Clare council seeks change for Limerick university

Clare County Council is to make an audacious bid to have the University of Limerick (UL) renamed the University of County Clare and Limerick.

Clare council seeks change for Limerick university

The CEO of Clare County Council, Tom Coughlan, has confirmed he will write to both Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan and the UL governing body to request that the Banner County be reflected in the name of the university.

A large portion of the UL campus is already based in Co Clare and, under its current expansion plan, more than half of the college will be located in Clare by 2020.

As of 2010, almost half of the staff at the university were based in Clare, while more than 20% of the student population also comes from the Banner County.

Because of the availability of land, the majority of future expansion for the third-level institute will likely take place on the Clare side of the Shannon.

In light of this, Mr Coughlan has also urged the members of Clare County Council to make planning provisions for the construction of a technology park on the Clare side of UL in the next Clare County Development Plan.

Local Independent councillor PJ Ryan called on Ms O’Sullivan — who herself lives in Clare but is based in Limerick City — to “see sense” and agree to the name change.

“More and more of the campus has moved into Co Clare and I think that it is unfair for Clare not to be recognised,” said Mr Ryan.

“I think it should be renamed as the University of Limerick and County Clare — or even the University of County Clare and Limerick if we were to go alphabetically.

“It’s unlikely that we are going to have a third-level college in Clare at any time in the near future so I think we should claim our portion of this university.

“We have a huge number of students from Clare attending UL and I hope the minister will see sense and agree to this change.”

Mr Coughlan, the chief executive of Clare County Council, said there was “great potential” in developing a technology park on the Clare side of UL.

“We will gladly forward this resolution as adopted to both the minister and the governing body,” he told councillors.

“When you come to considering your next county development plan we should be looking at what is going to happen in the future around UL.”

“There is great potential for a technology park on the Clare side of UL and that is something that councillors should look at the next time we are drafting the County Development Plan.”

The move was supported by Fianna Fáil councillor Cathal Crowe who also called on the university to open up the north side of the campus to direct traffic from Clare.

“It is disgraceful that UL has its back door closed to Clare at the moment,” said Mr Crowe.

“We are effectively barricaded out of UL at the moment and sent on this route through Limerick City into UL.”

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