeks. The team built a two-chambered device where one of the chambers acts as a drug reservoir, and the other acts as a soft, inflatable actuator. Using an external controller, the researchers can stimulate the actuator to inflate and deflate on a specific schedule.  They found that mechanical actuation clears away immune cells called neutrophils, the cells that initiate the process that leads to scar tissue formation, and it took much longer for scar tissue to develop around these devices. The research showed scar tissue did eventually form, but its structure was unusual - instead of the tangled collagen fibres that built up around static devices, collagen fibres surrounding actuated devices were more highly aligned, which the researchers believe may help drug molecules to pass through the tissue. The researchers evaluated the effectiveness of the insulin release by measuring subsequent changes in blood glucose levels and found with the actuated device, effective insulin delivery was maintained throughout the eight weeks of the study.  Co-Founded by Professor Duffy, Professor Roche and Dr Dolan and led by CEO Robert Wylie, Fada Medical is developing fully implantable and partially implantable versions of this technology that will improve insulin delivery for people with diabetes. This venture will be supported by the unique NUI Galway innovation ecosystem drawing expertise from CÚRAM, the HRB Clinical Research Facility and leading clinicians.  The research was funded in part by Science Foundation Ireland, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health. The study builds on a strong collaboration between NUI Galway’s Dr Eimear Dolan and Professor Garry Duffy, and Professor Ellen Roche from MIT.  MIT postdocs William Whyte and Debkalpa Goswami, and visiting scholar Sophie Wang, are the lead authors of the paper, with contributions from NUI Galway researchers Niamh Ward, Dr Ruth Levey, Rachel Beatty, Dr Scott Robinson, Dr Declan Sheppard, Raymond O’Connor, Dr David Monahan, Lesley Trask, Robert Wylie, Dr Joanne O’Dwyer and Daniel Domingo. The full study is available in Nature Communications at  Ends

Friday, 19 August 2022

NUI Galway clinicians, computer scientists and engineers are using enhanced x-ray technology used to measure bone density in people across Galway, Leitrim and Sligo to develop new osteoporosis screening and testing strategies for early identification of the condition in patients.  Funded by the Health Research Board, the Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry Management Application Project (DXA MAP), uses state of the art machines to develop a personalised, patient-centred tool for osteoporosis screening and fracture prediction. Professor of Medicine at NUI Galway and Clinical Lead for DXA, Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Disorders, at Galway University Hospitals, John Carey said: “The cross disciplinary expertise enables the development of a smart screening methodology to reduce health costs, maximise healthcare efficiencies, reduce waiting times and improve patient care and quality of life.” The DXA MAP tool will be underpinned by artificial intelligence, recommended diagnostic criteria, reference standards and visualisation approaches to support osteoporosis and fracture risk prediction, clinical interpretation and clinical-patient communication. The DXA MAP project also aims to support clinician interpretation through more automated processes and could predict Covid-19 and multi-morbidity risk using DXA secondary-data. The project will be carried out by the University’s College of Science and Engineering and the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science, and led by Dr Attracta Brennan, Professor John Carey and Associate Professor Mary Dempsey.  The DXA MAP project includes patients and collaborators in Tsinghua University and Oxford University. Ends

Tuesday, 16 August 2022

NUI Galway’s longstanding education partnership with Galway International Arts Festival has led to a three-year Government funding package for a new programme focusing on creative arts management.  The investment through the Springboard+ initiative comes as the University and the Festival mark 11 years of the partnership.  Delivered in collaboration with Galway International Arts Festival, Druid Theatre and other creative arts partners, the Postgraduate Certificate in Creative Arts Management will provide skills in design, production, curation, business and management, while also offering an accredited work placement with a creative arts business.  Professor Patrick Lonergan, NUI Galway Vice-Dean for Engagement in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, said: “The new Springboard+ postgraduate certificate in Creative Arts Management will give participants the skills needed to play a leading role in the development of the creative industries.  “With the support and advice of our partners in Galway International Arts Festival, we’ll provide exciting modules that cover creativity, design thinking, producing and curation, and other essential skills. With a work placement and the option to study online or in person, this innovative new course is sure to prove popular.  “Huge credit for this support from Government is due to our University partnership with Galway International Arts Festival and the way in which it has grown and developed over the years.” As part of the programme, students will gain hands-on skills in practice-based modules delivered on-campus, with blended options available for those living away from Galway. It includes a strong focus on targeted career development, with students taking up an internship with an arts organisation and taking part in supervised work experience projects. John Crumlish, Chief Executive of Galway International Arts Festival, said: "We are delighted that the postgraduate Certificate in Creative Arts Management will be a beneficiary of the Springboard investment announcement by Minister Harris. “This is a very exciting development, as it opens up a new avenue for people who wish to develop a career in the creative industries while also adding significantly to the existing human capital in this area." Springboard+ courses are at Level 6 (Certificate) to Level 9 (Masters) on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), and are delivered by public and private higher education providers around the country. Now entering its twelfth year, over 90,000 people have benefitted from the programme to date. The Springboard+ programme is managed by the Higher Education Authority, on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.  Along with the Certificate in Creative Arts Management, NUI Galway has a number of programmes available under Springboard+ 2022, including: Specialist Diploma in Automation and Control Specialist Diploma in Corporate Environmental Planning Specialist Diploma in Medical Device Science Diploma in Software Engineering MA in Digital Art, Design, and Cultures Certificate in Medical Technology Regulatory Affairs and Operations MSc AgInnovation Postgraduate Diploma in Cloud Computing and Software Development Postgraduate Diploma in Cybersecurity and Software Development Ends

