Minister Harris designates first President of the Atlantic Technological University


Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD has today (2 March 2022) designated Dr Orla Flynn as the first president of the new Atlantic Technological University, which will be established on 1 April.

Dr Flynn is the current president of Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology.

Minister Harris said: “I am delighted to designate Dr Flynn as the inaugural president of the new TU serving the west and north-west. She brings a wealth of experience and expertise in the higher education sector.

“Orla is a passionate advocate for the region and has led GMIT to significant success, particularly in the Science, Maths and Technology sectors. She has forged close relationships with business throughout her career – an important part of the TU agenda.

“I really want to congratulate Orla and wish her every success. Orla’s appointment alongside the appointment of chair Maura McNally will ensure a strong leadership team for ATU.”

Dr Orla Flynn said she was looking forward to building on the excellent relationships across the three partners to date:

“I am extremely privileged to be given the opportunity to lead our new Atlantic Technological University through its formative years. Building on the excellent relationships already in evidence across the three partner institutions, the task ahead will be for us to serve the region as one university. We can only do this by working together, including staff, students, alumni and our many stakeholders and partners. I want to acknowledge the enormous leadership to date from the outgoing Presidents of IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT, as well as the support from our Governing Bodies and from our collective University community. I am truly looking forward to the exciting challenges and opportunities ahead.”

On 1 April the Atlantic Technological University (Ollscoil Teicheolaíochta an Atlantaigh), will open its doors and students graduating in the current academic year will do so with university level qualifications.

Last month, Minister Harris announced the appointment of the Chairperson members of the first governing body of the new TU – Ms Maura McNally, Chair of the Bar Council of Ireland,  alongside Ms. Oonagh Monahan, founder and Managing Director of Alpha Omega Consultants Ltd and Mr. Felim McNeela, founder of Avenue Mould Solutions and Ms. Anne McHugh, Chief Executive of Donegal ETB, the nominee of all three Education and Training Boards in whose areas the TU multi-campuses are located.

Minister Harris added: “A formidable team has been brought together to lead Atlantic Technological University in its crucial formative years. I am confident the new TU will make a huge impact on the region in terms of delivering on its mission, values and regional and national strategic objectives.

The designation of Dr Flynn, who will be appointed formally as president by the incoming first governing body on 1 April, is the final vital piece required to ensure the TU drives forward from day one in bringing higher education access, research informed programmes at levels 6-10 of the National Framework of Qualifications, research capacity building, teaching and learning excellence and regional embeddedness and engagement with business, enterprise, industry and local communities across the north west of Ireland”.

I wish Dr Flynn, the incoming governing body and the staff and students of Atlantic Technological University the very best going forward as they take their rightful place in a higher education landscape that has changed immeasurably in the last four years.”

Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins said: “I am sure Dr Flynn will bring immense character and drive in these areas as in all the various areas and functions where TUs seek to provide leadership and connectivity in their delivery of impactful regional agendas”.