National news in brief

 
 

DCU honours Northern Ireland Politicians

Honorary PhDs have been awarded to both Lord David Trimble and Seamus Mallon, former First and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland respectively. This was in acknowledgement of their role in the Northern Ireland peace process and their “courage, dedication and a lifetime of commitment to the service of others.”

The conferral, which took place in Dublin City University (DCU) coincided with the 15th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. DCU President, Professor Brian MacCraith, said that, given the timing, it was “fitting that we honour these two remarkable men whose commitment to democracy over conflict and to making a difference in society is an inspiration to us all.”

The degree is the highest honour that DCU can award in recognition of exceptional individuals who have demonstrated excellence in scholarship, in their profession, in services to the arts or in outstanding services to the University.

 

World Space Week takes place at Trinity College Dublin

World Space Week, an international event to celebrate science and technology, and the contribution they have made to the advancement of humanity, took place last week on the grounds of Trinity College Dublin (TCD). This is an annual event and the theme of this year’s event was ‘Exploring Mars, Discovering Earth.’

The programme of events was of a wide range from interactive workshops and exhibits to free talks and tours that invited all members of the public to depeen their knowledge of the planet Mars.

There was a showcase of robotics research in Trinity, a 3D visualization of Mars exhibit and a family day included in the lineup also. The family day, in particular, was a busy one, as it offered activities such as comet making workshops, a zoological museum and an interactive session with a NASA scientist.

Chairman of Discover Science & Engineering, the Irish Government’s science awareness programme, Leo Enright, interviewed Dr. Paul Byrne of TCD, who is currently working at the Carnegie Institution of Washington on NASA’s MESSENGER mission to Mercury.

 

Galway Pro-Choice to hold a public meeting on ‘Abortion and Austerity’

A meeting of Galway Pro-Choice will be held on the 15th of October. There will be three main speakers at the meeting; Director of the London-based Abortion Support Network, Mara Clarke, Dr. Conor McCabe of the UCD School of Social Justice and Dr. Sinead Kennedy, a supporter of pro-choice group Action X, from NUI Maynooth

Clarke said that although “the abortion debate has been going on for years, what seems to get lost is the real, human cost of Ireland’s abortion law. Any restriction on abortion will only ever mean that when faced with an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, women and couples with money who want an abortion have options and women and couples without money either have babies or do dangerous and desperate things.”

Speaking on the issue of the austerity agenda on women, Dr. McCabe stated, “Cuts are a feminist issue. As more and more of the state’s revenue is diverted away from care supports and towards repayments for the bank guarantee and Troika bailout, it is women who are expected to hold Irish society together while finance does its best to rip it apart.”

 

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