06-2004 Press Releases

30/06/2004: Queen's study shows mice fertility affected by Viagra
29/06/2004: Queen's partners up with BIFHE
29/06/2004: How spaces become places
28/06/2004: Queen's hosts top electronic conference
28/06/2004: 'A Distinctive Palette' in Queen's Naughton Gallery
24/06/2004: Young children's experiences of violence in Northern Ireland
24/06/2004: Queen's prepares for graduation week
23/06/2004: Queen's School of Architecture End of Year Show
22/06/2004: Queen's pays tribute to Bain
21/06/2004: New report calls for all-Ireland Sustainable Development logo
21/06/2004: Trimble biography to be showcased at Queen's Bookshop
18/06/2004: 'Bugging' insect experts at Queen's
18/06/2004: Major Innovation Lecture at Queen's
15/06/2004: Get on your bike and cycle to work at Queen's!
14/06/2004: Queen's robotic team kicks off in Germany
14/06/2004: International honour from world's leading technical body
11/06/2004: Sir Anthony O'Reilly donates US$7 (�4m) to boost the funding for new Queen's library
11/06/2004: Queen's honours its sporting heroes
08/06/2004: Queen's team in unique coral find
07/06/2004: Queen's graduate is top young chemist
07/06/2004: Getting into the swing for the 2004 Queen's Golf Classic
04/06/2004: How to run an E-consultation: hate crime and the Hansard Society
04/06/2004: Black Death debate
03/06/2004: Health and the European Union
02/06/2004: Garret Fitzgerald addresses seminar on ageing in Ireland
02/05/2004: 'Catastrophic' Famine and Holocaust compared
01/06/2004: Queen's to launch GAA Academy for stars of the future

Queen's study shows mice fertility affected by Viagra

The Reproductive Medicine Research Group at Queen's University Belfast, have reported that Viagra affects fertilization and early embryo development in mice.

Research Fellow Dr David Glenn, from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, presented the findings at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Berlin today (Wednesday).

In this study, female mice were mated with males who had been given a single oral dose of Viagra or a control substance. Numbers of embryos and their stages of development were compared. Results showed that female mice who were mated with males dosed with Viagra produced 33% fewer fertilized eggs than female mice mated with males who had not received Viagra.

By day four of development there were 40% fewer embryos in mice who had been mated with males dosed with Viagra. Moreover, there was a trend for embryos in the Viagra group to develop more slowly, although this did not reach statistical significance.

These findings follow on from previous work by the group, presented by Dr Glenn at the British Fertility Society, in Cheltenham, in April. Viagra, when added to human semen, was found to affect sperm motility and prematurely induce the acrosome reaction – a reaction which normally occurs when a sperm comes into contact with an egg. When this reaction is induced prematurely, the sperm is rendered incapable of fertilization.

Today's report lends further support to the group's concerns about Viagra adversely affecting fertility. Since 42% of all licensed assisted reproduction units in the United Kingdom claim to be using Viagra for men having difficulty producing semen samples for treatment cycles, these findings have significant implications.

Further studies need to be done urgently to elucidate these findings, according to Dr Glenn.

For further information contact: Dr David Glenn, 077 5151 5151.

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Queen's partners up with BIFHE

Queen's University and Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education will today sign a new partnership agreement which will formalise links between the two institutions.

The agreement, under which BIFHE will become a Partner College of Queen's, will be signed by Queen's Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir George Bain and BIFHE Director Brian Turtle.

Professor Bain described the development as "very timely", adding that "it reflects Queen's response to the Department for Employment and Learning's consultation document on the review of the FE sector which has created a new opportunity for the strengthening of links between further and higher education."

He said: "Queen’s and BIFHE already work together in the area of access courses, which give mature students an entry route back into the educational system, and in relation to students progressing from HNDs and 'A' level study to degrees.

"One example of such successful collaboration is the arrangement whereby students enrolled on the drama course at BIFHE can progress to the degree course at Queen's.

"The signing of this partnership agreement gives us an excellent basis upon which to build. Among the developments likely to result is a programme of Foundation Degrees between Queen's and BIFHE. These will be in a range of subjects and these qualifications will fill specific skills gaps in the economy and widen access - objectives at the heart of the missions of both institutions."

The new agreement was also welcomed by BIFHE Director Brian Turtle, who said: "The Belfast Institute is pleased to be signing this Partnership Agreement with Queen's University today. The organisations have been working together informally for years but the new agreement allows us to work together in a more planned way creating enhanced progression for our students and bringing the strength of both organisations to bear on workforce and economic development in Belfast."

For further information contact:
Anne Langford, Tel 028 9097 5310

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How spaces become places

The architectural impact of spaces will be examined during a lecture at Queen's University on 1 July.

Professor Larry Ford, from San Diego State University, California, will give the distinguished scholar lecture on "The Spaces between Buildings: Everyday Aspects of Urban Design".

According to Professor Ford, gates and fences, sidewalks, alleys and parking lots, influence how a building relates to the spaces around it. Architectural histories and guidebooks have, in the past, told readers little about the character of cities because they concentrate on buildings taken out of context: buildings divorced from space.

In his lecture he will focus on these neglected nooks and crannies between structures, supplementing his analysis with photographic essays from the UK and USA. In its exploration of how spaces become places, the lecture invites everyone to see anew the spaces they encounter everyday and often take for granted.

The lecture will begin at 5.30pm in room 212 of the Peter Froggat Centre on Thursday 1 July.

For further information contact: Dr. Ayona Datta, School of Architecture, (028) 9097 4228, or email: a.datta@qub.ac.uk

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Queen's hosts top electronic conference

The leading conference on electrical and electronic engineering in Ireland is to be held at Queen's University later this week.

The annual Irish Signals and Systems conference (ISSC2004) - regarded as the premier conference in Ireland covering signal processing, control, communications and electronics – will run from Wednesday 30 June to Friday 2 July.

The conference has been organised jointly by the Digital Signal Processing and Telecommunications and Intelligent Systems and Control research groups, in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, under the auspices of the IEE (Institute of Electrical Engineers) and Virtual Engineering Centre.

Around 200 delegates are expected to attend from all over Ireland and further afield and the conference programme includes contributions from all the main Irish-based companies, including Agilent, Asidua and Xilinx, as well as major research groups in this field.

The conference will include key presentations from international figures, including Professor Gordon Brebner, at the Xilinx labs in San Jose; Professor Tobias Noll, from the University of Technology Aachen, Germany, and Professor John McWhirter, from the Centre for Advanced Signal Processing in QinetiQ, Malvern.

As well as lectures, tutorials and poster sessions, there will also be a gala dinner in the Great Hall on Thursday 1 July attended by the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Professor David Cleland.

The conference will be opened by Professor Roy Crawford, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Development at Queen's.

For further information contact: Dr Sakir Sezer, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, (028) 9097 4249

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'A Distinctive Palette' in Queen's Naughton Gallery
'The Girls of the Fishery, Ardglass' (c1931) one of the 34 paintings by Georgina Moutray Kyle (1865-1950) on show in the Naughton Gallery
'The Girls of the Fishery, Ardglass' (c1931) one of the 34 paintings by Georgina Moutray Kyle (1865-1950) on show in the Naughton Gallery
Artist Georgina Moutray Kyle, who travelled extensively, photographed in France in the early 1930s
Artist Georgina Moutray Kyle, who travelled extensively, photographed in France in the early 1930s

The first public exhibition in 60 years of the work of a surprisingly overlooked Belfast artist of the 1920s and 1930s, Georgina Moutray Kyle, goes on display from Wednesday 30 June in the Naughton Gallery at Queen's University.

On show, in some cases for the first time, are scenes of Northern Ireland life in the early twentieth century – and images from France and Holland, places the artist visited. Whether she was painting a bustling market scene in Brittany or Belfast's St George's market, harbour scenes from Ardglass or from Holland, she used a distinctive subdued palette enlivened with bold splashes of colour and showed her appreciation of local working people. Among Georgina Moutray Kyle’s favourite painting spots were Ardglass, County Down, Concarneau in Brittany and Volendam in Holland.

