The Government last week promoted 11 officers after Nóirín O’Sullivan again called for “critical vacancies” at management level to be filled immediately.
In her reshuffle, to take effect on December 13, Ms O’Sullivan promoted Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn to take charge of roads policing, and major events. He will also assume “temporary responsibility” for the Northern region.
It was thought Mr Finn, formerly chief superintendent for Cork City, would be given the Southern region.
The region, covering Cork, Kerry, and Limerick, has been without a full-time assistant commissioner since the retirement of Tony Quilter in February 2015. The responsibility has been split since and Chief Supt Anne-Marie McMahon currently covers both the southern and the western regions.
The current assistant commissioner for the Northern region, John O’Driscoll, has been covering national support services in Dublin.
The three newly promoted chief superintendents include Thomas Myers, who will move from Cork City to Tralee Garda Station, where he will take charge of the Kerry Division.
Chief Supt Walter O’Sullivan, who was the detective superintendent in charge of the Serious Crime Review Team, will now take over the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI). Chief Supt Gerard Roche, Galway, will move to Naas and take over the Kildare Division.
Three existing chief superintendents will transfer. This includes Thomas Maguire, who will move from the NBCI to take over the Special Detective Unit, where he was formerly a detective superintendent. The anti-terrorism section has been without a dedicated boss since September.
Chief Supt John McPolin will move from Kildare to assume charge of the Cork City division. Chief Supt Con Cadogan will move from the Kerry Division to Cork West.
Details on the seven promoted superintendents are John Galvin (from Ennis to Kilrush, Clare), William Duane (Togher to Limerick), Brian Mohan (Dundalk to Roscommon/Longford), Della Murray (within HRM), John Gordon (Coolock to Wexford), Colm Murphy (Finglas to Terenure, Dublin), and Edmund O’Neill (Henry St to Cork North).
In addition, four existing superintendents will transfer: Martin McGonnell (Kilrush to Blackrock, Dublin East), John Quilter (Midleton to Cork City), Angela Willis (Operational Support Unit to Serious Crime Review, NBCI), and Liam White (Enniscorthy to Operational Support Unit).
Despite the promotions, the commissioner has vacancies at senior level, including three at chief superintendent, rising to four with the imminent retirement of Det Chief Supt Peter Kirwan in security and intelligence.
Three assistant commissioners will retire in the next six months. There is one chief on the panel to be promoted to assistant commissioner, five superintendents on the list to be promoted to chief, and one inspector to be promoted to superintendent.
Those panels will expire before the end of the year when the Government transfers responsibility to the Policing Authority. Ms O’Sullivan told the authority last week there would be at least 14 senior positions vacant in the first half of 2017.