Friday 18 January 2019

Dowling wants new third-level college

Bob Dowling.
Bob Dowling.

John Manning

A Fine Gael representative for Swords and Donabate has joined calls for a third-level education facility for Swords.

It is an idea that has been promoted heavily on the council in recent years, particularly by Cllr Justin Sinnott (NP) and Cllr Duncan Smith and now a Fine Gael local representative with a background in education has added his voice to calls for a third level institution for the county capital of Swords.

Fine Gael Local Area Representative for Donabate and Swords, Bob Dowling is urging the Department of Education and Skills to 'fast track' the establishment of a third-level institution in Swords.

Mr Dowling believes that the area warrants a third-level facility, to serve its ever growing young population and also to serve the wider Fingal area.

He told the Fingal Independent: 'The Greater Swords Area, like many other areas has seen a huge increase in its population.

'Swords is now the second biggest town in Ireland and also there are over 11,000 people living in the Greater Swords Area under the age of 20.

'We need to plan for these young people and provide them with the services they need.'

Mr Dowling has called for a third-level institution for Swords to be included in immediate infrastructural planning, and stressed how we must provide for our young people and establish an educational hub as a source of high quality graduates.

The local Fine Gael representative said: 'I am reliably informed that some institutions are considering locating split campus facilities and Swords is the ideal location with Lissenhall located close to the proposed Metrolink, now is the time to start serious planning.

'This is essential to encourage high tech employers into the area.'

Mr Dowling made the point that while an area such as Blanchardstown is fortunate enough to have its third level institution, the growth in the population of Swords has long merited the same consideration.

The Fine Gael local area representative for Swords and Donabate said he has contacted Mary Mitchell O'Connor TD, the Minister of State with special responsibility for higher education to make representations on the issue and make a case for the location of a third-level facility in Swords.

He concluded: 'I believe we can ensure the Government delivers on this issue and I wish to meet with the Minister as soon as possible to discuss these proposals with her.'

Fingal Independent