25 to be moved to Garda vetting unit

Twenty-five civil servants are to be redeployed to the Garda Central Vetting Unit in an attempt to reduce the time people seeking to work with children and vulnerable adults have to wait for clearance.

Vetting processing times currently stand at about 10 weeks, having fallen to as little as three weeks last year before the contracts of temporary staff employed in the unit expired.

The redeployed staff, currently working in the Department of Agriculture, will be moved to the unit’s office in Tipperary town.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter yesterday said the unit was to be rebranded and given an expanded role under the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act.

The unit processed some 350,000 applications connected to 20,000 organisations last year.

Association of Garda Sergeants in Ireland president Willie Gleeson said the vetting unit had been under “severe” pressure for years.

The GAA’s child welfare manager Gearóid Ó Maoilmhichíl said a slight delay had been noted in the vetting of some applications and that he was hopeful an online vetting system would come into operation to reduce waiting times.