|Editorial PDF||Scientific community must benefit from Sports Campus Ireland.||321|
Ireland - six months on.
Launch of ‘A Veterinary School to Flourish’.
|Focus||Antibiotic resistance and the prudent use of antibiotics in veterinary medicine. Federation of Veterinarians of Europe||
|Open for business A report of Anicare’s most successful open day.||331|
|Peer Review||Effect of De-Odorase on blood urea and blood ammonium levels in hay-fed sheep.||J. Philip Ryan, Teresa Quinn and Barry F. Leek||339|
|Continuing Education||Common plant
Combating canine oral malodour.
The value of zero milk withdrawal
|Business||Practice development Effective client communication.||Nan Boss||357|
|Student case report||Transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder in a dog. 352||Hazel Burke||352|
|Motoring||Bigger is better: Peugeot’s new 307. 361||Austin Shinnors||361|
|Classified||The latest situations available in the profession.||
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Volume 54 (7) : July, 2001
Irish Veterinary Journal
Scientific community must benefit from Sports Campus Ireland
The media furore over the escalating cost of Sports CampusIreland – now commonly referred to as the ‘Bertie Bowl’ – has overshadowed the fact that the State Laboratory and the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory, which are currently located at Abbotstown, must be relocated to make way for the new sports facility. Although disquiet has been voiced over the relocation, it should, in essence, be welcomed by sports fans and scientists alike.
The cost of the relocation to a
purpose-built facility at the 360- acre
Backweston Farm near Celbridge, Co. Kildare, has risen dramatically
in what has become something of a financial tit-for-tat with
the ever-rising cost of Sports Campus Ireland. In March last
year, the first estimate for the relocation, given by the Minister
for Finance, Mr McCreevy, was £90 million.
This figure has now risen to £193 million. However, cost should not be the major issue.
The need for the State’s laboratory services to have access to the most up-to-date facilities is paramount if those entrusted with ensuring animal and public health are to continue to provide the service needed by an ever-more-demanding system of safeguards.
After the idea for Sports Campus Ireland was developed, work which
was already under way at Abbotstown to build a £3 million
extension to the State Laboratory was halted and Abbotstown’s
352 employees were left in no doubt that they were
being relocated to make way for the new stadium. This announcement
was made despite a petition, signed by 259 of the
employees, which rightly signalled their anger at the lack of consultation.
There were also warnings made by the State Chemist, Dr Máire Walsh, that disquiet over the move would prompt staff to leave the laboratory. This would have implications on the ability of the laboratory to deal effectively with its workload, which would in turn adversely affect the ‘clean image’ of Irish food.
It would appear that the lack of consultation was the primary catalyst for the staff’s disquiet. As much as lessons must be learnt by the relevant government departments in relation to this complaint, what cannot be overlooked is the fact that the State Laboratory is moving to state-of-the-art, purpose-built premises. And this must bode well for the future.
Notwithstanding the fears over staff losses, the new site at Backweston, which will accommodate laboratories for central meat control, veterinary, pesticides and seed control in addition to the State Laboratory and the dairy science laboratory, will allow the scientists employed there to have access to the most advanced equipment and facilities, thus allowing them to provide an even more efficient service. Although some may feel that the concerns of the staff who perform the essential services at the Abbotstown laboratories have been ignored in the political and media scramble to condemn the cost of the proposed stadium, the move should prove to be of huge benefit to the laboratory staff and, consequently, the country.
Sport is of great cultural importance to many citizens and An Taoiseach’s vision of an ‘icon for the island of Ireland in the new millennium’ is, whether correctly not, a vision he is pursuing. If the building of this icon means, in any way, a reduction in the ability of the staff at Abbotstown to perform to the very high standards they are working to at present, then Bertie Ahern should seriously rethink his visionary proposal.
Those responsible for ensuring the health of the State’s farm and food animals and, consequently, the health of consumers both at home and abroad, should be afforded very opportunity to voice their concerns if they feel their work may be adversely affected by government action.
However, if the building of the campus means Ireland will have State laboratory facilities which rival the best of those anywhere in Europe, then those in the scientific, health and sporting communities will have something to cheer about
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