Commissioner in talks to fill vacant superintendent posts

GARDA Commissioner Fachtna Murphy yesterday told superintendents he was in discussions with the Department of Justice to ensure vacancies in their rank were filled as quickly as possible.

Addressing the Association of Garda Superintendents (AGS) annual conference, he said the Government moratorium on recruitment and promotion presented “difficulties” for him.

In his address, Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said he knew there was a “particular concern” among AGS members at the impact of vacancies and retirements.

Commissioner Murphy told delegates: “There is no doubt that the moratorium on recruitment and promotion presents difficulties and challenges for me as commissioner and indeed for all senior managers.

“I am currently in discussions with the Department of Justice to see what can be achieved as I would like to see positions filled which hold statutory responsibilities such as district officers and detective superintendents. I cannot, of course, rule out redeployment in certain situations.”

Mr Ahern said: “I appreciate that there are particular issues relating to the ranks of superintendent and chief superintendent, such as the discharge of certain statutory functions, and I am conscious that this will need to be taken into account.

“I will be discussing this with the commissioner, and my colleague, the Minister for Finance.”

Commissioner Murphy appeared to back the AGS over its concerns about investigating a large proportion of complaints submitted to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).

“I’m supportive of the view that, if at all possible, we need to ensure that the ombudsman commission investigates as much complaints as possible,” he said.

Mr Ahern said he was listening to all sides, including the GSOC, and said the “right balance” had to be struck.

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