Do Smart Technologies Represent the Future for Galway?

A new Spanish model for Smart Cities
Considering the public debate at present on developing a sustainable transport infrastructure, overcoming the enormous quantity of water lost due to faulty piping, grasping the potential of Open Data and sensor technology, a series of scientific talks and discussions happening next Tuesday night should be of interest and of benefit to people living in Galway. Entitled The Future is Smart the event will take place at 7pm on Tuesday May 19th in the Busker Brownes pub as part of Pint of Science, a new way of delivering science issues in a fun, engaging and approachable manner to an audience that will contain members of the general public as well as third level students and staff..
The Future is Smart line up comprises:
  • Dr Adegboyega Ojo, Insight NUI Galway – SMART Cities
  • Niall O'Brolchain, Insight NUI Galway – SMART Tourists
  • Wassim Derguech, Insight NUI Galway – SMART Water
  • Dr Rachel Quinlan, School of Mathematics, NUI Galway – SMART Sums
Duration of each talk: 10-15mins. Brendan Smith (me!) will act as the MC for the evening.

After the talks, the speakers will join a panel with three specially invited guests (Catherine Cronin
Academic Co-ordinator of online IT programmes at Information Technology NUI Galway; Dr. Chris Coughlan  Senior Manager in charge of Global Cloud Services Innovation Centre at Hewlett Packard Galway & Dr. Michael Madden head of Information Technology NUIG) to answer questions and start debating issues that the audience will bring forward.

The aim of The Future is Smart is to engage the general public in a discussion on how these new technologies will impact on our future and make ordinary people aware  that this type of world-changing research is actually taking place right here in Galway.
For the NUIG researchers  it will allow them the opportunity to present &/or discuss their research work in front of a lay audience, which is something that doesn't happen often enough. 

The event is free but ticketed to a max of 100 persons. The tickets are available on So please support a new method to bring scientific research to the general public by booking your place as soon as possible and encourage others to do likewise.

Saor Alba & a Pyrrhic Victory for the Tories?

Congrats to the Scottish National Party (SNP) for their great historical victory yesterday. They are a movement whose origins in part are due to the inspiration that Scots got in the early part of the last century from the Irish struggle for nationhood and independence from an imperial Britain.

Yesterday was a watershed in British politics, an important milestone in the shaping of the United Kingdom similar to the 1945 General Election which brought the Labour Party to power and to 1918 when Sinn Féin consigned the once dominant Irish Parliamentary Party to the history bin and led a few years later to the establishment of an Irish free state.

This week Labour was annihilated in its heartland by a rising nationalism due in large part to its betrayal of its socialist principles, its support for the hugely expensive Trident nuclear weapon programme and its arrogance towards the Scottish people that it took for granted over so many years.

The three principal founders (Hardie, Anderson & MacDonald)  of the British Labour Party were all Scottish and it has been the largest party in Scotland since the late 1950s. Until yesterday.

The Conservative Party may have won the 2015 UK general election but it could be a Pyrrhic victory. Mainland Britain now has a geographical political fault line separating Scotland from the rest of the island. The Tories are primarily a party  of England; it has only one Westminster seat in Scotland out of 59 seats, with SNP on the other hand holding an overwhelming 56.

The nationalists will now campaign for the maximum powers possible for the Hollyrood parliament under the increased powers of devolution promised at last referendums. Furthermore, the UK referendum on membership of the EU that will take place within the next two years may lead to the majority of the population of England voting to leave whilst the Scots may  decide the opposite. What happens then?

Now for an enjoyable read of What did the Irish ever do for Scotland?, click here