My son Dáire is learning Greenscreen production, AI photo enhancement, 3D scanning and 3D printing from Eoin Jordan, Lukasz Porwol, Ihab Salawdeh and PJ Mealy whilst undertaking a summer internship at our Insight Centre for Data Analytics NUI Galway.
One of the most exciting of these projects is the use, at the Computer Museum in the Data Science Institute, of a XBox 360 Kinect to scan images of vintage computers and computer parts to make 3-dimensional units to be used either as ornaments or to replace missing/broken components of retro units in this technology facility.
In the background is the 3D printer alongside a miniature model of a Smart (sensors based) City where we are gradually replacing the Lego parts with 3D made pieces. Thanks Gerry Kavanagh!
The three lads are holding 3D productions.
As part of our role in the new 'National Park City for Galway' initiative, we will soon be installing a unit that grinds old and new plastics that can be converted into 3D plastic filament. This is the 'Circle Economy’, Upskilling and Sustainability in action!

The Magical 7 Galway Castles' Heritage Cycle Looped Trail

There is no nicer way to end Bike Week 2019 than to take part in a leisurely group cycle through a mosaic of lovely picturesque rural landscapes that lie only a short distance from noisy, busy urban Galway city
The Seven Galway Castles' Looped Cycle Heritage Tour aka ‘Slí na gCaisleán’ (‘The Way of the Castles’), is a guided off-the-beaten-track heritage cycle excursion along a looped trail across beautiful countryside that encompasses seven castles on the north and eastern side of Galway city and on into Galway county. The tour, organised by the Ballinfoile Mór Community Organic Garden, will start at 9.30am on Sunday June 30th from the ‘Plots’ on the Dyke Road which was the site of former urban allotments in decades gone by, then onto Terryland Castle before undertaking a forty km looped cycle route that has castles at Menlo, Cloonacauneen, Killeen, Ballybrit, Castlegar and Ballindooley. This leisurely cycle will journey over hills, along botharins, past abandoned farms, ruined castles, karst outcrops, bogs, lakes, dykes, turloughs and meadows.
Local communities are hoping that it will become part of a new cycling friendly network that could benefit the quality of life of Galwegians as well as become a major green tourism attraction.

Note: Participants should ,bring along their own bicycle, suitable clothing, water and food. There will be a stopover at Cloonacauneen Castle where people can buy lunch. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
For further information, contact Brendan Smith at

Finally a big 'Bualadh Bos' (applause) to the wonderful artist Helen Caird who worked with me on producing the beautiful attached poster

The American Irish corporate Award!

