Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education and Skills Thomas Byrne TD has welcomed the decision by the Teachers Union of Ireland to agree to the implementation of a revised plan for the establishment of Technological Universities in Ireland.

Deputy Byrne added that the onus is now on the Government to produce the legislation urgently to complete the process.

Deputy Byrne said, “The decision by TUI members to accept the Technological University Bill is a hugely significant development and paves the way for the creation of Technological Universities.

“However, the Government has not yet produced the necessary amendments to the legislation to allow this to happen. Fianna Fáil has only had the most basic of briefings on the matter.

“Fianna Fáil broadly supports the provisions contained in the Bill and we have been pressing the Minister for Education to set out a clear timeline for its enactment once the remaining issues have been resolved. The Government has been far too slow to progress this Bill over the last two years, but the TUI agreement represents an opportunity to reinvigorate this process. My Party Leader Micheál Martin has suggested to incoming Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that this is one piece of legislation that can and should be passed before the end of July.

“Fianna Fáil will, however, be carefully studying the legislation and amendments to ensure that our own objectives are secured. These will be mainly around the necessity to ensure that the regional provision of third level education won’t be affected.

“In particular, the Education Minister needs to ensure that the regional mission currently associated with Institutes of Technology is protected. It’s important that services continue to be delivered on the ground in communities. The enactment of this important Bill cannot be used as an excuse to withdraw key education services,” concluded Deputy Byrne.