Shan McAnena Curator of Art at Queen's had been struck by the quality of the artist's work when she came across it in the catalogue of the University's collection compiled by Dr Eileen Black Curator of Fine Art at the Ulster Museum. Together they resolved to plan an exhibition of her work. 'A Distinctive Palette: The Art of Georgina Moutray Kyle' is the result.

"This major retrospective of Georgina's life and work will I hope be the first step in giving this scandalously neglected artist her rightful place in the history of art," Ms McAnena said.

"Travelling widely throughout her life, the subtleties and sophistication of her compositions are quite unlike anything else that was produced in Belfast at the time and must have been quite striking to her contemporaries. I hope that visitors looking at the works we have assembled for this exhibition, will experience a similar frisson of excitement and discovery! I am delighted that the Naughton Gallery is hosting this exhibition and that Eileen Black agreed to curate it."

 Born in Craigavad, County Down in 1865 to an affluent family, Georgina Moutray Kyle was educated quietly at home until the age of 18. Then, without ever having even travelled into Belfast city centre alone, she went to Paris to study art at the Academie Colarossi (one of only a few that welcomed female students). Soon after her return from Paris, Georgina Moutray Kyle began a long involvement with the Belfast art scene.

Dr Black explains, "During her lifetime, she was a figure of consequence on the local art scene, admired for her paintings and respected for the time and effort she devoted to the Belfast Art Society. Her place in Ulster art of the 1920s and 1930s was unique, for she was the first local artist of note to exhibit Breton scenes in Belfast, works which must surely have brought a breath of Continental air to the exhibitions of the Belfast Art Society and Ulster Academy of Arts."

 She added, "It is highly fitting that her life and art are commemorated in this exhibition – an event long overdue and entirely appropriate."

'A Distinctive Palette' will be on display in the Naughton Gallery until 20 August 2004. The gallery is open Monday-Friday 12pm –4pm and Saturday 10am – 4pm.

 Notes:
Media facilities will be available at the exhibition preview on Tuesday 29 June, 6 – 8pm in the Naughton Gallery at Queen’s.
Works have been lent for the exhibition by the Ulster Museum, Belfast City Council, Armagh County Museum, North Down Borough Council, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Royal Ulster Academy and by private collectors. Two of the paintings are from the Queen’s University collection.

For further information, contact: Shan McAnena 028 9097 3580, or Dolores Vischer 9097 5320

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Young children's experiences of violence in Northern Ireland
Dr Paul Connolly of the Graduate School of Education at Queen's, one of the authors of the new report 'Children and the Conflict in Northern Ireland'.
Dr Paul Connolly of the Graduate School of Education at Queen's, one of the authors of a new report 'Children and the Conflict in Northern Ireland'

Major new report published

Young children's experiences of the violence in Northern Ireland differ dramatically depending upon where they live, claims a major new research report produced by academics at Queen's University Belfast for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.

For some young children, sectarian tensions and violence remain a significant part of their lives. By the ages of 3-4 they are already becoming aware of the events and symbols associated with the divisions that exist, and within just a few years many are developing strong, negative attitudes towards the other community.

For other young children, however, they have very little awareness of the violence or of the symbols and events associated with it. In fact for some they are more likely to recognise the flags of other countries than those of Britain or Ireland. They tend to live in a world that is largely oblivious to the tensions and divisions that exist.

These are the findings from a total of 276 in-depth interviews with Protestant and Catholic children aged 3-11 living in Belfast. The research was undertaken by Dr Paul Connolly and Julie Healy of the Graduate School of Education at Queen's to chart the ways in which the violence impacted upon the lives of young children from different backgrounds and to understand, from the children's own perspectives, how this influenced the development of their attitudes.

According to Dr Connolly: "While these children live in the same city, often in areas very close to one another, they tend to share very little else in common. For some young children they tend to live under the shadow of sectarian tensions and violence while others are able to go about their daily lives largely oblivious to what is going on."

Dr Connolly points out that long-term and targeted conflict resolution work is required for children in areas like this. As he argues: "We have found that even by the ages of 7-8, some children are already being forced to live with violence and conflict and are having to deal with the anxieties and fears associated with this. In such circumstances it is only natural that they will begin to feel hostility to those from the other community and even to get involved in conflict with them.

"Efforts to increase children's awareness of differing cultures and traditions and to encourage them to respect others are important but it is not enough for these young children. There is a need also to work more directly with them in relation to helping them make sense of their fears and anxieties and their actual experiences of the violence. There is also a need to begin to look at ways of engaging children across the divides that exist and to begin to build up meaningful and long-term relationships."

According to the report, the young children from other areas that remain largely untouched by the violence are not without their own problems. While they may have very little experience of the violence they are aware by the ages of 7-8 that ‘bad areas’ exist that need to be avoided. Without any understanding, the research found that this soon develops for some of the children into prejudiced attitudes about all of those living in certain areas. 

Dr Connolly said: "The problem here is that by simply avoiding the issue, these young children are allowed to develop strong and negative stereotypes about whole communities. For some, these attitudes included prejudices about poor and working class people generally. Given that these children live in Belfast their ignorance of what is going on around them is astounding.

"Alongside targeted conflict-resolution work therefore our research shows that there is a need, more generally, for educational programmes to begin to encourage children to understand and respect differences and to develop a more rounded appreciation of what is going on around them."

The report outlines six key principles that should underpin community relations work with children aged 3-11:

1. From the age of three, all children should be encouraged to explore a range of different cultural practices, events and symbols and to appreciate and respect diversity and difference. 2. From the beginning of Key Stage Two, children should be introduced to and encouraged to understand some of the key historical, political and social developments that have taken place in Northern Ireland.
3. From around the age of seven, targeted conflict resolution work should be undertaken with children in particular areas.
4. In areas characterised by significant levels of sectarian tensions and violence, any conflict resolution strategies need to be part of a broader set of community relations initiatives within the area.
5. While cross-community contact should form an important element of work with children it needs to be carefully planned and organized.
6. While there is some value in addressing community relations issues with children by focusing on more generalized and abstract topics, emphasis should be placed on initiatives that are based upon the children's own experiences and perspectives.

ENDS

 Notes for Editors

 The full report, including an executive summary, is available at: http://www.research.ofmdfmni.gov.uk (click on the link for ‘Publications’), or  http://www.paulconnolly.net (click on the link for ‘Latest Reports and Publications’)

For further information please contact: Dr Connolly: 028 9097 5952. Or, Dolores Vischer, Communications Office: 028 9097 5320/ 07980 013362.

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Queen's prepares for graduation week
Signalling a busy week of 11 graduation ceremonies at Queen's University starting on 5 July, Katie Doherty and Ross Kane enjoy strawberries on the lawn in celebration of the fact that they have completed their studies for LLB Single Honours Law degrees.
Signalling a busy week of 11 graduation ceremonies at Queen's University starting on 5 July, Katie Doherty and Ross Kane enjoy strawberries on the lawn in celebration of the fact that they have completed their studies for LLB Single Honours Law degrees.

Queen's University is busy preparing for the highlight of the academic year when around 3,500 students will graduate at the beginning of July.

Final preparations are underway around the campus for the 11 ceremonies which begin on Monday 5 July and run until Friday 9 July in the Sir William Whitla Hall.

Two large marquees will dominate the University's quadrangle where around 18,000 people, including the new graduates and their families, will enjoy the celebratory garden parties with the now customary tradition of strawberries, cream and champagne. Having finalised numbers the caterers will be busy ordering supplies – among them just over 4,000 pounds of strawberries.

Estates staff have mowed the manicured lawns and ensured that every flowerbed is looking its best for the five-day University showcase event, while staff from the University's Gowns Stores will make sure that each graduand and all the academics are properly robed in the correct ceremonial gown.

In addition to two ceremonies each day, there will be an evening ceremony on Monday, hosted by the School of Science and Agriculture. The University's Chancellor, Senator George Mitchell, will preside at the ceremonies on Monday afternoon, Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

The Graduate and Student of the Year awards, to honour achievements of a special nature, will be presented at the 2.30pm ceremony on Monday 5 July, and the main social event of the week – a gala dinner for the Summer 2004 honorary graduands – will be held on Tuesday 6 July in the Great Hall.

