Today at choir I got a letter from the Parish Child Safeguarding Committee requesting that I fill out a Garda Vetting form. The letter opens with "The Archdiocese of Dublin requires all who are employed or who engage in volunteer ministry or work of service for the Christian community to undergo Garda Vetting". I have already been vetted by the Gardaí for my work at the College as there is a possibility that some of my first-year students may be under the age of 18. However, this does not count as Gardaí must vet you all over again when a new request is sent to them. Despite the fact that there are no children in the choir, everybody in the choir got one of these letters today, and I'm sure that there are may others on various Parish committees who got one too. If this is replicated in every Parish on Dublin, I'm certain that the Garda Vetting Unit down in Thurles is going to be very busy!
|Image link to Garda.ie.|
The form requires you to list every address from birth that you lived at - I felt a bit silly listing "Tomacork House, Tomacork, Carnew, Co Wicklow" from 1959-1960 where I lived for the first year of my life. But better be safe than sorry - I could have been a nappy-wearing pram-driving pervert preying on other children. I don't mean to make fun of vetting as it is a serious procedure, but this is a bit ridiculous?
So - have I anything in my past that could be shown up in this vetting procedure? I have never been arrested, charged, or prosecuted for any crime. I was summonsed once while I was a student for not having lights on my bicycle, but as I was not home at the time the Garda who was serving it tore it up on the spot. So I have never been in court. I do have two penalty points for speeding - that has my only brush with the law.
For further information on Garda Vetting, there is a very good FAQ section on the Garda website.