Halligan’s interview question


Sir, – John Halligan’s defence of his conduct was extraordinary. I am not an interviewer, he said (“Halligan regrets job interview question”, News, November 9th). Why then did Mr Halligan agree to be part of an interview board and interview the candidates when he himself admits it was not within his capabilities?

Is it fair to our public servants to expose them to interview by such people?

It has previously been stated on your letters page that politicians undergo no training for their role, and this episode is clear evidence that all TDs, and especially Ministers, should receive training for the tasks they are asked to perform. – Yours, etc,


Dalkey, Co Dublin.

Sir, – While we would like to believe that everyone conducting a job interview in the year 2017 would be aware that questions from the 1968 list of interview questions would be excluded, that is not always the case.

However, there is some good about the €7,500 awarded by the Workplace Relations Commission to the woman who was discriminated against by being asked questions about her children.

The complainant was not cross-examined in attempt to prove that in the past she had forced other interviewers to ask her questions about her children.

The State accepted responsibility.

The apology was sincere, and not issued after four years of High Court ligation.

No Garda officer used the Pulse system to background-check the witness.

The notes from the interview were not lost.

So all in all, not the worst outcome for a democratic country. – Yours, etc,


Lucan, Co Dublin.

A chara, – We are continually promised political accountability but yet again we, the taxpayers, through a Government department have been ordered to pay a €7,500 settlement for discrimination caused by an elected representative.

Why is the Minister of State who made this costly error not paying for his own mistake? It’s farcical that we have to! – Is mise,


Dartry, Dublin 6.

Sir, – Does any one wonder, or care, if John Halligan is married? – Yours, etc,


Lucan, Co Dublin.

Sir, – I feel there is a lack of honesty on this issue. Depending on the job, I feel a woman or a man with very young children could likely have a harder time balancing their commitments. That is not to say they cannot do it successfully, but I feel to be lambasted for asking is unnecessary. I do think Mr Halligan should have also asked the men being interviewed if they were married and had children. It’s not fashionable to say so but I feel it’s a fair question. – Yours, etc,


Rathmines, Dublin 6.

Sir, – I was once asked at a public service interview if I was a fisherman. That should have been worth the price of a few new premium rods! – Yours, etc,



Co Meath.

Sir, – Maybe we should have second thoughts on letting Mr Halligan go to North Korea. If he cannot help asking a job applicant about their personal relationship status, how is he going to handle Kim Jong-un? A wrong question there would cost a lot more than €7,500. – Yours, etc,



Co Westmeath.