Athlone and Limerick ITs join forces to form TU consortium

15 Oct 2019370 Views

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditEmail this to someone

The Athlone IT campus. Image: Athlone IT

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Athlone Institute of Technology and Limerick Institute of Technology aim to bolster the midlands and mid-west with a new TU consortium.

Following on from last year’s announcement that Dublin Institute of Technology, IT Tallaght and IT Blanchardstown were to merge to form Technological University (TU) Dublin, a similar plan is underway for the midlands and mid-west.

Today (15 October) Athlone IT and Limerick IT confirmed they have both applied to form a consortium to create a new TU for the regions. The deal was formally agreed between the two institutions last week and a joint application for funding was made earlier this year.

Both hope to have a decision made on the application by the Government in the near future. Athlone IT’s president, Prof Ciarán Ó Catháin, said the move will be “transformative for the midlands region”.

“Our partnership with Limerick IT will play a pivotal role in helping us achieve our ambitious mission and our forward-thinking partnership is key to unlocking the potential of both of our institutes and regions,” he said.

Support Silicon Republic

“This announcement will signal a unique, disruptive and coherent TU consortium. It positions the two institutions in a unique strategic collaboration that bridges our respective regional partners, maintaining a focus on impact and engagement while at the same time strengthening capacity.”

Limerick IT president Prof Vincent Cunnane added: “Limerick IT and Athlone IT are now set on a trajectory towards achieving technological university designation. This approach allows us to develop a unique new technological university that will have a clear regional focus with a national and international outlook.”

Earlier this week, the Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD, announced an increase in funding worth €153m to tertiary education. This included €90m to assist in the development and progression of new TUs.

“Having piloted the TU legislation to a successful conclusion last year and witnessed the establishment of the State’s first TU in Technological University Dublin at the start of 2019, I consider this to be another pivotal moment in the development both of the existing TU and a number of other consortia endeavouring to attain TU status,” she said.

Colm Gorey is a senior journalist with