Sunday Times
request discussed

County Longford VEC has turned down a request from a leading Sunday newspaper to provide a breakdown of figures on staffing levels in each VEC.

County Longford VEC has turned down a request from a leading Sunday newspaper to provide a breakdown of figures on staffing levels in each VEC.

Instead, the committee will send an all-round or ‘composite’ figure to the Sunday Times after it made contact with the organisation looking for latest up to date figures.

The decision was arrived at following a proposal submitted by Cllr Sean Farrell at last week’s meeting of the VEC.

He said providing overall as opposed to individual staffing levels at school was more than sufficient.

“I would be interested to know if it was all schools or just VEC schools they were looking for information on,” he remarked.

Further revealing his long held association with the local VEC network since the age of 12, Cllr Farrell brushed aside suggestions there was anything negative in furnishing a more standardised set of figures.

“I just feel that a composite figure is adequate. We are not giving any more than we are entitled,” he added.

Former Longford Co Councillor Adie Farrell was the first to speak out in support of the move.

That said, Cllr Farrell’s comments were not shared by every elected member. Cllr Mae Sexton said she could not understand her Fine Gael colleague’s position on the matter.

“What am I missing here?” she asked bluntly. “The figures are the figures. Surely we are able to justify every action we take otherwise we shouldn’t be taking actions at all.

“I would propose that we would give it to them (Sunday Times) because we have nothing to hide.”

Formally endorsed by staff representative Brian Hyland, Cllr Sexton’s counter proposal was roundly defeated by 11 votes to six, paving the way for Cllr Farrell’s original proposal to be carried.