Practice made worse by early retirement scheme
THE hiring of retired public servants has been ongoing for years -- but it has been intensified by the early retirement scheme.
There are no records of the positions being advertised -- instead the standard practice appears to be that retired staff are contacted by their former employers and offered the work.
Mr Howlin's department did not respond directly last night to questions about whether retired public servants were being rehired without going through a formal job application process.
The biggest source of concern is in the HSE, which has a track record of bringing back former nurses and administrators even when there are young graduates seeking work.
Fine Gael MEP Jim Higgins said yesterday he had come across a case of a 72-year-old nurse being rehired for work in Mayo General Hospital and an administrator aged over 70 in the HSE's national recruitment headquarters in Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim.
"I think it's totally indefensible that retired nurses and administrators are being rehired at a time when highly qualified nurses and administrators are stacking shelves in supermarkets or emigrating to Australia," he said.
The HSE has so far been unable to say how many staff were rehired last year.
The Government's position is that the rehirings are justified because the former public servants involved have specialist skills and experience.
This is obviously the case in relation to teachers involved with Leaving Cert classes -- another teacher could do the job but it would be highly disruptive to students facing exams within months.
The Department of Foreign Affairs brought back its assistant secretary Frank Cogan on a year-long contract at a cost of €70,835 to work on Ireland's chairmanship of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.