Organisers say ‘shocking downgrading’ must be stopped
A street protest in support of GMIT Mayo Campus in Castlebar will take place in the county town at 3pm on Saturday, May 27, in Market Square. The protest is in response to fears for the future of the campus after the announcement earlier this year of cuts in the courses on offer there.
More details on the protest are due to be revealed in the coming days, according to organisers, the Mayo GMIT Action Group. The group is also demanding that every TD and potential general-election candidate in Mayo sign a pledge within the next month to stop the downgrading of the campus.
“After consultations with the parties, we have now decided that the time has come to allow them all to give specific details as to how they will finance the Mayo GMIT campus, and how they will provide the extra seats on [the] governing body in Galway,” Action Group spokesperson Harry Barrett said.
“The time for asking Dáil questions is over. We are all very aware now of the way the college was allowed to be downgraded due to lack of funding and poor representation. We are now only interested in real political solutions,” said Barrett.
“At the community meeting a month ago, Mr Paddy McGuinness described the future of the campus as ‘a political issue’, and he called on all potential candidates contesting the next election to sign a pledge that they would only run if commitments were given on ring-fenced funding, full autonomy or real representation on the governing body.
“We are now going to provide this opportunity to the candidates to do just that … The students and staff, and indeed the people of the entire county, need to know how the candidates stand on the Mayo GMIT campus. The current shocking downgrading must be stopped and the people need to know how each party intends to go about it.”