Plea for adequate resources and staff

Chief Executive Officer Joe McDonagh will retire from his post this week, two years after he took over the amalgamated VECs from Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim.

Chief Executive Officer Joe McDonagh will retire from his post this week, two years after he took over the amalgamated VECs from Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim.

Joe McDonagh managed the merger of the three VEC entities into one ETB. At the start of the amalgamation, meetings held 56 VEC members from the three counties; it now has 21 members.

Cllr Mary Bohan noted at the official opening of the refurbished ETB office in Carrick-on-Shannon the “shortfalls in staff” within the ETB at the moment. But it was the outgoing CEO who outlined the real situation.

Before he left the office, he pleaded with politicians present at the official function that “adequate services must be put in place for the project to succeed.”

Joe McDonagh, former GAA President, said he does believe the project will succeed, if the people are there to work it.

He noted that Mayo, Sligo Leitrim ETB have 25 less people compared to Galway & Roscommon ETB and they have a similar number of schools and a larger training centre in this area ETB.

Joe McDonagh told board members last week that the ETB Headquarters in Castlebar will close by Christmas if additional staff are not appointed.

He said the deficiencies in staff has been challenging for the current hardworking employees, and he commented “the goodwill period is over.”

In relation to the members and staff of the ETB, All Ireland hurling winner McDonagh said “this is the best team I have ever played on.”

But he did warn that the current staff levels are “unsustainable”. He said working parents have had to work late in the evenings and on weekends and that is “unfair.”

He told political members “Put people in place” and the future will be bright.

Shaun Purcell from Donegal will take over from Joe McDonagh.

Shaun has been CEO of Co Donegal ETB since 2012. He has taught in all sectors; Principal in St Finian’s Community College, Swords; Education Officer with Co Dublin VEC and CEO in Co Sligo VEC before going to Donegal. He has also coached on the sports field.

Shaun is relishing the opportunity to working with everyone at Co Donegal VEC.