As a prime Wexford property is expected to come on the market this week, Wexford's Mayor says it's a missed opportunity for Wexford Campus.
Slaney Manor in Barntown is due to be listed for sale in coming days.
Situated on some 60 acres just off the N25 at Barntown, the substantial property consists of a manor house, a courtyard, a restored castle, a mud walled cabin and 25 acres of farm and parkland. It was initially developed by Thomas Percival in the mid eighteenth century and is currently under the ownership of the Caulfield family who have decided the time is right to sell.
When contacted by this newspaper, Dublin based firm Savills, who are to oversee the property's sale, said they could not at this point comment on the finer details, such as a guide price.
While the landmark property has yet to be officially listed for sale, the lands have already been touted as what would have been an ideal solution to IT Carlow's search for a location for a new state-of-the-art Wexford campus.
The institute has already seen deals for two potential sites, one at Newtown Road and one at Ferrybank, collapse and given its close proximity to town and what will eventually become the new Rosslare to Oylegate motorway, Slaney Manor was seen as an ideal location.
However, according to Mayor of Wexford George Lawlor, the idea has gained little traction with those in charge at IT Carlow.
'I approached the IT some months ago having spoken to members of the Caulfield family about Slaney Manor,' said Cllr Lawlor.
'With some 60 acres of land there, and given the location, I felt it was the ideal option for a Wexford campus and for a campus for the University of the South East.'
'That location has the potential to future-proof the college,' he said, 'but apparently senior figures within IT Carlow were less than enthused. This is apparent in the fact that they didn't even come and visit the site, to my knowledge. I feel it would've been a huge opportunity for them, overlooking the Slaney in an attractive location.
'It's my view that they are only paying lip service to the notion of acquiring land and constructing a new campus in Wexford,' he said.
'They jumped up and down when a deal was made to purchase the site in Ferrybank, and yet the most junior of planners could have told them that this was completely unsuitable. It seems to me that it was just a box-ticking exercise from IT Carlow,' the Mayor charged.
Cllr Lawlor said: 'It's time IT Carlow stopped pussy-footing around and give the commitment that the students and people of Wexford require.'
IT Carlow did not wish to comment on interest in Slaney Manor saying: 'IT Carlow is in the market to purchase a permanent site for our Wexford Campus. For commercial reasons we cannot comment on individual transactions.'