Origami - A Beautiful Fusion of Arts & Engineering

Thanks Tom Cuffe so much for teaching my son Daire as a child the wonderful art of Origami. Over eleven years ago Tom introduced to the schools of Galway city and county the traditional Japanese skill of folding elaborately designed paper into a myriad of shapes of all sizes. I personally loved Origami as it combined Art, Engineering and an appreciation of Nature. For Tom encouraged his young pupils to use flora and fauna as subjects for their creations.
When my son Dáire was in primary school, he took to it like a fish to water.
Now he is 21 years old. But I still have a display in my attic (now my off-campus workplace since COVID!) of a number of his Origami creations (geometric shapes, birds and frogs) that he made when he was 10, 11 and 12 years of age.
Tom's Origami hands-on workshops at the annual Galway Science and Technology Festival Sunday Fair on the campus of NUI Galway were always a big visitor attraction. Lets hope that they return in November of this year at a post-COVID festival!

Reclaiming all of Terryland Forest Park for all of the people of Galway.

I found it difficult in some ways to write the article that appeared in this week's Galway Advertiser considering all of the beautiful habitats and great community volunteering initiatives in Terryland Forest Park. But we need to be honest about the problems that exist, expose them to public scrutiny so that we can come up with sustainable solutions that will benefit everyone and ensure that Ireland's largest urban native tree community park project fulfills the vision of its founders of the late 1990s to be the 'Lungs of the City' ('carbon sink'), a People's Park, a wildlife sanctuary, an ecological corridor, Arts in Nature space, an Outdoor Classroom....

Visitors safety, litter-free, dog poo free and alcohol-free environments should be prerequisite criteria for all public parks. Over the last few weeks in a section of Terryland Forest Park and in some areas of many other parks across the city, this has sadly not been the case. This is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.
Thankfully there was a very productive meeting today with city officials on key issues of the forest park that hopefully will ensure progress soon.
The article in the Galway Advertiser can be accessed here

Calling all Graduates of NUI Galway. Vote Mike Jennings in next week's elections for the university's Governing Authority.


Please consider voting for Mike Jennings in next week’s elections to the graduate panel of the NUI Galway Governing Body

I was honoured that Mike gave me the opportunity to officially nominate him as a candidate for this election.
Details on how to vote are below.
During his student days at what was then UCG and in his subsequent working career, Mike has always been a passionate campaigner for access to third level education for all, a defender of student rights and of academic freedom and an advocate for proper funding for higher education. He believed in and lived by a holistic approach to learning, in which involvement in college societies, sports, students unions, in reaching out to the wider communities outside college especially those that were disadvantaged, and in other extra-curricular activities were as important as the formal studies in helping develop a student’s life skills and in finding ways to contribute to the betterment of society.
His record at UCG exemplified these beliefs: President of UCG Students’ Union(photo), student representative on the university’s Governing Body, auditor of DramSoc, editor of two weekly student newspapers (“Unity” and “Student Forum) and an active participant in Lit & Deb events.
After leaving UCG, he continued in promoting equality and education throughout a long and distinguished career that took him from being an organiser for USI (Union of Students of Ireland) and first ever student representative on a VEC (Limerick City); a trade union official representing non-academic university staff, a representative of Local Authority Engineers and Professional Officers; and finally to becoming General Secretary of IFUT (2007-2017), which is the union for University Academics, Researchers, Librarians, and Senior Professional Staff.
Mike is currently European Treasurer / Vice President of ETUCE, the European Region of Education International; a member of the advisory group on International Co-operation established by the European Higher Education Area; and chair of the Board of TASC, a research and educational think-tank, engaged with the issues of equality, democracy and sustainability. 
As a graduate representative on the Governing Authority, Mike would be a strong voice for progressive change and will bring his wealth of valued knowledge and experiences to protecting academic freedom; improving working conditions for researchers and continuing to ensure that education contributes to reducing social inequality, in benefiting society and in promoting the life skills and all-round development of all its participants.
Election Details 
Elections for the Graduate constituency will take place online over a 27-hour window from 9am Monday January 11th to 12pm on Tuesday January 12th, 2021.
As a graduate you will receive your unique link to vote by email on January 11th at 9am.
You will be eligible to vote for nominees in the Graduate constituency only.
Eligible voters are graduates of the University whose contact details are registered with the Alumni Office.
Your link to vote is unique to you and will not work if shared with others so please avoid forwarding the voting link on.
For any queries on the upcoming Governing Authority elections, please contact govandacademicaffairs@nuigalway.ie