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Crann - 10 big years in nanoscience l Feature - One Laptop Per Child International Education Stats l FIT (Fasttrack to IT) - Want a taste of the future College of Computer Training l Festo: The BionicOpter l Reviews

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Volume 26, Issue 2 4 Cover: Intel's MiniScientist programme for primary schools Editor Niall Gormley Production Michael Farrell Publishers Ard Education Ltd. Tel: 01-8329246 Email: Layout Real Issues, Drumhaldry, Moyne, Co. Longford 086-8986827 Printers Nicholson & Bass Ltd. At the time of press information in Education is believed to be accurate and authoritative. However, some information may change due to circumstances beyond our control. Acceptance of advertisements, does not constitute an endorsement of products or services by the publishers. ©2013. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. ISSN 0791-6161

Education Magazine is available to read online in the same format as the paper edition.

8 FIT (Fastrack to IT): Want a taste of the future? 10 College of Computer Training - For careers in the growing ICT sector

The Intel MiniScientist Programme

12 RCSI Aim High Medicine Scholarship 15 International education statistics. So how are we doing? 16 Griffith College in Limerick and Cork 19 Hibernia College Continuing Professional Development summer courses 26 Cran, Trinity College Dublin: 10 big years in nanoscience 28 Coláiste Dhúlaigh - the innovative college 31 School visits at the Castlecomer Discovery Park 32 Feature: One Laptop, Too Simple? What has been the impact of the One Laptop Per Child project?

The Intel Mini Scientist is an annual competition that gives Primary school students the chance to explore science through project based learning and exhibitions. Pages 4-7


10 big years in nanoscience

34 Festo: The BionicOpter Lightweight design with intelligent kinematics 36 Green News: Architects in Schools Initiative; Interconnector to France; Power Info on Twitter; Solarprint; Bioenergy policy; Dundalk IT turbine 38 Reviews

Cover story:

CRANN, the SFI funded nanoscience institute based at Trinity College Dublin is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Pages 26-27 Education 3

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Intel Mini Scientist Competition

Would you like to be a


he Intel Mini Scientist is an annual competition, which has been running since 2003, that gives Primary school students the chance to explore science through project based learning and exhibitions. The first phase of the program involves students participating at local level exhibitions where Intel judges visit the participating schools, choosing two winning projects in each. The second phase sees

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Meet our 2012 Mini Scientist Grand Final winners (Project Group 1)

What are your names? Finia O’Brien and Michelle Sheedy What school are you from? Kilmurry National School, Sixmilebridge Co. Clare

each of these winning projects take part in the Mini Scientist Grand Final event. In 2012, 4,500 students took part in Mini Scientist from 10 different counties with 70 different schools taking part. The Prizes There are a number of fantastic prizes available to participating schools: 4 Every school taking part receives a special science pack with prizes that can be used in the classroom as well as a commemorative plaque 4 Every student taking part receives a goody bag and certificate 4 Every member of the winning project teams receives science related prizes 4 There is a €1,000 monetary grant for the school which has the overall Grand final winning project Want to take part? If you would like to register your school to take part in Mini Scientist 2013 please visit and use the link provided. >>>

What is the name of your project? How does your grass grow? What is your project about? Our project was about trying to discover the best conditions for growing grass in Ireland. We grew grass indoors because of the different conditions it allowed us to observe. Why did you choose this project? During the summer Fini’as dad rotated two areas of land - one near his house and one two miles away. We noticed over a period of time that the grass grew better at Finia’s house which was garden soil. This is why we chose this project. Did you have fun taking part in Mini Scientist? We had great fun taking part in Mini Scientist. It was a huge experience for us. We are thrilled and delighted we won. We would like to thank anyone who helped us. What do you want to be when you grow up? Finia - I would like to be a scientist after this experience. I’m sure it would be fun in many ways experimenting and learning facts and information. Michelle - I want to be a science teacher or dentist Education 5

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Meet our 2012 Mini Scientist Grand Final winners (Project Group 1)

Key Dates 4 June 5th Launch of Intel Mini Scientist 2013 4 September 30th Closing date for registration 4 October 7th - December 2nd School exhibitions take place 4 December 9th – 20th Regional finals take place 4 January 31st Grand Final event takes place The Prize Intel donates a classroom technology package to a chosen school which includes 30 individual computing devices and a dedicated teacher device along with a portable storage trolley to house the devices. Students and teachers can use the devices to access the internet from anywhere in the school allowing them to incorporate technology into the teaching and learning process.

And there's more fun... All schools that participate in the Intel Mini Scientist 2013 will be given the opportunity to submit an entry to the Intel eSchools competition. Intel eSchools is a technology competition ran annually by Intel which enables primary schools to embrace the use of wireless technology in the classroom.

What are your names? Emily Mansfield and Mary Kelly What school are you from? St Anne’s National School, Ardclough, Straffan, Co. Kildare What is the name of your project? The Study of Algae What is your project about? Our project is about trying to discover the most successful methods of extracting lipids from algae. We found out during the project that algae contains lipids. We extracted these lipids (physically and chemically) and were left with the main raw material for algae bio-fuel. Why did you choose this project? We found a slimy gooey plant growing at the bottom of a lake and decided to investigate and found out it was algae. We thought it would be an interesting topic also. Did you have fun taking part in Mini Scientist? Yes!!!. It was a lot of fun taking part and we learned an awful lot that we wouldn’t have known before. It was hard work but well worth it in the end. What do you want to be when you grow up? Emily - I haven’t fully made up my mind yet but probably a doctor or a scientist. Mary - I’d like to be an accountant or a maths teacher, but I’m not sure yet Education 7

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Information Technology Education

Want a taste of the future? FIT (Fastrack to IT) surveys ICT employers’ skills needs and predicts lots of job opportunities for those with the skills outlined.


peaking at the launch of the FIT ICT Skills Audit on May 23rd at the College of Computer Training, Minister for Training and Skills, Ciarán Cannon TD welcomed the focus that the FIT Skills Audit places on the challenges and opportunities that exist for Ireland within the ICT sector. He said: “We are seeing a worldwide increase in demand for ICT Skills. While we cannot create a supply of highly skilled ICT professionals overnight, through the development and ongoing implementation of the joint Government-Industry ICT Action Plan, Ireland has been to the fore in taking measures to build the pipeline of high level ICT graduates.” The Minister added: “The FIT ICT Skills Audit is a very valuable study which will augment the research on future demand for ICT skills which the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs has been mandated to carry out under the Action Plan for Jobs.” More information on the FIT ICT Skills Audit and the report itself can be found at Youth2Work initiative Earlier this year Microsoft and FIT, an initiative led by the technology industry in Ireland that provides those at risk of long-term unemployment with marketable technical skills, launched the Youth2Work initiative to help tackle Ireland’s youth unemployment problem. With an investment of €3m from Microsoft, 10,000 youth unemployed will be able to avail of IT training provided by FIT over the next three years. Following on from this just last month Microsoft, the College of Computer Training (CCT) and Fastrack to IT (FIT) encouraged senior cycle secondary school students to register for IT-focused taster courses this summer. Together they are supporting the

n Pictured at the launch of the FIT ICT Skills Audit report in CCT College are, from left FIT Momentum students Wayne Benzies, Patrick Douglas, Jesse Coffee, Emma Temple and Daryl Gillespie at the far right. George Ryan, FIT COO is second from right.

running of the classes which will be run in CCT on Westmoreland Street in areas such as programming, networking, web design, gaming and operating systems. The courses are free of charge and there will be places for some 300 students. The courses, originally designed and delivered by the College of Computer Training, will take place at CCT’s city centre location on Dublin’s Westmoreland Street this summer, during the period July 15th to August 31st. Each course will last three weeks with four half-days of tuition each week and participants who complete their course will receive MTA component certificate awards. Neil Gallagher, College Director, from CCT said today: “We look forward to welcoming secondary school students to CCT this summer to take part in these courses.” Mr Gallagher encouraged students who would like more information on the courses includ-

ing details on how to apply, to contact (01)6333444 / / or enrol online at

practical courses Dr. Kevin Marshall, Head of Education Microsoft Ireland commented “The IT sector is a fascinating industry to work in, and these practical courses are designed to reflect that and provide students with an overview of what a job in the industry could involve.” Peter Davitt, Chief Executive, FIT, also welcomed applications from students. “I would highly encourage any student who thinks they might be interested in learning more about IT to apply. The courses are free so you have nothing to lose, and potentially much to gain, by taking part.”


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n David O'Connell, Principal of Ballinteer Community School, prize winners Szabi Ando and Mikolaj Piskor, and Business teacher Michael Lyons. Szabi and Mikolaj won the Senior Section of the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Enterprise Board Student Enterprise Competition and went on to represent Dun Laoghaire- Rathdown in the national final in Croke Park.

