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SUSI – Student Grant Awarding Authority

img-susi-logoSUSI – Student Grant Awarding Authority Open For Business For Academic Year 2015 / 2016.

Tipperary parents and ‘would be’ 3rd level students should note that SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland), the online application system charged with awarding grants to students, has announced it is ‘open for business’ for the academic year 2015 to 2016.

SUSI, as stated, is the single national ‘Awarding Authority’ for all new and continuing student grant applications. Keep in mind that applications for ‘Student Grants’ are assessed under a criteria set out in the Student Support Act 2011, Student Support Regulations and the Student Grant Scheme.

Applications are made online and are subject to necessary supporting documentation. This online application system provides you with a quick, user friendly way to apply for your student grant with this year the fourth year of operating this online system. This upcoming academic year SUSI expect to process more than 110,000 student applications, so do set about filling up your siblings application online details early, thus avoiding any future delays.

SUSI are at pains to state that they have introduced a key number of improvements to their operating system, including an earlier application opening date and a redesigned website. You will remember that the system came under much criticism in the past, after it emerged that they had granted some €4m worth of grants to ineligible students during their first year of operation.

Thurles Can View Partial Sun Eclipse Friday Morning Next

At least 90% of our earth’s Sun will be covered by the Moon on Friday next, (March 20th, 2015), thus creating something of an unusual spectacle for Thurles viewers, weather permitting of course. Indeed Met Éireann claim that the south of Ireland could be the best region from which to view this partial solar eclipse.

Since Ireland resides in that zone where the Sun is not totally obscured by the moon, we will therefore only experience a partial eclipse, rather than, as in some areas of the globe, a total eclipse. An area running north through the middle of the Atlantic and up over the Arctic will in fact only experience a full solar eclipse.

Here in Thurles this phenomenon should starts around 8.23am and run until 10.36am, with the peak of the eclipse reached at around 9.27am. If our skies are very cloudy, it will not be possible to observe same, although its effect will be felt as it will get somewhat darker and it will also feel much colder. If our sky’s are clear however it will be possible to see the very distinct outline of the moon passing slowly across the shape of the Sun, from right to left.

The last time an eclipse was visible from Ireland was in 1999 and it will be 2026 before yet another partial one is seen here in Thurles again. Indeed it will be 2090 before a total solar eclipse is next visible from this part of our globe.

Warning: Do not personally look directly at this upcoming Friday spectacle and in particular impress upon your children that direct eye contact can severely damage eyes and even lead to blindness. You may be lucky enough to own a pair of special Solar Glasses or welding goggles or welding shield, all of which have sufficient filtration to fully protect your eyes from any such harmful effects of the Sun’s rays.

Of course for those of you anxious to view and who own none of the above, best to line a bucket with a black plastic bin liner before filling the bucket to the top with water. This done; view in safety the eclipse reflected on the surface of the water only. Latter is a safe and an ideal method of viewing this spectacle by groups of children, especially in a supervised educational setting, while using several such bucket apparatuses spread out.

Irish Gaming Industry Under Spotlight In Thurles Tipperary

Ireland’s growing status as a location for digital games research and development will be highlighted tomorrow (11/3/2015) when three of the biggest names in the industry participate in Games Fleadh 2015.

gamesLIT Tipperary, whose alumni have worked on some of gaming’s biggest titles including Call of Duty, StarCraft and Guitar Hero, will host Ireland’s largest gaming event at its campus in Thurles, Co Tipperary.

Games Fleadh will feature games development and research talks by prolific American games designers and developers Brenda and John Romero and Electronic Arts (EA) Chief Operating Officer Bryan Neider,  who will also assist in the judging process for the various undergraduate competitions involving third levels students and games developers from all over the island of Ireland.

Bryan Neider is Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Electronic Arts (EA), which is responsible for producing some of the best-selling video game titles of all time including The Sims, FIFA, Battlefield and Madden NFL.

Brenda and John Romero have each more than 30 years experience working in the gaming industry, over 150 game titles such as DOOM and Quake to their credit, dozens of awards and have collectively founded nine game companies.

Supported by Microsoft Ireland, EA Games and the Irish Computer Society, the 12th annual Games Fleadh will feature the ‘Direct X’ Endless Runner challenge, Robocode and the Game Studio ‘Endless Runner’ competition, the winners and runners up of which will present their games to Brenda and John Romero and the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) Greenlight Committee.

Games Fleadh presents a fantastic opportunity for students to create a prototype game, meet people from industry and make a name for themselves within the Irish game sector,” said Dr. Liam Noonan, Lecturer at LIT’s Game Design and Development degree in Thurles at the launch of Games Fleadh 2015.