Monday, 8 August 2022

New research involving patients in intensive care has highlighted that propofol, an anaesthetic drug commonly used to facilitate invasive mechanical ventilation, increases cardiovascular complications risk in the critically ill.  This collaborative international study, led by Professor John Laffey at NUI Galway and researchers at the University of Milan-Bicocca, sought to understand the impact of airway management in critically ill patients.  Dr John Laffey, Professor of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine at the University’s School of Medicine and Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine at Galway University Hospitals, has led an international research team investigating the causes and impact of peri-intubation cardiovascular instability in almost 3,000 critically ill patients. This research is part of the International Observational Study to Understand the Impact and Best Practices of Airway Management in Critically Ill Patients (INTUBE) which is investigating global practice in performing tracheal intubation in patients from 29 countries.  The paper was published in the American Journal of Respiratory Care Medicine. As part of this research, the investigators identified important modifiable, previously poorly understood risk factors that increase the risk of critically ill patients developing shock and cardiovascular instability when undergoing urgent tracheal intubation to permit invasive mechanical ventilation, commonly referred to as ‘life support’.   The identification of variables that can be modified through changes in clinical practice was explored as part of this study and evidence suggests that one commonly used anaesthetic agent has a major role in the incidence of cardiac arrest and hypertension after intubation.  Professor Laffey explains: “Airway management is universal but prior to the INTUBE study data on the management of intubated patients has been scarce. Identifying risks is the first step in developing safer management approaches.  “Tracheal intubation is one of the most high-risk and frequently performed procedures in patients who are critically ill. Cardiovascular adverse events like low blood pressure and even cardiac arrest can be frequent after intubation. Different factors play a role in the increased risk in patients who are critically ill compared with patients undergoing the procedure for elective surgical procedures.  “To date, the research agenda on interventions to reduce risk in these patients in critical care has mainly focused on oxygenation optimisation and on methods to achieve intubation at the first attempt. “In our recent research as part of the INTUBE study we have identified that the commonly used anaesthetic drug – propofol – is strongly associated with an increase in the incidence of cardiac arrest and severe hypotension after intubation. This is an important discovery, and the first time that this has been investigated in a truly global patient cohort such as the INTUBE study. “As a result of this study it is our intention to conduct further clinical trials to develop and test alternative strategies to reduce the risk and severity or cardiovascular adverse events in critically ill patients requiring urgent tracheal intubation. In the meantime, our data strongly suggests that propofol use should be restricted in this patient group and even avoided where possible.  “Training in the use of this specialised drug is key. The drug suppresses reflexes which makes it particularly good for intubation, but equally it appears to be be this suppression that is causing risks for patients.”  Ends

