Minister’s comments suggest Cahill may have jumped the gun

Photo @Tipp FM

The Minister for Further and Higher Education says the decision on whether or not Clonmel and Thurles are to become University Towns says the matter has not yet been decided.

The comments from Simon Harris come following claims by Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill that confirmation of the merging of Limerick and Athlone ITs into a Tech University for the Midlands and Mid-West was to be announced last Monday.

Speaking on Tipp Today Minister Harris said while the move would be hugely beneficial for Tipperary the process wasn’t yet complete.

“There’s a very clear and legal process that we have to follow.”

“An application gets submitted to me, an independent panel from abroad gets appointed, then a submission comes to the Higher Education Authority and then into my department and that’s where it is now to be considered by my officials.”

“It will then be considered by me and actually there will even be a vote in the Dáil and Seanad required to dissolve the existing structures so we’re not there yet and when there is an announcement it will be made by me and it will be made very clearly by me. I think it’s very important that the staff who work in the institutions get to hear it in that way as well.”