Councillors clash on issue of Garda vetting
A notice of motion saw tempers between Cllr George Lawlor and Cllr Lisa McDonald flare at last week's meeting of Wexford Municipal Borough.
In his notice of motion Cllr Lawlor proposed that 'Wexford Borough District call on the relevant department to link Garda vetting to the PPS numbers of the applicant' in a bid to speed up the process. He said there are lengthy delays when it comes to garda vetting, particularly in respect of people who needed to be garda vetted for a number of different organisations.
'It's clogging up the system', he said, suggesting that perhaps a person's PPS or identity card could include an indication that the person had been successfully garda vetted. His motion was seconded by Cllr Davy Hynes.
However, Cllr McDonald said the motion was 'unworkable'.
'The problem lies in the garda vetting', she said. 'The motion is completely unworkable and wouldn't stand. The onus is on each individual employer to ensure a person is garda vetted. We can't allow people to be vetted and allow it last in memoriam.
'There does need to be a solution but the solution advanced here is not workable.'
Cllr Tony Dempsey who was chairing the meeting said she could vote against the motion if she wanted. Cllr McDonald said that the problem was an administrative issue in the gardai itself.
Cllr Ger Carthy took the side of Cllr Lawlor saying the delay in garda vetting was causing huge problems adding that in many cases the GAA couldn't get coaches into schools because they had to be vetted for each individual school. He suggested maybe giving people garda vetting for a 12 or 24 month period which would then be renewed if a person was successfully vetted again.
Cllr McDonald threw cold water on this too saying that a person could be convicted of a crime on any day of that period. The motion was ultimately carried, with Cllr McDonald voting against it.