The Deputy will be aware that in accordance with Government Decision of 3 February and 24 March 2009 on the implementation of savings measures on public service numbers, more generally referred to as the moratorium on public sector recruitment, filling of vacancies in the Irish Prison Service is subject to the approval of the Minister for Finance.
I am pleased to advise the Deputy that sanction has been granted by the Minister for Finance to recruit an additional 80 recruit prison officers, from the existing recruitment panel, to meet the immediate needs of the prison service. It is envisaged that the new recruits will begin training this month. I can further advise the Deputy that to date 480 candidates have been called to interview from the 2008 recruitment panel. Due to the moratorium, I am not in a position to advise if any further candidates will be called from this panel.