509. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to the concerns being expressed regarding the delays in dealing with Garda vetting relating to those wishing to be prison officers; the actions that can be taken in the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13264/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will understand, prior to making an appointment to the position of recruit prison officer, the Irish Prison Service is obliged to make such enquires as are deemed necessary to determine the suitability of candidates. Until all stages of the recruitment process have been fully completed, a final determination as to the success of any candidate cannot be made, nor can it be deemed or inferred that such a determination has been made.
Given the level of responsibility in prison officer positions, it is necessary for checks to be carried out by An Garda Síochána on persons considered for this employment. These checks can take time to complete for a variety of reasons; some of which may be outside of the control of the Garda Authorities, depending on the circumstances of the individual case. However, I am assured that every effort is made to expedite this process to the greatest extent possible.