THE average age of State employees is increasing consistently - prompting warnings of a lack of diversity throughout the civil service.
New figures show that the average age of civil servants now stands at 47.9 years, compared to 43.2 years in 2007.
The data, which was released by Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin, shows a steady increase in the age profile since the introduction of the recruitment embargo.
The information has sparked a warning from the Dail's youngest female TD that there is now a clear lack of "diversity" within the civil service.
Meath East deputy Helen McEntee said the figures illustrate the need to make more career opportunities available in the civil service for young people.
She added that the average age of civil servants will reach 50 by 2020 if these trends continue.
"Any successful organisation needs diversity, be that of gender or age. We need people of all ages in the Civil Service but unfortunately the Irish Civil Service does not have that at the moment," Ms McEntee told the Herald last night.
"Minister Howlin announced that the moratorium on recruitment in the Public Service was lifted in last year's budget.
"Unfortunately, too much of the focus in the public sector since then has been on restoring pay and conditions for existing public servants. While that is important, it is also important that younger people are given a chance to apply.
"The likes of Google and LinkedIn are basing themselves in Ireland to take advantage of the highly skilled young workforce that we have. Yet these figures show how few of these young professionals are being given a chance to work for the Irish State," she added.
Mr Howlin acknowledged that the recruitment ban has contributed to the figures. But he said that opportunities are now being made available to young people.
"The Public Appointments Service has already held a number of open graduate recruitment campaigns for the Civil Service this year...and more are scheduled in the coming year," he said.