Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers has welcomed an announcement by the Minister for Higher Education to provide ring fenced funding for the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology’s Castlebar campus over the next five years.
Deputy Chambers has now called on Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor to ensure that this funding is rolled out without delay.
“Today’s announcement is extremely welcome but I want concrete assurances from the Minister that the recommendations from the Working Group on the future of the Castlebar campus of GMIT are implemented fully and without delay. The uncertainty which has hung over the Castlebar campus over the past number of years has been damaging and I am glad that steps are finally being taken to protect and strengthen the future of the college”, said Deputy Chambers.
“Fianna Fáil has repeatedly called for ring-fenced funding for Castlebar and I am pleased that the Minister has taken that recommendation on board and has committed to ring-fenced funding over the next five years. This needs to continue long after that, but I welcome the initial steps that are being taken to secure that. I am also happy that Minister Mitchell O’Connor has allocated capital funding for the replacement of the roof of the GMIT campus, which is in bad need of repair – and is something myself and the local community group have been campaigning for.
“The Castlebar campus plays a key role in the delivery of education opportunities in the West of Ireland, offering courses in outdoor education, business, technology and health sciences, and it provides an important economic boost for the town.
“The recommendations of the Working Group, particularly the ring-fenced funding and the appointment of a permanent head of the Mayo campus, will strengthen the future of the Castlebar site. I will be engaging with the Minister to ensure that these important recommendations are implemented as a matter of priority”.