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College of Computer Training

For careers in the growing ICT sector T

here is a 14th Century proverb that claims “Great Oaks from little acorns grow” and whilst this thought was furthest from Neil Gallagher’s mind when he set out his vision for a specialist IT higher education college in Dublin, nevertheless when one enters CCT ’s s t a t e o f t h e a r t c a m p u s i n Westmoreland Street, Dublin 2, one cannot help believe that indeed in a short space of time, a mighty Oak has risen from very humble beginnings. Identifying a significant niche in the market whose needs were not being catered for by the traditional college and university structure, CCT has specialised in offering industry led specialised courses to those who were interested in pursuing careers in the growing ICT sector. This policy has paid dividends with the college having an excellent reputation within industry and graduates being successfully placed in the top companies. From that first day with 10 students in one classroom, CCT today has an extensive range of full and part time programs accredited by HETAC, FETAC, University of

Hertfordshire UK, NCC Education and City & Guilds. The college also runs industry certified programs such as Microsoft certified, Cisco Networking, .net and Java programming. It also partakes in a range of government funded programs including Springboard, Momentum and FAS. This year sees another milestone in CCT’s history with the college entering the CAO process for the first time. The courses offered on CAO will be the Higher Certificate in Science in Computing in IT Level 6 programme, and the BSc in Information Technology Level 7 programme In reflecting the college ethos of keeping close to industry, monitoring current education trends and being adaptable to changing circumstances, last year CCT launched a secondary school initiative called Bridge to College. This is an unique program specifically aimed at 4th,5th and 6th year students who wish to get a “taste” of computer programming, web development and design, networking. It is designed to make students aware of the opportunities in the

sector and to encourage them to actively think of a career in ICT. This initiative is strongly supported by leading multinational companies and is provided Free to all students. However that is enough general information, what about college specifics such as facilities, student life, course details, enrolment procedures College & Facilities Housed in an ideally located city centre state of the art premises, CCT has contributed to the complete renovation and restoration of a historical building, situated at 30-34 Westmoreland St., Dublin 2. The building which is a very recognisable landmark was previously the head office of EBS, Recently renovated the new CCT premises avails of all city-centre amenities, and is situated on all public transport routes servicing all areas of the city and greater Dublin, including bus, train and tram. Below is a list of just some of the facilities and resources present at the CCT campus on Westmoreland St.: • Accessible city centre campus building • 26,000 square feet of learning space • Extensive Library space actual and online resources • Canteen area • Starbucks Coffee House on campus • Series of practical and educational computer laboratories • Lecture auditoriums • Technology and Automation Engineering Lab • Creative spaces • 2,800 square feet of Recreational area with access to pool tables, table-tennis, table football, eating area, student kitchen, student lounge, and cinema room • Internet Lobby Bar • Reception Atrium • Disabled Access Certification • Corporate Training Suites • State of the art learning and teaching resources

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Student Life As one might expect from a college specialising in leading edge technology the student population has a truly international outlook with the 800 students representing 27 different nationalities. This not only allows students gain an international perspective but also means that local students can avail of the excellent support services that has being developed to manage the International student. Being away from home and facing third level is one of the most difficult transitions in a student life. Having a relatively small student population has enabled CCT to take direct interest in student development and provide the help and extra support that a close knit college community can provide. Course Details CCT provides full and part time, ICT and Business programmes from Levels 5 to 9. The College also offers Business and Computer Science programmes at Postgraduate and Masters level. Further education and training programmes are mainly awarded at CCT by FETAC or City & Guilds, with higher education and training programmes awarded by HETAC or University of Hertfordshire, UK. The current offerings on the CAO listing are the Higher Certificate in Science in Computing in IT Level 6 programme, and the BSc in Information Technology Level 7 programme. They also provide corporate training programmes, many of which are customised to clients such as Ulster Bank, Irish Aviation Authority, Failte Ireland, and Bank of Ireland, and delivered at all levels from basic to specialised. Typical programmes provided over the last year to organisations ranged from ECDL Applications based training to .NET Programming, to Information Security, and Project Management. CCT is one of the few independent colleges in Ireland currently providing courses under Irish government funded Springboard

and Momentum schemes. They offer industry-aligned and well developed programmes which enhance and increase the opportunities to job-seekers in Ireland today. As previously mentioned one of the most successful recent initiatives was the free Bridge to College or Taster course that targeted at the Irish secondary school market. CCT ran a pilot programme in 2012 delivering FETAC Level 5 component certificate programmes to a large number of 5th and 6th year secondary school students around the Dublin area, in the fields of Computer Programming, Computer Networking, and Web Design. This initiative seeks to give more information to college and ICT course seeking students, who perhaps did not have access to structured learning of Computing based subjects through school, and who have an interest in pursuing college careers and further in ICT. Knowing more or developing a taste of these subjects can only serve to further focus the minds in this area It is expected that once again this year that these course s will be oversubscribed. Information on booking places on this program will be forwarded to all secondary schools in early April. Enrolment Procedures The enrolment procedure for all programs is quite straight forward with the students being able to apply direct to the college admissions office, , or alterna-

Taster Courses for Secondary Schoolers CCT is delighted to be partnered with Microsoft and Fastrack to IT (FIT) for the provision of this year’s ICT taster course series. The programmes will be delivered at CCT, w h i c h i s l o c a t e d a t 3 0 - 3 4 Westmoreland St., Dublin 2, in the very heart of Dublin city centre. The ICT Taster Course Initiative is targeted at 4th, 5th and 6th year secondary school students in Ireland, during the coming summer holidays over July and August 2013, and for subsequent holidays

periods. Some of the courses have been booked out so check the CCT website for the latest availability. Microsoft, FIT and CCT have teamed up to provide these Taster Courses for Secondary Schoolers free of charge! This is part of our investment into your future, and the future of ICT in Ireland. We look forward to hearing from you, and to providing you with this “Boot Camp” of Computing knowledge and skills, with state of the art facilities, excellent lecturers, and lots of fun!

tively through the CAO for the two courses which are on their listing. As a private college you are liable for course fees however there is no registration fee which has become quite significant in recent years. Also there are a number of scholarships and fees concessions available for which students may apply. When these are taken into account, there is very little difference in terms of cost. Once again it is best to contact CCT admissions in order to get more information on the schemes available. Future In finishing, it is hard to get away from the fact that ICT has a very strong future in Ireland and offers fantastic potential and opportunity in terms of employment and career development. At present depending on which government or European agency you listen to there are over 4,500 current vacancies in the ICT sector in Ireland alone at present and this at a time of 400,000 unemployed. Also it is expected for demand in Europe to rise significantly over the next ten years with a recent European study highlighting the fact that by 2020 there will be a need for 900,000 ICT professionals in Europe. I started with an English quotation and I would like to finish up with one as Gaelige, “Is tús maith leath na hoibre”, a good start is half the work. CCT have definitely made a great start and when one chats with the management team, one can easily understand how they have progressed so far so quickly. Taking this into account, given CCT’s management focus and knowledge, considering the employment opportunities available and allowing for the unique position that CCT has developed within the higher education ICT sector, I would think that the future is looking very positive for CCT and Irish education. Find OUT MORE College of Computer Training (CCT), 30 - 34 Westmoreland St., Dublin 2 Tel: 01 6333444 • Email: Web: Education 11

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The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

RCSI Aim High Medicine Scholarship


he Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) was founded 11th February 1784. It is a not-forprofit, independent health sciences institution with charitable status, dedicated to improving human health through education, research and service. RCSI is a culturally diverse, international organisation with Alumni presence in almost every country in the world. RCSI values innovation, excellence, independence, academic freedom, diversity, tolerance and community. RCSI has played a pivotal role in Irish surgical and medical education and training for over 228 years. RCSI champions a patient-centric approach to all its activities and endeavours. Today, RCSI offers undergraduate degrees in Medicine, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy and is the largest Irish Medical School. RCSI's primary purpose is the education and training of healthcare professionals and health sciences research. More than 3,800 students representing 60 nations are currently enrolled in its Medicine (1,800), Pharmacy (200) and Physiotherapy (100) programmes. There are 17,000 RCSI Alumni working as medical doctors or in allied disciplines around the world. REACH Recreation Education and Community Health R C S I h a s d e v e l o p e d t h e R E ACH Programme to increase third level participation and enhance life chances for those from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. REACH creates community spirit and opportunities that enable those from disadvantaged backgrounds to reach their full potential. REACH works in partnership with schools, youth, community and sports groups; promoting programmes in recreation,education and community health. Access, disability and equality RCSI is committed to widening access to their three undergraduate degree programmes and to the creation of a socially inclusive learning environment for all.

Students with disabilities, members of the Traveller community and socio-economically disadvantaged School Leavers continue to experience a variety of barriers to reaching their full educational potential. With this aim in mind RCSI sets aside places for School Leavers applying through the CAO. Courses included under RCSI's Access & Disability programmes are Medicine (RC001), Physiotherapy (RC004) and Pharmacy (RC005). School Leavers applying through the CAO who provide the necessary evidence relating to their socioeconomic circumstances and / or disability and who satisfy matriculation, minimum entry and subject requirements are eligible to compete for a quota of places allocated on a reduced points basis. RCSI Scholarships RCSI provides one scholarship per year for the School of Medicine; the Aim High Medicine (RC001) Scholarship and one for the School of Pharmacy; the Kiran Pathak Pharmacy (RC005) Scholarship. The Aim High Medicine and Kiran Pathak Pharmacy Scholarships provide additional financial support to students who excel academically, are passionate about medicine or pharmacy as their career choice and who would otherwise be unable to attend third level education due to social disadvantage

or financial constraints. Irish school leavers interested in applying for the Aim High Medicine / Kiran Pathak Pharmacy Scholarships must apply through the CAO. Supplementary application forms and further details for both scholarship opportunities are available from RCSI Admissions & REACH Offices.

