Dingle impresses visiting UCC president
THE president of UCC, on a tour of the college’s catchment area, arrived in Dingle on Monday and was hugely impressed with what he saw.
Prof Patrick O’Shea, visited Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne and later met with an invited group at the Dingle Hub in Cooleen during his brief visit. Travelling with a team of academics from UCC the meetings are part of the university’s strategic plan to support communities in their engagement with local and global issues.
The Cork academic was clear that the relationship between the community and the university was very important to him. “The university is there to support the community in any way they can,” he said.
Prof O’Shea confirmed UCC’s commitment to Dún Ciobháin in Ballyferriter, which has been in use by the university’s staff and students since 1974. He told The Kerryman that the university is to invest €160,000 in the premises.
No stranger to West Kerry, the former Vice president and Chief Research Officer at the University of Maryland has fond memories of his visits to Feothanach as a child and demonstrated a fine blas when speaking about the area.
Asked about the role of the Irish language in any future relationship with West Kerry, he replied that the language is “crucial”.
On Ireland’s relationship with the rest of the world, Prof O’Shea offered the view that: “We must get away from the Béal Bocht, Ireland is a modern country with an ancient heritage, and no where is it more evident than in Dingle”.
Referring to the ESB’s decision to invest in testing new technologies in Dingle he reflected that what was once a remote area when he visited it in his childhood is now connected internationally with the installation of the 1Gb .line in the hub.
At the meeting in the Dingle Hub, issues discussed included the impact of climate change, the need for a vision for the future of the area, quality of life and building resilience within the community, the possibilities for generating employment by pairing creative minds with technical ones, and the opportunities for learning from programmes in other coastal and rural towns.
The issue of Government support for projects was also raised, to which Cllr Seamus Cosaí Mac Gearailt replied: “Any project that will create jobs on the ground will get political backing, from any party”.
UCC President Prof Patrick G. O’Shea with Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne students Tara Ní Ghairbhí and Rachel Ní Néill, and Coláiste Íde students Nancy De Mhordha Coláiste and Lily Ní Thiompail