Lowry pushes for new veterinary college to be located in Limerick

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A local TD is calling for regional balance in the location of the proposed new veterinary school.

Deputy Michael Lowry asked for government support this week in the Dáil to erect the “much-needed” facility at the University of Limerick.

He told Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that the people of the Mid-West supported UL in their application to be the location for the new veterinary school.

Deputy Lowry cited Munster as the “heartland” of food animal production as one reason to focus on the Midwest instead of expanding the current and only veterinary school in Ireland, located in UCD.

He told Tipp FM that the lack of veterinary placements in Ireland forces students to study abroad.

“At present, we have over 500 talented, bright, young Irish students studying veterinary in colleges throughout Eastern Europe, particularly in Warsaw. The fact is, there are not enough places for training here. So, Ireland urgently needs a second veterinary school, and UL has made a proposal to provide that school, and, as we know, UL is a very well-established and successful university. It’s very creative, innovative, and progressive.”

He says the Fethard Equine Hospital could provide practical training to students if it were to be based in Munster.

Deputy Lowry says it makes sense for the new school to be in the MidWest region.

“Fethard Equine Hospital is also in the equation here; it has high-end technology and is a world-class veterinary facility. It has the capabilities and the willingness to be an outreach centre with rotational on-site practical training. I have called on the Taoiseach to set up this new college and that it should be on the campus at UL because it makes sense to bring some of this teaching facility into the region, and, in particular to bring it to Munster. Munster is the heartland of agriculture, equine, and agribusiness.”