Member of the Mayo GMIT action group have announced a street protest at 3pm on Saturday, May 27, in Market Square, Castlebar. The protest is in reaction to the recent announcement of cuts to the Mayo campus.
According to the committee: "15 staff members are been forced out of their positions in the college and five courses in the campus are been axed. The protest has the backing of opposition political parties, staff members in the college, and the public. The Mayo GMIT action group ask you to pencil in the date in your calendar and turn up on the day to show your support for the Mayo campus and more importantly show the Government that we the people of Mayo won’t accept any downgrading of our campus."
Speaking this week about the future of the campus, Luke 'Ming' Flanagan MEP said: "I’m absolutely delighted to hear from the Minister for Education and from the president of GMIT Dr Fergal Barry, that no plans exist to close the Mayo campus at Castlebar. This is great news... or is it? I’ve asked those who contacted me in the first place what they think of the article which appeared in The Journal. They are not convinced. One staff member stated that the article was 'visually correct'. What they see happening on the ground is not in keeping with an institution that has a future. Perhaps what the article leaves out says more than what was included. There is a background here and that background is that the entire GMIT finances are shaky.
"Apparently they will run out of cash in three years time if economies are not made. This raises questions about how we view our education system. Are universities and regional technical institutes enterprises that are supposed to return a profit, or are they places that educate and add to the wealth of our country indirectly through raising our levels of knowledge and understanding?
"For those working at the Mayo campus of GMIT there are many tell tales — courses being cut, pillars reduced from three to one, a lack of listing for some Mayo campus courses in the CAO options, staff being asked to relocate to Galway or to do a greater percentage of their work from Galway. So who’s right? Only time will tell. One would hope that statements from the college president and from the Minister's office are factual. They would never mislead us would they? Perhaps one sentence in the article is telling, 'But a working group will examine the future viability of the campus that could lead to ring fenced funding'. It’s a contradictory sentence. We shall see."