In 1917, at a Co. Donegal Joint Technical Instruction Committee meeting, a resolution was passed that a technical school ‘on the lines of Ballyshannon and Letterkenny be established in Carndonagh to supply the wants of the rural district of Inishowen, which, owing to its geographical position, is shut out from getting any benefit from the schools in the county.’

The Department of Education, however, did not look favourably on this proposal and suggested that the staff of Letterkenny and Ballyshannon could be transferred to Carndonagh after the Easter term each year to give classes to the pupils there for a short session before the summer vacation.

Needless to say the Carndonagh committee were astonished at this suggestion and told the Department this would be an absurd arrangement.

A battle ensued with officials from the Department with the Carndonagh committee winning out. A grant of £250 was awarded. Buncrana did not have suitable premises so Carndonagh was awarded the Technical School to be set up in the newly built Colgan Hall. Cost of equipment for the school was covered by the Congested Districts Board.

Mr. Martin Griffin, a commercial instructor at Armach Technical School, was appointed Principal. Mr. George Clingan was appointed as the first caretaker of the school.

The school opened for business in October, 1918. Mr Griffin remained Principal until 1925. He was succeeded by James Mc Donough. The ‘Tech’ remained in the Colgan Hall until 19159 when a new building was opened.

  • By Letitia Doherty
  • source: Buchanan, S. (Ed.) County Donegal Vocational Education Committee 1905-2005. Reflecting, Celebrating, Shaping the Future. (Letterkenny: Donegal VEC, pp.35-37)