Jones Engineering’s chief executive has donated €30 million to Trinity College Dublin, in what is said to be the largest philanthropic gift to an Irish university.
Eric Kinsella and his wife Barbara made the major donation, which will provide seed funding for the development of the new Trinity East campus in the heart of the Grand Canal Innovation District.
It is the first new campus proposed by Trinity College Dublin in its 429-year history and will be modelled on innovation districts such as Cambridge Square in Boston.
The funding from Mr and Mrs Kinsella will be used to develop the first building on the new 5.5 acre campus.
E3 Research Institute (E3RI) will be a venue for large-scale research programmes in Engineering, Environment and Emerging Technologies.
Mr Kinsella said: “Barbara and I are delighted to support a project of such national significance.
“The new Trinity East campus will be a highly efficient investment in the social and economic future of our country.
“It will increase the prestige of our education and science sector internationally, will deliver research outputs in areas critical for future of our planet and will enable Trinity to expand its student body, giving new opportunities to young people throughout Ireland.
“We are confident this project will benefit generations for decades to come.
“Trinity East is a new campus to be designed to become a living, urban space which will be a social and intellectual hub for the Grand Canal Innovation District.
“We need to ensure that the vision of the campus is reflected in world-class, sustainable design.
“In addition, Barbara and I have therefore also offered to sponsor an international architectural competition for Trinity East campus design.”
Mr Kinsella is founder, majority shareholder and executive chairman of Jones Engineering Group, an international engineering construction group based in Dublin.
The group, currently employing over 2,000 people, also provides technical specialists, experienced supervisors and project management personnel on medium term assignment to its international client base.
Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris said: “Eric and Barbara Kinsella’s philanthropic donation to Trinity College is an act of patriotism, for which I thank them on behalf of the nation.
“With foresight and generosity they are backing the kind of innovation that will be crucial for the higher education sector in the years to come.”
Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr Patrick Prendergast, said: “We are deeply grateful for this transformative donation which will make it possible for us to realise our vision for the new Trinity East campus in the Grand Canal Innovation District.”