independent

Friday 24 November 2017

Labour's Ryan wins backing over regional university

By David tucker

THE Labour Party's National Conference has backed former Wexford councillor Joe Ryan's call for the Department of Education to stop foot dragging over the creation of a university for the South East.

Mr Ryan told Labour's National Conference meeting in Wexford over the weekend that the plan to establish a campus spread over three different centres had made no progress since the change of government. 'Ours is a politics of unity and hope. We believe that tomorrow can be better. And we believe we are the party to make that case. I can't think of any area in our society that can give any person a better tomorrow than education,' Mr Ryan told the conference. 'Just this week we see how unemployment in the South East region still remains significantly higher than the national average. Our plan is for a University for the South East based on the present ITs in Carlow and Waterford with a campus here in Wexford. 'Believe it or not, if you live in parts of south Wexford you're nearest university is in Wales. Equality in Education means nothing if you cannot access education.' 'Before the election Minister for Skills John Halliigan had supported the proposal which had made progress when Labour was in office. Now, however as another school year draws to an end.. it's time for Minister Halligan to make good on his promise last year to face down anyone and rain hell on the government.'

Meanwhile, Joe's 18-year-old son Evin interviewed by the Irish Times on the sidelines of the conference said that he believed 'we need to get out and shout what we stand for from the rooftops and dispel any notions that we are all for bandwagoning with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.'

More on the Labour Party conference on page 24

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