HEA says IT Tralee has been running a deficit since 2013

The HEA says IT Tralee has been running a deficit since 2013.

The Higher Education Authority, which leads the strategic development of the higher education and research system, raised the issue of recurring deficits in a letter to the institute in 2015.

In 2015, the HEA wrote to then-IT President Oliver Murphy about that year’s operational programme and budget document.

It noted that the institution proposed running a deficit for 2015, with the shortfall to be funded through the use of accumulated reserves.

The HEA said, while it appreciated the college’s attempts to balance its budget, it is concerned that this approach would not address the longer-term stability of the institute.

In 2017, the HEA met with the institute about the worsening financial situation in the college, where it noted that the IT has incurred operating deficits for the previous four years.

According to the institute’s financial reports, the operating deficit from 2013 to 2017 increased year-on-year, going from deficit of €800,000 to €2.5m.

This has resulted in an accumulated deficit of €4.3m at the end of 2017; in 2011, the IT had an accumulated profit of nearly €2.7m.

2018 accounts are not published on its website.

Earlier this year, the HEA gave IT Tralee €5m in emergency funding.