Plans to overhaul Garda top brass unveiled

An Garda Siochana was tonight facing radical shake-up of its top brass.

An Garda Siochana was tonight facing radical shake-up of its top brass.

Two key reports on reform of the force have recommended new civilian posts be created at senior level.

Both the newly formed Garda Siochana Inspectorate and the Garda Siochana Advisory Group called for a Deputy Garda Commissioner position to be created.

Their job will be to deal with administration and resource management, finance and IT.

There should also be an Assistant Commissioner for professional standards, reporting directly to the Garda Commissioner, as well as senior executive staff responsible for legal, personnel and information management drawn from the general public.

Launching the report, Tánaiste and Justice Minister Michael McDowell said the Government fully backed the proposals.

“I have said on many occasions, and I say it again here now, that An Garda Síochana is one of the key organisations in the State, and one which has so many decent, dedicated and capable men and women,” the minister said.

“They are entitled to the fullest possible range of support. They deserve expert civilian support staff and an organisational structure which frees them to use their skill and experience on operational policing duties. These reports are a major step in that direction.”

Mr McDowell also said the reforms had the unwavering support of Commissioner Noel Conroy.

“He is leading and implementing more fundamental change than the organisation has seen over the course of its 84 years in existence,” Mr McDowell said.

The Tánaiste said the reforms open up the prospect of a hugely enhanced policing service for the people of the Republic and that he was confident the necessary resources would be made available to implement them.

Mr McDowell added that this was the beginning and not the end of reform of the force.

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