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Busiest Year Yet At LIT Thurles Games Fleadh 2017

LIT Thurles Campus

Some fifteen LIT Thurles students in total have been recognised for their achievements in game design and development at Games Fleadh 2017.

The Games Fleadh is an annual all-island games design and development competition for third-level students. Same took place on March 8th last on LIT’s Thurles campus; latter home to a B.Sc in Computing in Games Design and Development.

The 14th annual Games Fleadh event was once again supported by Microsoft Ireland; EA Games; First Data; Game Sparks; Game Stop and the Irish Computer Society.

With over 30 teams taking part in various game design and development competitions, the event organisers are happy to report 2017 as their busiest year yet. All entries were viewed, played and tested by over 400 members of the general public, who flocked to the event.

Judges included representatives from EA Games, Game Sparks, and First Data, who each reviewed the individual entries; scoring the students on their game creations.

Fourth year Game Development students Declan Cordial, James Walsh and Shane Hayes with their entry ‘Fragments of the Damned’ won ‘Best in Original Audio Music’.

Third year Game Development students Joe O’Regan, Sean Horgan and Brian Ryan won ‘Best Windows Game’ with their entry ‘AntiBody’.  Another 3rd year Game Development team made up of visiting Canadian students Christopher Law, Noah Petrides, and Settimio Falsetto, were awarded ‘Best in Team Performance’ for their game ‘LightWave’.

Second year Game Development students Alex McAllister, Eoghain McGrath, Luke O’Brien and Nathan Dunne, were awarded ‘Best in Game Design’ for their game ‘I Wanna Be A Racing Game’.

First years LIT’s Robocode Team comprising of students Ciaran Bent, Rory Ryan and Owen O’Dea were placed 3rd in the national Robocode Competition, which involved programming software tanks using the programming language Java.

Congratulations to all those competing.

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Thurles Hosts Ireland’s Largest Computer Gaming Event

Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) situated here in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, will be hosting Ireland’s largest gaming event this year on Wednesday next, March 8th 2017. The theme for this years 2017 event is “Racing Game”.

LIT Tipperary is home to Games Design & Development with a BSc (Honours) obtainable in Computing (Level 8). For further information on this graduate programme click HERE.

This year the Games Fleadh will also feature games development and research discussions with industry veterans and researchers. Companies and organisations taking part in discussions will include Microsoft Ireland, EA, Imirt, Game Sparks and SimVirtua. The full list of speakers is now available on their Gamesfleadh.ie page.

Games Fleadh 2017 while open to the public for free; tickets can now be reserved on their tickets page here.  For more follow @gamesfleadh on twitter .

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Enigma Cipher Machines – The Tipperary Connection

 The Stoney Family of North Tipperary

turing

Alan Mathison Turing OBE FRS (1912 – 1954).

The Stoney family (latter family name originally Danish), were once prominent landlords, here in North Tipperary.
Ethel Sara Stoney (1881–1976), was born on November 18th, at Podanur, in the city of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, India, the daughter of Edward Waller Stoney (Borrisokane, North Tipperary) and Sarah Crawford (Cartron Abbey, Co. Longford); Protestant Anglo-Irish gentry.

Her father was Chief Engineer of the Madras Railways, which played a pioneering role in developing railways in southern India, before being merged in 1908 with Southern Mahratta Railway to form the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway.

Educated at Alexandra School and College, Dublin, and at Cheltenham Ladies College, before attending lectures at the Sorbonne in Paris, she returned to join her parents in Madras, preferring to use her middle Christian name that of ‘Sara’. On October 1st 1907 she married Julius Mathison Turing, son of Reverend John Robert Turing and Fanny Boyd, in Dublin.

Many television viewers recently would have watched the film “The Imitation Game” which starred amongst others Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. This film, which grossed over $233.6 million at the box office, was based on the life of Sara Turing’s son Alan Mathison Turing.  Born on June 23rd 1912, the second and last child (after his brother John Ferrier Turing) later he would be regarded as being one of the greatest figures of the twentieth century.

Those of you, our readers, who viewed this film (Highly recommended viewing, I might add) will be aware that Alan Turing was educated at Sherborne College and Cambridge University, and received a PhD from Princeton, having sailed on the liner Berengaria to New York arriving at Princeton in September 1936. A brilliant mathematician and cryptographer Alan was truly the founder of modern day computer science and artificial intelligence and designed a machine to help break secret Enigma encrypted messages [1] being then circulated by the Nazi German war machine during World War 2.

[1]  Enigma devices were electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines developed and used in the mid-twentieth century to convey and protect sensitive commercial, diplomatic and military communications. Invented by the German engineer Arthur Scherbius towards the end of World War I, these early models were also used commercially by Japan, Italy and most notably Nazi Germany before and during World War II.

Many readers however will not be aware that Alan’s mother was a member of this same Stoney family who once resided at Tombrickane, Kyle Park, Borrisokane, North Co. Tipperary.

Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill once stated that Alan Turing made the single biggest contribution to the Allied victory in the war against Nazi Germany, possibly saving the lives of an estimated 2 million people, through his efforts in shortening World War 2. Churchill was first introduced to Alan Turing during a visit to the highly secretive Hut No 8 at ‘Bletchley Park’, establishment in September 1941. The following month Turing and three other cryptographers wrote directly to Sir Winston Churchill seeking further administrative resources; a request which Prime Minister Churchill immediately made available.

