Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne TD has welcomed the passage of the Technological Universities Bill.

Deputy Byrne said, “The passing of this Bill has been a long time coming and it has been a key priority for Fianna Fáil to see its passage through the Dáil.

“The Bill’s journey has not been uneventful and has been subject to substantial amendments many of which Fianna Fáil proposed. In particular, we were very keen to ensure that current levels of course provision be protected in all of the regions and campuses of a Technological University. The Bill that the Dáil has now passed has provides for this.

“There were also concerns about mergers between Institutes of Technology. Again, the Government moved on this and mergers will not now take place unless designation as a Technological University happens simultaneously. I welcome this and I acknowledge the willingness of Minister Mitchell O’Connor to move on the matter. This means that no existing Institutes of Technology will have to merge as a pre-condition of seeking Technological University status which might not have been granted. This was a key precondition of Fianna Fáil support for this Bill.

“Fianna Fáil also tabled amendments focusing on science, gender equality and multidisciplinary academic provision – ensuring that it is maintained in all regions that Technological Universities will serve.”