The Minister should, at a minimum, visit the college, and he would be very welcome to. Alternatively, he should meet the Deputies who represent the areas from which the students who attend the college come.
The Minister has delivered very bad news for the college. What do people have to do? The staff, principal and deputy principal are all working their backs off to give young people, particularly those who are not going the direct route to third level education, a future. For many of those young people in areas like the west side of Dublin West, while the official rate of unemployment is 5%, the real rate in more disadvantaged and rural areas is, in practice, maybe 11% or 12% and, in some cases within council estates, can even reach 20% or 25%. The key to unlocking a future for those people and getting them into employment is to give them opportunities around further education. This will not be money in any way misspent. It will produce a future every year for up to 1,000 people in the areas of Meath, Kildare and the constituency of Dublin West. It is a good investment.