New VEC Chief has a “soft spot for Leitrim”

Although Leitrim VEC are vehemently against the amalgamation of VECs into the new Educational Training Boards, they welcomed the news that Joe McDonagh will take over as Chief CEO of Leitrim Sligo and Mayo.

Although Leitrim VEC are vehemently against the amalgamation of VECs into the new Educational Training Boards, they welcomed the news that Joe McDonagh will take over as Chief CEO of Leitrim Sligo and Mayo.

At the recent monthly Leitrim VEC meeting, the members welcomed Mr McDonagh, noting that he has a “soft spot for Leitrim.”

IVEA member and Councillor Mary Bohan welcomed the new appointment, while also saying she was disappointed that Martin Fallon could not be a full CEO to Leitrim VEC.

She said Mr McDonagh has a “dedication to education, enthusiasm and an abundance of energy.” She said she believes the new CEO has a “soft spot for Leitrim.” Chairman of Leitrim VEC Damian Brennan also confirmed that Mr McDonagh has an “interest in Leitrim.”

Cllr Enda Stenson also welcomed the news but said he believes “we still need someone strong in Leitrim.”

Senator Paschal Mooney suggested that the VEC write to the Minister and seek the Leitrim not be “disadvantaged” in the make up of the new educational boards. Teacher Representative Sean Wynne said Leitrim are looking for “equal representation on the board.”

Mr Fallon said CEOs met with Department officials recently and learned that the new bill will be tabled in the Dáil shortly and should be enacted by the end of November. The New Education and Training Boards (ETBs) will come into force from January 1 - but this could be delayed until February or March.

There is no direction for administration change, there will be no extra staff employed or any reduction in staff expected. More discussions on the subject will be held this week. It is understood that VEC meetings in their current format will continue until 2014.

Acting CEO, Martin Fallon’s contract was renewed last month and approved by members of Leitrim VEC and the Department of Education up to December 31, 2012. He told the members he did not know the future of his role in the new year.