The University will be awarding a number of honorary degrees to notable figures from the worlds of entertainment, academia, sport, business and the judiciary. These will include TV celebrity Patrick Kielty, actor Stephen Rea, and world blind water ski champion Janet Gray.

Belfast born actor Stephen Rea, nominated for an Oscar in "The Crying Game", and Patrick Kielty from Dundrum - both of whom are Queen's graduates - will become Doctors of the University for services to the performing arts.

Three-times winner of the World Blind Water Ski Championship Janet Gray from Hillsborough, who is still recovering from a near fatal accident in Florida, will receive her doctorate for services to sport.

Other notables who will grace the stage of the University's Whitla Hall will be: Canadian Chief Justice Rt Hon Beverley McLachlin; telecommunications pioneer Professor John Midwinter; Vice-Chancellor of Uganda's Makerere University, Professor John Ssebuwufu; political scientist Professor Arend Lijphart; historian Thomas Pakenham and Ulster Orchestra conductor Thierry Fischer.

Note to Editors: Honorary degrees will be conferred upon the following: Stephen Rea, DUniv for services to the performing arts Professor John Midwinter, DSc (Eng) for distinction as an electrical engineer Professor Arend Lijphart, DSc for distinction as a political scientist Patrick Kielty, DUniv for services to the performing arts Thomas Pakenham, DLit for distinction as a writer and for public service Thierry Fischer, DMus for services to music Professor John Ssebuwufu, LLD for services to higher education Mrs Janet Gray, DUniv for services to sport Rt. Hon. Beverly McLachlin, LLD for services to the legal profession

Media arrangements:

There will be press officers on duty at the Sir William Whitla Hall before and during each of the ceremonies. Media packs will be available for journalists containing, where possible, copies of the addresses and citations. Requests for interviews with the honorary graduands should be made to the Communications Office.

For further information, contact: Elaine Fitzsimons, Communications Office, (028) 9033 5384 Or Dolores Vischer, (028) 9097 5320

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Queen's School of Architecture End of Year Show

A dynamic exhibition of project work, mostly by 3rd and 6th year students of the School of Architecture at Queen's University, opened to the public last night (Tuesday) at 6.00pm and will continue until Friday 25 June.

Among the evening's guests were representatives of many of Northern Ireland's architectural practices. President of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects, Mervyn Black, announced nominations for the RSUA Bronze and Silver Medals to prize-winning students. The evening’s opening speaker was Patrick Lynch, eminent architect from London – who considered the quality of the design work of the School of Architecture at Queen's and how it compares very favourably with the work of other leading schools in the British Isles.

The opening event was sponsored by the Lagan Group. Freddie Patterson, Business Development Director at Lagan Group commented: "We are delighted to support the School of Architecture and would like to pass on our congratulations to the students who have all worked very hard for this day. The final exhibits reflect the high levels of conceptual thinking and technical expertise which the university has nurtured over the years and which the students now bring forward to the benefit of industry and our environment."

 Lagan Group is one of the largest privately owned companies in the construction sector.

Drawings and three-dimensional models of students' projects will be on public display until Friday 25 June.

Dr Chris Tweed, Head of the School of Architecture, said: "This year's exhibition once again shows the high quality of our students and our teaching. This has been a busy and highly successful year for the School, which gained its third consecutive unconditional professional accreditation from the RIBA for all three of its core teaching programmes.

"Two thirds of our graduates from third year will receive a First or 2.1 Honours degree and all our sixth year students will graduate with over 20% gaining distinctions. Our graduates are being snapped up by employers both locally and nationally who recognise the added value of a degree from Queen's. From houses to schools, from Belfast to Paris – the scale and variety of projects and approaches are exciting and refreshing. I would urge everyone to come and see the inspiring work of our students."

A number of closely contested and prestigious student prizes were announced on the evening including:

• The Hamilton Architects Scholarship – for best fifth year overall performance – awarded to Jonathan Cassidy

• The Andrew Forester Prize – for best overall performance in the BSc graduating year – awarded to Jennifer McKerr

• Royal Society of Ulster Architects Bronze Medal – the nomination is Jennifer McKerr

• Royal Society of Ulster Architects Silver Medal – the nomination is Jonathan Thompson

The RSUA Bronze and Silver Medals are awarded respectively to the student in the final year of the BSc course and to the student in the final year of the BArch course, each of whom has demonstrated the most comprehensive, rigorous and coherent treatment of a chosen subject, showing original analysis and the exercise of independent critical reasoning. Jennifer McKerr has been nominated for the Bronze Medal for her designs for a primary school for Belfast while Jonathan has been nominated for the Silver Medal for his Stranraer Waterfront Development and Sea Museum.

Barry McBrien collected the "Sir Charles Lanyon Memorial Prize" for a measured drawing of Queen's Law library.

The exhibition will continue at the School of Architecture, 15 Chlorine Gardens and will be open to the public Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 June 10am – 4pm and Friday 25 June 10am – 2pm.

Ends

For further information contact: Elaine Fitzsimons, Communications Office 028 9097 5384 Or Alan Jones, School of Architecture 0771 386 3115

 Notes to Editors: Complete List of School of Architecture, Queen’s University Prizes

First Year Foundation -  Declan Sharkey
Second Year Foundation - Colin Wharry
Acheson & Glover Scholarship (best overall performance first year) -  Declan Sharkey Concrete Society Prize (To be confirmed / agreed with Concrete Society) School nomination -  William Dawson
The John Trewsdale Prize -  Eoin Flanagan, Noel Hughes, Jennifer McBurney, C McClenaghan, Colin Wharry
Hamilton Prize  - Jonathan Cassidy
Landscape Prizes -  Jennifer McBurney, Jonathan Thompson
RIBA Dissertation Nomination -  Barry Hillen
Redland Prize for Architecture -  Kevin Neeson
RSUA Bronze Medal  - Jennifer McKerr (nomination)
RSUA Silver Medal - Jonathan Thompson (nomination) 
Charles Lanyon Memorial Prize - Barry McBrien
The NI Timber Trade Association Prize  - Jonathan Thompson
Andrew Forester Prize  - Jennifer McKerr
Alan Barnes Travelling Scholarship  - Jemma Houston Paul McKay Lewis Bailie
The Derek Phillips Lighting Prize (A special one off prize by the distinguished lighting designer Derek Phillips) - Cathal Curtin
Building Design Class 2004 - (Nomination)  - Kerrie Cunningham

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Queen's pays tribute to Bain
Pro-Chancellor Brenda McLaughlin and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir George Bain unveil the University's official portrait of Professor Bain by John Keane.
Pro-Chancellor Brenda McLaughlin and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir George Bain unveil the University's official portrait of Professor Bain by John Keane.

Queen's celebrated the contribution its Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir George Bain has made to the University and wider society at a dinner last night (21 June) to mark his retirement. Sir George, who joined Queen's in January 1998, retires at the end of July.

Paying tribute to him Pro-Chancellor Brenda McLaughlin said Sir George had secured Queen's position as a top flight UK university by seeing through one of the most significant investment programmes in its history.

She said the 1998 academic plan, with a multi-million pound investment in new academic staff and facilities, had resulted in substantial improvements in the University's teaching and research profile. The majority of Queen's academics are now working in Schools recognised independently as carrying out teaching and research of international standing.

"Sir George has been tireless in his efforts to secure additional funding for the University. Almost £60 million has been secured through two successful bids under the public-private Support Programme for University Research.

"And he has made Queen's one of the most successful fundraising universities in the UK. The Queen's Foundation, which Sir George established, has generated millions of pounds for the University. The new library, for which funding has now been secured, will be one of his most significant legacies."

She praised his vision in establishing the Naughton Gallery at Queen's, recently granted museum status, and his transformation of the Great Hall into one of the most impressive public spaces in Northern Ireland. She said he had also been responsible for the strong focus on the Queen's student experience.

She said Sir George "has not forgotten that Queen's plays a central role in the life of Northern Ireland and as a result has encouraged greater access to the University through a significant programme of outreach activity with schools, local industry and community groups".

At the dinner, Sir George's official portrait, commissioned from acclaimed artist John Keane, was unveiled. The portrait will hang in the Great Hall. The Vice-Chancellor was presented with a smaller version of the portrait.

