‘Ireland needs new vet school to avert national crisis’ urges top vet
One of Ireland’s leading vets is part of a group urging the country’s politicians to give the go-ahead for a new school of veterinary medicine.
Liam Moriarty, managing director of Linnaeus in Ireland, which includes the renowned MyVet, Blackrock Veterinary Clinic and Primrose Hill surgeries, has warned of a “looming crisis” caused by an acute shortage of vets in the country.
Mr Moriarty highlighted his concerns as part of a Veterinary Working Group during a meeting with the Joint Oireachtais Committee on Agriculture at the Dail Eireann and is backing the University of Limerick as the ideal venue for a new veterinary school.
He said: “I attended with colleagues from a working group to highlight the growing shortage of vets in Ireland, particularly in rural practice.
“There is a crisis looming. The industry is growing and high-quality work is being done but we urgently need to train more people.
“Given the current age profile in the profession, we need to act quickly on this. More than 20 per cent of practitioners are over the age of 60, so they are not likely to be working by 2030.
“There are also insufficient university places in Ireland, which is forcing large number of Irish students to travel abroad to receive a veterinary education.
“Yet, we are fortunate to have a super university which is ready to go and start a new course, with graduates able to join the profession, hopefully by 2030.
“I hope the committee will recommend that we move quickly to start a veterinary course at University of Limerick which will take students in from 2025 and output a new crop of vets by 2030.
“University of Limerick has a fantastic track record of working with industry, including in medicine, so we see the university as a strong contender to have a different spectrum of graduates who will work where they are needed the most.
“Having a place in the west of Ireland would certainly be a big advantage. We want these people to work in the west of Ireland, so let us train them there.”
Mr Moriarty, who co-founded the successful MyVet, which has practices in Firhouse, Maynooth and Lucan, said the working party’s input was well received and he is optimistic the vet school will get the green light.
He concluded: “It was a very positive meeting with broad cross-party support for a new vet school.
We’re hopeful there will be an equally positive announcement from government soon.”