I was so chuffed last night to receive the inaugural 'Cairdeas' (societal impact) award from the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland.
It was presented to me by Mark Gantly, President of the Chamber, in recognition of my activities over many years promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) amongst people of all ages, of all backgrounds, from Galway, across Ireland, Africa and the Middle East.
It was quite emotional to hear testimonials at the event from people such as Emma Meehan of Cisco who told how she was inspired as a pre-teen primary school pupil to pursue a career in technology thanks to workshops and computer equipment we gave to her school class twelve years ago.
As an education & public engagement officer since 2001, I have been so fortunate to have been given opportunities by the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, DERI, Galway Education Centre, SAP, Galway Science and Technology Festival, Medtronic, Galway Atlantaquaria, Coderdojo, and University College Galway to educate and upskill children, teenagers and older peoples in coding, digital media, environmental science, engineering etc so that they could be empowered to improve their lives, their communities and to secure sustainable careers in new web technologies.
I have also being blessed to have being inspired by individual visionaries, collaborators, educationalists, science researchers, business leaders, environmentalists, societal leaders, community activists and role models such as Bernard Kirk, Brian Wall, Mike Turley, Claire Duval, Professor Mathieu D'Aquin, Michael D Higgins, Ciaran Cannon, Chris Coughlan, Jimmy Brown, Marie Mannion, Anne Murray, Batoul HusseinI, Caroline Healy, Ollie Daniels, Karl Sweeney, Simon Lenihan, Patrick McGovern, Carole Raftery, Enda O'Connell, Eoin Jordan, Lol Hardiman, Helen Caird, Niall O'Brolchain, Ihab Salawdeh, Lukasz Porwol, Arek Stasiewicz, Bianca Pereira, Agustín García Pereira, John Breslin, Adegboyega Ojo, Aksana Azava, Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, Caroline Cawley, Brian Walsh, Duncan Stewart, John O’Sullivan, Catherine Seale, Ibrahim Khafagy, Julie Cleverdon, Mootketsi Tegere, Martin Serrano, Lorraine Tansey, Colin Lawton, Michel Dugon, Noel Treacy, Aoibheann Bird, Cushla Dromgool Regan, Sarah Knight, Liam Brennan, Muriel Grenon, Noirin Burke, Garry Kendellen, Sheila Greaney, Colette Lavin, Tommy Flaherty, Frank Gavin, Hung Ngo, Kay Synott, Caitriona Carlin, Geische Kindermann, Tom Cuffe, Caroline Stanley, Colin Stanley, Jessamyn Fairfield, Padraic Keirns, Nikunj Sakhrelia, Michael McDonnell, Margaret Douglas, Sabrina Cummins, Fiona O’Donovan, Tiarnan McCusker, Catherine Cunningham, Justine Delaney, Michael Madden, Daniel Raven-Ellison, Edward Skehill, Dick Delaney, Tom Hanley, Laurence Daly, Caitríona Nic Mhuiris, Frank McCurry, Tom Frawley, Liam Ferrie, Pat Moran, Gerry Kilcommins, Tom Hyland, Patrick Collins, Lorraine McIllarth, Rachel Quinlan, Derrick Hambleton, Ann Irwin, Dan Clabby, Martina Finn, Peter Butler, Tina O'Connell, Kate Howard, Martin Brennan, Felicity Gillespie, Michael Tiernan, Douglas Rafter, Mary Kyne, Mags Amond, Thomas O Dúbhda, Mags Amond, Terry Morley, John Power, Niamh Costello, Colm Canny, Micheal O Cinneide, Denis Goggin, Phil James, Nollaig McGuinness, James Harrold, Cllr Frank Fahey, Mark Lohan, Catherine Connolly, Eamon O Cuiv, Elaine O'Riordan, Clare Riordan, Mairead Farrell, Terry O'Flaherty, Diarmuid Keaney, Micheal Keaney, Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, Brian Barrett, Terry McDermott, Siobhan McEvoy, Feargal Timon, Jonathan Hannan, Eoin Gill, Sheila Domegan as well as countless teachers/principals such as Cepta Stephens, Maire Keady Baker, Kate Murray, Nuala Dalton, John Duggan, Martina Tarpey, Leo Hallissey, Ger O'Dowd, Irene Mc Goldrick, Caroline Bond, Finbarr O'Regan, Niall Ó Ceallaigh, Maria Burke, Niall Coll, Teresa O'Dowd, Anne Burke, Mait O Bradaigh, Anne McGrath, Celine McCormick, John Reilly, Frank Keane, Catherine Harrington, Michelle Kerrigan, Catherine Hickey, Davina Daly, Mary Smith, Mary Howley, Colin McCaul, Aoife Winters, Barry Maguire, Mary Dillon, Maire Browne, Pat Keane, Orla Doyle, Martin Faherty, Sean Tuohy, Grainne Dooley... who I have worked with a lot over so many years.

With the world in such a deepening crisis due to climate chaos, biodiversity loss, political instability and rising social inequality, benign technology and science research and its' application is critical in coming up with solutions that can help save the planet and human society from the excesses and narrow-minded greed of much of human civilization.

Furthermore, as Tina O'Connell alludes too, Science and Technology without the Arts, and indeed Heritage and Culture, is incomplete. Which is way I have always practised a holistic approach towards teaching and mentoring.

Photo shows (L-R): Mark Redmond (CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce), Mark Gantly (President of the American Chamber of Commerce), myself and President Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh (NUI Galway).

Finally a big thank you to my beloved wife Cepta for her endless patience and kindness in allowing me the space over so many decades to spend so many days and nights on work and volunteer assignments. A true angel!

‘Back to the Future’- 1980s Galway city was so 21st century


An invitation is being extended to those who were employed in electronic manufacturing companies such as Northern Telecom, Information Sources Ltd(ISL) and Digital Equipment Corporation, as well as to those who had worked or studied in information technology, telecommunications and computing retail sector in Galway, during the 1970s/1980s, to attend a gathering at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics of the Data Science Institute, NUI Galway in the Dangan Business Park at 8pm on Tuesday June 11th. The purpose of the event is to connect with people that helped make Galway the country’s first ‘Digital City’ and one that was uniquely cosmopolitan during this era, in order to tap into their expertise, memorabilia and stories for the benefit of the national Computer and Communications Museum based at the Data Science Institute.