In a video message, screened at the start of the dinner, the University's Chancellor, Senator George Mitchell, praised Sir George's contribution to higher education and his commitment to public service.

"He has served the University with intelligence, integrity and decisiveness. He has always been guided by a powerful and compelling vision about what Queen's role is and should be, not just now but in the future and in the course of his tenure Queen's already great reputation has been further enhanced," he said.

Note to Editors:

A Canadian, with Irish and Scottish ancestry, Professor Bain studied economics and political science at the University of Manitoba and taught there in 1962-63. He attended Oxford University, where he took a doctorate in industrial relations and subsequently pursued his academic career at Nuffield College, Oxford; the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology; the University of Warwick, where he was Chairman of the School of Industrial and Business Studies between 1983 and 1989; and London Business School, where he was Principal between 1989 and 1997. His many books and papers on industrial relations have given him an international reputation in this field. He has been a mediator and arbitrator in numerous disputes in a wide range of companies and industries and consulted for many organisations in both the private and public sectors. In 1997 he became Chairman of the Low Pay Commission. He is a non-executive director of Bombardier Aerospace Short Brothers Plc, the Canada Life Assurance Company, the Economist Group and Electra Investment Trust Plc.

In 2001 John Keane completed Mo Mowlam’s portrait for the National Portrait Gallery. His recent work, based on his trips to the West Bank and Gaza in the Middle East, was on show in the Naughton Gallery at Queen’s between March and May. His work has often addressed conflict and has included subjects ranging from Central America to Rupert Murdoch, as well as an interpretation of the events around 9/11. He was appointed official artist by the Imperial War Museum for the Gulf War of 1991. John has had numerous exhibitions in the UK, Europe and the US.

 For further information contact: Elaine Fitzsimons, Communications, (028) 9097 5384

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New report calls for all-Ireland Sustainable Development logo

A new report* from the Centre for Cross Border Studies has called on the Departments of the Environment in Belfast and Dublin to create a single local sustainable development logo for the island of Ireland, along the lines of the all-Ireland tourism logo.

'Towards a Green Isle? Local Sustainable Development on the Island of Ireland' concludes that such a logo or icon would "symbolise local sustainability on the island of Ireland, help link the great range of sustainability activity, increase public recognition and understanding of sustainability activity, and add the potential of 'place promotion."

 The study, carried out by a research team drawn from Queen's University Belfast's School of Environmental Planning and Dublin environmental consultants Motherway Begley Ltd, also proposes a major all-island re-launch of Local Action 21 (LA 21), the local sustainable development programme inaugurated at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and re-branded at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. The authors argue that "the all-island dimension can provide a new way of looking at networking and opportunities for mutual learning". Such an event "could act as a milestone for the shift to a new, implementation focused, all-island version of local sustainable development."

The report concludes that "much progress has been made across the island of Ireland over the past decade, particularly in terms of enhancing the capacity for local sustainability, with the activities of committed individuals, developments in the institutional frameworks and the mobilisation of communities all improving significantly. However this capacity is not yet being used to its full potential."

 The report found that while the national policy framework in both the UK and the Republic of Ireland is well-developed, "to date this framework has not been fully successful in embedding sustainability values in local institutions and practices." In Northern Ireland the lack of a regional strategy for sustainable development – plus less government promotion and the much weaker powers of local councils – has led to an even lower implementation of LA 21 plans and strategies. In the Republic inclusive local partnership bodies such as city and county development boards are well placed to deliver sustainable development. However so far these bodies have "only shown themselves to be capable of planning and goal-setting, with their abilities to implement too nascent to evaluate."

The study’s authors argue that "it is now time to re-launch local sustainable development, and distinct benefit can be secured if this incorporates cross-border co-operation and environmental citizenship." They point out: "Although the potential for cross-border co-operation in sustainability has been recognised by the North/South Ministerial Council, it is yet to be acted upon."

 The study’s authors carried out a survey of all local authorities in Ireland, North and South, and a wide range of social partners in both jurisdictions. They found that 54% of local authorities on the island had begun a LA21 process, and concluded that LA21 had been "very successful in raising awareness of the possibilities of local sustainable development and in stimulating debate on how local areas can contribute to the challenges created by Ireland’s links to a global community facing severe ecological, economic and social problems. The primary concern remains the ability to move from debate to action."

 The study highlights a number of case studies of good practice in local sustainable development. Among these are Groundwork (Northern Ireland) which has worked in some of the most difficult interface areas in Belfast (notably in Short Strand/Inner East Belfast, for which it won the Guardian Public Involvement Prize in 2003) to bring people, and particularly children, together in joint projects to promote environmental citizenship; and the Sliabh Beagh Cross Border Partnership in Monaghan, Fermanagh and Tyrone, where an association of 10 community groups has successfully promoted a range of environmental projects around the theme of eco-tourism. These case studies "illustrate the potential of local sustainable development and show how it can incorporate all-island and environmental citizenship dimensions," the authors conclude.

However, "in general LA 21 has not generally been sufficiently embedded in truly participatory processes to enable the wider potential of environmental citizenship to take root in an island context of cultural division, and its potential is, for the most part, underdeveloped."

 Ends

 NOTE: * Towards a Green Isle? Local Sustainable Development on the Island of Ireland. Geraint Ellis, Brian Motherway, William J.V.Neill and Una Hand. Centre for Cross Border Studies, Armagh.

 For further information contact: Andy Pollak, Director, The Centre for Cross Border Studies. Tel. 028 3751 1550 (048 from the Republic of Ireland) Mobile 0771 5042122 (Northern Ireland) 087 4156575 (Republic of Ireland). a.pollak@qub.ac.uk or 
Geraint Ellis, School of Environmental Planning, Queen’s University, Belfast g.ellis@qub.ac.uk

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Trimble biography to be showcased at Queen's Bookshop

The Bookshop at Queen's and publishers HarperCollins are to host a reception to celebrate the publication of Himself Alone: David Trimble and the Ordeal of Unionism by Dean Godson, on Tuesday 22 June at 5.30pm.

Lord Deedes, former editor of the Daily Telegraph, and Melanie Phillips of the Daily Mail will be speaking at the event, which is also to be attended by the author.

Author Dean Godson requested that a book launch be held at the Queen's University Bookshop, paying tribute perhaps to the contribution made by many members of Queen's staff in the research for the book.

 Tim Smyth of the University Bookshop praised Himself Alone and noted that: "For a journalist of national repute to have written a book on a local politician is far from usual." He added, "I look forward to welcoming to the Bookshop such eminent guests as Lord Deedes and Melanie Phillips who are both travelling over especially from England and many local prominent politicians and political commentators.”

Mr Smyth added: “Himself Alone is an important book and will be indispensable to both the general reader and academic interested in Irish history and politics. It is fitting that the Bookshop at Queen's hosts this launch; we have a strong reputation for our commitment to Irish history and politics, keeping particularly well-stocked shelves in these sections!"

Dean Godson, Chief Leader Writer of the Daily Telegraph and Associate Editor of the Spectator, says he has spoken to over three hundred sources as part of his research for the book. Mr Godson was given unique access to the politician and his papers and spoke to a wide range of friends, foes and colleagues of the political leader.

Whatever one's own political beliefs, the publication of Himself Alone: David Trimble and the Ordeal of Unionism promises to spark much debate on the life and achievements of the former Queen's law lecturer.

Editor’s Note: The event will take place in The Bookshop at Queen’s 5.30-7pm on Tuesday 22 June. 

For further information,  please contact: Tim Smyth, Queen’s Bookshop Manager, 028 9066 2552.

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'Bugging' insect experts at Queen's
It’s a bug’s life for Jonny, Trevyn, Danielle and Matthew from Orangefield Primary School. Helping the students to 'creep with the crawlies' is Dr Roy Anderson from Queen’s University and Brian Black, UTV Environment Correspondent.
It’s a bug’s life for Jonny, Trevyn, Danielle and Matthew from Orangefield Primary School. Helping the students to 'creep with the crawlies' is Dr Roy Anderson from Queen’s University and Brian Black, UTV Environment Correspondent.

