New Education Board From the Ashes of Western VECs

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At the New Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board inaugural meeting, Cllr. Michael Connolly (Tuam), Cllr. Jimmy Kenny, Cllr. Orla Leyden and Mr. Anthony Geraghty.

Roscommon, Galway City and Galway County VECs are no longer stand-alone entities, and have now become a new western education and training board, which had their inaugural meeting last week in Athenry. 

It was during the heatwave of Tuesday last week, that the new Galway Roscommon Education and Training board met for the first time.  Then CEO of the new board is David Leahy who opened the proceedings, and assured Roscommon members that “provision for one is provision for all,” which appeared to mean equality for Roscommon, considering that it was the smaller VEC.

“The transition phase and transformative phase will be done well,” said Mr. Leahy, adding that Minister for Education would be minded to visit if invited.

The new group got off to an interesting start by suggesting that their voting of the new Chairman would be done either by secret ballot, or open ballot.  Just two members, both rom Roscommon, Cllr. Sean Beirne (FG) and Cllr. Valerie Byrne (Hospital Action Group) voted for a secret ballot, but they were massively outnumbered by the fifty plus members of the two boards.

The Chairman of the new group is Galway’s Pat Gilmore, and he was elected unopposed, and the same applied to the election of the Vice-Chair, South Roscommon’s Cllr. Jimmy Kenny.  Kenny was proposed by his Roscommon colleagues Cllr. Orla Leyden and seconded by Cllr. Tom Crosby.

“Myself and Pat will work for our students in the years ahead, and I would like to propose to keep our sub offices in Roscommon, and I would appeal to the powers that be over that,” said Cllr. Kenny.  “We were afraid that we would be gobbled up like the ‘Galway hurlers’.”

There were murmurings from the Galway members, but no laughter about the GAA comment.

Cllr. Kenny also proposed that there be a sub-committee for Roscommon dealings, when such committees are formed.

“Regarding the venue, we should rotate venues for meetings, and we should be cognisant of the cost, and have meetings in our schools, and I propose that,” said Cllr. Leyden.  “Perhaps we could talk to the principals of the schools to save as much money as we can.”

It was seconded by Cllr. Crosby.

“Where it is possible we could talk to principals,” said the CEO.

The hot weather precipitated the new Chairman to call a halt to the meeting, and postpone some items on the agenda until the September meeting.

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