The agents of the State have been accused of making the task of enticing a top US college to set up a multi-million euro campus in County Waterford “a miserable process.”
Fine Gael TD John Deasy hit out as 26 undergraduate students prepare to travel from Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania to Dungarvan for three months’ study. Many are taking courses in areas such as intelligence and forensics with the aim of joining the FBI or the CIA.
It’s hoped the number of students will double to approximately 50 or 55 next year and that faculty members will increase from six to 10 over the same timeframe. “That is pretty significant for a town like Dungarvan”, Mr Deasy asserts.
It’s been openly suggested that if the transatlantic link-up proves a success the American college could establish a European intelligence centre in the county’s administrative headquarters. However, attracting them “has been a rocky road”, he admits, with scant interest shown by Irish State agencies.
Though Ireland is in competition with three other European countries for the project, Mr Deasy’s representations to countless Departments, the Higher Education Authority, the IDA and the OPW to advance Dungarvan’s case have been exasperating.
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