Cullen gives backing to WIT application

Speaking during the Taoiseach’s visit to Waterford last Friday, Minister for Family and Social Affairs, Martin Cullen once again pledged his support to Waterford Institute of Technology’s submission to get university status.

Minister Cullen said: “I personally will not be satisfied until Waterford IT becomes a fulcrum for a university for the South East. The south east region, with over half a million people needs this economic engine. It needs this driver for the future that can transform this region for the next 100 years.

“I will leave no stone unturned and I will accept no argument against the university issue and I will see it through to the end.”

Last week, Mr Cullen TD got into a war of words with Minister for Education and Science, Mary Hanafin over her failure to approve the application during a closed meeting between Fianna Fáil TD’s and Senators.

However, when asked about Ms Hanafin’s stance last Friday, the Waterford TD was at first keen to downplay the confrontation with his party colleague.

He said: “I am not going to get into an argument between ministers. I think my position is clear. I have to win this debate and I am very encouraged because the Taoiseach has been the most supportive colleague I have in this debate.

“It is difficult for him to comment in a broader sense publicly at the moment but I can assure you and the people of Waterford that he deals on this issue with me on a weekly basis. Waterford Institute of Technology will in my view be upgraded to a university.”

However, when he was asked why the findings of Dr Port, who analysed WIT’s position in relation to the upgrade, had not been made public, Minister Cullen replied: “You would have to ask the Minister of Education about that.”

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