Trim Fine Gael councillor, Noel French, has told Meath Live, he would be concerned to hear that staff who work in emergency accommodation premises used by Meath County Council are not Garda vetted.

Poll topper French was reacting to the revelations from Independent councillor Alan Lawes over alleged inappropriate sexual behaviour at one such house in May.

The Trim man said, ‘ I would certainly be of the opinion that staff working with vulnerable people should be Garda vetted and am surprised to hear they are not.

‘In virtually every volunteer position Garda vetting is a necessity so surely it is essential for anyone working in this capacity.

‘I totally understand Alan Lawes concerns and am glad the council is investigating it, in fact, it is their responsibility to do so, I appreciate that people may see it as the council investigating themselves and I accept that is the case, however, it is at least a starting point, in what appears to be a complete horror story.’

French also revealed he feels the council housing policy needs to be modernised and cited the way things are done in Dublin as an example of best practice.

He said, ‘ Councillors have on a number of occasions requested that Meath operates a date based system whereby if you are in the waiting list you move up the line according as houses are allocated but for some reason, the council here only does that in a kind of a way.

‘I appreciate some people have to be pushed to the head of the queue in an emergency situation but the system in Meath is not very clear at the moment, in Dublin for example you can go online and check exactly what your position is on the lists whereas here you can’t.’