Seanad debates

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Diplomatic Representation

2:30 pm

Photo of Malcolm ByrneMalcolm Byrne (Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister of State. I certainly would encourage anyone to serve in a public service capacity. I note that the reply from the Department of Foreign Affairs avoids the question I asked. It does, however, make a very clear point in stating that when the Minister is considering an appointment, he will look at applicants' "management experience, regional knowledge, country knowledge ... language skills, policy experience" and so on. However, he only looks at those factors among a very limited pool of individuals, namely, people from within his Department. The argument I am making is there is very rich talent in this country. We have people from a vast range of different backgrounds who may have been able to gather that experience in other fields. They should be able to compete openly to enter public service at ambassadorial level. It would serve any Minister very well for such people to have that opportunity. To ensure greater diversity within our public service and to ensure it is no longer a closed shop, competition should be open for positions for ambassadors representing our country and all of its citizens.


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