Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Irish Housing Law Expert Stresses that Housing Rights must be Central to Europe’s Financial Response to Covid-19

“The EU institutional response after 2009 did not respect, observe or promote human or housing rights. This time it must be different” says Dr Padraic Kenna, NUI Galway Dr Padraic Kenna, Director of the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy at the School of Law, NUI Galway, has said that the EU should avoid the mistakes of the 2009 crisis by ensuring that human rights, and particularly housing rights are embedded within its response to Covid-19. In a set of three new Briefing Papers available at  Dr Kenna outlines how EU institutions interacting with Member States’ in response to this crisis, must now apply the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, especially in economic governance and financial supervision.  He said that nowhere was this more important than in the way in which housing is treated. The three Briefing Papers will form the basis for a significant submission to the European Commission on a New Strategy for the Implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, now part of Treaty law for 10 years. Dr Kenna said: “Housing is a fundamental right and need on which so many other rights depend, like health, safety, privacy and home life, as Covid-19 has so clearly shown. Access to adequate and affordable housing for all is becoming a key test of the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the Union.” “Housing is a major political issue in many Member States, including as we know, here in Ireland,” he continued. “Over 80 million Europeans are overburdened by housing costs.  One quarter of Europeans live in overcrowded housing, and an estimated 700,000 people were homeless in 2019. Housing is, once again ,the wobbly pillar of EU banking stability, and this will be exacerbated following Covid-19.” Dr Kenna also commented that a ‘business as usual’ attitude by EU institutions when it comes to responding to the Covid-19 tragedy was no longer good enough for EU citizens. “Maintaining the legitimacy of all our EU institutions is now a vital part of the recovery we need. To do this, we all need to see a real human and housing based-reboot.” -Ends-

News Archive

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

By Professor Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies, NUI Galway The university community is deeply saddened by the loss of Mary McPartlan. She was renowned as a singer, highly respected as a producer, and admired and appreciated as a mentor of other artists. She was also an inspirational educator, whose ‘Arts in Action’ programmes gave thousands of NUI Galway students the chance to experience live performances as part of their education. But we will remember her best as our dear colleague and friend – as a person of unique kindness, good humor and fortitude. Mary was originally from Drumkeerin in Leitrim, moving to Galway in the early 1980s. She worked with several arts organisations during those years, including TG4 and Galway Youth Theatre; she also ran her own arts consultancy company, Mac P. Illustrating her life-long commitment to supporting other artists, she founded Skehana theatre company in 1991, a group that staged plays by (among others) Michael Harding and Tom MacIntyre. The latter’s The Gallant John Joe was a popular success during a national tour that featured the distinguished Irish actor Tom Hickey. During that period, Mary become a well-known figure in the Irish arts community for her work as a singer – but it was the release of her debut album in 2004 that brought her to international attention. That recording, The Holland Handkerchief, was nominated for a Meteor Award and was voted Number 1 Folk Album by the UK’s Mojo magazine. It was followed by Petticoat Loose in 2008 and From Mountain to Mountain in 2016. The music collected on those albums is as intimate and it is heartfelt, ranging from folk ballads to bluegrass to jazz – and from Bess Cronin’s traditional songs to Shane McGowan’s ‘Rainy Night in Soho’ and beyond. From 2007 onwards, Mary taught on a wide range of courses at NUI Galway, and her practical experience and professional wisdom had a defining impact on the development of several courses – including the BA Connect in Theatre and Performance, the MA in Arts Policy and Practice, the MA in Drama and Theatre Studies, and others. She also developed a very popular module that introduced international students to the richness of Ireland’s traditional arts. Without question, her greatest educational legacy is the creation and curation of the ‘Arts in Action’ programme, which is supported by the university’s College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. That weekly series of performances runs throughout the academic year, and features an unparalleled range of events by Irish and international artists. Within the last year alone, these have included stand-up comedy from Tommy Tiernan, concerts by Christy Moore and the Gloaming’s Martin Hayes, an original new performance by students, and much more. Those events are open to all NUI Galway staff and students – for free, every week. Mary also taught and designed special Arts in Action modules that allowed students from a variety of subject-areas to include the creative arts in their learning. Over the years, students from Business, Law, Medicine, Engineering and many other areas (including the Arts, of course) have participated. She also founded the NUI Galway Medical Orchestra, allowing Medical students to obtain academic credit by engaging in musical performance – offering them the chance to reflect on the role that music plays within patient health and wellbeing, while also staging concerts that delighted music lovers within and beyond the university. Collectively, such achievements demonstrate that Mary was an educator who believed in overcoming boundaries, including the walls between the university and the city, the disciplinary divisions between academic subjects, and the space between artists and audiences. She believed that the NUI Galway students deserved to encounter great art. But she also believed that NUI Galway students are – and will continue to be – great artists. And while she overcame boundaries, she also believed in building links. She was a Fulbright scholar in 2012, teaching and studying in New York and Kentucky – and just last year she was honoured with the Ireland United States Association (IUSA) Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes people who demonstrated exemplary leadership in building links between Ireland and the United States. Mary used those relationships not only to inspire new art (her album From Mountain to Mountain developed directly from her time in the US) – but also to support NUI Galway students. For example, to honour the memory of the American singer-songwriter Jean Ritchie, Mary established a student exchange between NUI Galway and Berea College, Kentucky. She took great care to ensure that the exchange would provide free room and board for Galway students, thereby opening up the life-altering benefits of international exchange to people who might not otherwise have been able to experience it. That quiet commitment to fairness, and that unobtrusive attentiveness to the needs of others, were among her defining characteristics. Shortly after the release of her first album, Mary was diagnosed with cancer. It is a sign of both her resilience and her strength of character that she marked her recovery from that illness with the release of her second album and the launch of the Arts in Action programme at NUI Galway. With the return of that illness in recent years, those traits have again been in strong evidence: until very recently Mary was not only overseeing this year’s Arts in Action programme – but was avidly planning for next year. Our deepest sympathies go to Mary’s family – to Paddy, Mairead, Meabh – and to her wider family and her many friends. She will be missed by all of us in the university, but she will also be celebrated. She believed firmly that the arts must always be ‘in action’: that they must be for everyone, that they must enrich and embolden us, and that they must change the world for the better. That is a powerful legacy that we will cherish and carry forward.