CAO COURSE CODES n RC001 Medicine School Leavers 5 or 6 year programme - 39 places n RC001 Medicine Mature Entry 5 or 6 year programme - 15 places n RC101 Medicine Graduate Entry 4 year programme - 30 places n RC004 Physiotherapy (BSc) 4 year programme - 13 places Graduate Entry (3yrs) - 13 places n RC005 Pharmacy (MPharm) 5 year programme School Leavers - 30 places Graduates - 16 places Find OUT MORE E: W:

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RCSI School of


The ethos of the RCSI School of Medicine is founded on the principle that the patient’s interest is paramount in clinical teaching, medical practice and research. The RCSI curriculum is designed to give the student a sound knowledge of the principles of both the science and the art of medicine. RCSI fosters a spirit of enquiry and students may carry out research in the academic departments of RCSI during the summer vacations. The student is exposed to a variety of specialties and encouraged to develop a balanced perspective of domiciliary, community and hospital care. The clinical teaching facilities provided by RCSI, combined with the expertise and dedication of the clinical teachers, ensure that students receive training of the highest standard.

RCSI School of


Pharmacy is the science of medicines, their discovery, design and effective use in patient populations. The aim of the RCSI School of Pharmacy is to preserve and improve the quality of human life. Our patient-centric innovative curriculum is focused on the attainment of clinical competencies, underpinned by scientific principles and is designed to ensure a competent safe practitioner. The students’ educational journey utilises a variety of teaching and learning modalities ensuring the student upon graduation is well equipped to engage with future professional developments. Students are placed throughout all five years of their pharmacy programme in RCSI structured professional placements to ensure learning is contextualised. Upon completion students are awarded a Masters in Pharmacy both by the National University of Ireland (NUI) and RCSI. This professional qualification permits our graduates to apply to be registered as a pharmacist nationally, throughout the European Union and internationally.

RCSI School of


Physiotherapy is a science based healthcare profession which primarily adopts a physical approach aimed at the promotion, maintenance and restoration of the individual’s physical, psychological and social wellbeing. The aim of the RCSI School of Physiotherapy is to educate professionally safe, competent, reflective and analytical physiotherapists who possess a sound scientific knowledge base, an understanding of the value of research and analysis, are responsive to the needs of clients and carers and are aware of the dynamic diversity of healthcare environments in which they practice. Using skills in manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, movement re-education, and electrotherapy, physiotherapists aim to assist people to resume as active and independent a life as possible.

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So how are we doing? One way for countries to keep track of their progress is to measure themselves against others - benchmarking, to use a rather contentious idea. The OECD Better Life index does just that by allowing a visual comparison across member countries over a range of issues which contribut to the 'happiness' of inhabitants across a range of topics listed below. The top chart shows the countries weighed equally in all topics. Although the headlines proclaimed that Australia was the happiest country, in reality, there is little to seperate the top 15 or so countries and local variations can account for the differences. For example Australia got credit for its 93 per cent turn out in elections but this can be accounted for by the fact that voting is compulsory in Australia. • Housing • Community • Civic engagement • Safety

• Income • Jobs • Education • Environment • Health • Life Satisfaction • Work-Life Balance

However on the subject of education Ireland is quite a bit behind the top performers. A significant factor here was Irish students’ lower average score in reading, mathematics and science as assessed by the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This is a worry and no doubt those in charge will say that the situation is being address by reform of the leaving and junior certificates including initiatives such as Project Maths. These measures are unlikely to impact on the figures for some time. And from the point of view of the 'Better Life' index specific measurements are besides the point. The idea is that we are rounded human beings with lives inside and outside of work. Japan scores very high in the education measure but quite low overall. All work and no play (or study) might indeed make Jack a dull boy but if the talk about the knowledge economy has any valididy then we need to be aiming upwards. The index is fascination and can be accessed online at www.


n All topics considered


n Education topic considered alone

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Griffith College

Griffith College Limerick is on the move


riffith College has announced that its Limerick campus is moving to the former HSI Limerick Business School premises on Quinlan Street, Limerick City, in order to facilitate its doubling of student numbers. The new state of the art premises will allow Griffith College Limerick to extend its current student offering by introducing a higher number of places on each course as well as adding a HETAC Level 8 Business Studies degree at night as well as a level 7 Diploma in Hospitality Management and additional FETAC courses to its portfolio. Griffith College will move all student courses from its current location on Upper William Street to Quinlan Street within the next three months. Started by Mrs Nora McNamara in 1951, HSI/ Limerick Business School ceased operations in 2011 following 60 years of delivering training and education in the city at which time their students transferred to Griffith College Limerick. The iconic facility is twice the size of the current campus, offers a more central location and a cutting edge teaching environment. Kevin O'Sullivan, head of Griffith College’s Limerick campus said; “We have outgrown our premises on Upper William Street and our relocation represents an increase in capacity for us. It allows us greater scope in the range of courses we can provide and the number of people we can accommodate. The old part of the building will be re-developed over the years as a bespoke educational facility. The new Nora McNamara building offers us state of the art facilities.” “For many of the staff and students who transferred to Griffith College from HSI in 2011 it will be a sort of homecoming. The former HSI building and what it represents is a landmark in Limerick city and forever known as ‘Mrs Macs’ by the many thousands of students who passed through there over its long history. Griffith College will now carry on that tradition with our high level degree courses along with the professional and vocational training programmes we will continue to offer.” Asked about the courses that would be on offer Mr O’Sullivan said; “All of the courses we currently have on offer will transfer to the new location. We have been improving our range of HETAC degree courses over the years, as well as our MBA programme. Our accounting and finance courses are Find OUT MORE For more information please log on to

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very popular and we will continue to develop all of our course offerings to help our students advance their skills and qualification levels to meet the challenges of today’s economic climate.” Griffith College Limerick is expected to create fifteen jobs in lecturing and administration over the next two years. For more information please log on to Established in 1974, Griffith College is Ireland’s largest independent third-level institution, with campuses in Limerick, Cork and Dublin. It currently has over 7,000 students on a full-time and part-time basis and is a designated educational institute of the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC), now subsumed into the QQAI (Qualifications and Quality Assurance Authority of Ireland). Griffith College offers taught, careerfocused undergraduate, postgraduate and conversion programmes across a range of disciplines including law, business, accounting and finance, design, hospitality management, computing science, applied digital media, journalism and media communications, music and drama, training and education. Griffith College has over 140 international university collaborations with universities and colleges in Europe, Asia, USA and South America. This rich diversity of students has positively contributed to the success of the College academically and culturally.

Griffith College Cork expanding to new 5.3 acre campus

Griffith College Cork has expanded to a 5.3 acre campus on Wellington Road, Cork City, on the former site of St. Patrick’s Hospital and Marymount Hospice. The College will begin moving a selection of courses to this historic and dominant landmark on the northern ridge of the city over the next number of months. The Campus will be called ‘Griffith College Cork, Wellington Road Campus’. Griffith College will operate a third level Residential College. Teaching will commence at the Wellington Road campus this summer with an English Language Residential School. By August all evening undergraduate, postgraduate, short-term and professional programmes in the areas of Law, Business, Journalism and Media Communications, Accountancy and Drama will move to the facility. Griffith College Cork is now looking forward to expanding their educational offerings from this landmark campus and facilitating the growing number of students attending the College from Ireland and abroad. Griffith College are exercising their right to enjoy the Exempted Development legislation to enable their residential third level college secure the future of the complex which has significant social historical and architectural significance to the people of Cork. The new site has unique buildings that date back to the 1870’s but have been sensitively adapted to meet the needs of a modern third level college. Counted among the many benefits to students will be; enhanced library facilities, car-parking facilities, computer labs, radio studios, and Student Union facilities. Diarmuid Hegarty, President of Griffith College, commented; “We are very pleased to have expanded into this new campus which enables us to enhance our

student offerings even further. Our new facilities will not only improve education opportunities, but having a full campus will improve the over-all student experience.” St. Angela’s College, Cork will sub-let the former hospital and hospice areas of the campus for three years, to facilitate a major renovation of their existing school, and the construction of state-of-the-art new buildings, on St. Patrick’s Hill. Their Principal, Mr Curran, commented, ‘We are delighted to be engaging with Griffith College, to create a new educational campus in the city centre, and to continue the 125year old St. Angela’s tradition of educating young women in the city centre.’ The St. Angela’s Development Plan has been in place for some time, and their architects, O’Donnell+Tuomey, have designed an innovative adaptation of the old Marymount buildings. The conversion of Marymount will provide St. Angela’s College with extra facilities including more classrooms, ICT and Science facilities. Within the campus Griffith College and St. Angela’s will operate as separate entities, having different entrances and buildings. St. Patrick’s Hospital and Marymount Hospice occupied this building until 2011, when, 141 years after it first opened its doors, the much loved institution relocated all of its services to new premises at Curraheen in Cork. Kevin O’Dwyer, the Chief Executive Officer of the Hospital, said; “We welcome this development as it is an ideal use of a lovely building that has served the hospital so well since 1870.” For more information on the new facility or programme offerings from Griffith College Cork please log on to www.gcc. ie. Education 17

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The Educational Company of Ireland Ballymount Road, Walkinstown, Dublin 12. Phone: (01) 4299231 Email: Website:

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Increased recognition of qualifications The Irish Presidency of the EU has reached political agreement with the European Parliament on legislation to recognise professional qualifications throughout the EU. This was considered an important step towards the completion of the European Single Market. The new proposals will bring a number of benefits for professionals and consumers across the EU including the introduction of a European Professional Card that will make it easier for professionals to have their qualifications recognised outside of their own country. The legislation will also include provisions on common training principles, which is a significant innovation in the new legislation. These principles have the potential to extend the automatic recognition regime that exists for certain professions currently to a much wider range of professionals in EU states. Both of these provisions have the potential to improve mobility among professionals and will address skills shortages and provide new job opportunities for those seeking work within the EU. Minister Ruairí Quinn said: “This Directive provides tangible benefits to EU citizens. The common training principles, combined with the introduction for the first time of a European Professional Card, will make it easier than ever before for appropriately qualified EU professionals to seek work in other EU countries In addition to recognising professional qualifications, the legislation also promotes an alert system to protect consumers and strengthen patient safety. The alert system will apply where a professional has been convicted of an offence or suspended from

practising, which is a particularly welcome development for patients and public safety in the EU, as it will apply to health professionals amongst others. The legislation also clarifies the language requirements applicable to applicants seeking recognition of professional qualifications.

