Sunday 15 December 2019

Joan Burton dismisses suggestions interns in gardai vetted people to work with children

Fionnan Sheahan

SOCIAL Welfare Minister Joan Burton has denied that interns in the Garda Vetting Unit were involved in vetting of people applying to work with children.

Ms Burton said the eight interns working in the unit under the Job Bridge scheme did not have access to sensitive or confidential material.

She said under the Official Secrets Act, the divulging of confidential information was an offence.

“Interns were not involved in vetting checks of applicants,” she said.

Sinn Fein TD Aengus O Snodaigh asked if it was appropriate to use interns to process vetting applications, and have access to confidential and sensitive material.

Ms Burton said 13 interns had been taken on by the Garda Siochana, with eight going to the Garda Vetting Unit.

She said she was advised by the Garda Siochana and the Department of Justice that “no Job Bridge interns were engaged at the Garda Central Vetting Unit to administer vetting checks”.

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