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Governing Body told to google proposed new NUIG President



Members of the Governing Body of NUI Galway were told to ‘google’ information about the university’s new President – at the meeting in which they approved the appointment.

Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh was ratified as the university’s new President by the Governing Body of NUIG at its meeting last September. He replaced Dr James Browne in January.

The meeting was given a short report about the recruitment process for the appointment of a new president, including the work of the search committee, the selection committee and the role of an international recruitment company, Perrett Laver.

They were then informed that the selection committee was recommending Prof Ó hÓgartaigh.

Members were given a “short bio” of the preferred candidate at the end of the written report, but this was not sufficient for some members, according to minutes of the meeting, released following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

“Some members expressed the view that they had expected a more comprehensive report on the presidency recruitment process than that tabled for the Údarás meeting. They stated that they would have welcomed more information in the report such as the personal vision of the preferred candidate, his research experience and standing, his CV, assessment criteria applied during the competition and the identity of the shortlisted candidates. A few members at this point in the meeting, thought themselves unable to support the ratification of the preferred candidate for appointment as President without recourse to further information,” the minutes said.

In response, Gearóid Ó Conluain, secretary of NUIG, said 33 colleagues from the Governing Body, the Academic Council and externally, had a role in the recruitment process. He said that the process of selection had been agreed previously with the Údarás.

Mr Ó Conluain added the selection committee had been entrusted by the governing body to recommend the best possible applicant for appointment and he warned “they should not be second guessed in the work that they had carried out in that regard”.

A discussion about the identify of Prof Ó hÓgartaigh having been “widely known” on campus prior to it being made officially known to the governing body ensued.

A motion to ratify Prof Ó hÓgartaigh was subsequently put to the meeting and it was “agreed without any reservation”.

Following his ratification by Údarás, members of the governing body discussed the recruitment process for the presidency.

During this discussion, Cathaoirleach Justice Catherine McGuinness, “advised members interested in acquiring more information on Prof Ó hOgartaigh, than that presented in the short bio before the meeting, ‘Google’ him as she had drawn down quite an amount of information on that basis”.

The then incoming Student Union President, Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh, attending his first Údarás meeting, “expressed a degree of discomfiture regarding the ratification of the new president without some understanding of the vision the new president would have for the student body.”

Justice McGuinness said students had contributed to the work of two committees that were “indispensable” to the competition process.

In response Mr Ó Conluain said the previous SU President and other students had “exercised strong leadership” in helping to shape the advice of the committees on the desirable attributes of a new appointee, including a vision for students.

The meeting took a short break at this point, and when they reconvened, a governing body member who was also on the selection committee said the new president was an “exceptional candidate”, whose appointment should be acclaimed by the Údarás.

She called for a “bualadh bos (applause)” in recognition of this. Another member asked the meeting to record a “céad mile fáilte” to the new president.

The minutes added: “A round of applause ensued and the discussion concluded”.


Drinks set to flow again in two landmark Galway premises



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Two popular Galway pubs that had been closed are to be given a new lease of life by an extended family.

The refurbishment of the former Central Bar in Woodquay has been almost completed and new owner Michael Gilmore will open the doors this weekend – just in time for the busy Christmas season.

The pub, in recent years known as The Lough Inn, had closed during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Mr Gilmore is a well-known publican in the city, running the Cellar Bar on Eglinton Street and Seven on Bridge Street. He also has a pub in the heart of Westport called An File.

Earlier this year his two nephews, Mark and Vinny Gilmore, bought Kelehan’s in Bushypark. They are overseeing a major overhaul on the large premises after many years behind closed doors.

Due to setbacks with building supplies, a planned opening by Christmas has now been pushed back until the spring.

This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the December 9 edition of the Galway City Tribune.  You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Warning to parents after Galway homes raided in child sexual abuse material investigation



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A senior Garda, who heads up Galway’s Protective Services unit, has advised parents to ‘tune into’ the daily dangers lurking on the internet in relation to child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

Detective Inspector Peter Conlon – who confirmed that four search warrants had been issued to search residences in the city over recent weeks for CSAM – urged all parents and guardians closely monitor their children’s access to the internet.

He told the Galway City Tribune it was critical that parents did not allow their children ‘unfettered access’ to the internet given the prevalence of sexual predators – often from other jurisdictions – who were trawling the net to make contact with children.

“Children may believe that they are making contact with other children but instead it may be adults seeking to establish a relationship with them and to get pictures of them.

This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the December 9 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

“I would ask all parents to seriously and carefully consider the age at which they should give mobile phones to their children – any such decision needs to be age appropriate and where this happens it needs to be monitored closely by the parents,” said Det Insp Conlon.

He also said that parents and guardians should acquaint themselves, where practical, with the latest technologies which make it possible for them to be linked into their children’s phone or devices to monitor content and contacts at all times.

The searches in the city over the past two weeks resulted in the seizure of laptops and other electronic devices from three residences – they are currently being examined in detail by Garda technical experts at their regional HQ in Renmore. Det Insp Conlon said that while there had been no arrests in the city following the latest searches, the course of their investigations would be determined by the content and material found in the devices seized.

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Just 85 affordable homes to be built in Galway City by 2025



From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  A total of just 85 affordable homes will be built in Galway City during the remainder of the Government’s lifetime, it was revealed during a debate in the Seanad this week.

An animated Senator Ollie Crowe (FF) told Seanad Éireann that there would be “riots on the streets of Galway” at the disappointing news that was imparted to him by a junior minister.

In the Dáil, Junior Housing Minister, Malcolm Noonan, confirmed that it was planned to provide 85 affordable homes as part of a Merlin Woods development between now and 2025.

He understood that there were sites identified for affordable housing schemes in other parts of the city, but no applications had been received for funding.

“Housing delivery in Galway City Council is a matter for Galway City Council and it is down to the local authority to strike the balance in respect of social and affordable housing delivery.

“If the Senator feels that the local authority is not delivering enough in that regard, it is really a matter for them to drive a more ambitious agenda. The Department will not be found wanting in funding schemes,” Minister Noonan added.

But Senator Crowe yesterday told the Galway City Tribune that it was an incredibly disappointing and unacceptable answer that there would only be 85 new builds when it came to affordable homes.

(Image: Minister Malcolm Noonan said the new Merlin Woods development will include 85 affordable homes).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article,  see the December 9 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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