A new €17m science building has been officially opened at the Institute of Technology in Sligo.

The new facility will house over 1,000 full-time students and will enable the institute to increase undergraduate and research postgraduate places.

The new building has been planned for four years and is part of a five-year €35m redevelopment of the IT Sligo campus.

Among the facilities are an 80-station foundation laboratory, seven teaching labs and four research labs.

The building has been named after local 19th century scientist Charles MacMunn, who discovered respiratory pigments throughout plant and animal tissues that is now a cornerstone of modern biochemistry.

Almost one third of IT Sligo's student population are involved in studying science.

IT Sligo said the new facility will ensure students are able to continue to access careers in science into the future, and will enable the institute to strengthen links with the large bio-pharmaceutical employers in the region.

The new building was opened by Taoiseach Enda Kenny this morning.