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Farry must remove threat to St Mary's – McGuinness

28 January, 2015 - by Martin McGuinness

Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has reiterated his support for St Mary's University College and the campaign to overturn a proposal by Employment Minister Stephen Farry to end a special funding premia, which is threatening the viability of the institution.

Speaking after meeting with Bishop Noel Treanor and senior management at St Mary's today, Mr McGuinness commented: 

"I was glad of the opportunity to engage directly with management, staff and students at St Mary's and to restate Sinn Féin's support for their energetic and inspiring campaign.

"The minister's decision is a direct threat to the future sustainability of St Mary's. 

“I do not believe it is necessary in light of the significantly enhanced financial settlement, which his department received in the Executive-agreed budget.

"I believe this is an ideological decision, which is more about targeting Catholic education than about addressing any budgetary pressures.

"The threat needs to be removed in order for constructive dialogue to take place between St Mary's and the department towards an agreed way forward. 

"St Mary's are willing to do that but those talks need to take place without threats or preconditions. So I urge the minister to rethink this decision otherwise I believe it is of such significance, that it may be referred to the Executive." ENDS/CRÍOCH

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