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Staff frustrated after Catholic college suspends dialogue on merger

Staff at Mary Immaculate teacher training college (MIC) are “deeply frustrated” after the suspension of a historic dialogue [1] meant to safeguard the college’s future.

Prof. President Eugene Wall’s announcement came after he and University of Limerick (UL) President Kerstin Mey failed to find “a meeting of minds” with Department of Higher Education officials on January 25.

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris previously told the two institutions to go back to the drawing board after almost year-long negotiations failed to propose a suitable model.

Sources told The Irish Catholic, however, that staff fear the college has been left “strategically weaker” by the failed dialogue process, described as potentially “one of the most important strategic developments” in the college’s 125 year history.

According to union officials, staff were told the purpose of the dialogue was to achieve university level status and solidify MIC’s position in the higher education landscape.

Now, younger staff in particular feel the future is “very unsure and uncertain”, sources said. The dialogue made it “more unclear”, despite being intended enhance “structural alignment” between the two institutions.