As part of National Insect Awareness Week, zoologists at Queen's University invited primary school students from across Belfast to experience insects and other multi-legged creatures up close and at first hand.

160 Primary 6 pupils from Orangefield, Our Lady Queen of Peace and St John the Baptist Primary Schools visited the Newforge site to inspect trap shelters and pit fall traps for inhabitants such as slugs, earthworms, woodlice and spiders.

Pupils were encouraged to collect and examine live specimens under microscopes in the laboratory - some budding entomologists even brought their samples home in collection jars. The pupils were also able to contrast home grown varieties with preserved exotic species, comparing our own 30mm beetles with African long-horned beetles measuring up to 200mm in length.

The 'Creep with the Crawlies' event held on Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 June emphasised the focus of National Insect Awareness Week, which runs until 20 June, and seeks to encourage appreciation of and interest in insects.

Organiser Dr Archie Murchie said: "Often we take for granted the world under our feet, so today we wanted to open up the insect world to students and to show them the diversity and value of bugs."

Pupils who took part in the event said that it certainly changed their impressions of insects from one of fear to one of appreciation of the work they do in controlling pest species.

"The trip was brilliant, we learned lots about insects. I thought it would be horrible but ended up bringing a BUG home with me!" said Jennifer Devlin from Our Lady Queen of Peace Primary.

Lauren McGarry, from St John the Baptist Primary School, said: "At first the creepy crawlies gave me goosebumps, but at the end I thought they were fascinating and really fun."

Commenting on the educational value of the event, teacher Una McAllister said: "It really brought the classroom curriculum to life."

Environmental journalist Brian Black also attended the event and filmed the student's trepidation and subsequent participation for a feature that will appear in a future 'Wildlife in the City' series for UTV.

Queen's Newforge site was also the host venue for the meeting of the Royal Entomology Society on Thursday 17 June, where scientists from across Ireland gathered to discuss 'Biodiversity and Management of Insects in Agricultural and Natural Irish Landscapes'.

For further information on this or similar projects, contact Dr Donna Rogers, Promotional & Information Officer, School of Agriculture and Food Science; Tel 028 9025 5517 or email d.rogers@qub.ac.uk

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Major Innovation Lecture at Queen's

Dr Ivor Kenny, a former chairman of the Smurfit Paribas Bank, and Director General of the Irish Management Institute from 1962 to 1983, will present a major public lecture on innovation at Queen's University on Monday 21 June.

A director of Independent News and Media Plc and of IONA Technologies Plc, Dr Kenny is now a Senior Research Fellow at University College Dublin. The author of 11 books, he works with a wide range of international organisations on their business strategies.

In his First Trust Bank Innovation Lecture on "Innovation: A Stake in the Future", Dr Kenny will argue that survival in today's highly competitive market requires constant innovation in organisations, but at the same time people need clarity of direction to work on common ground and feel connected to their organisation.

His talk will take place in G9, Lanyon North, starting at 6pm. Admission is free.

For further information contact:
Claire Sinnerton, Regional Services, Tel 028 9097 1145
Anne Langford, Tel 028 9097 5310

Notes for editors:
Dr Kenny's lecture will be at 6pm on Monday 21 June in Lecture Room G9, Lanyon Building, Queen's University Belfast. Media facilities will be available.

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Get on your bike and cycle to work at Queen's!
Staff at Queen's are being urged to cycle to work on Wednesday as part of National Bike Week
Staff at Queen's are being urged to cycle to work on Wednesday as part of National Bike Week.

Fed up sitting in traffic jams with cyclists whizzing past you?

As part of the annual Bike2Work campaign during Bike Week (12-20 June) Queen's Sport & Recreation Services are encouraging staff to cycle to work on Wednesday 16 June.

Staff at Queen's are being encouraged to cycle to work and Sport & Recreation Services will keep bikes securely in the Physical Education Centre, provide free shower facilities and the option to pre-order a breakfast before going on to work.

We all want to be more active in life but often find it difficult to get the time. If you live within a five-mile radius of Queen's the journey will take 30 minutes at most - equivalent to a car journey, but without the frustration of sitting in traffic jams. It's a great way of fitting in your daily quota of physical activity.

The annual Bike2Work campaign during Bike Week is encouraging drivers who commute up to five miles to leave their cars at home for the day and cycle to work. Journeys of up to five miles are typically fastest by bike and parking is free.

Dr Robert Gamble, Development Manager for Sport & Exercise Sciences, said: "Regular exercise, such as cycling to work could improve our general health, and in particular, may reduce our overall risk of developing coronary heart disease, obesity, diabetes, some cancers, and slow the annual decline in functional fitness that occurs as we get older."

For further information contact: Debbie McLorinan, Development Manager - Marketing & Customer Services, (028) 9068 1953 Email: d.mclorinan@qub.ac.uk

For further information on bike week - http://www.bikeweek.org.uk

For information about the PEC – www.qub.ac.uk/pec

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Queen's robotic team kicks off in Germany

While football fans will be focusing on Portugal for Euro 2004 scientists at Queen's University have a different goal in mind.

Engineers from the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering will be taking part in the European Robot Football Championships in Munich from 15-18 June, where rival robots equipped with cutting edge technology will be pitted against each other.

Having developed a system allowing humans to compete against robots, the three-man team will be using it for the first time in the competition against five automatically controlled robots using high speed processing. The competition, which attracts players and robots from all over Europe, will feature a 2.5m x 1.5m pitch and a golf ball.

According to team manager, Dr Gordon Dodds, the robots will move at about a third of the speed of a real footballer, but that's fast in terms of their size.

"They can also turn on the spot much faster than normal players and there's a referee to handle fouling and blocking of the goals.

Commenting on their strategy, he said: "Normally the team play a 2-2-1 strategy, although they have been known to play 0-0-5 when the going gets tough and they have scored a goal."

It's not the first time that the team has played in international competition, having taken part in the Robotic Football World Cup in Korea in 2002, where they notably beat England in a close fought 9-0 victory.

The rest of the team consists of PhD students Paul Kelly and Peter Hynes. Paul said they were worried about meeting Spain due to the transfer of some of the best players there, but what of their plans to cope?

"When we are playing against the automated robots we will have to react quickly with plans and be quick to point out the inevitable bullying tactic from the other side," he said.

"Technically we have used microsoft compatible joysticks and interfacing software to allow players to turn or run with the ball. Further functions are being added to mimic players in a real game."

Queen's is representing both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in the competition.

For further information contact: Dr Gordon Dodds, (028) 9097 4512, email:g.dodds@qub.ac.uk

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International honour from world's leading technical body
Dr Gordon Dodds
Dr Gordon Dodds

A Queen's University academic has been apointed chair of the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland (UKRI) section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

The IEEE is the largest professional technical organisation in the world, with almost 300,000 members and Dr Gordon Dodds will be representing 10,000 members within the UK and the Republic.

His work will involve encouraging more activities and professional events for its members and co-operating nationally and internationally with the leading technical and research organisations. He also plans to highlight work by historical figures within Queen's and Northern Ireland so that their work can be recognised and recorded by the IEEE.

"The major challenges will be increasing the voice of UKRI in the IEEE and ensuring that Queen's is fairly represented in national and international events. This will require strength of purpose, support from others and time," said Dr Dodds.

He also plans to encourage major conferences to come to UKRI and Belfast.

For further information contact: Dr Gordon Dodds, (028) 9097 4512, email: g.dodds@qub.ac.uk

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Sir Anthony O'Reilly donates US$7m (£4m) to boost the funding for new Queen's library

Queen's University Belfast today announced that a gift has been donated from Sir Anthony O'Reilly of £4 million that will ensure a new world-class Library project can proceed.

Details of the funding were announced at a reception in Queen's University attended by Mrs Susan O'Reilly Wildman, representing her Father, Sir Anthony O’Reilly.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir George Bain, said: "This generous gift will allow Queen's to create a library, which will be the envy of universities around the globe."

The construction of a new state-of-the art library, due to commence next year, will be completed in 2008, the 100th anniversary of Queen's establishment as a university in its own right. The library will ensure that Queen's will have world-class facilities to continue to provide the highest standard of education to its 24,000 students and maintain its position as one of the leading civic universities in the United Kingdom.

