15 senior gardaí on panel to be chief superintendent

Selection board chair Billy Hawkes, former Data Protection Commissioner

The Policing Authority has drawn up a panel of 15 senior officers for promotion to the rank of chief superintendent after the biggest ever independent selection process for An Garda Síochána.

The authority will now appoint the officers as vacancies arise and once final checks are made for any investigations involving them.

Of the 79 officers who applied, two were PSNI officers. Eight (10%) were female, but women comprised 20% of the final panelists.

The 15 panelists were selected after a number of stages, including a first interview, which whittled the number down to 50, and then a second stage interview and presentation, which brought the number to 31.

The Irish Examiner understands that those on the panel are:

  • Detective Superintendent Tony Howard (Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau)
  • Det Supt Cliona Richardson (Security and Intelligence)
  • Supt Finbarr Murphy (Ballymun)
  • Supt Padraig Dunne (Kilkenny)
  • Supt Colette Quinn (Community Relations)
  • Det Supt Mick Daly (Protective Services Bureau)
  • Supt Pat Murray (Athlone)
  • Supt Peter Duff (Tallaght)
  • Supt John O’Reilly (Monaghan)
  • Det Supt Brian Sutton (Tallaght)
  • Det Supt Anne-Marie Cagney (Protective Services Bureau)
  • Det Supt Declan Daly (Protective Services Bureau)
  • Supt Tony Healy (Belmullet)
  • Supt Patrick McMenamin (Kevin Street)
  • Supt Dermot Mann (Lucan)

The process was conducted by a selection board including chair Billy Hawkes (former Data Protection Commissioner), Josephine Feehily (chair of the Policing Authority) and John Twomey (Deputy Commissioner Policing and Security), as well as a retired PSNI officer and a senior civil servant.

The authority, which assumed appointments in January, confirmed a panel of 15 people had been established, but would not confirm the names until they were appointed.

The authority said the panel was drawn up in accordance with the “order of merit” set by the board.

While the first five names on the list above are understood to be in order, the exact order after that is not clear.

The authority said it hoped to make some appointments “in the coming weeks”, once the clearance process is completed.

Garda sources said candidates handed in a sealed envelope, including a consent form allowing the board to check with HR and Gsoc for any disciplinary or other investigations and disclosing if they had any convictions.

The authority said it will appoint once they are satisfied the candidate is “fully competent and is available to undertake and is capable of undertaking” the duties of the position.

It is thought there are currently six vacancies at chief superintendent rank, with possibly a further three by the end of the year.

The panel only lasts for a year, so if less than 15 vacancies arise, the remaining people will not be promoted and would have to apply again for a future panel.

Three senior officers who had been on a previous panel for promotion by the end of 2016, under the old Cabinet appointment system, did make the final 31 applicants but did not make the panel.

Sources said this was “very disappointing” for the officers concerned.


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