Fine Gael Senator, John O’Mahony, has welcomed the announcement by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and the Minister for Education, Richard Bruton, of a GMIT Working Group Plan to secure the future of the GMIT Campus in Castlebar.
“I met with Minister Bruton two weeks ago on this matter and again last week. I was able to impress on Minister Bruton the importance of the Castlebar campus to County Mayo. This announcement by An Taoiseach and Minister Bruton is most welcome".
“This Working Group will formulate a plan for a sustainable future of the GMIT Mayo Campus in Castlebar and it will progress the options identified by the Higher Education Authority in relation to funding issues associated with GMIT and particularly the Mayo Campus". Its report will be due in approximately six months.
“GMIT has engaged Mr Michael O’Connell, former Secretary-Financial Controller at Limerick Institute of Technology to assist them in reviewing and addressing the financial challenges.
“The report prepared by Mr. O’Connell has recommended a number of measures to reduce costs and generate income for GMIT and minimise its operating deficit in a timely manner.
“There are underlying issues as regards how the Institutes of Technology in general are funded compared to universities which sees them obtain a smaller portion from the government funding pot.
“I know that there has been much discussion on this issue locally, I hope this move will go some way towards allaying people’s fears and to remind them that Fine Gael is 100% behind the campus in Castlebar.”