§ Mr. McDonnell
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to include Irish as a category in his Department's ethnic monitoring of staff recruitment. 
§ Mr. Mudie
The overriding principle of Civil Service recruitment procedures is that they should be fair, and selection should be on merit at each stage.
Monitoring in this area is based on ethnic origin, and not nationality. The 10 minority ethnic origin categories monitored by DfEE are those used in the 1991 census, which did not include an Irish category. The use of these categories will be reviewed in the light of any suggested changes for the 2001 Population Census.