Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister Bruton Announce GMIT Working Group

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, and the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, TD, today (Friday ) announced the establishment of a working group which will formulate a plan for a sustainable future of the GMIT Mayo Campus in Castlebar.

The Working Group will be required to present a full report to the HEA’s Finance Committee in Q3 2017. Minister Bruton has today also announced that he has appointed Mr Cormac Mac Donncha as Chairperson of the Governing Body of the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. Mr Mac Donncha has been selected by the Minister having come through the process run by the Public Appointments Service. The appointment is for a period of five years. The Minister wishes Mr. Mac Donncha well in his new and important role.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said, "It is significant that a Taoiseach and Minister for Education have announced the establishment of a Working Group which will draw up a plan to put GMIT and the Mayo Campus on a sustainable footing for the future."

"Some of the recent commentary in local media is portraying a negative image of GMIT Castlebar. We must remember that Castlebar is a vibrant campus. I believe the student community remains vibrant and a part of the towns social and cultural life. Before the end of this year, the Outdoor Education Centre will be completed, adding to the ongoing investment in this site."

"The Regional Action Plan for Jobs West was launched in Castlebar in November 2015 and covers Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. It aims to create 25,000 new jobs in the period up to 2020. Almost 10,000 jobs have been created in the West since I launched the Regional Action Plan for Jobs West with Minister Bruton.

"The IDA Ireland continue their work in respect of inward job creation and have achieved their highest ever number of FDI jobs on record. Some may say this only applies to Dublin, but for 2016 their two highest growth rates for new jobs were actually the Mid-West Region with 10% growth and the West Regions at 8%. With employment growing in the West, the Mayo Campus of GMIT will have an important role to play as we seek to embed economic and jobs growth into the region."

“I would also like to take this opportunity to wish Cormac Mac Donncha well as he takes up his new position as Chairperson of the Governing Body of GMIT."

Minister Bruton said, “The financial position of GMIT has been causing concern for some time. That is why the Taoiseach and I are today announcing the establishment of a working group which will formulate a Plan for a sustainable future of the GMIT Mayo Campus in Castlebar.

“The President of GMIT has reaffirmed the commitment of the Institute to finding a viable development plan for the Mayo Campus and has appointed Michael Gill as Interim Head of the Campus to lead these efforts. This will include the further development of the Mayo Campus as a Centre of Excellence in Health Sciences.

“The Mayo Campus has a very important role to play in delivering economic growth and driving regional development. That is why the Working Group will be engaging with the Local Enterprise Office, IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, as well as the Implementation Committee of the Regional Action Plan for Jobs West which is charged with overseeing the delivery of 25,000 jobs across Mayo, Roscommon and Galway over the lifetime of the Plan. GMIT is also represented on the Atlantic Economic Corridor Steering Group, which is a key part of the Action Plan on Rural Development."

“Today, I am also announcing the appointment of Cormac MacDonnacha to be the new Chair of the Governing Body of GMIT. Cormac brings to the role vast experience at senior level with a multinational company. I wish Cormac well in his new role.”

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