Second free preschool debate welcomed Early Childhood Ireland, the representative group for over 3,300 preschools and full daycare centres nationwide who support over 110,000 young children and their families welcomes Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn’s remarks today about the possibility of a second year of free preschool education for children in Ireland and his call to start the debate on such an important issue. Irene Gunning, CEO of Early Childhood Ireland said: “This is a timely debate that needs to be had. A second free preschool year makes economic and educational sense. "Ireland currently has the highest birth rate in Europe at 2.1, and the CSO predicts it will likely remain at the top of the European league tables, in the range of 1.8 to 2.1 until 2046. This is a problem that our European neighbours would love to have. In almost every rich country the numbers of children being born are insufficient to replace the number dying, but we buck that trend in Ireland and even the most conservative estimates sets Ireland apart from other countries in terms of future trends."

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Launch of Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs 2013 Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs’, an EU funded international business exchange initiative, has launched its 2013 programme for Ireland. Under the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme, an entrepreneur intending to start a company or having just started one, can get first-hand, practical coaching from an experienced entrepreneur from another country, by working alongside him or her for one to six months. New entrepreneurs receive a grant from

Smart thinking...

the European Union for their stay abroad. Since 2009, more than 1,600 exchanges have so far been organised under the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme and some 3,200 businesses have been created or expanded. Anne-Marie Shanahan, founder of AMS Languages and a participant in the programme said, "I would highly recommend emerging entrepreneurs to take part in this excellent programme. Through my participation in the programme I had the opportunity of acquiring new business skills, work in an international environment and develop my project management skills. "The programme also gave me an invaluable insight into the workings of an international business consultancy firm. All these new experiences allowed me to progress with greater confidence with my business ideas upon my return to Ireland." Darragh Flynn, Founder, the Happy Pear Living Foods and host entrepreneur said, "I had a great experience as a host with the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs project. I found the people very nice to deal and the whole process was smooth and worked very well. The New Entrepreneur got great experience working in our company and experiencing first hand all the tasks, roles and responsibilities that come with running your own business. "In return we got a young person who was keen to work and learn and we found this brought more to our team. I am often now in contact with the New Entrepreneur as she is establishing her own business and I find she has insights and different ways of doing things that can help me improve also." For further information on 'Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs' visit

n County and City Enterprise Boards Student Enterprise Awards: Pictured are Fiona Sunderland (16), left, and Grace Forkin (16) from Ardscoil na Trionaide, Athy, Co. Kildare, representing the Kildare County Enterprise Board in the Senior Category at this year’s Student Enterprise Awards National Finals with their enterprise Click 'N Light, a magnetic torch holder. Photo: Mark Stedman/ Photocall Ireland

Rise in number of primary schools participating in Discover Primary Maths and science awards programme

491 primary schools across Ireland, , have received an Award of Science & Maths Excellence as part of the Discover Primary Science & Maths programme, an increase from 421 schools who took part in 2012. The Awards programme is run by Discover Science & Engineering (DSE), the education and outreach programme of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). Of the total 491 primary schools nationwide there were 77 successful schools in Dublin. The Awards of Science & Maths Excellence recognise the achievements of primary school children and teachers in the application of science and maths in the classroom. To qualify for an Award, schools were required to keep a log of five activities relating to science and maths undertaken throughout the academic year. Schools were awarded credit for visiting Discover Science Centres; inviting speakers to the school to talk about science, engineering and maths; hosting a science event; incorporating maths into their science learning and participating in the Greenwave initiative.   Please visit for further information on the Awards of Science and Maths Excellence and the DPSM programme. Education 23

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€6.9m for 62 research projects Government funding has been announced through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) of €6.9million encompassing 62 research awards. The investment is being made through SFI’s Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) programme, in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland. Amongst the research activities being funded are: • ‘Big Data’, a sector currently growing at up to 40% per annum; • The development of new drugs for cancer treatment and diabetes; • New ways to detect cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease; • Research to develop genetically modified crops tolerant to drought; • Underground high-voltage power cable technology as a substitute to overhead power lines; • Smart networked sensing systems in Agriculture; and • Projects supporting off-shore wind turbines, wi-fi technology and ultraviolet light sources for the pharmaceutical and semiconductor sectors.

UCC new strategic plan Increasing foreign direct investment and job creation, as well as a surge in attracting international students, lie among the regional, national and international benefits outlined in University College Cork's (UCC) strategic plan, Sustaining Excellence 20132017, launched Friday 24 May.

Launched by Dr Michael Murphy, President of UCC, Sustaining Excellence identifies the pathways over the next five years that will seek to propel UCC on the global stage, bringing with it multiple educational, cultural, social and economic benefits. Dr Murphy said his vision was for UCC “to be a world-class university connecting our region to the Globe”. He highlighted that UCC is set to double the annual number of high potential start-ups from UCC research to a total of 20 companies and 150 jobs by 2017. Increasing non-Exchequer income to 50% of total income, as well as increasing annual research income to €90 million, are also among the targets. The plan acknowledges that international education is a national strategic imperative, committing UCC to ensuring international students make up over 17% of the student population during the next five years.

EU: Education for all by 2030 Some €2.5 billion will be mobilised for education by the EU, confirming it as a priority for EU development post-2015. The EU has also made a commitment to ensuring that by 2030, every child across the worldwill be able to complete basic education, regardless of their circumstances, and have basic literacy and numeracy skills. This commitment was made in keeping with the EU’s longstanding strategy to invest in education and promote literacy in the EU and the developing world as a way of minimising exclusion, inequalities and poverty worldwide. The support to education is made as part of the EU’s 2014-2020 budget.

The Irish School of Homeopathy

A Journey to Health & Wellness – a personal story


HAVE always been a very spiritual person and as an adult I lost this part of myself without realizing it was gone. I had experienced difficulties in my childhood and I thought I had resolved these issues until a few years ago when I experienced a period of extreme pain.

Irish School of Homeopathy - Homeopathy is a system of holistic medicine that has been in worldwide use for over 200 years. It is recognised by the WHO as the second largest therapeutic system worldwide. From childhood to puberty to menopause, come learn the skills of acute home prescribing with our Homeopaths at our next workshop. Suitable as CPD for therapists/ health carers and of course all health enthusiasts.

"I believe that by taking up a musical instrument previously and writing poetry had opened up a chink in my amour that I had protected myself with. This brought to the front problems that I needed to work through. "When I went to my GP he recommended anti-depressants which I took but was never comfortable with. I have always believed that we are given what we need to heal. So this led me on a path to find an alternative to modern convention. To this day I don’t know why I choose to visit a local Homeopath but I did. "I finally found somebody who listened to me and treated my symptoms – anxiety, inability to relax and deeper emotional issues. With her help and the help of a therapist I have become more comfortable in my own skin and I can now see more of my strengths then my weaknesses. The journey still continues but now I have help and a guiding hand and it is a joy to feel acceptance in this world.” Homeopathy is a natural holistic medicine – not just for physical ailments but also the emotional and psychological ailments that affect us all.

Visit our website for all Dublin, Cork & Galway workshops Ring Angie Monday- Friday she is always available to speak with you

01-8682581 | 086-1996556 | Email Education 25

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Crann, Trinity College Dublin

10 big years in CRANN, the Science Foundation Ireland funded nanoscience institute based at Trinity College Dublin is celebrating its 10th anniversary. In the past ten years, nanoscience has grown such that it is now linked to 10% or €15 billion of Ireland’s annual exports, and is responsible for over 250,000 jobs. CRANN has grown from just 6 researchers to over 300, from working with 4 companies to over 100 and has leveraged State funding to bring in over €50M of nonExchequer investment from industry and international funding streams. Speaking at an event to to celebrate its tenth birthday, Máire Geoghegan Quinn, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science said: “The European Commission has prioritised nanoscience research directing €1BN of funding through the Graphene Flagship. CRANN is involved in that project and with a track record of working with industry, is recognised as using excellent research for commercial impact. That link between industry and academia is a model which we aim to replicate across Europe, to ensure that the economic return of research is fully realised.” public events In addition, to celebrate its anniversary and bring nanoscience to the public, CRANN will host a series of public events throughout the year: CRANN’s Ten Talks will take place in the Science Gallery during Science Week in November 2013. Free to the public, it will consist of ten very short talks on a number of topics including an introduction to nanoscience, graphene – the next wonder material, nanomaterials and vaccines as well as nanomedicine, smarter diagnostics and treatments. CRANN’s Ten Tours: CRANN will launch a schools’ competition during Nanoweek 2013 (14th – 21st June) which will see ten schools from around the country win a tour of CRANN and the Science Gallery for one of their classes. Students will be asked to write in 500 words what they would look forward to seeing if they got a chance to visit a nanoscience institute and why they think their class deserves a tour. Entries will be accepted from individual students or a group entry from a class. Two secondary schools from each province will be chosen

Celebrating 10 years of Nanoscience in Ireland

Nanoscience is the study of materials on the nanoscale. It affects every type of manufactured product you can think of. times smaller than a grain of salt – that’s the nanoscale.



