MEP Maria Walsh welcomes An Taoiseach’s commitment to establishing new Veterinary College

MEP Maria Walsh welcomes An Taoiseach Simon Harris’ recent commitment to the creation of new Veterinary Colleges, and reiterates her calls for the establishment of one in the West of Ireland in conjunction with Atlantic Technological University (ATU). 

In June 2023, the Government cleared the way for the creation of three new veterinary schools. ATU, the University of Limerick, and South East Technological University were approved to open schools which would result in trebling the intake of student vets across the country.

Maria Walsh, MEP for Midlands-North West, said:  

“I was delighted to hear An Taoiseach Simon Harris’ commitment to the establishment of a veterinary college during his Ard Fheis speech in Galway.

“The West of Ireland is the perfect location to deliver a new college. Such a college would be an ideal complement to the current offerings in Veterinary Nursing and Agriculture in the Donegal campus, and the Agriculture provision in the Mountbellew campus in Galway.

“At the moment, UCD is the only university offering veterinary medicine in this country, with a mere 80-85 places available annually. In 2022, 80 graduates from UCD registered with the Veterinary Council of Ireland, with the remaining 222 graduating from colleges abroad. 

“Recent figures indicate that there are a little over 3,300 veterinarians registered in Ireland, with 75% of those registered having been educated abroad.

“In his previous role as Minister for Further and Higher Education, I worked closely with Simon Harris to progress the creation of a college within ATU. I will be continuing to push this issue until we see students enrolled in a top-class veterinary college in the West of Ireland”