25 May 2022

TDs criticise loose talk and 'bun fight' over location of university HQ

'Conversation has annoyed me' says Paul Kehoe


Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

A number of TDs have criticsed the chatter emanating from some quarters regarding the location of the headquarters of the new South-east university, saying it is not helpful.

At the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills, chair Paul Kehoe said people were doing 'a considerable amount of damage' to the TUSE. 

"The conversation about the governing body and the new headquarters for the TUSE in the past number of weeks has annoyed me," said the Wexford TD.

"I hope the Deputies from Waterford will not mind me saying this but a number of people in Waterford have been highlighting this issue. Nobody else in any of the other counties, that is, Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny, is speaking about this but a number of people are doing a considerable amount of damage to the TUSE by talking about where the headquarters will be. No one has stated any reason it should not be in Waterford but that is up to the new governing body."

Minister of State at the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Niall Collins had earlier said that IT Carlow and Waterford IT were doing incredible work to finalise the application for designation.

"It is vital to the nature of this project that we do not allow a divisive campaign to develop, which would be grossly unfair to both institutes and to the staff, students and other stakeholders who are working so assiduously to create something of real benefit to the entirety of the region," he said.

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris said the headquarters will be decided by the governing body of the new technological university.

"There was misinformation, disinformation and downright nonsense put out around Kilkenny over and over again," he said.

"No matter how many times I called it that, some people continued to go with it. No decision has been made and there is no proposal in respect of Kilkenny."

Minister of State Collins said the whole principle was to have a network and a multi-campus approach whereby every county within the region subsets has a presence.

"It is not helpful to have a bun fight going on in one part of the country with regard to where the corporate headquarters will be located," he said.

"There will be a headquarters in every part of the region being served by virtue of the presence to which I have referred. That is what is important. The location in which the president in question sits and has his or her corporate team is actually irrelevant. It is about the students, engagement with the region and embedding it into the region."

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