ATU Galway-Mayo celebrates 50 years in Galway City

Photo by Aengus McMahon

Atlantic Technological University has celebrated 50 years of students coming through its Galway campus this month.

Opening to students in 1972 as Regional Technical College Galway, it carried on until 1998 when it was incorporated into the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology.

It carried on as such for another quarter century until becoming part of something bigger once again, with the establishment of Atlantic Technological University.

The 50th anniversary was commemorated at a ceremony held at ATU Galway City, attended by the Mayor of the City of Galway, Cllr Clodagh Higgins, Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council, Cllr Michael Maher, and invited guests.

The event was also the opening of ATU Galway-Mayo’s year-long celebrations of 50 years of technological higher education in the west of Ireland, 1972–2022.

Dr Orla Flynn, President of ATU said, “Reflecting back on the values and attributes of the then Galway RTC, we can see how valuable was the role played by the institution over the last fifty years.”

“Providing access to higher education was transformative for students across the region, and for society as a whole.”

“Long may we continue to live up to the achievements of the last half century, in our new capacity as Atlantic Technological University.”

The 50th anniversary commemoration began with a lecture on the history of the college by former GMIT Registrar Bernard O’Hara.

The opening also featured a rendition of “Galway Bay” by Dr John Tunney and the debut of a cover of Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me” (1972) by the college’s Virtual Choir.

Afterwards, Dr Gay Corr, who was appointed as the first Principal of RTC Galway in 1972, took part in a flag-raising ceremony at the Southern Entrance with Dr Flynn and Students’ Union President Mr Colin Kearney.

Mr Kearney said “As we venture into our future in a technological university, it is equally important to look back over the last 50 years to 1972.”

“The most important thing I can pick out from then until now and even into the future is the quality, dedication and commitment of our student body.”

“I am proud to say I am a member of this community of people who, without fail, amaze me at every opportunity.”