659. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Justice if she or her Department employ persons or firms to deal with public relations; if so, the number of persons employed by her Department to deal with public relations; the names of any firms involved; and the amount spent on public relations by her Department. [24455/21]


Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): From January 2019 to September 2020, public relations agency Drury Porter Novelli was engaged by my Department to provide public relations and communications support to the Balance for Better Business review group. This independent business-led review group was established by the Government to improve gender balance in senior business leadership in Ireland, and supported by the Department of Justice and Equality and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.
Services provided by Drury Porter Novelli included advice and assistance in regard to the overall communications strategy, ongoing communications support, and managing a social media presence for the Balance for Better Business initiative.
They also supported small scale public relations opportunities organised under the auspices of or in association with the initiative. The cost of these services to my Department is outlined in tabular form below:

PR Agency 2019 2020
Drury Porter Novelli €41,922.33 €69,486.84

With the transfer of the equality function to the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth in October 2020, the contract with Drury Porter Novelli also moved across to Minister O'Gorman's Department.
Currently, there are no contracts in place with any external public relations firms and my Department's press office supports me in the delivery of my functions.