New education body meets as Donegal VEC comes to an end

The first meeting of the Donegal Education and Training Board saw an unexpected vote for the chair of the body which has replaced the VEC.

The first meeting of the Donegal Education and Training Board saw an unexpected vote for the chair of the body which has replaced the VEC.

The inaugural meeting of the Donegal ETB saw an unexpected challenge for the chair which has been held by Bundoran Town Councillor Phillip McGlynn since April.

The meeting was told thatthere had been an understanding that the Bundoran hotel manager would see out the term as chair until the local elections next year.

He was elected at the April meeting of the VEC after seeing off bids by two parental representatives, Francis McDaid and Bernie Mulhern.

It had ben expected that Cllr. McGlynn would be returned to the chair unchallenged at Monday’s meeting but Mr. McDaid proposed Bernie Mulhern for the position. The proposal was seconded by Olivier McDevitt.

When it was pointed out by independent councillor Padráig Doherty that it had been agreed that the chair would be held by Cllr. McGlynn until next year, chief executive Shaun Purcell said that while there may have been an understanding the VEC no longer existed and a new body was in place.

Mr. McDaid said that a meeting held between members of the VEC expect Fianna Fáil members that agreed the first two chairs of the VEc for this council term, Barry O’Neill of Fine Gael and Martin Farran of Labour. He said he had expected to be elected chair after that. Reffering to the vote between himself Bernie Mulhern and Philip McGlynn for the chair he said: “People who told me they would support me must not have supported me.”

Cllr. McGlynn was elected by nine votes to three with one no vote and ono vote declared void. Labour Party representative Peter Cutliffe was returned as vice chair without a contest. Outgoing VEC CEO Shaun Purcell was returned as CEO of the ETB.

In a letter read to the meeting education minister Ruairí Quinn said the Donegal VEC “had stepped up to the plate over the decades in making provision and taking on tasks others would not so readily embrace”.He said the VEC had pioneered in making alternative provision and programmes for those not in mainstream education and provided “a bedrock for those needing a second chance and and in the area of adult education in particular”. The meeting heard that the ETB committee that returns following the local elections will be reduced from 23 to 32 members.