Friday, 3 April 2020

Bronnfar Céim ar Mhic Léinn Leighis ag Searmanas Bronnta ar Facebook Live D’fhógair OÉ Gaillimh go reáchtálfar dhá shearmanas bronnta fhíorúla a chraolfar beo do 310 céimí agus dá muintir. De bharr na srianta a bhaineann le paindéim COVID-19, den chéad uair riamh le 175 bliain ní reáchtálfaidh an Ollscoil searmanais bhronnta fhisiciúla, agus déanfar an ócáid a cheiliúradh ar líne ina áit sin. Dé Luain, an 6 Aibreán ag 10am bronnfaidh an Ollscoil Baitsiléir Onóracha sa Leigheas, Baitsiléir Onóracha sa Mháinliacht, agus Baitsiléir Onóracha san Obstatraic (MB, BCh, BAO) ar 190 ábhar dochtúra. Ghlac an Ollscoil an cinneadh scrúduithe leighis bhliain na céime agus an searmanas bronnta a reáchtáil níos luaithe ná mar a bhí beartaithe le cinntiú go mbeadh na céimithe Leighis ar fáil le dul ag obair sa chóras sláinte. Ar an gCéadaoin, an 8 Aibreán ag 12pm reáchtálfaidh an Ollscoil an searmanas Bronnta Taighde, ócáid ag a mbronnfar céim ar bhreis is 110 mac léinn. Tabharfaidh OÉ Gaillimh aitheantas do thuairim is 90 mac léinn nuair a bhronnfar Dochtúireacht le Fealsúnacht (PhD) orthu. Bronnfar céim Mháistreachta agus céim Leighis ar roinnt mac léinn chomh maith. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Ollamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Is tréimhse neamhghnách na laethanta seo agus is daoine iontacha iad ár gcéimithe. Cé go bhfuil an-díomá orainn nach féidir linn an lá speisialta seo a cheiliúradh lenár gcéimithe go pearsanta, táimid ag súil go mór leis an ócáid a cheiliúradh agus beannachtaí a roinnt leo ar líne. Déanfaimid an lá seo a shamhlú le chéile agus muid ag breathnú chun cinn ar laethanta níos fearr amach anseo. “In imeacht 175 bliain OÉ Gaillimh, bhí lámh ag ár bhfoireann agus ag ár mic léinn san iomad imeachtaí domhanda agus táimid an-bhródúil astu siúd atá ag troid go cróga in éadan phaindéim COVID-19 in Éirinn agus i bhfad i gcéin. Ceanglaíonn an pobal seo na daoine sin a thug aghaidh ar dhúshláin mhóra san am atá thart, trí thiomantas a léiriú do leas an phobail agus do na luachanna is mó atá againn. Tá ár mic léinn agus ár bhfoireann ag obair sna seirbhísí tosaigh, ag déanamh tástálacha agus ag cur cóir leighis orthu siúd atá thíos leis an tinneas millteanach seo, agus is inspioráid dúinn uile an neamhleithleasacht agus an tiomantas a léiríonn siad. Táimid ag súil le héachtaí ár mac léinn a cheiliúradh leo féin agus lena muintir ar dhóigh fhíorúil, dóigh a mbeidh thar a bheith speisialta. Tá sé mar aidhm againn ócáidí neamhfhoirmeálta a chur ar siúl san fhómhar, má bhíonn deis ann, chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar éachtaí na gcéimithe nua a bhainfidh céim amach ó chian an tseachtain seo. Laethanta tábhachtacha iad seo i saol na hollscoile agus ár mac léinn agus táimid ag súil le teacht le chéile in éineacht leo amach anseo nuair a bheidh laethanta níos fearr ann.” Ag an searmanas ar líne tabharfar aitheantas d’éachtaí na mac léinn fud fad na hÉireann agus na hEorpa chomh maith le héachtaí na mac léinn ón Malaeisia, Ceanada, Oileán na Tríonóide agus Tobága, Brúiné, Singeapór, SAM, an tSín, an Chóiré Theas, Neipeal, an India, an Phacastáin, an Iaráic, an Bhrasaíl, Eacuadór agus Vítneam. Táthar ag súil gur féidir leis an bpobal domhanda seo teacht le chéile le teann bróid chun éachtaí Rang 2020 OÉ Gaillimh a cheiliúradh. Déanfar an dá shearmanas bronnta seo a chraoladh beo ar -Críoch-

