Fine Gael TD for Waterford John Deasy says ''different noises were coming from different people in Cabinet'' about the prospect of upgrading Waterford Institute of Technology to university status.

He categorised remarks by Education Minister Ruairi Quinn in March as ''a Waterford University over my dead body'' speech and also expressed unhappiness over the reiteration of that view again in a radio interview.

Deputy Deasy said he got the impression from Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton that he was in favour of the plan.

The Waterford said he was ''not so sure where the Cabinet stood over this''.

He rejected comparisons to the upgrading of polytechnic colleges in the UK to university status, which the Hunt Report on education concluded had downgraded the status of regional universities in Britain.

Mr Deasy said that Waterford's case needed to be treated in isolation.