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*Limerick Institute of Technology’s newest campus, situated on Bindon Street, Ennis, Co. Clare, was officially opened by Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD. Pictured at the official opening were from left Professor Vincent Cunnane, LIT President, Minister Pat Breen TD and Deputy Mayor of Clare Clare Colleran Molloy. Photograph by Eamon Ward

Ennis officially has a third level presence in the town following Monday’s opening of LIT’s new campus on Bindon St.

A once vacant building is now the home of LIT in Ennis following an approximate €1m investment. Since September, courses have been offered in social care and early childhood education with further additions to come including general business and creative media. In total, eight degree programmes available through the CAO at the campus.

Clare County Council were responsible for purchasing and refurbishing the building with construction work carried out by Jada Construction.

“We’ve deep affection for Clare, a lot of history in dealing with Clare. It is a great day for Ennis, for Clare and for this region,” LIT President, Professor Vincent Cunnane said as he welcomed the opening of LIT’s fifth campus adding to their facilities at Moylish, Thurles, Clonmel and Clare St.

Short of 100 students are currently based at the Bindon St campus with confidence expressed that this figure “will grow greatly, we have part-time programmes and we want to grow that and what we offer here, the number of students and we want this to be not just a day-time activity but a night-time activity bringing a lot to the local community. Where people go to college, they tend to put down roots, they stay, the people exiting out of Clare and Ennis may not come back, having a facility that can anchor them here means their professional development can continue here with their jobs and their life,” Cunnane added.

An alumnus of LIT, Minister of State, Pat Breen (FG) was on hand to open the building. During his address he quoted Benjamin Franklin ‘an investment in knowledge pays the best interest’ and B.B. King ‘the beautiful thing about education is that nobody can take it away from you’. The Clare TD felt the new campus was “a huge boost to Ennis. It has brought a new lease of life to Bindon St and to Ennis”. Breen flagged that three quarters of LIT graduates remain in the Mid-West region.

Leas Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (FF) noted the difference in the building now and when elected representatives and officials from the Council conducted a walk through last year. “It will have a significant positive economic impact for Ennis contributing to greater footfall in the town centre as we’ve already seen and bringing new life to this building that has been vacant for over ten years”.

According to Director of Service for Economic Development with the local authority, Liam Conneally this is only the beginning as far as third level education in Ennis is concerned. “I believe it is the start of what will be a successful story for Ennis, Co Clare and LIT”.

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