On 17th December, after four years of preparation and consultation, the Oireachtas finally passed the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Bill. In doing so they repealed the much criticised Lunacy Regulations Act dating from 1871, thus abolishing the system of Wards of Court and replacing it with a Decision Support Service.
This legislation will have implications for businesses, frontline service providers, public organisations, healthcare providers, legal professionals, voluntary and community organisations; in short anyone working with people whose capacity is called into question or may shortly be called into question, as the legislation will now involve more people having to engage with the challenge of determining the capacity of others to make decisions.
To explain the implications of the Legislation and to address questions arising from it, Sage will be holding a briefing in the Elva Auditorium, University Hospital Waterford, Dunmore Road, Waterford.
To book your place email
Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) is to benefit from two Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Infrastructure Awards that form a key part of implementing the country’s science and technology strategy – Innovation 2020.
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD together with Minister for Training, Skills and Innovation John Halligan, TD announced the investment by Science Foundation Ireland.
Commenting on WIT’s two awards of €904,985 and €248,290, Minister John Halligan said: “WIT is the only institute of technology in the country to receive funding under this Science Foundation Ireland investment programme. Today’s announcement will support the installation of world-class research infrastructure at WIT, which is essential for Waterford and the south east to attract investment and talent to our region and to train a highly skilled and innovative workforce.”
The SFI Research Infrastructure Programme provides research groups with necessary equipment and facilities for the performance of high quality, impactful and innovative research.
WIT’s VP for research, Dr Peter McLoughlin welcomed the research infrastructure awards. “The funding will facilitate the development of our research in areas such as smart sensor technologies and molecular ecology. This state of the art infrastructure will enable our researchers to develop the next generation of drug delivery devices as well as novel sensors with applications in smart agriculture and biomedical diagnostics. The availability of such world class infrastructure plays a critical role in supporting our industry partners and attracting high quality research talent into the region.”
The smart sensing systems development platform will be acquired with close to €1m in funding. Dr Joseph O’Mahony academic researcher explains that new infrastructure will be integrated with the Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre’s (PMBRC) state of the art scanning probe microscope laboratory to create a new research facility. This national facility will further develop the PMBRC’s collaborative research actions with Irish and European academics and industries.
“The new facility will facilitate world class research in the areas of large area organic electronics and printable sensor technologies, enabling the further development of novel technologies for biomedical diagnostics, drug delivery, smart agriculture, smart marine and smart packaging. The new facility will attract a broad range of leading research talent to work in Waterford, further developing the regional knowledge base thereby attracting future economic investment in the economy of the South East,” he said.
Dr Niall O’Reilly, PMBRC centre manager explains: "This is a really exciting development for the PMBRC. The new infrastructure will allow us to integrate a range of technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, microfluidics and ICT into single miniaturised systems. This in turn will be used to drive our research in next generation biomedical diagnostics, drug delivery, energy harvesting and sensor development. There is significant commercial interest in these areas and we hope to collaborate with industry partners as we develop this research further.
The second lot of funding (€248,000) announced for WIT will benefit researchers in the Molecular Ecology Research Group and other researchers in the PMBRC and Eco-Innovation Research Centre who will use the equipment for a variety of pharmaceutical, health and environmental applications.
Dr Denise O’Meara explains how it will expand her wildlife research. "I study wildlife like pine marten and otters using traces of DNA from their hair and droppings. The funding from SFI will allow me to purchase a DNA sequencer that will analyse the DNA and provide information about the number of animals living in an area and insights into their genetic health and relatedness to one another.”
HEFSE has given firm approval to the statement by 245 General Practitioners from South east counties which has been published by the Irish Times Newspaper this weekend.
The statement highlights the concerns of regional GPs with HSE massaging of waiting list figures and the drive to optically reduce the waiting list profile in the South East region. The GPs have pointed to the delay in implementing a 24 / 7 cardiac care service as presenting additional and undue delay to necessary cardiac treatment and disadvantaging the most vulnerable in society as the waiting list is primarily composed of public patients without access to private healthcare. They have also highlighted the sub optimal or 'second grade' treatment options that these disadvantaged patients are being offered as a result of the failure to implement a 2nd Cath lab with the requisite supporting staff in Waterford.
HEFSE is calling on Government and the Dept of Health to address this service discrimination immediately. Professor Herity in addressing the Oireachtas Health Committee last week was forced to concede that Emergency PCI and elective cardiology procedures should not be carried out in a non 24/7 service and now primary care givers who are deemed responsible in the first instance for regional healthcare are joining in supporting of the 24/7 service.
HEFSE can see no reason why in light of these public reviews of ongoing healthcare policy from regional medical experts the South East population should be disadvantaged any longer and calls on Government to implement 24/7 cardiac care planning for the South east forthwith. This to include apportioning extra funding for a second Catheterisation Laboratory at University Hospital Waterford and announcing a recruitment programme for the additional staff required.
Waterford Purple Flag joined the celebrations in Carrick-on-Shannon this week as the Purple Flag Accreditation programme reached a milestone of 20 accredited towns and cities in Ireland since its inception in 2012.
