505. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice the number of vacancies by job title in the Office of the State Pathologist; the estimated full year cost of filling each of the vacant posts in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28184/21]


Minister of State at the Department of Justice (Deputy Hildegarde Naughton): I can inform to the Deputy that, following the recruitment campaigns for posts of Chief State Pathologist and State Pathologists in late 2020, the post of Chief State Pathologist was successfully filled and two of the State Pathology posts have also been filled. There is currently one vacancy outstanding.
In light of the difficulties experienced in recruiting in this specialised field, a recruitment campaign is in planning for a position of ‘Deputy State Pathologist’, to attract part qualified candidates with completed specialist training in histopathology who would be expected to complete their forensic training in a defined period. The salary provided would reflect this. Upon successful completion of their forensic training, that candidate would then be appointed as a State Pathologist. The estimated full year cost, upon appointment as a State Pathologist, is €163,460. Question No. 506 answered with Question No. 497.