Maynooth’s cancelled student centre cost €1.68 million

University cancelled the contract for the new centre last September

The decision by Maynooth University (MU) to terminate the construction contract for its planned student centre cost the university €1.68 million.

Last September, the college terminated the contract. The university’s 2022 annual report cites the impact of ongoing inflation in the construction sector and a technical construction issue behind “the difficult decision” to cancel the contract.

The decision to cancel came under fire from MU’s Students’ Union as the project was being funded through a €150 annual student levy since 2015.

To date, €11 million has been raised from the student levy.


Now, under the heading of “Write off of Student Centre costs” in the 2022 annual report, it puts a cost of €1.68m related to the termination of the construction contract.

President of the Students’ Union, Niall Daly, said on Monday the college has committed that any levy money spent on the student centre would be replenished to the Student Levy fund.

In his report, college bursar, Dr Mike O’Malley, states that the University “remains committed to investing in student facilities, including a student building and the Students Facilities Project Advisory Group has been established to make recommendations on the development of such facilities”.

The annual report also reveals that MU has lodged an insurance claim to RSA for the loss of income and additional expenses associated with Covid-19 restrictions.

The 2022 annual report discloses that the college recorded a surplus of €14.43 million in the 12 months to the end of September last.

The marginal increase in surplus followed revenues increasing by 19 per cent from €197.7 million to €235 million last year.

Concerning the Covid-19 insurance claim lodged with RSA, Dr O’Malley states that “negotiations are ongoing, the outcome of the process is uncertain and any potential settlement amount cannot be quantified at the time of writing”.

The surpluses of €14.43 million last year and €14.29 million in 2021 followed much smaller surpluses of €6.4 million in 2020 and €228,000 in 2019.

In his report, Dr O’Malley states “both the surpluses in the current and prior year are specifically related to the operating environment during Covid-19 and are unlikely to be repeated when expenditure patterns return to normal”.

Professor Eeva Leinonen was appointed university president in October 2021 and the report discloses that the post of President came with a 2021/22 salary of €208,509.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times