Garda reshuffle sees new head of policing in south

AN ASSISTANT Garda commissioner is to be appointed to head policing in the southern region as part of a reshuffle of senior garda personnel.

Assistant Commissioner Kevin Ludlow is moving from the southern region to take control of the south-eastern region which encompasses Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford and Tipperary.

A native of Co Meath, he arrived in Cork in March 2005 as a chief superintendent in charge of the city division.

He had previously been in charge of the Garda Training College at Templemore for a number of years.

He served as chief superintendent in Cork for more than three years until he was promoted to assistant commissioner rank in October 2008.

He is to be replaced in the southern region by Assistant Commissioner Willie Keane, who has previously served as a chief superintendent in both Limerick and Kerry.

In the past, Willie Keane headed up investigations into some of Limerick’s most serious criminal cases from gangland murders to intelligence-led operations against organised crime.

When he was promoted to assistant commissioner he took charge of the western region and was based in Galway.

His transfer to head the southern region will again give him control of crime-fighting in Limerick, Cork, and Kerry.

Meanwhile, Cork-born John O’Mahony, who was chief superintendent in charge of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), has been promoted to the rank of assistant commissioner and will replace Willie Keane in the western region.

A native of Milford, he took over the running of CAB in October 2006, following the retirement of Chief Supt Felix McKenna.

The father-of-three joined the gardaí in 1977 and worked on a number of very high-profile cases.

Among them was the Malcom Macarthur case in 1982.

Macarthur murdered 29-year-old nurse Bridie Gargan, who worked at St James’ Hospital, Dublin, as she was sunbathing in the Phoenix Park.

He was eventually tracked down to a house in Dalkey, which happened to be owned by the then Attorney General, Patrick Connolly.

Charles Haughey was later to famously describe these events as “grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented”, or GUBU as it came to be coined by media.

Assistant Commissioner O’Mahony also investigated the December 1998 brutal rape and murder of schoolgirl Siobhan Hynes, whose body was found on a beach at Carraroe, Connemara.

Farm labourer John McDonagh, 27, was later convicted of the crimes.

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