Nanoscience is changing the face of manufacturing in medicine, energy, transport and technology. The global nanotech enabled market has grown from $420M to $254BN* in the past decade.



In 2003 CRANN, the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices, was established in TCD with just 6 researchers working with 4 companies. Today, 10 years later it has –

300+ researchers employed


companies partnered with


from industry and international funding


patent applications

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In 2003 CRANN, the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices, was established in TCD with just 6 researchers working with 4 companies. Today, 10 years later it has –

Crann, Trinity College Dublin


300+ researchers employed




from industry and international funding

companies partnered with


patent applications


Over the last 10 years, €300M has been invested in nanoscience in Ireland from Government and EU funding. Nanoscience is linked to –



or 10% of Irish exports

Irish jobs


of the world’s medical companies

Ireland has attracted:


of the world’s tech companies

Ireland is at the forefront of research –

1st in EU for ERC starting grants in nanoscience

6th worldwide for nanoscience research



EU investment in graphene flagship project

8th worldwide for materials science research


$2.5TN Global nanotech market growth



more manufacturing jobs projected in Ireland * Forfás Report – Ireland’s Nanotechnology Commercialisation Framework 2010-2014

To celebrate 10 years in operation, CRANN have developed the infographic shown here capturing key facts about nanoscience globally and in Ireland with two runners up from any province giving ten schools in total. Finally, CRANN has unveiled the “world’s smallest birthday cake” and a video of its making. At 500 nanometres in height, the ‘cake’ is 2000 times smaller than a grain of salt. frontiers of nanoscience CRANN (the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices) is a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded Centre for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET). It is based in Trinity College Dublin, is the college's largest research institute, and works in partnership with University College Cork (UCC). The centre works at the frontiers of nanoscience developing new knowledge of nanoscale materials, with a particular focus on new device and sensor technologies for the ICT, biotechnology and medical technology sectors, with a growing interest in energy related research. CRANN brings together 37 Investigators based across multiple disciplines including TCD’s Schools of Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Engineering and Pharmacology, UCC's Department of Chemistry and several hundred post-graduate and post-doctorate researchers. CRANN has a strong track record of successful collaboration with industry and of licensing intellectual property to companies for commercial application. The centre is actively engaged with over 100 companies, from small and medium enterprises to multinationals across diverse sectors, e.g. Intel, Merck-Millipore. CRANN has two state-of-the art buildings both custom designed and constructed for the purpose of leading edge nanoscience research. The Naughton Institute is a large research facility on the campus of TCD. The Advanced Microscopy Laboratory (AML) houses Ireland’s most advanced microscopy instrumentation. Find OUT MORE Education 27

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Coláiste Dhúlaigh College of Further Education (CDCFE)

The innovative college C

oláiste Dhúlaigh College of Further Education (CDCFE) prides itself on being one of the most innovative colleges in the country and is one of the largest providers of PLC courses in Dublin. Located on the Dublin’s Northside, spread out over five campuses in Coolock, Raheny, Kilbarrack, Malahide and Artane, CDCFE offers over 30 full-time PLC courses, as well as a large range of part-time day and evening courses. Why Choose CDCFE?

Over thirty years of experience in further education has allowed CDCFE develop the expertise required to meet the needs of Irish students. In this time of recession many find it necessary to reevaluate their future, so whether you are looking to change career, are a school leaver or simply want to upskill, there are a variety of courses to suit your needs. All our courses adhere to the highest quality assurance procedures and conform to the demands of the various certifying bodies. All courses enable students to work with the current industry standard equipment, software and technology which provide them with the necessary skills to pursue a career in their chosen area. In addition, our smaller class sizes enable us to provide greater personal attention to our students. Links & direct progression to Irish Universities and Institutes of Technology Access, transfer and progression for students have been a crucial part of the development of CDCFE over the past 30 years. In addition to the FETAC links scheme, we have direct arrangements with many 3rd level institutions in Ireland. We have consulted the Higher Education sector particularly DCU and DIT in developing many of our courses. Students can bypass the points system on completion of many courses in CDCFE and progress directly into

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Business & Tourism

first, second or third year of level 8 degree programmes. See our website for further details. Science and Technology Department In this time of recession many skill shortages have been identified in Science and Technology. CDCFE has developed its courses accordingly making them relevant to current employment opportunities. In addition, with the recent points increases in Science and Computer Science University programmes putting them out of reach of many leaving cert students, our PLC courses have direct access into DCU and DIT. All our Science & Technology courses have strong links with the third level sector. Students can chose one of the many courses on offer, enabling them to embark on an exciting and new career. Courses include; • Computer Science (DIT advanced entry) • Computer System Technician (DIT) • Engineering • Medical Laboratory Science • Pre-University Science (DCU & DIT access) • Renewable Energy Practices.

Does Business or Tourism pique your interest? CDCFE offer courses in both Business & Tourism. Tourism is currently Ireland’s largest home grown industry, and also one of the biggest global industries, so there has never been a better time to study Business & Tourism, with many career options to choose from. CDCFE Courses include • Business & Tourism • Languages & European Studies/PreUniversity Languages (DCU) • Certificate in Business (advanced entry into DCU and other institutions.) Art & Design Department CDCFE offer a wide range of structured courses focused towards a career in the design industry. All our design courses are designed to be industry relevant by tutors who are highly experienced in their respective areas and continue to maintain a strong links with current design trends and new technology. • Animation • Architectural Technology • Art and Design Portfolio • Fashion Design • Graphic Design • Interior and 3D Design Our courses provide students with the key skills necessary to progress to a degree level qualification and pursue their career goals. The design department maintain stong links with Irish and UK Universities enabling students to gain advanced entry i n t o DIT, IADT, U n i v e r s i t y o f Wolverhampton and many other institutions. All courses use up to the minute industry standard software and technology which enables students to work on live projects and showcase their work each year at an exhibition that is held at a high profile Dublin City venue. >>> Education 29

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Media and Communications CDCFE prepares students for a wide spectrum of diverse careers in Media with courses in • Communication & Media Production • Film Production • Journalism • Photography. Our courses are tailored for those who are creative, focused, enthusiastic and determined, and who possess good communication and organizational skills. Our graduates now work in the fields of Music P h o t o g r a p h y, Te l e v i s i o n a n d F i l m Production, Sound Design, Music Production and Journalism. Alumni include Film Director Damien O’Donnell, Fintan Maguire, head of TV3 Productions, Music and Commercial photographer Mark Duggan, Charlene Lydon, Programmer of the Lighthouse Cinema and many more. Our aim is to create thinking practitioners who can work at all levels within the Media Industry. We h a v e d i r e c t l i n k s t o s e v e r a l Universities allowing our students advanced entry into the final year of degree programmes at the University of Wolverhampton and University of Central Lancashire. The course is recognised within the UCAS system. Media students have developed and utilised their talents in helping CDCFE become the successful educational centre that it is. Performing Arts Department For those who are creative, imaginative and hardworking, we offer courses in • Theatre Studies • Hairdressing, Our Theatre studies course offers both FETAC and Higher National Diploma (HND)

programmes in performing arts, with advanced entry to degree programmes in the UK. It allows students to master acting techniques, professional skills and develop the academic background required for further studies or work in theatre, television or film. On our Hairdressing programme students are given the confidence & training to secure an apprenticeship in a Hairdressing salon. All practical training is done in our brand new fully equipped professional Hair Salon. Leisure & Social Care Department With an extended reputation for over 30 years in Social Care, CDCFE has the best possible choices for you. The Health Science (Pre Nursing) course appears very popular each year mainly due to the success of students getting direct entry routes to 3rd level in particular DCU. The Social Studies and Social Care Practice courses provide students with the necessary practical experience. On our Special Needs Assisting course students will gain the skills required for working with people in an educational or care environment. If the classroom is not for you, perhaps our Outdoor Adventure Management (Shackleton) Course will fulfil your needs. This 3 year course provides students with the opportunities to develop skills, knowledge and qualifications required to gain employment in the adventure and leisure industry. For students interested in the Health& Fitness industry, our Health Science (Physiology & sport) course is very popular. • Health Science (Pre Nursing) • Outdoor Adventure Management • Social Studies • Health Science (Physiology & sport) • Special Needs Assisting • Social Care Practice VTOS, GET and Part-time Adult Education (Day & Evening) CDCFE offers full-time educational opportunities for unemployed adults. Students are eligible under VTOS programmes to avail of courses in General Education, Business & Computers, Art & Design, Media in Education, and FIT (Fastrack intoTechnology). C D C F E a l s o o ff e r p a r t - t i m e G E T (Gateway to Employment and Training) programmes for students wishing to return to education. Those in receipt of social welfare payments are entitled to free tuition while keeping their social welfare benefits. Courses include: Healthcare, Horticulture, Childcare, Science & Maths, PC Maintenance, Business & Social Media, ESOL and Retrofitting.

Student Experience Student life is not all about the course you are studying and at CDCFE we emphasise the importance of the personal and social development of our students alongside academic ability. The college has a vibrant Student Union which is run by the students themselves. Each class is represented by student reps who liaise continually between the student population and the student union. Events and activities are at the heart of the college and ensure that time spent at CDCFE is a valuable experience and most definitely a memorable one. The college boasts 5 campuses in Coolock, Raheny, Artane, Kilbarrack and Malahide all based on the Northside of Dublin. Our Kilbarrack campus has access to a fully equipped indoor gym, while the Malahide campus has access to many Outdoor Recreational amenities. full potential CDCFE is proud of our learner-centred approach and our programmes are delivered by a team of tutors dedicated to the highest standards of teaching and learning in a caring, supportive and friendly atmosphere. We want you to succeed and our courses are designed to help our learners achieve their full potential. Find OUT MORE

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Additional Learning

School visits at the Castlecomer Discovery Park


ess than 20 km form Kilkenny city a n d a t e n m i n u t e d r i v e f ro m Dunmore caves, Castlecomer Discovery Parks offers a range of programmes suitable for secondary school students. Learning takes place in the great outdoors of our extensive 80 acres woodland, by the lakes and streams, and through our interactive coal mining exhibition and purpose built indoor education programme. Secondary School programmes are designed to reflect the school curriculum with a particular focus on geography, science and history. Classes can also combine educational and recreational activities with our NEW Tree Top Walk course to create the perfect school tour day for team building or start/ end of term activity!

studios/workshops), and short guided walk of the park. This exposes students to the opportunities that exist in learning a skill and in cultivating an understanding of enterprise and among students. Transition Year Students Activity day: Modules are based on practical and group

based activities with an emphasis on teamwork i.e. Map Reading skills & Coal Mining exhibition: â‚Ź10 To discuss your school visit and for information on COMPETITIVE TRANSPORT COSTS call Mary: 056 4440707. For more information see

Coal Mining exhibition: Our interactive multimedia Coal Mining Exhibition charts the formation of coal over 300 million years ago. The exhibition is an educational aid because of the many linkages and connections with topics covered in both Junior and Leaving Cert subjects: Geography, History and Biology. Ecology Field Studies & Leaving Cert Ecology programme: Learn about some of the first plants and earliest animals to inhabit the earth. Small Mammal Capture & Release: Examination of physical /behavioural adaptations of a small mammal. Quadrat Survey: Carry out a qualitative and quantitative study of woodland organisms. Line Transect: Measure the effect of abiotic factors on plant growth. Junior Cert Ecology Programme: learn about some of the first plants and earliest animals to inhabit the earth in our interactive coal mining museum; Quadrat Survey: Carry out a qualitative and quantitative study of woodland organisms; Line transect: Measure the effect of light and shade on plant growth. Leaving Cert Vocational programme (LCVP): Programme includes overview of management, development and structure of the park – as a community project, visits to micro creative enterprises (design craft Education 31

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Developing World Education

One laptop too simple? One Laptop Per Child is an initiative to place a laptop in the hands of every child in the developing world so that they can access the world of learning. The idea has been both lauded and condemned for its simplicity, its technology and its interpretation of education. Niall Gormley reports.


echnology has solved a lot of problems for people, like cooking, transport and the relief of manual labour. So in the race to bring education to the hundreds of millions of children in the developing world it is natural that a tech answer should be attractive. One Laptop Per Child is a concept to bring computing power to the poorest children in the world. If each child could be connected to the web most of the resource problems they face in education would be solved. Laptops can be books, laboritories, libraries, exam centres and even universities. The One Laptop Per Child idea was devised by Nicholas Negroponte, a former lecturer in MIT and Berkeley with a crossover interest in technology. He was the head of the famed Media Lab and he was involved in starting Wired magazine and wrote for the publication for a number of years. In 2005 Negroponte unveiled the idea of a $100 laptop which could be mass produced and used around the world. Many big names in the tech industry pledged to get involved and many countries expressed an interest in supplying the computers to their children. in the real world So how has the idea run in the real world? Some of the commentary around the project would suggest that it has been a failure. There has been many criticisms from a technological point of view and from

an educational point of view. So what is the reality? Firstly, the computer has actually been developed. Called the XO, it is a functioning cheap machine that has pushed the boundaries of cost. Secondly, over two million computers have made their way into the hands of children across the world. Third, the initiative has spurred governments and agencies to work on the distribution of equivalent technology and to ameliorate the impact of the so-called digital divide. Fourth, the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative is alive and well and is moving into the new space for information technology in which the future is the tablet computer. not plain sailing But along this route of relative success has been some problems. The first of these was the technology itself. It has proven impossible for OLPC to produce a useful $100 computer. The price delivered is in the $150 to $200 range. At this price arises a basic criticism of the concept. And that is that $100 is still too dear for the most impoverished children. If we take as a crude measure the often quoted statistic that one billion people survive on a dollar a day and another billion survive on two dollars a day, we can see that the XO is going to be out of the reach of millions of children. This has meant that much of the deployment of the computer has been in middle income countries and even in developed

countries. The picture on the page opposite is from Charlotte in North Carolina in the United States. The technical problem has been compounded by the pace of change in technology itself. No sooner has a standard been agreed but new developments make it obsolete or new components or techniques have rendered progress redundant. Most obvious of these developments was the launch of Apple's iPad in 2010 and it's subsequent impact on laptop sales. The tablet computer promises to be much more versatile than the laptop across the developing world. In response OLPC has brought out the XO-3 which is their version of the tablet. Not only has the technology moved but the market has moved as well. When the $100 laptop was being mooted around the middle of the last decade, people were paying $1000 or more for laptops. But prices have plunged since, firstly with the advent of the netbook models which were selling for under $500 and the with the entry into the market of new south-eash Asia producers. One Indian manufacturer has put out a rudimentary tablet in the $35 range. How good or useful it is, is another question, but the point is that cheap computing is now a market reality. And a little problem The other technical challenge is the smartphone. Once used to make telephone calls, modern cellphones now have enough computing power to launch lunar missions. These phones now have much better

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screens, are very portable, easy to power and are already transforming the economies of the developing world. The mobile phone system is also ideal for isolated communities as all that is required is a mast rather than landline technology. All-in-all the OLPC concept has done rather well to be still in the game. But what about teaching? So the OLPC has had some problems with getting computers into the hands of children. But another, fundamental, question about the idea has arisen. Is technology a good means of teaching children anyway? One criticism is that $200 could be better spent on different education resources such as teacher training and books. Replacing teachers with computers is also a controversial idea. The human interaction is important where the teacher is also able to observe the children and to interact with them. In fairness, the people advocating more technology in teaching are promoting is as an aid to, rather than a replacement of, teachers. However, one experiment in Ethopia saw OLPC workers dropping off sealed boxes containing computers in a couple of villages. No instruction was given at all. Within a short period the children had the laptops charged and were using dozens of educational apps. They even hacked the software after some of the cameras on the laptops didn't work. The answer here is that teaching resources may be able to stretch much

farther. It might be possible that teachers only attend an isolated school on one or two days a week while the children learn through dedicated software on the other days. This is a similar model to the Khan Academy online where the original teaching is done by video lecture and then teachers work with the students to make sure they understand the work. uncertain certainty If the OLPC experience demonstrates anything, it may be the world changes as soon as it it defined. Once the promise of

technology came along, the possibilities for further change opened up. It looks like the price problem with be solved by the IT industry by means other than OLPC. And it seems that the technology itself is heading for a mobile phone/ tablet combination. The future then, may not be a hardware but a software problem. How will the poorest children access education online? Will it be appropriate for their needs? What will be the role of teaching and teachers? Perhaps the story will be One Education Per Child and how it can be achieved using the incredible resources of IT hardware and software. OLPC has certainly helped.

What is the xo? The XO laptop is Linux-based, with a dual-mode display - one mode is full-color and transmissive, the second is black and white, reflective, and sunlight-readable at three times the resolution. The XO-1.5 has a 1GHz processor and 1GB of memory, with 4GB of Flash disk. It does not have a hard disk, but it does have three USB ports and an SD-card slot for expansion. The XO-1.75 is a lowerpower model that uses roughly 30% less power, using an ARM-architecture processor. The laptops have wireless broadband that, among other things, allows them to work as an ad-hoc network: each laptop can talk to its nearest neighbors, creating a local area network even if there are no routers nearby.

The laptops are designed to be highly power efficient, enabling the use of innovative power systems (such as solar, human power, generators, wind or water power). Education 33

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The BionicOpter Lightweight design with intelligent kinematics


he mechanics of dragonfly flight are unique: dragonflies can manoeuvre in all directions, glide without having to beat their wings and hover in the air. Their ability to move their two pairs of wings independently enables them to slow down and turn abruptly, to accelerate swiftly and even to fly backwards. A natural model for flight With the BionicOpter, Festo has applied these highly complex characteristics to an ultra-lightweight flying object at a technical level. For the first time, there is a model that can master more flight conditions than a helicopter, plane and glider combined. In addition to controlling the flapping frequency and the twisting of the individual wings, each of the four wings features an amplitude controller. This means that the direction of thrust and the intensity of thrust for all four wings can be adjusted individually, thus enabling the remotecontrolled dragonfly to move in almost any orientation in space. The intelligent kinematics correct any vibrations during flight

and ensure flight stability both indoors and outdoors.

