As you will be aware, the Probation and Welfare Service office which covers the Clare area was understaffed for some time due to the prolonged absence on sick leave of one of the staff. The office has a full complement of staff at present and is endeavouring to deal with the backlog of cases which have arisen along with new cases coming on stream. The Probation and Welfare Service has advised me that there has been a significant increase in the level of referrals from the courts in County Clare as well as in Limerick city and county.
Every effort is now being made to eliminate the backlog of cases as quickly as possible. I have been further advised by the Probation and Welfare Service that the backlog of cases is being tackled in order of the date that the report was first requested in Court.