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Bursaries allow Galway teachers travel to CERN



Galway Science & Technology Forum Chairman Tom Hyland presents a bursary to science teacher Neasa Mhic Dhonncha, of Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin, An Cheathrú Rua, to attend the 2014 three-week training programme for science teachers at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland. The course is for physics teachers from all over the world and over 40 will be attending this July. Also pictured are (from left) Seán Mac Donncha, Principal; Anne Casserly, Galway Science & Technology Forum, and Sinéad Níc Stiofáin, Vice-Principal. Pic: Seán Ó Mainnín.

The Galway Science & Technology Forum for the second year running will sponsor bursaries for two Galway science teachers to travel to CERN, Geneva, Switzerland to attend CERN’s HST (High School Training) 2014 Programme which runs for three weeks this July.

CERN is the European Organization for Nuclear Research whose purpose is to operate the world’s largest particle physics laboratory. Established in 1954, and with 21 European member states, CERN’s main function is to provide the particle accelerators and other infrastructure needed for high-energy physics research.

As a result, numerous experiments have been constructed at CERN following international collaborations. It is also the birthplace of the World Wide Web and in July 2012, CERN scientists announced the discovery of a new sub-atomic particle that could be the much sought after Higgs Boson believed to be essential for formation of the Universe

Science teachers Neasa Mhic Dhonncha of Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiarain, An Cheathru Rua and Eleanor Nolan of Coláiste Bhaile Chláir, Claregalway will attend the three week course which aims to promote the teaching of physics and, in particular of particle physics, to secondary school teachers and to stimulate activities related to the popularisation of physics within and beyond the classroom and to help CERN establish closer links with European schools.

One of the primary purposes of the Galway Science & Technology Forum is to encourage students to develop an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects at a young age and to choose these subjects throughout their school years and in time work in these fields and help sustain the many indigenous and multinational companies that operate here in Ireland.

Tom Hyland, Chairman, Galway Science & Technology Form said, “We are delighted to be able to afford these teachers this fantastic opportunity to attend CERN, Switzerland and learn about particle physics from the experts in this field.

“The teachers in turn will be able to bring this knowledge back to their students and hopefully instil in them an interest in pursuing a career in this field”.

“We are most grateful to our main sponsor Medtronic and all our other partners including Boston Scientific, Cisco, Hewlett Packard, Avaya, Fidelity, Discover Science & Engineering (SFI), NUI Galway, Galway Enterprise Board, GMIT, IDA Ireland etc who make opportunities like this happen,” he added.

Connacht Tribune

New President for Local Ireland



Left to right, Bob Hughes, Executive Director, Local Ireland, Dan Linehan, Head of Irish Times Regionals and Declan McGuire, Operations Manager of the Connacht Tribune.

The new President of Local Ireland, the association representing local news publishers around the country, is Head of Irish Times Regionals Dan Linehan.

Mr Linehan takes over the presidency from Declan McGuire of the Connacht Tribune. His appointment was confirmed at the recent Annual General Meeting of Local Ireland at Bloomfield House Hotel near Mullingar, Westmeath.

Mr Linehan, who has served as Vice President of the organisation for the last two years, said: “The coming years are a very important time for local publishers with many important issues to be addressed, including the implementation of the Future of Media Commission recommendations, defamation reform, the role and support for local publishers in public service reporting and helping publishers develop commercial digital offerings.”

Speaking at the AGM, Mr McGuire acknowledged the work done by the Executive in the past two years under the direction of Executive Director, Bob Hughes, on several projects related to the publishing industry but most especially the successful conclusion of the long-running campaign for the abolition of VAT on newspapers.

He also wished Mr Linehan the very best in his new role as President of the association for the next two years.

Mr Hughes thanked Mr McGuire for his leadership and support during his term of office and said he looked forward to working with Mr Linehan on the key policy priorities for the association, including Government supports, Government advertising, fair remuneration for content from the tech platforms and the reform of the legislation for defamation.

Local Ireland members also elected Seán Mahon, Managing Director of the Southern Star, as Vice President for the next two years.

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Connacht Tribune

Employers’ group hears of key challenges facing businesses in the region



Pictured at Regional Insight Series in the Galmont Hotel are: Trevor O’Rourke, (CEO, Fibre Networks Ireland); Senan Colleran, (Head ESB Assets, Generation & Trading, ESB); Eilish O'Sullivan, (Human Resources Director, Medtronic); Danny McCoy, (CEO, Ibec); Helen Leahy, (Head of Regional Policy, Ibec); Ruairi Conroy (Diligent Corporation) and Fergal O’Brien, (Executive Director of Lobbying & Influence, Ibec). PHOTO: Michael Dillon.

The shortage of affordable housing is the single biggest impediment in attracting and retaining workers in the West, according to business group Ibec.

At a ‘Regional Insights Series’ meeting in the Galmont Hotel in Galway last week, employers were told that capacity constraints and labour supply are the key challenges facing business growth in the region.

Ibec Head of Regional Policy Helen Leahy said: “There must be greater focus by government on enhancing quality of life issues such as housing and infrastructure which are driving labour shortages in the region.

“Ibec’s vision for the West is to realise its potential to become a globally competitive location. An inadequate supply of affordable housing is now the single largest impediment to attracting and retaining talented workers, without whom business investment and expansions are not possible.

“Labour shortages are a real concern for businesses in the region. People decide where to live and work based on quality of life and access to high quality services and amenities. Industry tends to follow talent, and in this regard, the region needs to have all the building blocks in place as the attraction and retention of world-class talent becomes increasingly competitive on a global level,” said Ms Leahy.

Amongst Ibec’s priorities for the West are:

  • Addressing housing and infrastructure challenges
  • Transitioning towards a new growth model with Net Zero energy powered by Atlantic offshore wind resources
  • Adapting businesses to the new economic realities
  • Enhancing capacity and skillsets to achieve sustainable development objectives
  • Investment in people and skills
  • Creating competitive advantage through digitalisation
  • Innovation as a key driver of productivity growth




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Connacht Tribune

Survey finds one in five retailers in Galway want to go fully cashless



Conor Quirke of BOI Payment Acceptance: move to card payments.

One in five Galway businesses want to go fully cashless, as the move towards card payments and tapping continues unabated post-Covid.

In all, 22% of Galway businesses would like to be fully cashless, according to a survey carried out by BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA), a provider of payment technology solutions, which asked Irish businesses about the current payment landscape as well as business confidence and concerns.

Over one-third (36%) of Galway businesses were unaware there is no contactless limit on mobile wallets – just below the national average – while 54% believe the increase in card over cash transactions has helped them run their business.

Six out of ten Galway businesses expect to grow this year despite the cost-of-living crisis and running costs dominating as key concerns; 62% believe their business will grow over the next twelve months despite global economic uncertainty.

Unsurprisingly cost-of-living increases and running costs were the main concerns the majority of businesses had.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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