“In terms of career development, participating in this competition is invaluable as students are adding to their portfolio of creative content and networking with students from other colleges and people from the games industry. It is these up and coming game developers and their innovative ideas that will act as the catalyst for job creation in the Irish game development sector,” added Dr. Noonan.

LIT Thurles Showcases Irish Gaming Industry

Leading gaming experts including Head of EA to participate in LIT/Microsoft Ireland event in Thurles.

games_fleadh_3

Shannon Mostert and Ciara Bull from Nenagh, Co Tipperary

Some of the biggest names in the gaming industry will gather at the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) campus here in Thurles later this month to participate in Games Fleadh 2015, an all-island games design and development competition for third-level students.

LIT Tipperary, whose alumni have worked on some of gaming’s biggest titles including ‘Call of Duty’, ‘StarCraft’ and ‘Guitar Hero’, has announced it will host Ireland’s largest gaming event on Wednesday March 11th.

Supported by Microsoft Ireland, EA Games and the Irish Computer Society, the 12th annual Games Fleadh will feature the ‘Direct X’ Endless Runner challenge, Robocode and the Game Studio ‘Endless Runner’ competition, the winners and runners up of which will present their games to Brenda and John Romero and the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) Greenlight Committee.

Games Fleadh 2015 – Open to the public for free

Brenda and John Romero have each more than 30 years experience working in the gaming industry, over 150 game titles such as DOOM and Quake to their credit, dozens of awards and have collectively founded nine game companies.

Games Fleadh will also feature games development and research talks by industry veterans such as Bryan Neider who will assist in the judging process for the various under graduate competitions. Neider is Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Electronic Arts (EA) labels, which collectively are responsible for producing some of the bestselling video game titles of all time including The Sims, FIFA, Battlefield and Madden NFL.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for students to create a prototype game, meet people from industry and make a name for themselves within the Irish game sector,” said Dr. Liam Noonan, Lecturer at LIT’s Game Design and Development degree in Thurles at the launch of Games Fleadh 2015.

“In terms of career development, participating in this competition is invaluable as students are adding to their portfolio of creative content and networking with students from other colleges and people from the games industry. It is these up and coming game developers and their innovative ideas that will act as the catalyst for job creation in the Irish game development sector,” added Dr. Noonan.

According to Dr. Noonan: “We were delighted and privileged to work with the Fulbright U.S. Specialist Award scholar Brenda Romero and her husband John back in September in our Thurles campus and they were very supportive of our Games Fleadh initiative. They suggested that the 2015 theme should be Endless Runner as this would allow students flexibility in designing either a 2D or 3D game.”

Commenting about Games Fleadh 2015, Brenda and John Romero said: “We are really excited to be involved in Games Fleadh this year. Having travelled all over Ireland and met hundreds of students and game developers, we know how much talent the country has and are looking forward to seeing this year’s results.”

Speaking ahead of his visit to Ireland, Mr. Bryan Neider stated: “I am looking forward to meeting the games design and development students at LIT Games Fleadh 2015, discussing their “Endless Runner” games and sharing our experiences at EA Games in the design and development of future titles.”

Stephen Howell, Academic Engagement Manager, Microsoft Ireland commented: “Microsoft is delighted to be on board sponsoring the Games Fleadh once again in 2015. We have demonstrated our commitment to the competition over the long term as it represents a fantastic opportunity to shine a spotlight on the immense third level games design talent in this country. It also plays a unique role in promoting knowledge-sharing, with international experts taking part and the latest research in the field up for discussion.”

Games Fleadh 2015 is open to the public for free. Online registration is available at www.gamesfleadh.ie.

For more visit www.twitter.com/gamesfleadh or search Twitter #gamesfleadh.

Thurles Credit Union Quiz 2015

Thurles Credit Union held their local round of the Credit Union Quiz 2015 in the Premier Hall, Thurles on Friday 30th January 2015 last.
Gaelscoil-Bhríde-U13-Winners

Gael Scoil Bhríde (Left above) were victorious in the U13 quiz, while Scoil Ailbhe (Right above) progressed victoriously in the U11 quiz.

Scoil Iosagain, Upperchurch, came second in the U11 and 3rd in the U13, while Scoil Chroí Naofa, Urlingford took 3rd place in the U11 quiz. Scoil Ailbhe also achieved 2nd place at the U13, in addition to their already U11 success.

Thurles Credit Union would like to thank the parents and teachers of all the participating schools and wish both Gael Scoil Bhríde and Scoil Ailbhe every success in the upcoming Chapter level quiz, where they will do battle with school quiz teams from other Credit Unions throughout North Tipperary.

Winners of the forthcoming Chapter level quiz will then progress to the All Ireland Credit Union competition to be held in Dublin at a date yet to be decided, during April of this year.

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