WATCH: History beckons as Limerick becomes a two university city

HISTORY will be made this Friday as Ireland’s newest technological university will be officially launched at a ceremony which will take place across two campuses in Limerick and Athlone.

From midnight on October 1, Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest will formally replace the current Limerick Institute of Technology and Athlone Institute of Technology.

The new TU, which was officially sanctioned by the government earlier this year, will compromise a student population of more than 14,000 and a staff complement of approximately 1,200 people across six campuses including two in Limerick city.

According to its President Designate, Professor Vincent Cunnane, TUS will be distinct in how it is rooted in its local communities and economies and will bring a new beginning to the Midlands and Midwest.

“The official opening will be a pivotal and momentous occasion that celebrates and recognises the great collaborative effort that has brought us to the point of becoming a Technological University,” he stated.

“It is a tremendous achievement that will truly transform and bolster our region both from an education and economic perspective for generations to come. TUS will be distinct in its orientation towards the economic, social and cultural life of its local communities and will bring a new beginning to the Midlands and Midwest,” he added.

Meanwhile, ahead of Friday’s launch, which will be live-streamed to all six campuses, it has been announced that Limerick woman Josephine Feehily has been appointed as the first chair of the governing authority of the new Technological University.

A native of Ferrybridge in Clarina, Ms Feehily has previously served as chair of both the Revenue Commissioners and the Policing Authority.

She also received an Honorary Doctorate from University of Limerick in 2016.

Her appointment as chair of the country's newest university was made by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris.

She will be joined on the governing body by John Griffin, chair of the Board and CEO of Ericsson in Ireland, a multi-national company which is a major employer in Athlone and Colette Ryan who has over 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry, as external members of the governing body.

George O’Callaghan, Chief Executive of the Limerick & Clare Education and Training Board will also serve on the authority as the nominee of all three Education and Training Boards in whose areas the TU multi-campuses are located.

The corporate logo of Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest will be revealed for the first time during Friday’s ceremony.

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