Kenny faces university challenge

Enda Kenny has been pressed by one of his own councillors to “publicly confirm unequivocally that we will make WIT a University if elected to Government”.

Tramore Town Councillor Tom Raine, a WIT student, says he “remains uncertain” as to whether his party is committed to University status for WIT, and has asked Mr Kenny to quash his lingering doubts.

“With all of the speculation surrounding the Hunt report, it’s now essential that Enda Kenny clearly states that Fine Gael will make WIT a University if they are elected to Government,” said Cllr Raine. “And this week’s meeting in Faithlegg offers the perfect opportunity to draw a line under this crucial issue.”

The 19-year-old, who is the country’s youngest councillor, said that his party’s commitment to ‘triggering the process’ regarding university status for WIT “simply isn’t good enough”.

He added: “At the end of the day people are demanding clear, honest, transparent politics in this day and age and this is a great opportunity for Fine Gael to show that they offer a real change. I want a clear ‘yes’ from Enda on this matter.”

Tom Raine’s statement tellingly concluded: ‘If Fine Gael is serious about winning two seats in Waterford come the next general election, then they need to guarantee the people of Waterford that they will deliver on the biggest single issue facing the region.”

Meanwhile, Waterford FG Senator Paudie Coffey said he’s looking forward “to a very productive couple of days” beside the Suir estuary.

The gathering, he says, will present an opportunity for the 70 members to plan for the general election due to held within the next 20 months. “It is clear that the public wants rid of Fianna Fáil,” the Portlaw man asserts, saying Fine Gael are willing to take “the hard decisions” required to get the country back on its feet.

The meeting is certain to attract huge publicity given the fissures following the unsuccessful heave against leader Enda Kenny and the subsequent revelations by Waterford TD John Deasy among others than the party remains seriously split.

Other key issues up for discussion will be the economy & banking, public service reform and suicide prevention. Guest speakers are former Chief Executive of the National Treasury Management Agency, Dr Michael Somers.

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