Highly complex system with easy operation

Integration of functions in the smallest of spaces

Despite its complexity, the highly integrated system can be operated easily and intuitively via a smartphone. The flapping frequency, amplitude and installation angle are controlled by software and electronics; the pilot just has to steer the dragonfly – there is no need to coordinate the complex motion sequences.

The unique flight behaviour is made possible by the lightweight design of the model dragonfly and the integration of its functions: sensors, actuators and mechanical components as well as communication, open and closed-loop control systems are installed in a very small space and connected to one another.

New innovations with bionics The BionicOpter was developed as part of the Bionic Learning Network. Together with colleges, universities and development companies, Festo has spent many years developing and supporting projects and test models whose basic technical principles are derived from nature. Whether it is energy efficiency or lightweight construction, the integration of functions or the ability to learn and to communicate, throughout evolution, nature has developed a wealth of optimisation strategies for adapting to its environment, and these strategies can be applied to the world

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of engineering. After bird flight had been deciphered with the SmartBird, the developers took on their next-biggest challenge: modelling the dragonfly at a technical level – with even more functions and even less weight. Lightweight construction across all parts With a wingspan of 63 cm and a body length of 44 cm, the model dragonfly weighs just 175 grams. The wings consist of a carbonfibre frame and a thin foil covering. The structure is made of flexible polyamide and terpolymer. This makes the entire system flexible and ultralight, but still sturdy. The small ribcage houses the batt e r y, n i n e s e r v o m o t o r s a n d a high-performance ARM microcontroller, all installed in the smallest of spaces just like the sensors and wireless modules. Dynamic flight behaviour in all directions in space Up and down, forwards, backwards and to the side: the flapping wing design of the BionicOpter enables it to fly in all directions in space and hover in midair just like a helicopter. Unlike a helicopter, however, the dragonfly does not need to tilt forwards to generate forward thrust. This means that it can fly horizontally as well as float like a glider. Its lightweight design means it is able to start autonomously. Open and closed-loop control on board All these manoeuvres can be executed with ease using a smartphone. During operation, the remote-control system simply transfers the signals that tell the object which direction to fly in and at what speed. The microcontroller calculates all the parameters that can be adjusted mechanically based on the recorded flight data and the pilot’s input. The processor actuates the nine servo motors to translate these parameters into movement using beat frequency, a swivel device and the amplitude controller.

adjustable between 15 and 20 Hz (1st degree of freedom). Like a real dragonfly, the BionicOpter’s wings can be turned from horizontal to vertical. Each wing is individually actuated by a servo motor during this process and twisted by up to 90 degrees (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th degree of freedom). Four motors at the wing joints control the amplitudes. A linear movement in the wing root infinitely adjusts the integrated crank mechanism to vary the deflection between approximately 80 and 130 degrees (6th, 7th, 8th, 9th degree of freedom). The swivelling of the wings determines the thrust direction. The thrust intensity can be regulated using the amplitude controller. The combination of both enables the dragonfly to hover on the spot, manoeuvre backwards and transition smoothly from hovering to forward flight. The last four degrees of freedom are in the head and tail. The body of the dragonfly is fitted with four flexible muscles made of nitinol. These shape memory alloys (SMAs) contract when exposed to heat and expand when they cool down. Passing an electric current through the SMAs produces ultralight actuators that move the head horizontally and the tail vertically. (10th, 11th, 12th, 13th degree of freedom) Process reliability through condition monitoring In order to stabilise the flying object, data on the position and the twisting of the wings is continuously recorded and evaluated in real time during the dragonfly’s flight. The acceleration and tilting angle of the BionicOpter in space can be measured using the inertia sensors. The integrated position and acceleration sensors detect the speed and spatial direction of the dragonfly’s flight. For Festo, the principle of continuous diagnostics is a guarantee of operational reliability and process stability – whether in bionic flying objects or everyday industrial use. global manufacturer

Thirteen degrees of freedom for unique flight manoeuvres A motor in the bottom part of the housing provides the drive for the common beat frequency of the four wings, which is

As a global manufacturer of pneumatic and electric automation technology, Festo’s core business is helping to shape the production and working environments of the future and offers its customers innovative

solutions for the production systems of tomorrow and beyond. Intelligent products through digital refinement Networking figures large in the vision of production of the future. Centralised plant control will continue its evolutionary development and, at the same time, greater use will be made of the opportunities afforded by decentralised self-organisation. Tasks that are currently still performed by a central master computer will be taken over by components in the future. Individual workpieces will themselves determine what functions they need plants to provide. This digital refinement will give rise to increasingly intelligent products that can actively support the production process thanks to increased functionality – from energy autonomy through to condition monitoring – in the smallest of installation spaces. Highly integrated bionic model With the BionicOpter, Festo is illustrating how these aspects of integrating functions and miniaturisation can be realised. In addition, the remote-controlled dragonfly also demonstrates wireless real-time communication, the continuous exchange of information and the combination of different sensor evaluations as well as the identification of complex events and critical states. Festo’s integrated automation concept, based on the automation platform CPX, is an approach that already offers a meansof achieving this. The electrical terminal CPX for valve terminals offers more than just a means of linking the field and master control levels. It has diagnostic capabilities and can provide condition monitoring functions. Its individual modules already make it possible to integrate the actuation of pneumatic cylinders via the modular valve terminals MPA and VTSA with motion controllers for electric drives. It also offers integrated safety functions. This makes it possible to access diagnostic values, locate problems quickly and replace faulty modules. Find OUT MORE Festo Ireland:

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Green News Scan...................................................................................................................

National Architects in Schools Initiative launched The Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF) announced the launch of the National Architects in Schools Initiative.Devised and delivered by the IAF, this new initiative will provide students with first-hand experience of the design process under the guidance of design professionals. The National Architects in Schools Initiative is co-funded by the Department of Education and Skills, the Department of Arts,

n Lauren O'Connell (16) from Santa Sabina in Sutton, Dublin helped to launch the National Architects in Schools Initiative

Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the Government Policy on Architecture implementation programme 2013 and the Arts Council. Architects and architecture graduates will engage Transition Year students in hands-on design projects and collaborate with teachers to maximise cross-curricular learning within the second-level school syllabus. The IAF will work in partnership with members of the national network of the Association of Teachers’ Education Centre’s (ATECI). 5 Education Centres in particular: Cork, Donegal, Drumcondra, Galway and Wexford are central to this two-year initiative and will work closely with the IAF to train and resource both architects and teachers. The IAF is also launching a new school resource called My Architecture Design Journal, which engages young people in architecture through design projects based on their school, recorded in a bespoke student “Design Journal”. Suitable for teacher-led or architect-led projects, My Architecture Design Journal is supported by a teachers’ handbook and online resources. The National Architects in Schools Initiative and My Architecture Design Journal build on the IAF’s hugely successful schools programme A Space for Learning which placed architects in secondary schools across the country to develop design ideas with students.

Interconnector to France could be a gamechanger In what could be a significant step for a European wide electricity grid, the possibility of an undersea interconnector between France and Ireland is being investigated. The two national Transmission System Operators, EirGrid in Ireland and its French counterpart, RTE (Réseau de transport d’électricité), have just signed a Memorandum of Understanding to commission further preliminary studies on the feasibility of building a submarine electricity interconnector between Ireland and France. An Ireland-France interconnector would, if developed, run between the south coast of Ireland and the north west coast of France, and would comprise a cable length of approximately 600 kilometres. At present this would be the longest undersea interconnector in the world. In recent months, EirGrid and RTE have conducted studies which indicated that an interconnector between the two countries could be beneficial for electricity customers in Ireland and France. By this agreement, the two Transmission System Operators will continue their cooperation, and conduct further detailed feasibility studies. These studies will focus in 2013 on desktop analysis of the seabed to identify potential route corridors. The capacity of the Ireland-France interconnector could be approximately 700 megawatts (MW), or the equivalent of the power demand of about 450,000 households. Last year EirGrid completed construction on the 500MW submarine East West Interconnector between Ireland and Wales. EirGrid Chief Executive Fintan Slye commented: “The project, if it proceeds, would be expected to be in place by 2025. The benefits of the Ireland-France interconnector could include increased security of supply, downward price pressure on electricity prices through competition, and the potential to export renewable energy”.

Pierre Bornard, Senior Executive Vice-President, RTE also welcomed the collaboration agreement. Mr Bornard said: “The construction of the interconnector would facilitate the integration of renewable energy in the European electricity system, and would benefit from the varying wind resources of Ireland and the Continent. It would also improve the quality of electricity supply in the north west part of France”.

