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Thurles Ursuline Student Wins Special Merit Award In 68th Texaco Children’s Art Competition.

A Thurles student, studying at the Ursuline Secondary School, Thurles, Co. Tipperary has been included in the top prizes in this year’s 68th Texaco Children’s Art Competition.

Ms Holly Keane, aged 14 years, is the winner of a ‘Special Merit Award’, while being acknowledged for displaying a high level of skill and creativity for her work; latter a coloured pencil portrait entitled ‘Jack!’.

‘Jack’Artist Holly Keane

Close to some 20,000 artworks were received for this year’s competition, with Final Adjudicator, Professor Gary Graville supported in the judging process by a group of preliminary judges; same including Dr. Denise Ferran (artist, art historian and former president of the Royal Ulster Academy); Mr Eoin Butler (Artist and lecturer); Seán Kissane (Curator) and Ms Marie Connole (A previous Texaco Children’s Art Competition winner).

The top 126 artworks of this year’s competition are currently being showcased at Belfast’s Royal Ulster Academy of Arts until June 30th next, with the display open from Tuesday to Thursday each week, from 9:00am-5:00pm each day.

For those visiting the exhibition, admission is free.


First Ever Cross-Border Manufacturing Workshop In TUS – Part Of Manufacturing Solutions Ireland Event.

  • International businesses also look to Manufacturing Solutions, hosted by TUS & GTMA, to introduce new technologies to the Irish, UK and European markets in the new Manufacturing Technology Zone.
  • GTMA: “The success of the event is driven by demand, and that demand is fuelled by a determination of businesses in Ireland and the UK to build relationships, work together and do business”.

Members of Manufacturing NI, who represent 5,500 manufacturing firms in Northern Ireland, will travel to Limerick next week to meet with representatives of the Irish industry cluster, IDEAM** in a bid to foster cross-border collaborations that will support the green and digital transition for manufacturing SMEs.

Manufacturing Solutions Ireland Event

** IDEAM (www.ideam.ie) is an innovative national industry cluster launched in April 2021 located in the heart of the Mid-West region supporting businesses to collaborate, innovate and grow. IDEAM assists manufacturing SMEs in digital transformation and our core aim is to unlock new opportunities for industry by working collectively.

The InterTradeIreland supported meeting and workshop for IDEAM and Manufacturing NI is just one element of Manufacturing Solutions Ireland 2022 taking place at TUS (Technological University of the Shannon), Moylish Campus, Limerick, on Wednesday and Thursday June 15th and 16th, organised by TUS and UK Manufacturing Supply Chain trade association the GTMA*.

* The Gauge and Tool Makers Association (GTMA) is a UK-based trade association representing leading companies in precision engineering, rapid product development, toolmaking, tooling technologies, metrology and other critical manufacturing related products and services. It embraces technology, procurement and supply chain initiatives to offer solutions across a full range of business needs.

Manufacturing Solutions Ireland, which began in 2016, has grown from a successful manufacturing supply trade exhibition to a two-day event that now includes a multi-million euro Manufacturing Technology Zone and the IDEAM Digitalisation of Manufacturing Conference. Meet the Manufacturer also returns as part of this event, along side 150 exhibits, which attract thousands of exhibitors, delegates, manufacturers and visitors from across Ireland and the UK to Limerick.

Dr. Jamie Meehan, Cluster Manager, IDEAM said that this year’s extended two-day Manufacturing Solutions event will also provide historic firsts. “For the first time ever a cross-border collaboration workshop will take place allowing two industry clusters – IDEAM and Manufacturing NI – come together with a view to developing relationships that will allow us to jointly attract more business into the future. Manufacturing NI represents businesses with sales valued at £20 billion, whilst the manufacturing industry in the Republic of Ireland recorded sales of €134.6 billion in 2020. Sharing ideas and opportunities among this sector on both sides of the border will be hugely beneficial for everyone.”

Meanwhile day two of the conference will introduce EIT Manufacturing, the European body that seeks to empower people who are capable and inspired to shape the future of manufacturing. Its members will travel to Limerick to advise attendees at Manufacturing Solutions how to access the €400 million support fund.

Multi Million Euro Manufacturing Technology Zone.
International businesses are also looking to Manufacturing Solutions Ireland 2022 to introduce new technologies to the Irish, UK and European markets through the new Manufacturing Technology Zone.