The US$7 million (£4m) gift involves a large personal donation from Sir Anthony of US$5.5 million (£3m) in the form of a direct donation of US$3.63 million (£2m) and a guarantee through the Ireland Funds of US$1.84 million (£1m) over the next five years. Independent News & Media (Northern Ireland), publishers of the Belfast Telegraph, have agreed to donate US$1.84 million (£1m) over the same period, bringing the total to over US$7 million (£4m).

The new library will become a central hub of the University and, as more and more people engage in lifelong learning, it will take into account the needs of an increasingly diverse range of users, providing research and teaching facilities for part-time and full-time students, the local community and businesses. The total cost of the project is over US$70 million (£40m). The fund-raising campaign has been spearheaded by the Queen’s University Foundation, and all the money has come from private sources.

The library will have the very latest technology, including fully integrated and flexible wireless technology and multi-media facilities. It will also include a specialist language laboratory and provide a purpose-built Special Collections area for the care and display of unique and rare manuscripts, enabling the collections to be studied comprehensively by researchers at the University.

Sir Anthony O'Reilly has previously given generous donations to educational institutions such as Trinity College, Dublin City University and University College Dublin. He also founded the O'Reilly Foundation in 1998 to promote excellence, global vision, community responsibility and leadership. The O'Reilly Foundation, chaired by Lady Chryss O'Reilly initiated a programme of scholarships to provide world-class educational opportunities for young Irish scholars - North and South - to undertake postgraduate education in their chosen fields and, to-date, postgraduate scholarships have been awarded over the past six years to 13 exceptional individuals from throughout the country.

Speaking at the announcement, Queen's Vice-Chancellor Sir George Bain, paid tribute to Sir Anthony O'Reilly and said: "Sir Anthony's personal dedication to the advancement of society is to be much admired  - he is passionate about education as demonstrated by his support for universities throughout the island of Ireland.

"The constant improvement of facilities at Queen's University is paramount to the development of our institution as one of the leading third level education providers in the world. Sir Anthony’s generous donations will allow Queen's University to proceed with this ambitious project that will ensure the academic needs of the University can be provided for into the next century."

Speaking on behalf of her Father, Mrs Susan O'Reilly Wildman, said: "My Father has a great affinity with Northern Ireland, and our family have dedicated themselves to the cause of peace and prosperity on our island, particularly through the Ireland Funds, which he, along with Dan Rooney of Pittsburgh fame, established almost 30 years ago.

"The Funds have provided an important conduit and a vital focus for worldwide generosity to assist the peace process in Northern Ireland. It continues to do so, and to date has raised over $200 million world-wide for projects North and South.

"The need for Queen's to have state of the art library facilities for its campus of over 24,000 students cannot be underestimated. The decision to support the project was to ensure these facilities would be made available to students, the local community and businesses. We are confident that this new library will enable Queen's University to continue its development as one of the leading educational and research institutions in Europe."

Also present at the announcement of the donation were: Lord Denis Rogan; Senator Maurice Hayes, Ireland Funds; Mr Derek Carvell, Managing Director, Independent News & Media (Northern Ireland) publishers of the Belfast Telegraph; members of the Board of the Belfast Telegraph; and an array of all the Greats of Irish rugby, including Jim McCarthy, who addressed guests at the luncheon; Jack Kyle; Jimmy Nelson; Cecil Pedlow; Herbie McCracken; Mike Gibson; John Hewitt; Trevor Ringland; Keith Crossan; David Hewitt and Ted Wilson.

Further Information: Queen's University, Anne Langford : 00-48-9097 5310; John Laird Public Relations, Jane Wells Tel: 00-48-90-471282; Murray Consultants Pauline McAlester  Tel: 00-353-1-4980300

NOTE TO EDITORS:

The Ireland Funds

The Ireland Funds is an international charitable organisation operating in 12 nations around the world, that has raised over $200 million around the world for worthy causes in Ireland, North and South. Over 1,200 non-profit organisations in Ireland that promote peace and reconciliation, arts and culture, education and community development have benefited from The Funds' grants over the last 27 years.

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Queen's honours its sporting heroes

Gaelic footballer, netball and basketball player Caroline O'Hanlon, British and Irish university champions Queen's University's pool team, athlete Paul Lynas and volleyball coach Alan Wright were honoured at a special event in Queen's University last night.

Their success in winning, respectively, the University's Sports Achievement (individual and team), Special Contribution to University Sport and Coach of the Year Awards were announced at the annual Blues Dinner at Queen's – one of the most prestigious events in the local sporting calendar.

The Dinner, which is supported by Ulster Bank, also celebrated student excellence in sport through the presentation of University Blues. In all, it marked the achievements across 20 sports of over 100 students.

Guest speakers at the event included international athlete Dermot Donnelly, Northern Ireland Cross-Country champion and a former winner of the University's Sports Achievement Award, and world-class squash player Madeline Perry. UTV's Paul Clark was the Master of Ceremonies and the awards were presented by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir George Bain.

A posthumous award was also made to Gaelic star Cormac McAnallen, a Queen's Blue and a member of Queen's winning Sigerson Cup team of 2000, who died in March.

The audience included sporting household names, including rugby and Gaelic legends Jack Kyle and Sean O'Neill. Congratulating all the winners, Professor Bain said the Blues Dinner was "a celebration of excellence, a demonstration of Queen's quality in human form.

He added: "Events such as this play a crucial role not only in rewarding excellence but in celebrating sport at Queen's, which has a long and distinguished history.

"We intend to build on this success. That is why we are currently implementing a £6 million redevelopment investment package to boost sporting facilities, services and programmes. This major initiative, the 'Building a New Sporting Future' strategy, will ensure that Queen's sporting provision retains its winning form."

Derek Wilson, Area Manager for Ulster Bank, said: "Ulster Bank is delighted to support the Blues Dinner at Queen's this year and we offer our warmest congratulations to all those who have played so well to have won an award. Our thanks as sponsors also go to the hard-working staff of Sport and Recreation Services at the University for their smooth running of the Blues Awards, and to the coaches involved who encourage their club members week by week."

For further information, contact: Maureen Cusdin or Bill Gardner, Sport and Recreation Services, Tel 028 9068 1126

Anne Langford, Tel 028 9097 5310

Note for Editors:

Details of the winners of the major awards follow: Medical student Caroline O’Hanlon plays for Queen’s in both Gaelic football and netball and was a member of the Northern Ireland netball team that competed in the European Championships in Cardiff. She was also a member of the Northern Ireland Universities netball and basketball teams that attended the British University Games. She was selected for the British Universities netball representative team and for the Ulster and All-Ireland Combined Colleges Gaelic football team. She plays Gaelic football for the Armagh senior team and was selected for Ulster in the recent interprovincial series.

Queen's University pool team are the 2004 Irish Higher Education Champions and the British Universities Champions. Seven players represented Northern Ireland universities in the British Universities' Home International tournament in May 2004.

Paul Lynas has been a member of Queen's Athletics Club for almost 10 years. A Queen's Blue, he was a member of the Northern Ireland Athletics and Irish Universities teams. He has played a major role in driving forward the development of the Queen's Club, and has been largely responsible for the Club's rejuvenation and reorganisation. He was the main driving force in the organisation and delivery of the British Universities Cross Country Championships hosted by Queen's in 2002 and has also been involved in the development of Queen’s Harriers Club.

Alan Wright has been involved with Queen's Volleyball Club for a number of years, both as a coach and a player. A qualified coach with an impressive depth of knowledge of the sport, he was responsible for the development of the women's and men's teams. He also supported the US Special Olympic team on their visit to Northern Ireland and coached the Northern Ireland Universities Women's team that attended the British Universities Home Nations tournament this year.

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Queen's team in unique coral find

A unique cold water coral reef has been discovered in Scotland with the help of scientists from Queen's University and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Located just inside the Hebrides, near the island of Mingulay, the coral reef is a rarity because it is believed to be the only one in the United Kingdom to be found within inshore waters.

Researchers from Queen's Agricultural and Environmental Science Division joined forces with the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) and countryside agencies as part of a wider initiative to map unknown areas of seabed between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Under the MINCH project (Mapping Inshore Coral Habitats) scientists on board DARD's research vessel 'RV Lough Foyle' used a number of techniques, including a multibeam echosounder which recorded detailed pictures of the topography of the seabed.

