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The Chairman of the Galway-Roscommon Educational and Training Board (ETB), Pat Gilmore, has paid tribute to the years of work for the educational sector in Galway by Cllr Jarlath McDonagh, who has announced his retirement from politics.

He says Cllr McDonagh has been most notable for his work as Adult Education Organiser for the former Co Galway Vocational Education Committee (VEC) and as current chairman of the ETB’s Adult Education and Training Board.

“Jarlath has made a huge contribution to adult and further education, especially for those who didn’t get the opportunity to go to second level. He contributed to the setting up of centres across the county from Letterfrack to Ballinasloe and from Gort to Glenamaddy.

“He has always been highly regarded by both the learners and the staff that worked alongside him,” says Pat Gilmore.

There was surprise at the announcement on Friday that Cllr McDonagh, the Fine Gael Whip on Galway Co Council, is to quit politics and has decided not to contest next year’s local elections.

Cllr McDonagh, a teacher by profession, has served for 28 years on Galway Co Council. During that time he also served for ten years in Seanad Éireann. In all he contested seven elections, five Council and two Seanad, all successfully.


While in Seanad Éireann, Senator McDonagh (pictured above) was Deputy Chairperson of the Seanad and was also his party’s front bench spokesperson on Education and Environment. He was also a member of LAMA—the Councillors’ national body and was also on the executive of the Association of County and City Councils of Ireland.

Cllr McDonagh was particularly active in education circles, being a former member of the governing body of NUIG and he is still a member of the governing body of Athlone Institute of Technology. He is also a former Chairman of Co Galway VEC and was Adult Education Officer of Co Galway VEC for ten years.

He is also a former member of the Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools and is currently on the boards of Clifden, Dunmore and Glenamaddy Community Schools.

Cllr McDonagh said he would not have achieved all he achieved without the support of his wife Ger and family and also without the support of his own Turloughmore Fine Gael Branch.

He also paid tribute to all is loyal voters over the years but now he feels he needs to spend some quality time with his family and make way for new blood on the Co Council.

“The Turloughmore-based Councillor says he hopes that someone from the area will put their name forward and endeavour to retain the seat in the locality as he feels every area should have a local Councillor.