524. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Justice when she expects the position of chaplain to be appointed by the Irish Prison Service in Limerick and Portlaoise prisons. [47816/21]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice (Deputy Hildegarde Naughton): I wish to advise the Deputy that there is no vacancy for the position of Chaplain in either Limerick or Portlaoise Prison. Permanent Chaplains are assigned to both locations.
I am advised however, that the Chaplain appointed to Portlaoise Prison is currently on a long-term absence from duty and Chaplaincy Services for Portlaoise Prison are currently being provided by the Midlands Prison Chaplaincy team.
The Irish Prison Service continually monitors the staffing requirements and vacancies that arise as a result of multiple factors, including promotions and retirements. The Prison Service holds promotional competitions and recruits on an ongoing basis to fill vacancies at all levels of the Service as they arise.
The Irish Prison Service is currently recruiting for Chaplains on a nationwide basis and a panel will be formed from which vacancies, as they arise, will be filled across the Estate.