Belfast Telegraph

Commissioner urged to withdraw ad

The new Garda chief is facing demands to withdraw an "outrageous" advertisement for a qualified human rights assistant on the controversial JobBridge scheme.

The 40 hour a week role requires a college degree or diploma, a human rights qualification and pays 50 euro a week on top of dole payments.

Padraig MacLochlainn TD, Sinn Fein's justice spokesman, said it was "unreal" that the force would try to fill an important role "on the cheap".

"It is outrageous they are trying to employ somebody on the cheap for what is clearly a role which is of obvious importance at this stage," he said.

"This sends out a signal that they are not taking human rights and accountability seriously."

JobBridge is a Government-established internship scheme, which the coalition defends as helping people back to work.

Opposition parties and critics have called for it to be abolished and alleged it exploits the young unemployed and amounts to virtually free labour for companies and organisations.

Mr MacLochlainn said questions will remain about a new beginning to policing under the recently appointed Garda chief Noirin O'Sullivan unless the advert is withdrawn.

"The Garda Commissioner needs to sort this out straight away and withdraw the advertisement, and recruit somebody with the requisite experience and skills to do the job properly," he said.

The job advert says the intern will gain practical experience at the leading edge of policing and human rights.

High standards of quality control and mentoring will also be provided, it says.

The successful candidate is expected to work to deadlines, have a high level of personal responsibility and integrity and to observe confidentiality.

"An allowance of 50 euro per week will be paid in addition to your current social welfare payment," it adds.

Applicants for the nine-month contract are also expected to be college or university educated, have a human rights qualification, IT skills and be a team player.

Mr MacLochlainn said the advert sent out a signal that the Garda was not serious about the role at a time of numerous controversies and sweeping reforms around the force.

"They tell us these issues are important yet they are looking to get somebody on the cheap," he said.

"It is unreal.

"There has been 100 new recruits recently, so if they are looking for someone with the qualifications to do the job then just employ them, pay them a wage."

A Garda Press Office spokesman said: " We can confirm that the position of Human Rights Researcher is being advertised through the JobBridge Scheme. Normal conditions apply."

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