Row over location of amalgamated VEC in Limerick

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

FIANNA Fail councillor Kieran O’Hanlon has said if Education Minister Ruairi Quinn allows the new amalgamated VEC be located in Dooradoyle, it would be the equivalent of “abandoning the city”.

FIANNA Fail councillor Kieran O’Hanlon has said if Education Minister Ruairi Quinn allows the new amalgamated VEC be located in Dooradoyle, it would be the equivalent of “abandoning the city”.

When City Council and County Council merge, the vocational education committees in Clare, Co Limerick and Limerick City will come together.

And although it has yet to become clear where the headquarters will be, suggestions have been made that it will be in Marshall House, Dooradoyle.

Cllr O’Hanlon wants the committees themselves to decide on the location.

“We were of the opinion we could put some pressure on to retain Limerick City. Now the sands have shifted again, and there is a suggestion that the committees will have no say in it whatsoever. This is the key. I have obviously major concerns of this. If this is located in Dooradoyle, it will have a big impact on future business in the city,” he said.

Cllr O’Hanlon also renewed his criticism of county Deputy Patrick O’Donovan, who said in the Dail the VEC’s new headquarters had already been decided.

Although he admitted this was based on misinformation when the Leader raised it with him, Mr O’Donovan said he would be seeking a full transcript of the meeting, where Cllr O’Hanlon first criticised him.

“You would think in the present climate, he would have better stuff to be doing than sticking his nose in where it is not wanted. But this is the same deputy, who makes prank calls on pizzas,” Cllr O’Hanlon said, referring to the pizza-gate scandal last week.

City VEC chairman admitted Mr O’Donovan’s remarks in the Dail were “very erroneous”. It was agreed to seek a full transcript of what Mr O’Donovan originally said in the Dail.