Donegal ETB Appoints New Director of Further Education and Training (FET)

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Newly appointed Director of FET with Donegal ETB, Ciaran O Brien.

Donegal ETB has appointed Mr Ciaran O Brien as its new Director of Further Education and Training (FET), replacing Ms Cróna Gallagher who retired at the end of May.

Donegal ETB is the largest education and training provider in the county with almost 18,000 students and 1,400 staff across the county and its islands, along with an annual budget of €83.5 million.

Its extensive Further Education and Training (FET) Service, provides education and training in eighteen FET centres across the county and a myriad of other venues and locations from Levels 1-6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

In 2021 almost 7,000 people availed of both full-time and part-time day and evening FET options.

Originally from Sligo, Ciaran has been working as the ETB’s Director of Gartan Outdoor Education and Training Centre (OETC). He relocated to Donegal to work in outdoor education in 2001. He spent much of his career working as an outdoor education instructor at Gartan OETC before spending a number of years working in the social care sector.

Ciaran became the Coordinator of the Gort an Choirce Youthreach programme and FET Centre manager in 2015 and later returned to outdoor education and training to manage Gartan OETC in 2017.

Speaking about his appointment Ciaran said, “Our Further Education and Training team provides an outstanding service throughout the county under the guidance of CE Anne McHugh and previous Director, Cróna Gallagher. I’m excited about the challenge that building on this great work will bring and I’m also looking forward to being part of the further development of Donegal ETB as a leading education and training provider in the North West.”

Donegal ETB’s Chief Executive Anne McHugh, in congratulating Ciaran on his appointment, said, “I am thrilled to welcome Ciaran to the CE/Directors team at Donegal ETB.  This is a time of great change and innovation for Further Education and Training across the country and I am very much looking forward to working with Ciaran as we aim to provide the best possible FET Service to the communities of Donegal.”

Ciaran replaces Donegal ETB’s first ever Director of FET, Ms Cróna Gallagher, following twenty-three years of service. Cróna was appointed Adult Education Officer to Donegal ETB in May 1999, a position she held until her appointment as FET Director in September 2016.

He officially takes up his appointment as Director of FET this month.