Large companies across the UK and Europe will bring machines, many never before seen in Ireland or the UK, to the event that is now considered one of the largest manufacturing events in Ireland.

Companies such as Mills CNC, Hurco, Wenzel, Werth, Fanuc, Lister Machine Tools, ETG Ireland, Premier Machine Tools and Starrag, will demonstrate machines valued at more than €5 million over two days in the Manufacturing Technology Zone.

Mr David Beattie General Manager GTMA said, “Manufacturing Solutions Ireland is growing year on year, and is now a permanent fixture in the calendar for manufacturers with an interest not only in what is happening now in industry, but also looking at next generation technology and innovation. The success of the event is driven by demand, and that demand is fuelled by a determination of businesses in Ireland and the UK to build relationships, work together and do business”.

President of TUS Professor Vincent Cunnane said he was delighted to welcome the GTMA and Manufacturing Solutions Ireland back to the Moylish Campus, now home to Ireland’s third technological university – TUS. “TUS is driving development and investment across the Midwest and Midlands, building on our commitment to ensure that manufacturing in the regions continues to adapt, change and remain at the cutting edge internationally. Our partners in GTMA bring all the leading technology suppliers together at Manufacturing Solutions, so that industry can benefit from collective knowledge, products and technology. We are delighted to host an event that not only allows us to build strong partnerships but facilitates an exchange of ideas“.

For further information or to register to attend this free two-day event see manufacturingsolutions.ie.

Given the popularity of the event – booking is advised.


First Case Of Monkeypox Virus Confirmed In Irish Republic.

Gambian Pouched Rat

Following the first case of the monkeypox virus having been confirmed in the east of Ireland on Friday night last; The Minister for Health, Mr Stephen Donnelly, has confirmed that the HSE has secured a third-generation smallpox vaccine.
Health officials have also confirmed that a further suspected case of the virus is also being investigated and test results are eagerly being awaited.

The HSE confirm that public health teams are now following up with people who were in close contact with the known positive case and are advising them on what to do in the event that they themselves become ill.

Monkeypox is an infectious viral disease that can occur in both humans and some other animals. The disease can appear similar to chickenpox. Early symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pains, shivering, backache, and the feeling of extreme tiredness.
Lymph nodes will swell behind the ear, below the jaw, in the neck or in the groin. This is then followed by a rash that forms blisters and eventually crusts over.

The time from exposure to onset of symptoms of the virus is usually 7 to 14 days, with the duration of these symptoms lasting typically two to four weeks. Cases may be severe, especially in children, pregnant women or people with suppressed immune systems.

Some three-quarters of affected people can develop abnormal changes in tissue in the form of lesions on the palms of their hands and on the soles of their feet. More than two-thirds develop lesions in their mouth, while a third develop lesions on their genitals and one in five have lesions in their eyes.

Same begin as small flat spots, before becoming small bumps which then fill with clear fluid changing to yellow fluid, which subsequently will then burst and scab over.

Contrary to the name, Monkeys are not a main causative agent for the virus; it is believed African rodents, such as the African giant pouched rat, [Gambian pouched rat *] serve as the actual agent.

* APOPO [Anti-Persoonsmijnen Ontmijnende Product Ontwikkeling: or in English Anti-Personnel Landmines Removal Product Development], train Gambian pouched rats to detect land mines and tuberculosis using their highly developed sense of smell.

Complications can include secondary infections, pneumonia, sepsis, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), and loss of vision following severe eye infection. If infection occurs during pregnancy, still birth or birth defects may occur. The disease may be milder in people vaccinated against smallpox in childhood.

The current standard for treatment is Tecovirimat SIGA, an antiviral that is specifically intended to treat infections with ortho poxviruses such as Cowpox, Smallpox and Monkeypox.

Tecovirimatis is approved for the treatment of monkeypox in the European Union; its benefits being considered greater than its known side effects, which are often severe headaches and nausea, which in turn affect up to 1 in 10 people.


Irish Prison Service Mark Graduation Ceremony For 20 Prisoners.

The Irish Prison Service, in partnership with the FAI and St. Patrick’s Athletic Football Club, today marked the graduation ceremony for 20 prisoners who have recently completed the FAI Coach Education department’s Adult Amateur Licence course.

The course was led by St. Patrick’s Athletic Director of Football and UEFA Pro Licence holder Ger O’Brien and will enable all licence holders to coach in the Adult Amateur game and integrate into Irish football on their release.