According to Brendan Smith Public Engagement Officer at Insight and curator of the computer museum, “21st century Ireland is defined in so many ways by technology-related issues such as cloud computing, social media, robotics, artificial intelligence, youth coding clubs, online digital media, video conferencing, computing gaming, a government focus on investing into science subjects, developing third level centres of scientific research, promoting the country as a high-tech global hub for foreign direct investment, attracting in skilled workers from overseas, as well as on the dark side by concerns over hacking and the negative influences of modern devices on family life and wellbeing.

Amazingly these issues were also symptomatic of Galway during the 1980s. The city was a key European manufacturing plant for Digital Equipment Corporation(DEC), then the world’s second largest computer company and for Northern Telecom, a global pioneer in the development of telecommunications products. Attracted by high tech jobs and a better quality of life, people came to work in Galway from the Americas, Asia and the European continent who had no Irish ancestry as well as from the Irish Diaspora in United States and Britain. As early as January 1981, all second-level schools in Galway city and county were equipped with Apple computers. The university was providing coding workshops for teachers; and ‘Coderdojo’ type clubs, aimed at children and their parents, were operating in city centre locations. Eleven city schools benefitted from ‘cloud-computing’ technology for mathematics and programming applications. Thirty years before Facebook, many teenagers took advantage of this online network connecting schools to communicate with each other for meet-ups, dating and other social engagements! Households in Galway were using digital devices via telephone lines to access online services for emailing, shopping, banking, hotel reservations, airline reservations, news, weather and information services. From 1984, robotics was taught at the Galway RTC (GMIT). UCG (NUIG) was renowned for its’ research on computer-aided manufacturing.  In 1985, a young boy invented Galway’s first computer-controlled robot. Two years later, an employee at DEC Galway produced probably Ireland’s first online newsletter by emailing news stories to colleagues working in DEC plants across the globe. As a prelude to Google, a Galway-based company(ISL) in 1982 was developing a digital search engine for American libraries.  The first satellite link between Ireland and North America, that allowed transatlantic business communications including video conferencing, was launched in 1987 at the Telecom Éireann (Éircom) headquarters in Mervue. 

We want to record these fascinating stories from this innovative era and make them known to the wider public.  Furthermore there is a huge repository of technical expertise amongst people from that generation who could form a veteran ‘digital makers’ club to pass on their vintage computer repair skills to younger museum volunteers.  Some individuals may be able to source key Galway-made or associated equipment absent from our museum collection or to volunteer as tour guides for a technology heritage and learning facility that is the only one of its type in Ireland and which could become an important element of Galway 2020 in promoting our unique digital cultural heritage.”

Galway Girl Hannah needs your support

Hannah is a beautiful young teenage Galway girl. But she is suffering from a degeneration in her jaw joints which has led to her losing jaw function. Talking can cause her unbearable pain. She has not been able to eat since Christmas and has been bed-bound since early this year.
Hannah's only hope to lead a normal life is to be treated by a oral maxillofacial surgeon in London who is a world leader in jaw joint treatments.
She deserves the opportunity to be able to enjoy the simple things in life that so many of us take for granted, such as a meetup with friends for a coffee and chat in a café, or a walk in a forest. Please donate something, no matter how small, and help this lovely daughter of an old friend (Dave Hill) of mine achieve this.
 Click here to support Hannah

The Heroes of D-Day

I salute the c350,000 soldiers, sailors, paratroopers and air crews who took part in the Normandy landings on June 6th 1944 supported by thousands of French resistance fighters.
Where it not for their actions and the even greater actions of the Soviet Union military and the guerrilla fighters of Eastern Europe in World War 11, the continent would today probably be still under the brutal occupation of the Nazis, minus its Jewish and Gypsies peoples long since eliminated by genocide, with its Slavic populations reduced to sub-human status and slavery.
Sadly in the following decades, many European, Asian, African and American governments did commit atrocities against other nations and peoples. But the followers of Adolf Hitler represented a special brand of evil that deliberately wanted to bring death and subjugation to much of humanity.

So thank you to the British, Americans, Canadians, Australians, French, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Greeks, Dutch, Irish, Belgians, New Zealanders and Norwegians who took part in Allied military operations on this day 75 years ago.

As a child one of my most cherished possessions was ‘The Longest Day’ written by the Irish author Cornelius Ryan, probably the best book ever written on D-Day. It tells the story of June 6th 1944 humanely and fairly through the memories of French female and male civilians, as well as combatants on land, sea and air, both Allied and German. I highly recommend it.
In the celebrations today I was especially impressed to see two British men who fought on D-Day as paratroopers, once again jump from a Dakota C-47 airplane in the skies above Normandy.
Your bravery was not in vain.