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Closing of Marine Research Body Defended

by Ellen Hardy
25 August 2008, at 1:00am

IRELAND - dars Na Gaeltachta has said that it is still committed to development of the marine sector following closure of its marine research subsidiary, Taighde Mara Teo.

Údarás na Gaeltachta chief executive Pádraig Ó hAoláin said that a “changed landscape” in relation to availability of marine research expertise had influenced the decision to wind up the subsidiary, which employs five people in Galway, Cork and Donegal.

Government policy as articulated in the Marine Institute’s Sea Change strategy and the Government’s €600 million Cawley seafood report also afforded no research role to the Gaeltacht development authority, according to The Irish Times.

However, its role in aquaculture within Gaeltacht coastal areas would be “enhanced” by the reallocation of staff, Mr Ó hAoláin told The Irish Times.

Údarás member and Galway county councillor Seosamh Ó Cuaig said he believed it was a retrograde step, sending out the “wrong message” at a time when the marine sector was in difficulty.

Taighde Mara Teo was founded in 1983 by Údarás and played a seminal role in aquaculture research and development.

Taighde Mara Teo was founded in 1983 by Údarás and played a seminal role in aquaculture research and development.

“At the time, there was little or no private sector investment, but we have a very different situation now – and we have the research expertise of the Marine Institute in Oranmore, NUI Galway’s Martin Ryan Marine Science Institute, and highly developed expertise in Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, University College Cork and other third-level institutes,” Mr Ó hAoláin said.

Ellen Hardy