Breathnach gives RTC go ahead as new BIM plant is announced


THE Minister for Education, Ms Breathnach, has given the go ahead for the acquisition of a 20 acre site beside Blanchardstown town centre for the construction of a new third level college in west Dublin.

Local TDs, led by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ms Joan Burton, have been lobbying for a Regional Technical College in the area for some time.

When the site was sold to Green Properties by Dublin Corporation some years ago, the Department of Education held an option to develop it for a third level college.

Ms Burton said yesterday that she would like to see the proposed RTC having a double remit. It would specialise in computer and high technology courses required to provide tile kind of highly trained people demanded by the computer related industries now coming into the Liffey Valley in increasing numbers.

The Government will this morning announce that the computer multinational IBM is to set up a manufacturing plant in Blanchardstown to employ more than 2,500 people. The firm has already taken on 300 graduates, most of them with language skills, at its computer support centre in the area.

Ms Burton said the new college also would target disadvantaged schools whose students did not normally have a chance of third level education, and adults looking for access to "second chance" education.

It is also understood that the National College of Industrial Relations in Ranelagh, Dublin, is interested in relocating to the new Blanchardstown college. Ms Burton and the head of the NCIR, Prof Joyce O'Connor, have jointly prepared a paper on this proposal.