Written Answers. - Employment Equality.

Paul McGrath

Question:

250 Mr. P. McGrath asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism his views on whether his Department has the lowest number of disabled persons working within it and that his Department has failed to achieve the 3% target for the employment of disabled persons in view of the fact that the Special Olympics which are to be held here this year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3823/03]

I am pleased to say that at 31 December 2002 the percentage of staff with a disability working within my Department was slightly over the target at 3.18%. I am not in a position to comment on this percentage vis-à-vis other Departments.

I can assure the Deputy that as far as possible every effort will continue to be made to maintain and increase the number of disabled people working in my Department against the background that the Department does not recruit staff directly.