There are currently 149 vacancies at the Central Bank, with the majority of the vacant roles, 94, in the area of financial regulation - a sector which has proven to be challenging for the bank to recruit suitably qualified employees for in recent years.

The figures were provided by the Minister for Finance in response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fáil's Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath.

Michael Noonan said the Central Bank is "actively recruiting at present, with well over 100 roles advertised".

The regulator has around 1,600 employees, which is below the original year-end target of 1,695, while it hopes to increase its headcount to about 1,800 by the end of 2017.

Last week the Central Bank's Head of Financial Regulation Cyril Roux said the regulator had begun receiving applications from UK-based financial firms that are seeking to move to Ireland post-Brexit.

With increased activity expected in the financial sector here next year as a result of the UK leaving the European Union, the capacity of the Central Bank to accommodate firms seeking to move here has been called into question.

Mr McGrath said the data "raises a number of important questions about the ability of the Central Bank to regulate existing financial service providers in Ireland and to properly fulfill its consumer protection role".

He added that "the number of vacancies in key functional areas across the Central Bank calls into question the capacity of our regulatory system to accommodate financial service firms that may come to Ireland from the UK as a result of Brexit.

"There is clearly a major problem in the Central Bank around the issue of attracting and indeed retaining staff. The Government needs to face up this reality and come up with a plan to tackle this problem."