The UCD Sutherland School of Law, which is currently under construction, the Confucius Institute and the Graduate Medical School project will no longer be receiving state support after a scaling back of exchequer funding was announced last week. The anticipated state funding for these developments was approximately €15 million.
A UCD spokesperson expressed disappointment at the news from the Department of Education, “while this announcement is disappointing, particularly in relation to the UCD Sutherland School of Law, where substantial private donations have already been pledged, the University is committed to doing everything possible to ensure the project goes ahead – despite the difficult circumstances”.
Dean of Law, Prof. Colin Scott, stated that despite the dissatisfying news from the Government, “UCD Sutherland School of Law is an excellent project and the University is fully committed to proceeding with it”.
The Government has also withdrawn state support from the DIT Grangegorman project, which aimed to relocate the thirty-nine buildings DIT currently utilise on one seventy-three-acre campus. Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn told The Irish Times that “unfortunately, in relation to DIT’s Grangegorman campus development, exchequer infrastructure investment will be postponed for the lifetime of the investment framework and planning will take place towards an initial public private partnership project, for possible completion in 2017”.
The Department of Education was allocated a yearly sum of €440 million for capital projects over the next five years. According to Mr. Quinn, the cuts were made due to the increase in birth rates, which put a high demand on schools, the building of which would have to be prioritised.
The Government confirmed its €60 million commitment to the UCD Science Centre, NUI Maynooth’s library project, the University of Limerick Medical School and the new campus development at St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra on the basis that “legally binding contractual commitments exist”.