Revamp of senior garda ranks expected tomorrow

A revamp of senior garda ranks is expected tomorrow with Commissioner Drew Harris to announce appointments and a management reshuffle.

Revamp of senior garda ranks expected tomorrow

A revamp of senior garda ranks is expected tomorrow with Commissioner Drew Harris to announce appointments and a management reshuffle.

It comes amid ongoing uncertainty at senior levels with a new divisional structure expected to drastically cut the number of chief superintendents and a lack of detail and agreement around severance packages aimed at reducing positions.

There are three recent vacancies at chief superintendent level, and a fourth is due before the end of the month.

Two officers have recently been promoted to chief superintendent rank by the Policing Authority, but were awaiting their allocation by the commissioner.

In addition, at least two existing chiefs have been transferred. A number of reshuffles at superintendent level are also expected.

There were vacancies at chief superintendent level in the Dublin North Central Division, the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau and the Tipperary Division.

These followed the respective retirements of Sean Ward, Aiden Reid and Catherine Keogh.

A total of 12 officers were put on a chief superintendent promotion panel by the Policing Authority.

Five of them were previously allocated: Angela Willis (Protective Services Bureau); Paul Cleary (NRPB); Mick Gubbins (initially to Clare, now back to Special Crime Operations); Eileen Foster (Kerry) and Sean Colleran (Clare).

Two other officers have been promoted by the authority in recent weeks – Johanna O'Leary and Derek Smart.

The Irish Examiner understands that Chief Supt Smart has been allocated to Tipperary and Chief Supt O'Leary to Mullingar.

It is also understood that the Commissioner has transferred Chief Superintendent Patrick McMenamin from Wexford Division to Store Street (Dublin North Central) while Chief Supt Peter Duff has gone from Mullingar to DMR Traffic.

A fourth vacancy at chief superintendent level is expected by the end of the month, with the retirement of Gerry Russell from Special Tactics and Operations Command.

Last Wednesday, the Policing Authority approved the promotion of Denis Ferry to chief superintendent rank. The commissioner has yet to announce his allocation.

That leaves four superintendents on the promotion panel: Tony O'Donnell; Seamus Boland; Gerry Curley and Michael McElgunn.

Chief Supt John Quirke, Wicklow Division, is due to retire in October. That is expected to result in the promotion of Supt O'Donnell.

With the current panel expiring on November 13, and with the Policing Authority announcing a new competition for chief superintendent, this suggests the three remaining three officers on the panel will not be promoted and will have to apply again under the new competition.

The new competition will be advertised on 8 August with a deadline of 5 September and final interviews in November.

The authority has also completed its competition for superintendent rank with a list of 32 on the panel.

Assistant Commissioner Eastern Region Fintan Fanning is due to retire at the end of August. It is not clear if there will be a competition.

A competition is due to be commenced for the Deputy Commissioner Governance and Oversight.

Under the forthcoming divisional policing model the number of divisions may be cut from 28 to around 19 – with a similar drop in chief superintendents. The plan has not yet been published.

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