Local Fine Gael TD and Junior Minister in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Tom Hayes, had welcomed clarification from Justice Minister Alan Shatter that proactive steps are being taken to ensure that waiting times on getting completing Garda vetting applications are being taken.
Minister Shatter confirmed in the Dail on Thursday that as well as the 23 staff already assigned from the Department of Agriculture, a further 31 staff are being transferred from other locations in the public sector from around the country.
Commenting on the announcement Minister Hayes said: “Currently there are significant waiting times to get applications processed by the Garda Central Vetting unit, sometimes up to 12 or 14 weeks depending on the time of year. This is having a crippling effect on local organisations such as the Cahir Development association who now have a backlog of recruits who need to be first cleared by the Garda vetting unit.”
“Minister Shatter has confirmed that there is now 140 staff at the Garda Central Vetting Units in Thurles and Tipperary Town and that the 31 most recent staff recruited are currently in training and will start to come on board fully from mid-July onwards. This is crucial to help alleviate the waiting times currently being seen. “
“Crucially, progress is also being made on the e-vetting system and this is in development stage. It is hoped that this will be finalised and be live in the coming months, while the Minister also confirmed that he is examining the scope for further additional staff to be transferred to the centre.”
“To facilitate the extra staff, the Garda Commissioner has confirmed that all necessary equipment will be provided. While all these developments are welcome It is important that they are effective as local organisations need action on how long it is taking to get applications approved.”