Friday, 3 April 2020

Medical Students will Graduate with Ceremony on Facebook Live NUI Galway have announced details of two virtual conferring ceremonies which will be broadcast live to 310 graduates and their families.  Due to restrictions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the University will for the first time in its 175 year history not hold physical conferring ceremonies, and will instead mark the occasion online. On Monday, 6 April, at 10am the University will confer 190 future doctors with an Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) degree. The University took the decision to bring the final year medical examinations and graduation forward to ensure that the Medical graduates would be available to enter the healthcare workforce. On Wednesday, 8 April, at 12pm the University will hold the Research Conferring ceremony with over 110 students graduating. Nearly 90 students will be recognised by NUI Galway when they are conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). A number of students will also be conferred with Masters and Doctor of Medicine degrees. Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “These are extraordinary times and our graduates are extraordinary people. While we are deeply disappointed that we cannot share this special day with our graduates in person, we are looking forward to marking the occasion and sharing good wishes online. We imagine together this day and, we hope, better days to come. “During the 175 year history of NUI Galway, our staff and students have shaped many world events and we are filled with pride by those who are bravely battling the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland and internationally. This community joins those who were involved in previous challenging times, by committing to the public good and the values we hold dear. Our students and staff are on the front lines, testing and treating victims of this devastating illness, and their selflessness and commitment is an inspiration to us all. We look forward to celebrating the achievements of our students with them and their families in a virtual, but no less special way. We also plan to hold a more informal but nonetheless meaningful events in the autumn, circumstances permitting, to mark the success of these graduates who will be graduating remotely this week. These are important days in the life of our university and our students and we look forward to marking them together in better times.” The online ceremony will mark the achievements of students from across Ireland and Europe as well as Malaysia, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Brunei, Singapore, USA, China, South Korea, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Iraq, Brazil, Ecuador and Vietnam. It is hoped this global community can come together in shared pride at the achievements of NUI Galway’s Class of 2020. Both conferring ceremonies will be streamed live at -Ends-

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