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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.

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Councillors Meet Transport Minister Over Aer Lingus

Mid-WestA delegation of County Councillors, representing Tipperary, Clare and Mayo, met with Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Pascal Donohue, T.D., in Dublin today to express their concerns about the proposed sale of Aer Lingus to IAG.

The meeting was organised by Cllr. John Crowe (FG) (Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council) who was joined in Leinster House by Cllr Michael Fitzgerald (FG) (Cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council) and Cllr Damien Ryan (FF) (Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council).

While unable to attend this afternoon’s meeting, the Mayors of Limerick, Galway and Kerry have also backed the message delivered to the Minister, latter which outlined that Elected Members in the West rejected any commitment from IAG that does not “explicitly guarantee” Aer Lingus’ long term commitment to services between Shannon Airport and London Heathrow, as well as transatlantic services.

“At today’s meeting we stressed the necessity of securing a 15-year guarantee from IAG in respect of Shannon’s Heathrow slots and service levels as the 5-year guarantee proposed by IAG’s CEO Willie Walsh does not give sufficient confidence to companies seeking to invest in the region and does not assure the connectivity that is required for the West of Ireland. Furthermore, we asked the Minister to also relay to Cabinet that guarantees should be secured in respect of Aer Lingus’ transatlantic services,” said Cllr. Crowe.

“Shannon Airport is thriving again thanks to the efforts of the new management and board in place at Shannon. The retention of existing and development of new Aer Lingus services is central to future growth at Shannon as well as maintaining existing activity and investment in industry and tourism,” he added.

“Minister Donohoe took our concerns on board and pledged to bring them to Cabinet as it discusses its options going forward in respect of the IAG’s bid,” concluded Cllr. Crowe.

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Contract Signed For New Thurles Town Park

On Monday morning last saw the formal signing of the contract for the new Thurles town park. Amongst those in attendance for the signing were Mr Joe MacGrath ( Chief Executive Tipperary County Council), Mr Michael Ryan (Thurles Administrator), Mr Michael Fitzgerald, (Cathaoirleach Tipperary County Council), Mr Pearse Ferguson (SIAC Construction Ltd.,) Mr Nicholas de Jong (Park Design Team), M/s Deirdre O’Shea (Council Administrative Staff Member), Tipperary Co Councillors; Mr Michael Smith, Mr John Hogan, Mr Jackie Cahill, Mr Seamus Hanafin, Mr Micheál Lowry, Mr David Doran and Mr Jim Ryan together with Mr Padraig Killeen, (SIAC Construction Ltd.), Mr Michael Tierney, Mr Matt Shortt (District Director for Templemore / Thurles Municipal Council) and Mr Ruairi Boland (Engineer).

Town-Park

L-R  Seated, Front Row: Mr Joe MacGrath (C.E., Tipperary County Council), Mr Michael Fitzgerald (Cathaoirleach Tipperary County Council), Mr Pearse Ferguson (SIAC Construction Ltd.).   L-R  Standing, Back Row: Mr Michael Smith (North Tipperary County Councillor), M/s Deirdre O’Shea (Council Administrative Staff Member), Mr Nicholas de Jong (Design Team).

Thurles-ParkWork has already begun on this new exciting Thurles project, latter, for the benefit of non Thurles residents which is situated east of the town, behind the present Source complex.

The park, which has the full backing of both Thurles residents and businesses; was previously agreed through a process of full consultation, the end result of which is now the emergence of a modern well designed and much needed Town Park amenity.

As part of this new park amenity; a new footbridge is planned, same to be built over the river Suir running from the east bank of St Patrick’s college former grounds to the west bank joining Emmet Street (The Watery Mall) and  Thomond Road, close to what locals call the “Swinging Gates.”

Click on image left to view larger picture of the overall proposed final park plan.

One of the entertaining features of this new amenity will be a new Skateboarding area which no doubt will be a source of attraction for many of our young people in the coming weeks. However to date no sporting shops in the town appear to be offering Skateboards for sale. Skateboards of course are not overly expensive to purchase and for those of you anxious to to get a handle on this sport simply click Skateboard here and browse to suit your pocket.

Congratulations to all those who, through their vision, financing and planning contributed to this now, soon to be realised, Thurles Town Park amenity.

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Thurles Blood Donation Clinic

give-bloodThe Blood Donation Clinic (IBTS) will be visiting here in Thurles tomorrow.

Where: The Dome, beside Semple Stadium, Nenagh Road, Thurles,  Co. Tipperary.
When: Monday 16th February, 2015.
Time:  2:00pm – 5:00pm (afternoon clinic).

The Blood Donation Clinic will also remain in place at ‘The Dome’ [Map Ref] from 6:00pm9:00pm for each of the following days; Tuesday 17th, Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th February, 2015, so please help save a life………GIVE BLOOD.

Remember you can visit any Blood Donor Clinic as long as 90 days have elapsed since you last gave blood.

For further details check their website www. giveblood.ie or contact them on Tel: 061 306980.

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Aldi Recall Fiesta Fajita Dinners

AldiALDI Stores countrywide have recalled their ‘Fiesta Fajita Dinner Kit‘ from sale, having discovered information missing from the products allergy advice label.

The Supermarket chain has identified that the products seasoning mix contains low levels of almond protein, which was not initially listed on the food label.

If you have purchased the above product and have an allergy to almonds or other nuts, do not eat it.

Customers are now being advised by ALDI not to eat the product if they have an allergy or intolerance to almonds, and are requesting that the product be returned to any of their stores, where a full refund will be processed.

The company is presently contacting the relevant allergy support organisations, latter who will inform their ‘at risk’ members of this product withdrawal.

No other Aldi food products are known to be affected.

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