Described as one of the greatest figures of the twentieth century, in 1945 Turing was awarded the OBE by King George VI for his wartime services which included (between the years 1939 – 1942), the breaking of U-boat Enigma messages, thus ensuring allied victory in the battle of the Atlantic. His work continued to remain top secret for many years and Turing machines still remain, to this very day, a central object for study in the theory of computation.

Apart from his work in breaking Nazi Enigma codes from 1945 to 1947, Turing worked on the design of the ACE (Automatic Computing Engine) at the British National Physical Laboratory and presented a paper (February 19th 1946), laying out his vision for the first detailed design of a stored-program computer.

Alas, in 1952 his brilliant career was to be halted; brought about by a short homosexual affair with a 19 year old, named as Arnold Murray. “Eaten bread is soon forgotten” as my grandmother used to say, and Alan’s private life would now come into conflict with an ingrate society displaying short term memory.

Turing and Murray were both prosecuted for homosexual acts, (under section 11 of the then Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885), then considered illegal whether carried out in private or in public. Now with the loss of security clearance to fund his work, Alan chose chemical castration as an alternative to the punishment of a long gaol sentence.

Between 1953 and 54 much of his work in biology and physics remained unfinished and on the 7th of June 1954 Alan was found dead as a result of cyanide poisoning, in Wilmslow, Cheshire. Although suicide was suspected, Alan left no suicide note, having eaten an apple apparently laced with cyanide. This apple however was never fully tested, leaving his mother to never accept the Coroner’s suicide verdict or indeed understand Alan’s actual motivation to end his life.

Certainly his humiliation by prosecutors and the cruel effects of his hormone treatment would have greatly influenced his then mental state, but it was not until September 2009 that former British Labour Prime Minister Mr Gordon Brown would make a formal apology on behalf of the British Government, firstly recognising his contribution to World War 2 and secondly for Turing’s treatment stating ‘he deserved better’.  On the 12th of June 1954, Alan’s body was cremated at Woking Crematorium, St John’s, and his ashes scattered.

Perhaps the apple with the bite taken out, which constitutes the logo on the back of your iPhone or MacBook Pro after all remains as a tribute to Alan Turing, although Apple the American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, apparently dismiss this association.

Regarding his mother Ethel Sara Stoney from North Tipperary; her death came during the early part of her 95th year, on March 6th 1976, while she residing at Stoneycrest, Churt Road, Hindhead, Surrey, England, and following her death, like her son, she too was also cremated.

Perhaps someone will unveil a small commemorative plaque during 2017 in memory of Sara and Alan at Borrisokane; if only in our quest to encourage elusive tourists.

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LIT Thurles Students Scoop Awards At Games Fleadh 2016

Three LIT Thurles students have been recognised for their achievements in game design and development at Games Fleadh 2016, an all-island games design and development competition for third-level students.

LIT

Winning LIT Thurles Students; David Morton, Samantha Marah and Samuel MacSweeney at Thurles Games Fleadh 2016.

Supported by Microsoft Ireland, EA Games, Ubisoft and the Irish Computer Society, the 13th annual Games Fleadh event took place on March 9th on LIT’s Thurles campus which is home to the B.Sc in Computing in Games Design and Development.

Event organisers reported their busiest year yet with over 29 teams taking part in various game design and development competitions. The entries were viewed, played and tested by over 400 members of the general public who attended the event.

A stellar cast of judges reviewed the entries and scored the students on their creations. The judges included John Romero the creator of Doom, representatives from EA Games and Snozbot.

David Morton, a 4th year LIT student, won ‘Best in Game Play’ and ‘Best Windows Phone Game’ for his game ‘Pirates vs Aliens’. Samantha Marah and Samuel MacSweeney, both 2nd year students, were awarded ‘Best in Original Digital Art’ and ‘Best in Original Story’ for their game ‘Pixel Pirate Defense’.

Speaking about Games Fleadh 2016, event organiser and lecturer at LIT’s Game Design and Development degree in Thurles Dr. Liam Noonan said, “Games Fleadh was a fantastic event and it showcased the emerging Irish game design and development talent out there. We were delighted with the achievements of our Games Design and Development students.”

Visit www.gamesfleadh.ie for more.

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Death Of Nano Quinlan, Cabra, Thurles,

With-sincere-sympathyIt was with sadness we learned of the death yesterday, Tuesday 9th February 2016, of Mrs Nano Quinlan (née Egan), Eldergrove, Cabra, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Mrs  Quinlan passed away peacefully in the loving care of St Vincent’s Private Hospital Dublin. Her passing is most deeply regretted by her loving husband Michael, her son Tom, daughters Aoife and Deirdre, son-in-law Dermot, daughter-in-law Mary, partner James, grandchildren Sam, Rachel, Sarah, Diarmuid and Conor, brothers Rev Fr John, Tom and Pat, sisters Mary, Lena, Anna, Margaret and Bridget, nephews and nieces, brothers-in-law, sister-in-law, relatives and many friends.

Funeral Arrangements
The earthly remains of Mrs  Quinlan will repose at her residence in Eldergrove, Cabra, Thurles, this Wednesday, 10th February, from 4:00pm to 8:00pm, before arriving at the Cathedral of The Assumption, Thurles at 12:30pm on Thursday 11th February.

Requiem Mass will take place at 1:15pm with burial immediately afterwards in St Patrick’s Cemetery, Moyne Road, Thurles.

Note: House private on Thursday please. Family flowers only. Donations if desired to Suir Haven, Thurles.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.

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