Councillor threatens communications blackout on University of Limerick

Cllr Sarah Kiely

THE University of Limerick (UL) needs to pull up its socks, according to Fine Gael councillor Sarah Kiely, who was speaking at last week’s Metropolitan District meeting of Limerick City and County Council.

Cllr Kiely accused UL of operating in a bubble and claimed it does what it likes and “answers to no one”.

She urged the council to write to the university and invite it to provide a central point of contact for councillors and council employees to ensure effective action on outstanding issues.

The City East representative was of the opinion that, until such a contact be provided, Limerick City and County Council should withdraw all cooperation with the university.

Cllr Kiely explained that she brought this motion forward as she felt there was no engagement between UL and the local authority.

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“Last year when I suggested that we don’t play ball with their requests to this local authority, I got a call from a person from UL to see how we can work together to resolve things. On that call I outlined the issues we, as a local authority and as councillors, are having with UL.

“It was acknowledged by that person there were issues, it was also  acknowledged that the lines of communication were not as they should be. UL have a communication officer, this person has no decision making power, so is as useful as a chocolate teapot when we need a response,” Cllr Kiely remarked.

Her understanding, she told council members, was that UL was going to provide a point of contact who had access to a “decision-maker” in the university to progress requests from councillors and council engineers.

“This obviously didn’t happen,” she claimed. “Engineers, in the past, have been unable to get permission requests progressed in a timely fashion to allow contractors to deal with cases. They have been ignored.”

“UL need to pull up their socks. They operate in a bubble. They do what they like and answer to no one. There are more questions than answers when it comes to them, so they need to provide this or we should withdraw all cooperation until they do,” she concluded.