DURING THE PAST three years, I have walked the quiet grounds of the Ballingarrane Estate in Clonmel, County Tipperary, Ireland. Lately, the sound of road works cuts through the quiet pastures as South Tipperary County Council continue to make improvements to the infrastructure around the country estate. Part of the planning involves unlocking the quiet grounds from their dormant status and opening a research centre in Ballingarrane on the northwest side of Clonmel. This is a big move for a consortium involving the Council, Enterprise Ireland and Tipperary Institute. And just as a new roundabout is completed, a front page announcement in the local press heralds "a new era for third level education facilities in South Tipperary." The announcement reveals that the county council have agreed to let Tipperary Institute use the former Watson residence as a research centre. In an interesting twist, the renovation of the old residence and the building of related structures is to occur at no expense to the Exchequer because Tipperary Institute intends to swap out its existing buildings and property for the new premises. Some very detailed negotiations still remain to occur with a property developer. The Estate itself was purchased by South Tipperary County Council eight years ago. It has remained a focal point of the county's strategy to create a combined third level and business development technology park.