Sinn Féin’s education spokesperson, Seán Crowe TD, commenting on the publication last Friday of the National Vetting Bureau Bill, legislation which proposes to make garda vetting compulsory for anyone working with children or vulnerable adults, said the law would be useless if it were not resourced adequately.
Deputy Crowe said:
“The new legislation will make it a criminal offense for employers to fail to ensure garda vetting. The legislation, announced justice minister Alan Shatter, comes four years after an all-party committee recommended these procedures be put on a statutory basis.
“Figures from the Teaching Council of Ireland reveal that due to lack of resources at the Garda Vetting Unit, 42,000 teachers are waiting to be vetted. The massive backlog illustrates the inadequacy of vetting procedures. Minister Shatter must do more than make glib statements about enhancing the protection of children.
“If the government is to be taken seriously about introducing a change in the vetting legislation that greatly widens its scope, then there will have to be significant investment in resources to ensure it operates more efficiently.
“It is vital that anyone working with children or young people is properly vetted but this delay is having a significant impact on a range of schemes, highlights the extent of the problems and indicates flaws in the system.