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

NUI Galway and Queen’s University Belfast collaborate under Shared Island fund to tackle issue of hospital acquired infections Researchers at NUI Galway and Queen’s University Belfast are investigating how attaching sugar molecules to plastics could give medical devices a new layer of protection from infection. The SUGARCOAT project is among 62 research collaborations supported by the Government’s Shared Island fund.  Early-career researchers Dr Joseph Byrne, NUI Galway, and Dr Matthew Wylie, Queen’s University Belfast, are working together to tackle the issue of hospital acquired infections associated with devices by taking preventative science to a new level.  The team is attempting to harness the science behind the interaction of sugar molecules with bacterial proteins to make fluorescent materials which glow at first, darkening when they become compromised by bacteria. The technology would be attached to plastics which coat medical devices - such as urinary catheters or endotracheal tubes - allowing clinicians to spot potential infection at an early opportunity and react faster.  Dr Byrne, Honorary Research Lecturer in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, NUI Galway, explained the concept: “Prevention of bacterial infections is key to fighting the challenge of antimicrobial resistance and if this isn't possible, then early detection through innovative sensing materials could act as an alarm, allowing devices to be removed and replaced before infection becomes a more serious risk to patient health.” Dr Wylie, Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Materials Science in Queens University Belfast, said: “Like many humans, sugar is something bacteria can’t resist getting a taste of. Many types of bacteria contain special proteins, which allow them to seek out and attach to sugar molecules, which they can use to grow and cause infection within the human body. Our new sugar-decorated coatings will exploit this interaction as an early warning, which has the potential to lead to the development of a new generation of medical devices, giving doctors and nurses tools to reduce risks of infection, bring down healthcare costs and decrease the need for antibiotic use in hospitals.” The project is being supported with €193,000 from the Government’s Shared Island initiative. The research team is supported by senior colleagues Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices at NUI Galway, and Professor Colin McCoy, Head of School of Pharmacy in Queen’s University Belfast.  Medical device-associated infections account for up to half of healthcare-associated infections and people who are immunocompromised people and those with cystic fibrosis (CF) are particularly at risk, with the island of Ireland having one of the highest number of people with CF per capita. These infections are a major health concern to patients and incur significant expense to healthcare systems, requiring longer stays and increased antibiotic usage. The rise of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria is an urgent problem, decreasing the effectiveness of existing antibiotics. It is estimated that across EU/EEA countries, 33,000 deaths per year in EU/EEA countries are associated with antimicrobial resistance, costing more than €1 billion to health services.  This project hopes to minimise the impact of this challenge by producing innovative coatings, which will prevent or detect bacterial build-up on widely-used medical devices before they lead to infection in a patient.  Dr Byrne, a CÚRAM collaborator, added: “Hospital-acquired bacterial infections are a major issue across the entire island of Ireland, and I’m excited to forge a new and lasting relationship with counterparts in Belfast to deliver meaningful new tools in fighting this challenge. “The research allows me to combine my chemistry research with more patient-facing researchers and healthcare stakeholders to increase our societal impact. Building all-island collaborations through this scheme will help us to unlock Ireland’s potential for innovation and cutting-edge science.” Dr Wylie added: “We are delighted to be able to pursue this innovative research under the Shared Island fund. Not only is it support for two early-career researchers, but it will open up opportunities for collaboration with industry and clinicians in both the North and South of Ireland, particularly as Galway is a global hub for major medical device companies and Queen’s has vast experience of collaborating with medical device companies across the UK and Ireland.” Ends

