The founders of Jones Engineering, Eric and Barbara Kinsella, have made what is believed to be the largest single philanthropic donation from individuals in the history of the State with a €30 million donation to Trinity College Dublin.
The donation is to be used for Trinity East, a new €1 billion 5½ acre campus, which is to be based in the docklands area of Dublin.
The new institute will serve as a venue for large-scale research programmes in engineering, environment and emerging technologies.
It is the first new campus proposed by Trinity College Dublin in its 429-year history and will be modelled on innovation districts such as Cambridge Square in Boston and similar districts in cities such as Toronto, Rotterdam and Barcelona.
“Barbara and I are delighted to support a project of such national significance. The new Trinity East campus will be a highly efficient investment in the social and economic future of our country,” said Mr Kinsella.
Mr Kinsella, an alumnus of Trinity and his wife have already previously provided funding for the Kinsella Hall study facility in Ussher Library, as well as a programme of engineering scholarships for talented students.
Jones Engineering focuses on large-scale infrastructure projects in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, IT and data-centre industries. It generates about half its revenues overseas.
Mr Kinsella, who founded the business in 1980, remains its majority shareholder and executive chairman. The company, which employs 2,000 people, recorded revenues of €500 million in 2019, the last year for which accounts are available.
Mr Kinsella is also founder of Esprit Investments, an investment and property development company and SARL Esprit du Midi, a French sister firm.
Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris said the Kinsella’s philanthropic donation to Trinity College was “an act of patriotism” for which he thanked them on behalf of the nation.
Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr Patrick Prendergast, said the college was deeply grateful for the “transformative” donation.