Thursday 18 January 2018

Fresh doubt cast over establishment of university for the South East

Cllr George Lawlor.
Cllr George Lawlor.

The plan to establish a university for the Southeast in Wexford may be abandoned by the new government according to Councillor George Lawlor.

Speaking at Monday's Wexford Borough District Council meeting, Cllr Lawlor said that he has been informed that the merger of Carlow and Waterford ITs would not go ahead.

'It's a disgrace. The reason I am being given is that it would be to ensure that Waterford would not be affected in any way,' he said.

'It's indicative of what we are already seeing from the new government. It yet again shows what they think of Wexford.'

Cllr Lawlor called upon his fellow councillors to look into the matter and ensure that the plan for a university is not abandoned.

'I ask that we investigate and condemn this,' he said. 'We need to make sure that Wexford does not become the hind leg again and that we aren't abandoned again.'

Chief Officer of the Local Economic and Community Plan Ger Mackey was present at the meeting to outline the LECP. He told Cllr Lawlor that the university for the Southeast is in their plan.

'It's very important. I don't know about the others but it's in ours.'

Cllr Hynes said that if true, it would be appalling.

There are two are three big things for Wexford and education is one of them,' he said. 'It would be an appalling decision after what we agreed.'

Cllr Tony Dempsey echoed his views, saying that it would be 'very disappointing' if it proved to be a fact.

'We have asked for a meeting with the Minister for Education,' he said. 'A technical university is essential for this place. I think we should include this as a topic in the pending meeting.'

Cllr Moore hit back at Cllr Lawlor, saying that he was bringing 'rumours' into the Chamber.

'I would prefer to deal with it in a formal matter,' he said. 'Cllr Lawlor can't wait to get on opposition benches.'

Cllr Lawlor responded to his councillor by saying he's not going to be 'attacked' for raising the issue.

'It's a serious issue,' he said. 'If Cllr Moore wants to play party politics, that's fine.'

Cllr Tony Dempsey said that he hopes the plan to establish a university in Wexford will come to light.

'I would hate for it to be a political football. It will only do damage,' he said.

Wexford People

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