Minister for Disability and Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East, Anne Rabbitte, has called for Mountbellew Agriculture College to be one of the new locations for the establishment of a new veterinary school.

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Both the Department of Agriculture and Department of Further and Higher Education are currently assessing locations for a new veterinary school.

At present, there is only one vet school in the country, which is based out of University College Dublin in South Dublin.

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Minister Rabbitte commented:

It is so important for me to see the development of the veterinary school in Mountbellew Agricultural College, which to me seems like the ideal location. This would be a major boost to not just Galway but for the West and North West.

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 and she continued 

Farming is so integral to Galway and the infrastructure needs to be developed to support farmers and this includes when it comes to vets.

Currently, all our vets are being trained in UCD, which is a fine setup, but the simple fact of the matter is that we need more vets around the country, and I think it’s important we’re producing these vets locally.

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 and she continued:

The Departments of Agriculture and Further and Higher Education are currently assessing a number of options and, as I understand it, Mountbellew is in the mix alongside locations in Kilkenny and Limerick.

I am engaging with my ministerial colleagues on this and as I see it, Mountbellew Agricultural College is well placed to be part of the programme.

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 And she concluded:

To be honest, I think we need to be looking at more than one new location being selected to ensure the pipeline of vets is sustainable and clear.

What we’re currently seeing is a raft of student vets being trained up abroad, while we have untapped potential here in the likes of Mountbellew.

It seems like such an obvious solution to this problem.

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