Power info now on Twitter

Web and smart phone users in Ireland and Northern Ireland can now receive live all-island system information 24/7. The information being supplied includes data on power system demand, wind generation, frequency and interconnection flows, and is available via the EirGrid Group Twitter feed. The EirGrid Group operates the power system in Ireland and Northern Ireland, and the wholesale electricity market in both jurisdictions. EirGrid’s new Twitter Feed Smartgrid@EirGrid_Info is now live and can be accessed by clicking on the following link: https:// “This new feed provides real-time automated system information on an hourly basis for system demand, wind generation, system frequency and net interconnection,” said Fintan Slye, EirGrid Chief Executive. “The best thing about this innovation is how accessible it is to anyone interested in electricity and renewables.”

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..................................................................................................................Green News Scan

SolarPrint showcase Light-Energy Harvesting Wireless Sensors In May the Open Innovation 2.0 conference and technology showcase was held at Dublin Castle and Dublin’s Mansion House. At the event SolarPrint Ltd and Intel labs Europe jointly demonstrated a light-energy harvesting multi sensing device for CO 2 and temperature control within buildings. The aim of the research collaboration between SolarPrint and Intel Labs Europe [Energy and Sustainability Lab] is to demonstrate the integration of self-powered wireless sensors as part of a holistic approach to resource efficiency within the built environment. “There is a real need for low cost, easy to install multi sensor solutions like an energy harvesting CO2 and Temperature sensors. One of the greatest needs exists in public buildings and classrooms where high occupancy ratios can result in increased or even

dangerous levels CO2. A plug and play solution powered by SolarPrint could provide schools and other buildings with a low cost solution to effectively monitor and control their CO2 and temperature levels” explains Roy Horgan, SolarPrint’s Director of Business Development. SolarPrint Ltd is a leader in the development of Dye Sensitised Solar Cells (DSSC), a printable photovoltaic technology which converts light from any source into energy. SolarPrint’s technology harnesses more power from indoor light than any alternative. The SolarPrint technology platform provides an autonomous power source for intelligent wireless devices and displays, removing the constraints of mains power wiring or disposable battery replacement to enable the rollout of an Internet of Things. The company is based in Sandyford, Dublin, Ireland.

Bioenergy policy reform vital Dundalk turbine providing for in rural communities one third of campus power The Environmental Pillar, a coalition of 26 national environmental organisations, is calling for key reforms to Ireland’s bioenergy policy. The benefits of these reforms would be felt in many rural communities in terms of long-term investment and job creation. Without these reforms, Ireland will struggle to meet its renewable energy targets without taking land out of food production and destroying important natural habitats. Bioenergy is energy derived from material such as wood, plants, animals and waste. The drafting of a new national bioenergy strategy is currently underway by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. According to the Environmental Pillar, three major concerns need to be addressed: Supporting local biomass energy production for heat and electricity using sustainable methods; l Promoting energy production from anaerobic digestion; and l Removing subsidies for the use of biofuels in transport. l

The potential positive impacts of the first two key recommendations are equally compelling, according to Michael Ewing, spokesperson for the Environmental Pillar. ‘Local energy initiatives will create investment in local jobs and will give farmers an added incentive to use sustainable agroforestry as another income source,’ he said. ‘Promoting anaerobic digestion is just a no-brainer. We produce a million tonnes of food waste in Ireland each year, and about 40 million tonnes of slurry from farms. Let’s use this waste as a sustainable, renewable energy source.’ ‘If incentives for biofuel production continue, we’ll see increasing intensification of agriculture as well as loss of natural spaces like border strips and hedgerows. We can’t sustain that kind of biodiversity loss without it impacting on our daily lives in the long term,’ Mr Ewing continued.

FROM CREDIT BLOG DKIT In August 2005 DkIT installed the world’s first large commercial wind turbine on a college campus. The turbine initially provided about half of the institute’s electricity needs; nowadays, with the expansion of the institute, it provides about a third of the electricity used oncampus. It is the first urban large wind turbine in Ireland; we hope that our machine inspires Irish towns to address their energy needs at a local level. Some notes about the wind turbine: • This is a Vestas V52 wind turbine. • It was installed in August 2005. • Its rated peak output is 850 kW when the wind speed is at least 16 m/s. In this wind speed, it turns at 26 RPM. • Its power output, averaged over the year, is approx 163 kW. • The height of the wind turbine to the nose cone is 60m. This is called the hub height. • The average wind speed at the hub height is approximately 6 m/s. • The electricity produced is used on campus first. Any surplus is sold to the grid via a broker. • The machine provides about one third of the campus’ electricity. • Each blade is 26 m long. The overall height of the wind turbine is 86 m and its total weight, excluding foundations, is 102 tonnes. • It was the first urban large wind turbine in Ireland. We believe that it was the first large wind turbine on a college campus in the world. The total cost of installation was approximately €1,127,000. About €500,000 of this was provided by The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The net benefit to the collage, through reduced electricity bills, is at least €100,000 per annum. The turbine is almost completely automated, with advanced computer control. The machine is looked after by us, CREDIT (the Centre for Renewable energy at Dundalk IT), together with the Estates office. The turbine also provides us with a research and training platform. The campus wind turbine is managed by Raymond Byrne. Larry Staudt, the Centre’s founding director, had the original idea for the turbine; he also completed much of the hard work required to make it happen.

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Just Published.....................................................................................................................

The Food Nanny: The 10 Food Rules to Prevent a Fat Future for Your Kids

Something to Chew on Challenging Controversies in Food and Health

Do you find yourself constantly bombarded with requests for sweets, treats and snacks by your kids? Is the supermarket a battleground every time? Do your kids spend a lot more time indoors watching TV than you would have been allowed as a child? Would you love to see them eat more vegetables and make it through a movie without consuming the caloric allowance of a small elephant? Then you need The Food Nanny. You need to take charge of your child’s nutrition today. Parents, it’s time we faced the truth: our kids are getting fat. This is not a good thing. This is the result of overindulgence and it’s up to you to do better. Straight-talking, witty, but brutally honest The Food Nanny will give you the only rules you’ll ever need to teach your children to be happy, healthy eaters, fitter, active and full of beans. Enjoy happy relaxed mealtimes. See them tuck into vegetables. Watch your kids thrive outdoors. And, more than anything else, enjoy watching your kids come back in line with what nature intended for them: a fit future. Having graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a degree in microbiology, and University College Cork in 1995 with a master’s degree in nutrition, Anna Burns has amassed over seventeen years’ experience in the field of nutrition Also available as an E-Book on and Gill & McMillan • Around €12

By Mike Gibney

by Anna Burns

Great Irish People By Seamus Moran

From the Kilkenny architect who designed the White House, to the Clare inventor who built the first submarine, the thirty-two counties of Ireland have produced countless men and women who for hundreds of years have made a significant impact across the world. Great Irish People traces those memorable Irish figures from the Flight of the Earls in 1607 throughout the most dramatic four centuries in the country’s history, to the Good Friday Agreement and right up to the present day. These periods saw the men and women of Ireland reach dizzying heights, not only on this island but worldwide: Antrim’s Chaim Herzog became President of Israel; Derry’s Charles Thomson designed the Great Seal of the United States; Derry’s Matthew Thornton was a signatory of the American Declaration of Independence; Waterford’s William Hobson was the first Governor of New Zealand and Carlow’s Patrick Francis Moran the Archbishop of Sydney. Great Irish People is arranged on a county-by-county basis, allowing for an extensive look at this ‘reservoir’ of Irish men and women of merit and achievement. There are also specially commissioned hand drawn portraits of each 'Great Irish Person' in this special collection which celebrates the contributions made by the Irish at home and in virtually every corner of the globe; an immense, amazing, sometimes bizarre, extraordinary and varied collective. Seamus Moran is from Galway, but was educated in Dundalk and London where he studied architecture. A keen sportsman, he played senior rugby with Bohemians RFC, Limerick. Seamus is a lifelong knowledgeable Irish historian. Cork University Press • Around €30

"Something to Chew On" is an informative and entertaining book which covers from a scientific point of view all of the worldwide controversies dominating the popular press in relation to the safety and wholesomeness of the modern food chain. It deals with the topics of organic food, GM foods, obesity, growing old, the integrity of food research, global warming, global malnutrition, consumer perception of food-borne risk, our gut bacteria, and how nutrition during pregnancy primes us for health in later life. Each chapter presents multiple arguments and comes to a well-supported conclusion. Mike Gibney provides interesting examples, reports and stories from many countries. The book is highly suitable for the general reader and will be an invaluable guide to the science of nutrition for students of food and health.. Professor Mike Gibney is Director of the Institute of Food and Health at University College Dublin. He has a global reputation for research on food and nutrition and he has served on all high-level advisory committees of national, EU and UN agencies. He is the author of a popular book Nutrition, Diet and Health (Cambridge University Press). UCD Press • Around €18

A History of Ireland in 100 Objects By Fintan O'Toole Objects tell us startling stories. Some recall catastrophes a jewelled lizard pendant retrieved from a wrecked armada ship of 1588, or the handkerchief waved by a priest in Derry in 1972 to clear a path to safety for a wounded 17-year old boy. Others inspire wonder—the gold lunula that shone on the breast of an ancient king, or the trophy that Irish goldminers in Australia had made for a nationalist hero. From the simple fish trap of the earliest inhabitants of the island to the first massproduced microprocessor, they take us through the history of people in Ireland. They also offer a glimpse into the lives and minds of long-dead individuals. Each of the 100 objects selected is given a historical context, a cultural vitality, a political intensity. What makes each one pulse with life is the idea of the people who touched and were touched by it. Royal Irish Academy • Around €30

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