Mountbellew Agriculture College will be kept open for another two years but the public service recruitment embargo means retiring teachers cannot be replaced.
However no such embargo is placed on State run agriculture colleges such as Ballyhaise in Co Cavan or Kildalton in Co Kilkenny.
As a result, Fine Gael Galway East TD Paul Connaughton has sought an “urgent meeting” with the Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan on this issue. He hopes any such a meeting can be accommodated to include members of the committee set up to keep the Mountbellew College opened and all Galway East politicians.
“This daft staffing problem is robbing Mountbellew College of nearly 50 extra students this year,” said Dep Connaughton, “due to the fact that two members of staff retired last year but could not be replaced. If the Government does not deal with this, Mountbellew Agriculture College will be strangled to death inside the next few years.”