EDITOR – GARDA vetting is now so extensive, stretching way beyond its original intent in screening potential paedophiles, it is stopping good people from getting jobs and dissuading them from applying in the first place.
The vetting process is a protracted affair and the police force seems to be at leisure as to the time it takes — which can be many months.
It appears that a person may be vetted again and again, depending on the number of jobs they apply for before they come close to an interview, or response of any kind.
One time should be enough. Thousands of jobs are waiting to be filled which are advertised on the government’s jobs website and other employment platforms marked with an all-too-familiar ‘Garda vetting required’ note, which many people are not applying for because the process takes so long.
About 140,000 vetting requests have been received so far with a projected figure of over half a million by the end of the year, all official Department of Justice figures and projections. Vetting requests are coming from all but a few areas of the economy in both private and public sectors.
The voluntary sector is now wall-to-wall garda-vetted, which may not involve children, or only a remote possibility that a candidate may ever come into contact with children, and many are finding it very difficult to keep their services going.
We are told that the government wants to get the country back to normal — garda vetting is ensuring that it takes as long as possible.
Interviews, when they do eventually happen, are bogged down with ong delays about vetting, with many rightly walking away given the enormous time it will take to get things going.
They may have found a job in the meantime and have to tell vetting employers that they are no longer interested in the position.
Gardaí are going blind with paperwork and bureaucracy, contacting myriad child protection and criminal agencies, while the person looking for the job is put into an indefinite waiting room collecting welfare.
In this digital age vetting should take minutes, not months, as it currently does. But what can we expect in Ireland – a country of inefficiencies and failings?
Our welfare bill is the size of a mountain and growing, yet our government wants to do nothing about an employment system which is now heavily dependent on protracted vetting. Those who worry about a police state taking over are right.
It seems the gardaí will be deciding when and who will get a job from now on, because vetting has been taken to an extreme, while promoting a culture of paranoia and distrust!
Mandatory sentences may reduce pressure
EDITOR – Judges are extremely busy people. Now we hear there is a plan to allow judges to set minimum sentences for murder cases. Would it not be more appropriate to revert to mandatory sentences for murder and manslaughter, thereby easing the pressure on judges?
Michael A Moriarty
Not all passports are delayed, you know!
EDITOR – Media reports recently have been critical about delays in the issuance of passports from the Passport Office, and many applicants have complained about missing out on holidays, etc.
There are many reasons why passports are delayed.
But the primary reason is people do not apply for a new passport on time, which effectively is their own fault, and not the fault of the Passport Office.
Many countries require people to have a minimum of six months on their passport before travel.
To give credit where credit is due, I recently applied for a new passport online.
I applied on a Tuesday afternoon and was surprised to have the new passport delivered by An Post the following Thursday morning.
This was just about forty hours after submitting the application – indeed this must be an Irish record.
And so a grateful ‘thank you’ to the Passport Office is due, I believe.
Michael J Barry,
Compass Hill, Kinsale. Co Cork
Sad to hear Tim has left the airwaves
EDITOR – As a longtime listener to C103 and its predecessor WKLR, I wish to express my annoyance at the axing of the Tim Coughlan programme on Sunday nights and with replacing it and other programmes with more ‘modern’ music. I know that I am not alone in this view, from listening to many of my friends.