Minister Harris officially opens Dunlin student accommodation

Minister Harris with University of Galway students (from left) Anna Foley, Grace O’Mahony, Holly Macken, and Liam Kelleher at the official opening of the new Baile na Breacóige - Dunlin Village on-campus student residence at University of Galway. Credit - Andrew Downes, Xposure
Dec 11 2023 Posted: 16:13 GMT

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris T.D. has today officially opened Baile na Breacóige - Dunlin Village – the new student residences at University of Galway.

Dunlin was built at a cost of €95million and the construction is financed through University borrowing. It was completed in time to welcome students for the current academic year.

The project represents the second of two new purpose-built, on-campus student residences at University of Galway, following the opening of Baile an Chíorbhuí – Goldcrest Village in 2018.

Minister Harris said: “I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh and the University of Galway on delivering this significant development and supply of student accommodation at Dunlin Village. It is worth recognising that the University has delivered this flagship project at a time when the constraints on development are impacting supply across the country. This bring over 1,100 additional beds provided by the University in Galway since 2018.

“The Government is committed to addressing the growing demand for, and supply of, student accommodation for our students. That is why for the first time I am developing a long term policy on state supported student accommodation responses. It is critical that we can pave the way for students and ease the pressures they are facing in attending higher education.”

President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán ó hÓgartaigh, said: “Baile na Breacóige - Dunlin Village represents the second major student accommodation project that our University has completed in recent years. Deeply conscious of the stresses and pressures facing young people and their families when it comes to accommodation, this has been a purposefully significant undertaking and investment in the face of unprecedented demand for housing in our community. Enormous credit is due to all those involved, from the design, to the build, to the operations. It is this collective effort and support, by, and for, our university community that ensured it is open for our students this academic year. The cost of building new accommodation is increasingly prohibitive for us, and for our students, and it needs new ways of thinking, and Government support. We hope our provision of almost 2,000 beds makes a difference and we continue to support all policies, investments and endeavours to respond to those who need it the most. We also look forward to working with our students and Government to provide further, more affordable accommodation choices for our students.”

University of Galway has 1,867 beds for on-campus student accommodation. Ahead of the opening of Dunlin Village, rent rates were reduced for more than a quarter of the total and frozen on another 669 beds for the fourth year in a row. 

Dunlin Village 

Designed by award winning Coady Architects and the construction is being carried out by Galway-based contracting firm J.J. Rhatigan & Co.

The University is engaging with the Housing Finance Agency in relation to the finance for the project. 

The project on the north campus of the University is made up of four distinct buildings with 674 bedrooms in various apartment designs and communal facilities, including meeting rooms and student social and collaboration zones; high quality and capacity wifi; a large communal reception; a 24-hour reception and security, on-location bicycle storage.

It also includes 35 accessible bedrooms, located across all four blocks, designed in line with best practice for people with disabilities.

Block A is eight stories, consisting of 124 bedrooms in 23 apartments, running parallel to the River Corrib with views from upper floors over the river, the city and Galway Bay. 

Blocks B/C/D, comprising 550 en-suite bedrooms, are positioned in separate u shaped layouts to maximise natural daylight throughout, some apartments enjoy triple aspect.  

Characterised by a modern, bright interior design featuring quality fixed bedroom furniture, bathrooms and fitted kitchens, the accommodation offers students a state-of-the-art living environment.


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