Cog Notes: ‘Marital bliss’ in Limerick

Minister Jan O’Sullivan quietly annuls planned union between teacher trainers MIC and UL

Jan O’Sullivan: has annulled ‘unhappy union’

Jan O’Sullivan: has annulled ‘unhappy union’


Waterford IT must be looking on with envy at Limerick where an “unhappy marriage” has been quietly annulled by Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan. The proposed union between Mary Immaculate College (MIC) and University of Limerick as part of a national plan to streamline teacher training has been ditched, the institutions have confirmed.

In a statement, Mary I said “the issue of incorporation with the University of Limerick is no longer on the agenda”, although the two institutions would continue to work together as part of the midwest cluster that includes Limerick Institute of Technology.

While other unions such as the DCU-St Pat’s Drumcondra-Mater Dei -Church of Ireland college incorporation have charged ahead, Mary I demanded the continuance of its existing “structure and governance” as well as funding autonomy, and whatever political pressure it applied seems to have worked.

Mary I has found a more compatible bedfellow in St Patrick’s College, Thurles, which will now operate as a satellite campus under the MIC banner.

Mary I president Prof Michael A Hayes said there was an “obvious complementarity in both campuses’ cultures and ethos”, and “clearly, MIC is held in the highest regard by the Minister and the Department of Education and Skills”.

Indeed, chief celebrant was none other than Ms O’Sullivan, who said: “I want to commend the management and staff of both institutions on the professional manner in which they have brought about this incorporation, ably assisted by the Higher Education Authority.”

- Congratulations to historian Prof Jane Ohlmeyer, a key figure behind the establishment of TCD’s Long Room Hub, on being appointed chair of the Irish Research Council. She takes over from UCD’s Prof Orla Feely. Physicist Prof Eithne McCabe, geographer Prof Rob Kitchin, management lecturer Dr Felicity Kelliher, biologist Prof Emma Teeling and Kerry Group regulatory director Dr Yvonne Traynor have joined the board, providing a judicious balance between science and humanities.

- The third National School Gardening Conference is on Saturday, September 26th, in both Marino Institute of Education, Dublin, and the Organic Centre in Rossinver, Co Leitrim. The event is, ahem, “branching out” to the northwest this year due to teacher demand. Fee for the day is €40 and three teachers from one school is €80.