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HomeFarming NewsDepartment hiring specialist laboratory attendants
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Department hiring specialist laboratory attendants

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is hiring specialist laboratory attendants across its Regional Veterinary Laboratory network in Cork, Sligo and Limerick central laboratory complex at Backweston Campus, Celbridge, Co. Kildare and regional locations.

A laboratory attendant’s (Specialist DAFM) role includes providing general support services within the laboratories across a wide range of functions.

Essential requirements:

  • Good command of written and spoken English and basic numeracy IT skills appropriate to the role – familiarity with standard IT processes like the use of word processing, email and spreadsheets and willingness to learn further skills;
  • Ability to cope with pressure, change and flexible work practices;
  • Good interpersonal skills for a customer-facing role which includes dealing with a variety of civil service grades as well as animal keepers;
  • An aptitude for manual dexterity, clean work, maintaining an organized & tidy workplace;
  • A clean full Irish driving licence.

Desirable requirements:

  • At least one year’s experience in a relevant workplace, e.g., butchering, abattoir, or food processing operation;
  • Experience of working in a team;
  • Experience in dealing with customers and understanding of Irish farm systems, terminology and seasonal patterns;
  • Advanced/specialist driving skills e.g., trailer licence, forklift/teleporter licence.
Some responsibilities include:
  • Maintaining a good standard of post-mortem room cleanliness and tidiness; maintaining cleaning & sharpening knives, instruments, and post-mortem equipment; restocking consumables;
  • Ensuring traceability and assisting colleagues with carrying out tasks such as sample log-in to LIMs or other recording systems, preliminary processing, labelling, distribution, and transport of samples, including formalin-fixed, within and external to the laboratory, sorting, logging, and delivering post, including posted samples as appropriate to the role;
  • Ensuring the maintenance of safe and bio-secure working areas and practices by cleaning and disinfection and managing carcass waste, general and clinical waste, and liquid effluent. This includes the operation of autoclave systems and/or fumigation systems to dispose of waste or to facilitate the transfer of materials in and out of containment, and maintenance of records of these systems where required;
  • Ensuring availability and use of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE);
  • Carrying out activities in compliance with regulations, including health and safety, transport of laboratory materials (ADR, IATA, HAZCHEM standards) where required;
  • General laboratory housekeeping, filing, managing logistics, and monitoring of equipment;
  • Assisting with on- or off-campus collection and handling of carcasses or samples (a driving allowance may be payable for these duties where required, as appropriate);
  • Assisting pathologists in conducting post-mortem examinations, receiving, storing, weighing, measuring, and preparing animal carcasses for post-mortem examination, including dissection, organ removal and sampling of carcasses under the supervision of a pathologist;
  • Meeting farmers and other animal owners and assisting with off-loading of animal carcases and handling of live animals;
  • General cleaning/tidying of laboratory buildings and surrounding yards.


The salary scale for this position, with effect from February 1st, 2022, is as follows:

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  • Pay Rate: €561.30, €609.67, €619.69, €646.10, €666.93, €683.35, €696.48, €711.38, €731.23, (LSI1) €753.48(LSI2)
How to apply

Download an application form and send it to the DAFM no later than 4 pm on September 5th, 2022.

Find out more information – including a more detailed list of responsibilities – via this link.

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