Friday, 30 September 2022

Inniu, sheol an tAire Stáit Gaeltachta agus Spóirt Jack Chambers mór-thaispeántas in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe a thugann léargas úr ar stair na Gaeilge agus tuiscint níos doimhne ar sheasamh na teanga sa tír agus san ollscoil féin. Arna choimisiúnú ag Roinn na Gaeilge, ceiliúrann Saíocht & Saoránacht: Tomás Ó Máille oidhreacht an chéad ollaimh le Gaeilge san ollscoil. De bhunadh Dhúiche Sheoigheach, ceapadh Tomás Ó Máille ina ollamh in 1909 agus lean sé air sa ról go bhfuair sé bás go hanabaí in 1938. Ceannródaí ab ea an Máilleach ar mhórán bealaí ach is suntasach mar a dhírigh sé ar nua-theicneolaíocht a linne féin — an taifeadadh fuaime. Ag díriú ar bhéaloideas, amhráin, agus canúintí éagsúla, chruthaigh sé na céadta taifeadadh fuaime de chainteoirí Gaeilge as gach contae i gConnacht agus as an gClár. Freisin, chuidigh sé le bailitheoirí agus scoláirí eile taifeadtaí a chruthú, ina measc Wilhelm Doegen, stiúrthóir Roinn na Fuaime i Leabharlann na Prúise i mBeirlín. Beagnach céad bliain ó gabhadh iad ar fhiteáin céaracha, rinneadh na taifeadtaí i Leabharlann Ollscoil na Gaillimhe a dhigitiú anuraidh le tacaíocht ó Roinn na Gaeltachta. Dúirt an tAire Stáit Chambers: "Is cúis áthais dom seoladh an taispeántais seo ar shaothar an Ollaimh Tomás Ó Máille agus go raibh mo Roinn in ann tionscadal digitithe na sorcóirí céarach a mhaoiniú. Beidh an t-ábhar sin ina áis luachmhar do thaighdeoirí agus don phobal araon agus cách in ann taitneamh a bhaint as saothar Thomáis Uí Mháille chun guthanna agus amhráin Iarthar na hÉireann, a taifeadadh 100 bliain ó shin, a chloisteáil. Teicneolaíocht cheannródaíoch a bhí sna sorcóirí céarach in aimsir Uí Mháille agus beidh forbairtí teicneolaíochta na linne seo, a mbeidh plé domhain á dhéanamh orthu sa Phlean Digiteach don Ghaeilge atá le foilsiú ag mo Roinn go luath, in ann leas a bhaint as ábhar digitithe den chineál seo chun forbairt shuntasach a dhéanamh ar an aithint chainte agus ar nua-theicneolaíochtaí eile don Ghaeilge sna blianta seo romhainn." Sa taispeántas seo, gheofar spléachadh i bhfoirm pictiúr, ábhar fuaime, agus físeán ar mhór-éachtaí an Mháilligh mar scoláire, scríbhneoir, teangeolaí, léachtóir, eagarthóir nuachtáin, bailitheoir, agus stocaire. Feicfear físeáin d'amhránaithe — Sarah Ghriallais, Saileog Ní Cheannabháin, Mary Staunton, agus Fiachna Ó Mongáin — ag tabhairt beatha nua do na sean-amhráin a thaifead an Máilleach, chomh maith le hábhar ó chartlann na Taibhdheirce agus ó chartlann an nuachtáin An Stoc.  Ag labhairt di roimh sheoladh an taispeántais, dúirt an coimeádaí, an Dr Deirdre Ní Chonghaile: "Beidh cartlann luachmhar an Mháilligh ina steillbheatha sa taispeántas seo den chéad uair riamh agus go dátheangach. Seo ceiliúradh ar mhór-obair a rinne an Máilleach mar ghníomhaí ar son na Gaeilge ar feadh a shaoil agus freisin ag cruinniú shaibhreas na n-ealaíon Gaeilge ó gach contae taobh thiar den tSionainn." Léiríodh an taispeántas i gcomhpháirt le hAcadamh Ríoga Éireann agus le Leabharlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann, le maoiniú ó Fhoras na Gaeilge, agus Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Tá sé ar cheann de shé thionscnamh atá faoi stiúir bhaill reatha agus iar-bhaill foirne, tionscnaimh a roghnaigh Ollscoil na Gaillimhe níos túisce i mbliana ar mhaithe le saibhreas staire na hinstitiúide a cheiliúradh. Is é cuspóir na sraithe seo ná tarraingt ar stair agus ar dhúchas na hinstitiúide ar mhaithe leis an gceangal leis an bpobal a dhaingniú agus an tosaíocht a thugtar d'obair ar son leas an phobail trí chéile a aithint. Dúirt Uachtarán na hOllscoile, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: "Tá Léann agus Scoláireacht na Gaeilge ar cheann de na gnéithe is sainiúla san Ollscoil ar fad a thugann tosaíocht dúinn. Tá áthas orm go mbeimid ag ceiliúradh fíorthús thraidisiún na scoláireachta sin trí phearsa Thomáis Uí Mháille. Is léiriú é saothar Uí Mháille an tráth úd, agus an taispeántas seo inniu, ar luachanna na hOllscoile: an meas atá ar theanga agus ar dhúchas iarthar Éireann; na hardchaighdeáin scolártha; agus an comhoibriú oscailte le gaolta Uí Mháille, le maoinitheoirí, agus le páirtnéirí acadúla, a chumhdóidh oidhreacht scolártha Uí Mháille chomh maith leis na guthanna a ghabh sé go ceann i bhfad. Dúirt stiúrthóir an taispeántais, an tOllamh Lillis Ó Laoire: "Táimid fíorbhuíoch as an tacaíocht a thug mac Thomáis, Éamonn Ó Máille nach maireann, dár n-iarrachtaí oidhreacht a athar a thabhairt slán agus a roinnt ar an bpobal. Tá taifeadtaí fuaime an Mháilligh á scaoileadh ar shuíomh idirlín na hOllscoile,, saor in aisce, agus cloisfidh pobail an Iarthair a muintir féin ag canadh, ag caint, agus ag caoineadh na marbh beagnach 100 bliain ó shin." Seoladh an taispeántas go poiblí in Áras Uí Argadáin in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe le haoichaint ón Ollamh Emeritus le Stair, Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh. Go ceann ráithe a mhairfidh an taispeántas agus tá camchuairt san Iarthar agus thar lear á dhearbhú. Críoch