Charlie Flanagan announces radical overhaul of Justice Department

A radical overhaul of the Department of Justice has been announced.

The first Report of the Effectiveness and Renewal Group for the Department has been published recommending the creation of two divisions in the Department - Home Affairs and Justice and Equality.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has also confirmed the appointment of a new Secretary General.

Aidan O’Driscoll has been appointed Secretary General with effect from September.

He is a career civil servant who has served as Secretary General of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine since 2015.

An additional Deputy Secretary-General will be appointed, joining Deputy Secretary-General Oonagh McPhillips in heading up the two new divisions in the Department

'Home Affairs', will be responsible for crime, policing and immigration, while 'Justice and Equality' will focus on civil law reform, courts, equality and integration.

Speaking at the announcement, Mr Flanagan said:

"The Department of Justice and Equality is a central pillar of Government and every day it carries out vital work in the public interest. It has faced many difficult challenges in recent times and it is clear from the report of the Effectiveness and Renewal Group that its traditional structure is not equipping it to effectively meet the vast range of demands it faces today.

"I want to thank the Effectiveness and Renewal Group for an excellent report. The blueprint they have set out for the Department will help transform its structures and enable its very capable officials to undertake their important work in a better way. The continued engagement of the Group as we go forward is important.

"I look forward to working closely with Aidan O’Driscoll who I believe has the right blend of experience and qualifications to lead the change process in the Department at this crucial time.

"The Secretary-General plays a vital leadership role and all of Aidan’s skills and experience will be required to ensure the successful internal restructuring of the Department and an effective response to the report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland, due in September.

"Complementing that process, the Effectiveness and Renewal Group proposes a model to enable the Department to manage its relationship with the Gardaí in a far more structured and impartial manner."

- Digital Desk

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