Arts, Sports and Tourism Minister Martin Cullen has re-iterated his commitment to WIT’s bid for university status.

In an article written for a forthcoming supplement which will be included in this newspaper, Minister Cullen again attested to the institute’s academic bona fides.

“WIT’s ongoing advancement of world class facilities particularly at fourth level has had a transforming impact on this prized higher education institution,” according to Minister Cullen.

“The re-designation from Institute of Technology to University is a need founded on strong economic, academic, social and regional policy arguments.”

The Minister added: “A University of the South-East will make a hugely positive contribution to our region and I will accept no argument against the university issue and I will see it through to the end.”

In the article, which will feature in our May 30th edition, Minister Cullen said that WIT’s role is pivotal to Waterford fulfilling its ‘gateway city’ potential as envisaged in the National Spatial Strategy.

“The past decade has undoubtedly seen tremendous economic and social progress in Ireland and in the South East…

“Our challenge now is to consolidate and sustain this remarkable achievement to ensure we provide a better quality of life for us all.”

Meanwhile, Minister Cullen has announced that his Department, along with the Arts Council will financially support the Gate Theatre’s forthcoming tour of Ireland, as part of its 80th anniversary celebrations.

‘Waiting for Godot’, starring Alan Stanford and Barry McGovern, will play for one night only in 40 different venues in each county across the island, including a performance at Garter Lane Arts Centre in September.

Garter Lane Artistic Director Caroline Senior spoke of her delight with the news on Thursday morning, while a Department spokesperson said the Minister was “thrilled” that the O’Connell Street theatre will host the Beckett classic.