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Waterford IT to ‘cooperate fully’ with inspection of campus suppliers

Ruairí Quinn has appointed a former chairman of the Revenue Commissioners to investigate the relationship between the college and companies providing services to it.

Dermot Quigley, the former chairman of the Revenue Commissioners, has been asked to undertake a statutory inquiry into certain affairs at Waterford IT.
Dermot Quigley, the former chairman of the Revenue Commissioners, has been asked to undertake a statutory inquiry into certain affairs at Waterford IT.
Image: Photocall Ireland

WATERFORD INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY has said it will ‘cooperate fully’ with an inspection ordered by Ruairí Quinn into the relationship between the college and some of the companies providing services to it.

Education minister Ruairi Quinn has asked the former chairman of the Revenue Commissioners, Dermot Quigley, to carry out a statutory inspection of the relationships.

There are six companies which provide a range of services on the campus at WIT but which are limited by guarantee and which do not have a share capital.

Quigley’s inspection will seek to determine the financial position of these companies, “including the nature and extent of their assets and liabilities as they relate to operations in WIT”.

The inspection also aims to assess “the relationship, including the financial relationship, between the Institute and the range of companies providing campus services in WIT”.

Yesterday the institute named WIT Diverse Campus Services as the company specifically being investigated.

That company’s last accounts relate to the year to June 2010, when it recorded a profit of €2.12 million.

WIT said it would “work closely and cooperate fully with Mr Quigley to ensure a swift resolution to the matters under enquiry”.

“The Institute has built a strong reputation in higher education and research over more than forty years and its priority has always been, and continues to be, on delivering top class education, services and facilities to its students and the region.

“O[ur] priority has always been, and continues to be, on delivering top class education, services and facilities to its students and the region.”

The institute has previously come under scrutiny for the lavish spending incurred under the tenure of Professor Kieran Byrne as the president of the institute from 2001 to 2011.

Non-pay related spending in the office of the president stood at about €30,000 in 2001, when Byrne took over, but peaked to over €630,000 eight years later with major spending on taxi firms, PR companies and flowers.

The institute also infamously chartered a flight for one person from Waterford to Dublin at a cost of €4,200.

Read: WIT president increased office spending 20-fold in eight years, TDs are told

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Gavan Reilly

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