Deputy Martin Kenny
Martin Kenny, Sinn Féin TD for Sligo-Leitrim highlighted problems in the garda vetting system with the Taoiseach in the Dáil this week.
Deputy Kenny pointed to the long delays in getting vetting which is necessary for the protection of children and vulnerable people in our society. He said that the reason for the delay was that duplication of the process is built into the system, with people needing vetting, for example, to teach music at a primary school, then need to be vetted again to teach music at a secondary school and then a third time in order to train a GAA team.
Deputy Kenny said: “This continuous duplication of the process is a complete mess. The people in the bureau say there is not a complete system or database and that is what is needed. Will the Taoiseach commit to getting this situation resolved? It is very frustrating for people, particularly those who are trying to get employment in the sector.”
In response, the Taoiseach said: “The Deputy will agree that vetting of those who work with young people is incredibly important, particularly in view of what we went through here for 50 or 60 years and all of that. I could never really understand why a passport system is not available for those who, as the Deputy says, train children in one club and coach in another.
“If a person is properly vetted and deemed appropriate to work with children in school X, the same should apply in school Y, whether it is for music, sport or whatever. That is being worked on and I hope we can arrive at an agreement as to how it can happen. We do not want a situation, however, in which somebody could fall through a crack in the system. It has got to stand up and be effective.”
Deputy Kenny said he was relieved to hear the Taoiseach say that a remedy is being worked on and that it could not come soon enough, especially for those who need vetting to seek employment.