So it looks like it’s going to happen: the Minister has announced – in that now inimitable style of his unencumbered by much in the way of though – that the National University of Ireland is to be dissolved.
It’s ‘outlived’ its usefulness. The press release goes to great pains to emphasise the ‘ limited’ and ‘small number of administrative and academic functions’ the NUI currently carries out. And suggests that the bright, shiny new ‘qualifications and quality assurance agency’ will do a grand job anyway. And ther’s the IUA too – sound men, can be depended on to do right by the knowledge economy and all that. Now they really will be ‘the representative body for the seven Irish universities’ that they always wanted to be. Modern. Progress, forward-facing going forward, don’t you know. Besides there’s that massive 3 million that can maybe be saved by killing off NUI ; good PR in these desperate times. And a few of the lads have their eyes on that Merrion Square site too…
The matter of the NUI senators is waved away. The Minister ‘will address this issue by working closely with his colleague, the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, in the context of wider plans for Seanad reform’. Grand; should be gone by Tuesday so.
I wonder would it have been a different (wrecking )ball game altogether if the univeresity constituency generally didn’t have this rather bothersome habit of returning people like Shane Ross and David Norris?