Waterford was awarded the internationally recognised accreditation in 2015 and has just completed its renewal application and expects to be successful and retain the coveted status.
At the National Awards ceremony in Leitrim this week Limerick, Maynooth, Dublin One and Wexford received their accreditations. Dublin’s Creative Quarter and Dame District was one of the first to be awarded with the Purple Flag, showing a significant increase in footfall and decrease in vacancies as a result. Now, a second area on Dublin’s north side called ‘Dublin One’ which stretches from O’Connell Street to Capel Street has stepped forward and achieved the evening and night-time accreditation.
The Purple Flag status has been hugely beneficial to the evening and night time economy in Waterford. A recent survey conducted by the group has revealed that awareness of the initiative is on the up and that the majority of people would be happy to recommend Waterford for a night out.
Waterford Purple Flag Co-ordinator Nick Donnelly said: “If our towns and cities are to survive and thrive in the 21st century they must meet the expectations of both visitors and residents. To achieve that goal our town centres must be professionally managed and promoted. Cities and towns all over Ireland are proving their ability to do so with this accreditation and having now over 20 flag holding locations puts Ireland firmly on the map in terms of excellence in the evening and night-time.”
He continued by saying: “I would like to acknowledge the huge interest, work and enthusiasm that town and city representatives are making in creating a welcoming, safe and vibrant environment, which is a critical element of Purple Flag accreditation.”
Shanaaz Carroll, CEO of the accrediting body Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) commented: “A new milestone has been reached for Purple Flag on the island of Ireland – over 20 Purple Flags is a great achievement, which shows the quality of the Evening & Night Time Economy (ENTE). I am delighted to say following the Purple Flag Panel meeting that all Irish applications have impressed the judges both in terms of quality of the night-time offering as well in the partnerships of the towns and cities that applied.”
‘Purple Flag’ is the highest award for a vibrant and well-managed evening and night time economy in Europe offering successful towns and cities a way to recognise, promote and further develop the evening and night-time economy, making places more attractive and vibrant for both locals and visitors alike.
The boundary commission has recommended an extension for Waterford into South Kilkenny.
The redrawing of the county boundary between Kilkenny and Waterford would see 20,000 acres transferred into Waterford. The final decision will be a matter for Minister Simon Coveney. South Kilkenny TD John Paul Phelan has threatened to resign his Dáil seat if the boundary change went ahead and said Fine Gael would lose significant support in south Kilkenny.
Former Mayor of Waterford Cllr. John Cummins has called on the government and Fianna Fáil as the supporting partner to implement the recommendations as a matter of urgency. The recommendations of the three strong commission are to implement "a new Boundary between the Authorities that will move the entire Electoral Area of Kilculliheen and those parts of the Electoral Areas of Aglish and Dunkitt contained within the Area of Interest that lie south of the N25 bypass to the control of Waterford Council". [source: WLR FM]
Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) has announced its President’s Scholarship scheme is to run for a second year. The scheme encourages and rewards inspiring people who show a capacity to shape a better society.
Five exceptional people are awarded scholarships with a total value of up to €12,000.
Scholarship applicants must have listed one of WIT’s 70 CAO courses as one of their choices on their CAO application before applying. If they haven’t yet listed choices, they can do so ahead of the scholarship deadline while the CAO change of mind facility is open between 5 February and 1 March. The closing date for President’s Scholarship applications is Friday, 7 April at 5.15pm.
WIT President Prof Willie Donnelly said that WIT welcomes applications from prospective students who are inspiring in their actions and behaviours.
The inaugural recipients of WIT’s President’s Scholarship programme were recognised at a ceremony recently.
Addressing the scholarship recipients, WIT President, Prof Willie Donnelly said: “WIT believes that education is not about CAO points but about recognising the student as an individual.”
“The President’s Scholarship recognises and rewards young people for their leadership in their community. Having met the recipients of this year’s awards I was strong from their energy and enthusiasm. They bring a very special dynamic to WIT which benefits the Institute and their fellow students,” he continued.
The 2016 President’s Scholars are:
Louise Dunphy, Bachelor of Business (Honours) from Waterford who has participated in the arts and cultural sector.
Gareth Dineen, BEng (Honours) Mechanical & Manufacturing Technology, from Tramore, Co Waterford who has an affinity for technology and would like to work for the European Space Agency.
Hannah Nash, BA (Honours) Exercise & Health Sciences, Monkstown, Co Dublin, plays camogie and football for Cuala GAA club in Dalkey and is former head girl of Coláiste Íosagain in Co Dublin.
Cian O’Grady, BA (Honours) Social Care Practice, Herbertstown, Co Limerick, earlier this year won the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards. He is working on a social enterprise that would help the homeless.
Róisín O’Donnell, BSc (Honours) Agricultural Science, Poulmucka, Clonmel, Co Tipperary who is currently working towards her gold Gaisce award having already achieved both bronze and silver and works part time with the Farm Relief Services when not helping out at home.