The multibeam information was also used to help target underwater video work and grab sampling to reveal the wealth of life at various sites.

Dr Matthew Service, who led the Queen's/DARD team, explained further: "There had been lot of anecdotal evidence and historical records about the presence of a coral reef, but it wasn't until my team on board the RV Lough Foyle investigated further that we uncovered the extensive reef.

"Our work revealed an extensive coral harbouring the cold water coral Lophelia pertusa, which is unique in the UK for being the only example of such a reef within inshore waters," he continued.

Research assistant Annika Mitchell, who took part in the data analysis and was on the research cruise when the reef was discovered, said it was an extensive structure and its size would suggest that it was very old.

"The reef is similar in construction to the better known tropical coral reefs. The dead coral forms a huge structure on which living coral inhabit. It is extremely fragile, and provides a home to a distinct assembly of species from sea firs and anemones to squat lobsters and featherstars," she said.

Following on from their Hebridean discovery the Queen's/DARD team is now taking part in a Euro 4 million European-wide initiative, funded by the INTERREG programme to map European seabed habitats. Known as the MESH project, it involves Holland, France, Belgium, Ireland and Scotland.

Note to Editors: The discovery of the coral reef is now the subject of a BBC Radio Scotland documentary, "Mapping the Minch", which will be broadcast on 9 June at 11.30am. It can also be accessed via the Internet.

For further information contact: Dr Matthew Service, Agricultural and Environmental Science Division, (028) 9025 5502, email: Matt.Service@dardni.gov.uk

Ms Annika Mitchell, (028) 9025 5653, email: a.j.mitchell@qub.ac.uk

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Queen's graduate is top young chemist
Dr Zhipan Liu, who won the prestigious IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists
Dr Zhipan Liu, who won the prestigious IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists

Dr Zhipan Liu, a PhD graduate of Queen's University Belfast, has won the prestigious  IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) Prize for Young Chemists adding to his Royal Irish Academy Prize for Young Chemists which he won earlier this year.

The Royal Irish Academy nominated Dr Liu for the international prize and according to Dr Michael Ryan, President of the Royal Irish Academy, Dr Liu "is one of the leading researchers in the world in the field of catalysis. His achievement puts the world on notice that Ireland is an international centre of research excellence and achievement."

Dr Liu is Chinese and has a BSc from Shanghai Jiaotong University and a PhD in Theoretical Chemistry from Queen's where his supervisor was Dr Peijun Hu. He is currently a post-doctoral research associate within the Surface Science group and the Theoretical Chemistry Division at the University of Cambridge.

He is the first graduate of an Irish university to win this prestigious prize. Dr Angelos Michaelides, also of Queen's University, and also supervised by Dr Hu, won an honourable mention award in 2000.

Dr Liu's research has focused on the basic principles that govern reactions. His research has been geared towards revealing/understanding reaction mechanisms, predicting the fundamental properties of chemical reactions and designing new catalysts/materials. He is currently looking to find a best catalyst that can efficiently remove NOx, the exhaust from vehicle engines.

The IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists has been established to encourage young research scientists at the beginning of their careers. The prize is given to the most outstanding PhD thesis in the general area of the chemical sciences. Dr. Liu will address the General Congress of the IUPAC which will be held in Beijing 2005.

Ends

Notes to Editor: For more information on the Royal Irish Academy and the IUPAC, visit the websites at www.ria.ie and www.iupac.org)

To find out more about Dr Liu's work and research interests see http://www-dak.ch.cam.ac.uk/people/Zhipan.html)

For further information contact: Pauric Dempsey, Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, Tel: 00-353-1- 6380915.

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Getting into the swing for the 2004 Queen's Golf Classic
‘Hilary from Holywood’ (comic actress and Queen’s arts graduate, Nuala McKeever) getting into the swing for the 2004 Classic with Alan McKelvey, President of the QGA and Nigel Platt of McNeill Menary.
‘Hilary from Holywood’ (comic actress and Queen’s arts graduate, Nuala McKeever) getting into the swing for the 2004 Classic with Alan McKelvey, President of the QGA and Nigel Platt of McNeill Menary.

The third Queen's Golf Classic will be held on Thursday 1 July at Malone Golf Club in Belfast. Once again the event is being sponsored by McNeill Menary Travel and is organised by the Queen's Graduates' Association (QGA).

The Classic is open to members of all graduate associations, graduate non-members, current University staff, undergraduate and postgraduate students, and to a limited number of guests. The individual entry fee of £45 (£55) includes pre-golf refreshments and a post-event meal and a limited number of places are still available.

To secure a guaranteed tee-off time, those interested should complete and return an official entry form, available from Queen's, as soon as possible. Numbers are restricted and it is recommended that this form should be returned no later than 18 June.

An individual and team event (Stableford format), the competition is unique in that both males and females compete for the same trophy. In addition, prizes will also be awarded to the runners-up and a team prize will also be presented to the best overall 4-ball.

Malone Golf Club has long been one of Northern Ireland's great parkland courses and has hosted many championship tournaments over the years. Situated just five miles from the city centre, the clubhouse affords splendid views over the lake and the Belfast hills, and offers an excellent setting for this annual event.

For further information, contact: Gerry Power, Development and Alumni Relations Office, (028) 9033 5321, email alumni@qub.ac.uk

Further details are also available on the University's website at -www.qub.ac.uk/home/Alumni/EventsandReunions/Golf/Queens3rdAnnualGolfClassic/

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How to run an E- consultation: hate crime and the Hansard Society

In June, the Hansard Society will be running an online consultation on hate crime in Northern Ireland, for the House of Commons Select Committee on Northern Ireland. The E-Consultation Study Group, which meets regularly at Queen's University, has invited the Hansard Society over to talk on Monday 7 June about their work on electronic public consultation.

Electronic public consultation, known as E-consultation, is the process by which new interactive technologies such as the internet and email are used as an additional tool in public consultation processes, encouraging more people to participate in public policy-making.

The Hansard Society is an independent, non-partisan educational charity, based in London, which exists to promote effective parliamentary democracy. It is the leading player in the interactive use of communication technologies to strengthen democracy.

In the meeting at Queen's, Barry Griffiths and Milica Howell of the Hansard Society will talk about the 'Hate Crimes' consultation and what they have learned from other e-consultations run over the last few years.

The event coincides with the start of an exciting new £400,000 E-Consultation research project led by investigators at Queen's.

Two of the E-Consultation Study Group's founding members at Queen's are leading the project - Dr David Newman of the School of Management and Economics and Professor John Morison of the School of Law. Working in partnership with the National University of Ireland Maynooth and Letterkenny Institute of Technology, over a two-year period they will research how e-consultation can be used most effectively in public policy-making in Ireland.

 Funding of around £400,000 (580,000 Euro) was announced in May for the project from the Higher Education Agency, as part of a Peace II programme.

"This new project will review how e-consultation is currently being used in Ireland in public consultation processes and identify how new technologies can best be used with local communities to achieve wider participation in public policy-making, " Dr Newman said.

"We aim to work with community groups and public agencies to carry out two real public consultation exercises, one in Northern Ireland and one in the Republic of Ireland. By closely monitoring these experiments we want to see what works best. We will also be working with the people using the new e-consultation methods in the experiments to get their views on the process."

"In short," Dr Newman added, "we will be working on how to turn e-consultation from an experimental idea to a practical reality in Ireland, North and South, usable by any public body or voluntary organisation."

The 'Experiences of E-Consultation' presentation by the Hansard Society will take place at 3pm on Monday 7 June in the Peter Froggatt Centre at Queen's University.

NOTES: The E-consultation Study Group brings together experts from government and the private, voluntary and community sectors to explore how e-government can improve democratic participation.

For further information, contact: Dr David Newman, 028 9097 3643, or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 9097 5320. Or see http://econsult.mgt.qub.ac.uk/

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Black Death debate

The environmental causes of the Black Death which killed over a million people in medieval England will be the topic of the June meeting of the Café Scientifique.

