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HEA and UL must appear before Oireachtas Education Committee – Kehoe

29th March 2024 - Paul Kehoe

Representatives of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the University of Limerick must appear before the Oireachtas Committee on Education, Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science to explain occurrences with the provision of housing at the university, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Fine Gael Education spokesperson and Chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee today (Friday) said that he has written to both bodies to request appearance before the committee.

“Serious questions remain unanswered about why UL paid more than €11 million for 20 homes at Rhebogue, 3km from the campus, leaving the university now in deficit to the tune of over €5 million.   That this has occurred just 4 years after a previous significant overspend on the purchase of the former Dunnes Stores site in Limerick city centre is extremely concerning,” Deputy Kehoe said.

“The HEA has ordered a statutory review and I understand will be on campus over the coming days and weeks. However, it is imperative that the Oireachtas Education Committee is briefed on the terms of reference for this review and to that end, as Chairperson of the Committee, I have requested that representatives of the HEA appear before the Committee as soon as possible.

“I have also contacted UL to also request the attendance of members of the university’s governing body, so the university’s spending guidelines, governance structures and reporting procedures can be scrutinised.

“There is clearly a governance issue here. UL, like all universities, must be accountable to the Oireachtas through the President of the university – it is therefore imperative that both the HEA and UL show willingness to engage without any prevarication,” Deputy Kehoe concluded.

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