Eighty jobs created in Government departments

Thu, Nov 15, 2012, 00:00

Fifty temporary jobs have been created at the Department of Foreign Affairs and a further 30 temporary clerical staff have been recruited in Brussels for Ireland’s six-month presidency of the European Union.

Staffing in Brussels has increased by 80 in total including the clerical staff, with the majority of the remaining 50 assigned from other Government departments from within their own staffing resources, according to Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs told the Dáil his department received a “temporary reprieve” from the recruitment embargo to allow planning for the presidency, which starts in January 2013. Most of the 50 staff assigned to the department are in place and have been assigned jobs. Mr Gilmore said they were directly involved in presidency related jobs in most cases although some had been assigned to stand in for experienced officials redeployed to presidency jobs.

Eight staff from other Government departments had been deployed to the department of Foreign Affairs and will return to their own positions in summer 2013.

Ten administrative and eight clerical staff were also recruited on fixed-term contracts and eight interns have also been recruited for the duration of the presidency.

The Tánaiste said a number of staff based in other EU member states had been temporarily seconded to Dublin and from the EU’s external action service “at no cost to the exchequer”. A retired official had been temporarily re-engaged until July 2013 as well.

The majority of presidency-related jobs abroad are assigned to Ireland’s permanent representation in Brussels, with a few officials assigned to other “missions” including the UN in New York and Geneva, as well as the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the International Atomic Energy Agency and “a number of smaller international organisations in Vienna”, Mr Gilmore said.

Fianna Fáil foreign affairs spokesman Brendan Smith welcomed the extra allocation of staff, describing the permanent representation in Brussels as a “critical nerve centre for the entire operation”.