Withholding of UL funding still under consideration

The UL city centre campus on Sarsfield Street is at the centre of controversy for UL

THE €1.7 million in capital funding withheld from the University of Limerick over governance concerns remains “under consideration” by the Department of Further and Higher Education.

The funding was paused last year as the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee raised issues over the university’s spending, including allegations it paid €8 million, more than double the market value, for the former Dunnes Stores site on Sarsfield Street in the city centre.

A spokesperson for the Department of Further and Higher Education said the release of the capital funding required “certain assurances” from UL in relation to its capital management procedures.

The UL Governing Authority agreed to undertake a process to provide the Higher Education Authority (HEA) with assurances it was satisfied that governance improvements are “functioning as intended”.

Towards the end of 2021, the authority provided the HEA with assurances that the governance arrangements are “robust and operating satisfactorily”.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

The HEA plans to meet with the university shortly and will “seek continued assurance” from the governing authority.

The position with regard to the balance of the devolved capital grant remains under consideration by the department,” the spokesperson added.

UL Chancellor Mary Harney and President Kerstin Mey have been asked to appear before the Public Accounts Committee in April.