‘Get moving’ on new vet college for the West

A WEST of Ireland MEP has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, to ‘stop dragging his heels’ on the proposal for a new veterinary school to be established in the western region.

Earlier this summer, the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, announced proposals for a ‘substantial expansion’ in the number of third level places for those who wanted to study veterinary medicine.

This week, Fine Gael MEP, Maria Walsh, said that the western region badly needed this facility at a time when hundreds of Irish veterinary students had to study abroad to get their qualifications.

“The West of Ireland is the perfect location to deliver this new veterinary medicine programme. It would be an ideal complement to the current offerings in Veterinary Nursing and Agriculture in Letterkenny, and the Agriculture provision in the Mountbellew in Galway,” said the MEP for Midlands-North-West.

One of the campuses earmarked for inclusion in the provision of the extra veterinary places is ATU Mountbellew (previously known as the Agricultural College) which would ‘share’ the new course with ATU, Letterkenny Donegal.

The Atlantic Technological University – which encompasses campuses in Galway city (formerly GMIT), Mountbellew, Letterfrack, Castlebar, Sligo, Killybegs and Letterkenny – is one of four third level institutions selected for the expansion of veterinary medicine places across the country.

The Mountbellew-Letterkenny link-up would involve the provision of a total of 40 places in veterinary medicine with a similar number to be provided at SETU (the South East Technological University).

Pictured: Fine Gael MEP, Maria Walsh

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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