Professor of Palaeoecology at Queen's University Mike Baillie will give the talk on Tuesday 8 June at 6pm in the Wellington Park Hotel.

The Belfast branch of Café Scientifique was established by Queen's University's Dr Jill Turner who wants local people to be able to explore the latest ideas in science and technology outside a traditional academic setting.

Known as the Black Death, the bubonic plaque which spread rampantly across 14th century England is believed to have been caused by fleas carried by rats. But was it that simple? Professor Baillie will shed some light.

For further information contact: Dr Jill Turner, School of Nursing, (028) 9097 2376 or Elaine Fitzsimons, Communications, (028) 9097 5384

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Health and the Eruopean Union

The June elections to the European Parliament mark the beginning of a new political cycle for the EU. They coincide with a major enlargement of EU membership and the final phase of drafting a new constitutional Treaty to be ratified by all of its members, in some cases by referendum.

This is a time for taking stock of what the EU has meant and could realise in the future. In particular, policies which impact on the lives of ordinary citizens are rarely presented in a comprehensive but easily understandable manner. Health related policies, developed over more than half a century but until recently in a relatively piecemeal way, fall into just this category.

A new paper prepared by Robert Coleman, Senior Fellow at the Institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research at Queen'’s University, provides a concise account of the development of EU health related policies, their basis in the Treaties, their objectives and their limits. The paper also examines the factors that have driven and conditioned these developments, and are likely to do so in future.

Until last year, Robert Coleman was the Director General for Health and Consumer Protection in the European Commission. He says of the paper: "Health matters to everyone. EU policies concerning health are already numerous and there will be more in the future. I have tried to present this complex reality as simply as possible so that readers can evaluate for themselves this important but little known area of EU activity."

The key points identified within the paper, entitled ‘EU policies and programmes concerning health: a short history’, are:

- Health related policies matter to the citizen.
- Having addressed a broad range of issues, notably concerning the health implications of the internal market in goods like pharmaceuticals, food and tobacco, the EU is now increasingly addressing health in a more comprehensive way.
- Measures to address common threats to health including communicable diseases like SARS and virulent forms of influenza, assessment of health care technologies and delivery systems and the cross-frontier provision of health care services are all becoming central to new policy development.

Robert Coleman's paper gives readers a clear picture of what has been done and, in the light of the factors driving these developments, a sense of what the future may hold.

The full text of the paper will be available on the Institute’s web site at www.qub.ac.uk/gov Ends

Notes for editors:  The Institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research is an interdisiplinary research centre which brings together practitioners and researchers in the field of public policy and governance from Queen's University, other universities throughout the world and the wider policy community. See www.qub.ac.uk/gov

For further information, contact: Robert Coleman, 028 9094 5298 Email: r.coleman@qub.ac.uk or Communications Office, 028 9097 5320

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Garret Fitzgerald addresses seminar on ageing in Ireland

The former Taoiseach, Dr Garret FitzGerald, is the keynote speaker this morning (Wednesday 2 June) at a private seminar on ageing in Ireland organised in Armagh by the Centre for Cross Border Studies on behalf of the US foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies.

 Dr Fitzgerald, who is a Board Member of Age Action in the Republic of Ireland, will speak on 'Improving the Lives of Older People in Ireland, North and South'.

The seminar brings together 35 people who are prominent in both jurisdictions in service providing voluntary organisations, campaigning and advocacy bodies, health and social service boards, government departments, activist and research groups, and the medical profession. They are hearing papers outlining the situation of older people in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and are discussing what issues of common concern and gaps in provision and advocacy might be better tackled by working more closely across the border.

 For further information, contact: Andy Pollak, Director, The Centre for Cross Border Studies, Armagh Tel. 028 37511550; Mobile 0771-5042122; Email: a.pollak@qub.ac.uk Website: www.crossborder.ie

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'Catastrophic' Famine and Holocaust compared

Comparisons between the Great Famine and the Jewish holocaust will be explored during a lecture on Friday by Queen's University historian Liam Kennedy.

The Professor of Modern History's inaugural lecture, "Cry Holocaust: The Great Irish Famine and the Jewish Holocaust in History and Memory", will examine the parallels between the "two appalling catastrophes".

According to Professor Kennedy, the Great Famine of the mid-19th century was the most traumatic event of modern Irish history, with the deaths of over one million people from hunger and famine related diseases.

For European Jews their darkest hour belongs in living memory, with six million killed in the mid-20th century at the hand of the German Nazis and their collaborators.

But it wasn't until the 1990s that the two became explicitly linked, with some writers and political activists asserting that the Great Famine was the Irish holocaust.

"In effect the charge was one of genocide against both the Nazi regime of the 1940s in Germany and the government of Lord John Russell in the Ireland of the 1840s.

"What is striking in these controversies is that while the Famine-Holocaust connection is being made, the nature of the parallels is rarely spelled out in detail. It struck me that it might be instructive to follow some of the lines of comparison," he said.

The lecture begins at 5pm in room G07 in the Peter Froggatt Centre on Friday 4 June.

 For further information contact: Professor Liam Kennedy, School of Modern History, (028) 9097 3253

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Queen's to launch GAA Academy for stars of the future

A major new initiative to give the best possible sporting chance to Queen's University's Gaelic stars of the future is to be launched tomorrow (Wednesday).

The launch of the new GAA Academy is part of the University's vision for student sport, entitled "Building a New Sporting Future at Queen's", which aims to develop the student experience to include sporting opportunities at both performance and recreational levels.

The latest venture follows the success of the University's Rugby Academy, launched in 2002, which has already resulted in a number of achievements, including a First Fifteen who were in promotion contention in Division III and the development of a Queen's Women’s rugby squad.

Funds for the GAA Academy were raised as a result of a campaign by the Development and Alumni Relations Office and named after legendary Gaelic player Sean O'Neill.

The initiative, which will support the development of men's and ladies Gaelic football, hurling, camogie and handball, is a partnership between Queen's, the five student clubs and the Ulster Branch of the GAA.

It will be based at the PEC and a development co-ordinator is due to be appointed next academic year.

Welcoming the initiative, Queen's Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir George Bain said: "Queen's is proud of its rich sporting traditions and its commitment to its sporting life. The University has a long and distinguished sporting record, providing many champions in many sports over the years at intervarsity, national and international level.

"We believe that sporting activities are an integral part of what we call the 'Queen's Experience' - the University's term for the invigorating blend of all the elements that make for a rewarding student life.

"That is why initiatives such as the Gaelic Academy are crucial to our success. Its creation is a major step towards our goal of becoming the premier sporting university in Ireland.

"Queen's tradition in Gaelic football is a long and proud one, and the University GAA Club is one of the most vibrant and successful in the higher education sector. In 1959 they lifted the Sigerson Cup – the most prestigious prize in intervarsity Gaelic football – for the first time, following this up with a further coup in 1964, and their most recent success two years ago. And 13 Queen's graduates were in the winning Armagh team in the 2002 all-Ireland final at Croke Park."

Dr Robert Gamble, Development Manager, Sport and Exercise Services at Queen's, said that the Academy would give the University the chance to build on this record of achievement.

"It will offer Gaelic sportsmen and women the opportunity to train with top-class coaches and benefit from a range of specialist advice and support provided through the University's Sport and Recreation Services staff," he said.

The initiative has also been welcomed by the GAA. John Devaney, the GAA's representative on the Academy's Development Committee, said: "The GAA Academy is a unique concept, coming at an opportune time. Its strength is in the fact that it is relevant to everyone who has an interest in, or competes in, Gaelic games.

"It is an ambitious project that combines coaching, sports science, high performance and achievement as well as recreation, management and administration, and the very fact that it is based on campus allows us to marry our sports with the advantages of academic research and expertise."

For further information contact::

Dr Robert Gamble (Physical Education Centre), Tel 028 9066 6809
Anne Langford, Tel 028 9097 5310

Notes for editors:

Among those taking part in the Academy’s launch will be the legendary GAA commentator
Micheal O'Muircheartaigh and GAA President Sean Kelly. The launch will take place on Wednesday 2 June, starting in the Great Hall at Queen's University at 11.30am and including a demonstration of GAA sports on the University's front lawn. Media facilities will be available.

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