Institute of Technology Carlow’s New Haughton Building Officially Opened by the Minster for Education and Skills


Richard Bruton Opening Institute of Technology Carlow Haughton BuildingInstitute of Technology Carlow’s New Haughton Building Officially Opened by the Minster for Education and Skills

Another Step in the Implementation of a €150million Capital Investment Programme

Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD this morning presided over the official opening of Institute of Technology Carlow’s new €10million teaching and learning centre, the Haughton Building.

The new teaching and learning centre is the latest development in a larger €150million capital investment programme at Institute of Technology Carlow that has already delivered the Centre for Aerospace Engineering in 2015, the Dargan Centre for Research and Innovation in 2014 and a multi-million Student Services and Sports Facilities Centre in 2012.  Work has also begun on a 30-acre South Sports Campus with the first stage scheduled for completion in 2018. A further 42 acres have been acquired by the Institute for future growth in Carlow and Wexford.

The Haughton Building is named after Carlow-born James Haughton, the 19th century Irish social reformer and educational activist who championed many causes, including the abolition of slavery and female suffrage. It overlooks the river Barrow in Carlow town and encompasses lecture theatres, computing laboratories, meeting and seminar facilities, all equipped with the most advanced technologies.  It provides more than 1,000 formal learning and teaching spaces over three levels. 

The Haughton Building is the latest capital infrastructural development on the Carlow Campus that has been designed to meet the needs of Institute of Technology Carlow’s flourishing student body, which is one the fastest-growing within the higher education sector.  Learner enrolments have increased by 40% in the last five years to 7,000 current learners from across Ireland and 83 nations, with over 2,200 graduates annually.

Speaking at the event, the Minister commented, “My ambition as Minister for Education is to make Ireland’s education and training system the best in Europe within a decade. Our Action Plan for Education has set out hundreds of actions to be implemented, according to tight timeframes, to achieve this objective. Investing in education will be key to achieving our ambitions as a nation. The Institute of Technology Carlow deserves much praise for the ambitious capital investment programme it has delivered over the last five years. The Haughton Building is a particularly impressive addition.  Over the same time period,  enrolments in our 21 Institutes of Technology and Universities has increased by almost 27,000 and the Institute of Technology Carlow has accommodated the second-highest number of increased enrolments in the technology sector with many new innovative graduate and postgraduate programmes across areas as diverse as Brewing and Distilling, Agribusiness, Cybercrime and IT Security, Data Science, Aviation and Aerospace Engineering, Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Regulatory AffairsThe fact that there has been a 45% increase in fulltime learners at the Institute pursuing STEM programmes over this time period is particularly welcome and reflects the strategic focus of the Institute on the technological needs of the economy.”

Speaking at the official opening, Dr. Patricia Mulcahy, President, Institute of Technology Carlow commented, “We believe that the best investment any society can make is to educate more citizens and to educate them to their highest potential. Five years ago, at the peak of recession, we set out an ambitious plan to deliver on our responsibilities and to fulfil our promise of being an exceptional quality of life driver within the region and nationally. Our capital development is a very visible sign of a university-level institute which is not only proactively responding to new needs, but which is also anticipating the future. This has been accompanied by significant investment by the Institute in its intellectual capacity, new programmes and research centres.” 

Chairman of the Institute of Technology Carlow’s Governing Body, Mr John Moore, said “This is another day of celebration for the Institute as we take a further step in the implementation of our €150million capital investment programme that will transform the Institute, town and the region.  The team at the Institute has delivered another outstanding result with this wonderful new facility and I congratulate all members involved in this project.  It is another manifestation of the Institute’s values and commitment to a world-class student experience.”

Since its founding in 1970, Institute of Technology Carlow has generated more than 50,000 graduates and currently ranks as the fourth-largest of Ireland’s 14 Institutes with 7,000 enrolments. There has been a 40% increase in total enrolments since 2011 and a 45% increase in graduates over the same time period. It consistently features highly in the CAO first preferences for Institutes of Technology, according to the Institute, which sees an annual average of 12,000 students apply for up to 70 higher certificate and degree courses via the CAO.


For reference: Alma Feeley, Communications Office, Institute of Technology Carlow
e:    m: 087 8204934                      t: 059 9175098


About James Haughton
Carlow-born James Haughton (1795-1873) was a leading Irish social reformer and educational activist.

As a young man, he established a successful milling business with his brother William which employed 600. Its success, and the income it yielded, gave Haughton the freedom to devote himself to a number of significant causes. Haughton was a committed campaigner on a broad range of issues, including: abolition of slavery; female suffrage; adult worker education; catholic franchise; tenant rights; free trade; fair trade; taxation reform; temperance and Repeal of the Union.

The philosophy that underpinned his comprehensive work was the social and economically transformative role of education. He was a trustee of the Dublin Mechanics’ Institute and a founding member of the Statistical and Social Enquiry Society of Ireland, which had significant influence in the shaping of Government policy in late Victorian Ireland. Haughton wrote extensively on a great range of subjects – education, sanitary reform, peace, slavery, capital punishment - in the public press and became widely known.

Over the course of his campaigning career, he worked closely with Daniel O’Connell, Fr. Theobald Matthew and, later, with the Young Ireland Movement. However, he parted company with each over their willingness to compromise on slavery to secure Irish-American support.

In association with Daniel O'Connell, whom he greatly respected, he advocated for improving conditions in Ireland and the Repeal of the Union, but was always opposed to physical force.

He died at 35 Eccles Street, Dublin, on 20 Feb. 1873, and is buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery.