Fianna Fáil general election candidate for Sligo-Leitrim Shane Ellis has called for changes to the Garda vetting process which will see clearance sped up to ensure community groups and individuals are not left waiting weeks for clearance.

Ellis commented “At present there are considerable waiting times for those in GAA clubs, Tennis clubs, within the HSE locally or other community clubs who require Garda vetting. This is particularly frustrating for those who have cleared Garda vetting in one organisation but are awaiting clearance for another.

“This problem is causing a major headache and delays for those awaiting clearance. We must find a solution to allow communities to welcome in volunteers in a speedier fashion and stop a doubling up of applications and Garda resources.

“The Minister must look for alternatives. One such solution is a Garda vetting card, similar to a Garda age card, which could be issued once and presented by an individual joining a community group requiring vetting. This would provide for a centralised database which would allow the Garda to monitor who was on their system. A new process would not use up Garda resources in reviewing what are effectively duplicate applications.

“For those in Sligo-Leitrim, a lot of time is spent working on getting themselves Garda vetted for multiple applications. Joined up thinking is needed here for a solution to reduce the growing waiting times for those needed Garda clearance,” concluded Shane Ellis.