Bank of Ireland announces €2.5 million towards support of sustainable developmen

Thursday, 16 June 2005

Bank of Ireland today (16 June, 2005) announced a commitment of €2.5 million towards the strategy of developing a language-centred, knowledge-based economy in Gaeltacht areas. The funding, which will be channelled through the Galway University Foundation at NUI Galway as part of its €50m People & Place campaign, was announced by Des Crowley, Chief Executive - Retail Financial Services at a reception in the Bank of Ireland Arts Centre.

The €2.5m contribution will underpin the work of NUI Galway's recently launched Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, a national €35 million institute dedicated to pioneering third-level education through the medium of Irish. In addition to its campus programmes the institute will develop three outreach Gaeltacht centres, two in the Galway Gaeltacht (Carna and An Cheathrú Rua) and one in Donegal (Gaoth Dobhair).

The Bank of Ireland contribution will support the provision of academic programmes in these centres designed to empower local communities to engage in, and benefit from skills and learning that are key to the development of a knowledge-based economy. University programmes delivered at these centres will focus on the creation of sustainable employment, providing graduates with the opportunity of remaining in their native place and further strengthen the linguistic and technological infrastructure of the area.

Speaking at the announcement, Des Crowley, Chief Executive - Retail Financial Services at Bank of Ireland said: "Bank of Ireland strongly supports the development of a language centred, knowledge based economy in Gaeltacht areas. We see Acadamh na hOllscolaiochta Gaeilge as a ground breaking and innovative initiative and are delighted to support the NUI Galway People & Place Campaign. A major proportion of our business is in the West of Ireland and we employ almost 1,000 people along the Western seaboard – so, in different ways, we actively seek to support people and communities and life in the West."

Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "We warmly acknowledge this generous support from Bank of Ireland which will copper-fasten the innovative work undertaken by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. The University's commitment to the Irish language is exemplified in our strategy of bringing the classroom and the research lab to the Gaeltacht and by supporting those communities to achieve language-centred, economic self-reliance. We salute Bank of Ireland in its decision to participate in the People & Place campaign by directing its support toward one of our priority programmes.

Peadar Mac an Iomaire, Príomhfheidhmeannach (CEO) of an tAcadamh, thanked Bank of Ireland for its financial support and confirmed that the range of academic programmes already provided by an tAcadamh, including those in translation studies, communications, information technology, radio and television skills, will be extended as the institute develops.

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