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Thursday 27 July 2017

GAA pundit volunteers for Ethiopian challenge

HE had complained about being "bored silly" in his retirement but now Pat Spillane (right) faces a new challenge in Ethiopia.

The outspoken Kerryman and GAA pundit is leaving on Monday to take up a short-term posting with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO).

VSO invited Mr Spillane (56) to take part in one of its projects, following an interview he did with the Irish Independent in January, where he was critical of the public sector retirement scheme. He said it forced experienced public servants to retire early to secure their pensions, even if they wanted to continue working.

The eight-times All-Ireland senior football medal winner is one of 1,600 teachers who opted to retire before the end of February to protect their pensions.

The former principal of St Goban's College in Bantry, Co Cork -- where he had been on the staff for 35 years -- complained that he loved teaching and was only retiring for financial security.

But now VSO is hoping that by visiting its projects in Ethiopia, Mr Spillane will encourage other newly retired teachers and other public servants to offer their services.

Last year VSO trained 1,363 Ethiopian teachers.

Irish Independent

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