Republic of Ireland Under 21 manager Jim Crawford in presenting each successful candidates with their coaching licence stated, “Football can be such a positive influence in so many lives and we have seen the power of football and the impact it can have on these graduates here today.
I look forward to the coaching journey they have now commenced on. There will be many opportunities for them in football in the future and I wish them well”

St Patrick’s Athletic Director of Football Ger O’Brien led the course on behalf of the club and thanked the graduates for their commitment and willingness to learn through the medium of football and coaching.
Ger stated, “When we were approached by the Irish Prison Service and the FAI about delivering this programme, we were more than happy to oblige. This has been a fantastic initiative from all involved to help educate the participants of both courses.
Coaches from St. Patrick’s Athletic have been working closely with the groups to enhance not only their football knowledge, but also interpersonal skills. The development of the participants throughout the program has been clear
to see”.

The FAI’s Head of Coach Education, Niall O’Regan stated: “The programme is a fabulous way to connect the participants to the game of football, providing them with an introduction to education through the medium of the game they all love, having the link to the prison and using the game of football to help develop the participants knowledge of the game, but also
their own interdisciplinary skills such planning, organisation, administration, writing sessions plans, completing assignments and presenting in front of their peers theoretically and practically.
“These are all huge characteristics of being an effective coach but also helping the participants with their future integration into their respective communities. The success of the programme has been down to the fabulous delivery style of Ger O’Brien and it is something himself and his club should be extremely proud.
We would like to thank Ger and St. Patrick’s Athletic for their contribution and the management and staff of Wheatfield for their collaboration on such a worthwhile project for all concerned”

Assistance Governor of Wheatfield Prison, Amanda Sutton said, “This course is a fantastic gateway into adult education involving both practical and class room based modules. The Irish Prison Service is committed to managing custodial sentences in a way which encourages and supports prisoner’s resettlement and reintegration into their communities.
I believe that the skills learned through participation in this course provides prisoners with some of the core skills required for their successful reintegration. We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with the FAI and St. Patrick’s Athletic, and working on future projects together.”


Tipperary Born J.D. Bernal Most Important Irish Scientist Of Last Century.

“Science should and does serve society” – Quote John Desmond Bernal.

John Desmond Bernal, (1901-I971), one of the most important Irish-born scientists of the last century, was born at Brookwatson, Nenagh, here in North Co. Tipperary.

John’s father was Samuel George Bernal (1864-1919) latter a moderately prosperous Tipperary dairy farmer who had, at the age of 20, run away to Australia from his native home, then in Co. Limerick before returning home following his father’s death.

John’s mother was the American journalist Elizabeth (Bessie) Bernal (nee Miller) (1869-1951 ), the daughter of a Co. Antrim born Presbyterian minister Revd. William Young Miller, then living in Illinois, a state in the Midwestern United States of America.

Both parents had met while on a visit to a seaside resort in Belgium. Bessie is described as being tall, beautiful, energetic, well educated (one of the first students to attend at Stanford University, one of the world’s leading research and teaching institutions), and a much-travelled woman who spoke fluent French. They became engaged within one month of meeting and for convenience, would convert to Roman Catholicism, prior to their marriage on Tuesday, January 9th, 1900.

John was born on Friday, May 10th, 1901, the eldest of 3 brothers and two sisters, who attending first the local Convent school, and later the Church of Ireland national school at Barrack Street, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.
In 1910, their parents decided to send their two eldest sons, John and Kevin, to a Jesuit-run public school in Lancashire, England.

John won a scholarship to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1919 to eventually read physics and it was here that John developed a strong interest in the developing the science of X-ray crystallography. It was here also that he became an active Marxist, becoming a committed Communist for the rest of his life.

Committed to non-possessive sexual liberation; John married his wife Eileen two days after his graduation, before later maintaining three households with his wife, and two other women, Margot Heinemann and Margaret Gardiner and their four children. In this respect the 4 women knew each other and got on well together.
Bernal had two children (Mike, 1926–2016 and Egan, b.1930), with his wife Agnes Eileen Sprague, a secretary, and referred to as Eileen. They had married on Wednesday, June 21st, 1922, the day after John had been awarded his BA degree. Eileen is also mentioned as his widow in 1990.
In the early 1930’s, he had a brief intimate relationship with chemist Dorothy Hodgkin.
He had a long-term relationship with the artists’ patron Margaret Gardiner. Their son Martin Bernal (1937–2013) was a professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University and the author of the controversial Afrocentric work “Black Athena”. * Margaret referred to herself as “Mrs. Bernal”, though she and John never married.
He also had a daughter Jane, born in 1953, with Margot Heinemann, latter British Marxist writer, drama scholar and leading member of the British Communist Party.

* Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, in three volumes were published in 1987, 1991, and 2006. Same is a controversial and pseudo-historic book published by Martin Bernal, proposing an alternative hypothesis on the origins of ancient Greece and classical civilisation.

John’s encyclopaedic knowledge soon earned him the nickname “Sage”, while at Cambridge University and in 1927, he became the first lecturer in ‘Structural Crystallography’ * and was appointed assistant director of the Cavendish Laboratory at the same University in 1934.
In 1937, John became Professor of Physics at Birkbeck College, a public research university, located in Bloomsbury London, as head of their newly established department of crystallography.

*Crystallography is the experimental science of determining the arrangement of atoms in crystalline solids.

His range of friends included Kruschev, Chairman Mao, Lord Mountbatten, Artists Barbara Hepworth and Pablo Picasso.
Indeed, it was following a cancelled Soviet-sponsored World Peace Congress in Sheffield, that Picasso and other peace activist friends returned to Bernal’s flat at the top of No. 22 Torrington Square, London for a party. It was here also that Picasso created his only mural drawn in Britain, executed on Bernal’s wall. In 2007, it became part of the Wellcome Trust’s collection for £250,000. [The 7ft by 4ft ‘Bernal Picasso’ remains on show in the Birkbeck Clore Management Centre, 27 Torrington Square, London, United Kingdom]

Prior to the outbreak of World War II in 1939; with the likelihood of war against Hitler’s Germany; Bernal, together with Solomon “Solly” Zuckerman, (latter British public servant, zoologist, medic and operational research pioneer, later remembered as a scientific advisor to the Allies on bombing strategy in World War II), felt compelled to voice their protest at the lack of preparation for mounting any form of response against an initial attack and together were effective in challenging the official lines of the then British establishment.

In line with later US President Lyndon Johnson’s infamous remark “What’s the difference between a cactus and a caucus? The cactus has all the pricks on the outside”; in April 1942 a member of Chamberlain’s cabinet, Sir John Anderson, invited Bernal to become his scientific advisor.
The post was accepted by Bernal who suspended his academic activities, before becoming Scientific Adviser to Combined Operations, under Lord Louis Mountbatten,* in spite of his then MI5 dossier. Indeed, prior to Sir John Anderson’s initial invitation; the latter is quoted as saying “even if he is as red as the flames in hell, I want him”.

* Mountbatten would later be assassinated by a bomb planted aboard his fishing boat in Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo, Ireland; by members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, on Monday, August 27th, 1979.

John Bernal would devise plans that contributed to the success of the D-Day landings, including co-inventing the “Mulberry temporary portable floating harbour”,* used during the Normandy Invasion (June 6th,1944), to facilitate the rapid offloading of supplies and personnel along the coast of Normandy, France.
He established the physical condition of the beach the allies would land on and instigated aerial photography to create accurate models of the French coastline.

*Mulberry was the codename for all the various different structures that would create the artificial harbours. These were the “Gooseberries” which metamorphosed into fully fledged harbours, allowed the unloading of, in total, over 2.5 million troops, 500,000 vehicles and 4 million tons of wartime supplies.

Following the war he returned to his Chair of Physics at Birkbeck College and in 1946 receive the Council of the Royal Societies award of a Royal Medal for that year, for his work on the structure of proteins and other substances by X-ray methods.


Bernal was awarded the Royal Medal in 1945; the Guthrie lecture in 1947; the Stalin Peace Prize in 1953; the Grotius Gold Medal in 1959 and the Bakerian Lecture in 1962.

In his later years, John Bernal took on the role of a senior statesman of science, travelling the world spreading scientific and social ideas, as a prominent intellectual in political life.
Following a number of strokes; his first on an aircraft as he returned from one of his many trips abroad; he passed away on Wednesday, September 15th, 1971.

Today, the John Desmond Bernal Prize is an award given annually by the Society for Social Studies of Science to scholars, judged to have made a distinguished contribution to the field of Science and Technology Studies; first launched in 1981.