AN GARDA SÍOCHÁNA has commented on reports that two acting Deputy Commissioners were appointed by the Acting Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan.
Alarm had been expressed by Sinn Féin’s Padraig Mac Lochlainn, who called on the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald to clarify if she had knowledge of the appointments.
Mac Lochlainn said the appointments “fly in the face” of the Government’s commitment that no senior posts in the gardaí would be appointed by the Government or senior gardaí but by the new Garda Authority which is set to be established in the coming months.
However, a statement from the gardaí to TheJournal.ie said:
There have been no official appointments of new Deputy Commissioners as of yet.
In the absence of a Deputy Commissioner and to streamline the administration function of the office of the Deputy Commissioner Strategy & Change Management, the Commissioner has assigned one senior officer of Assistant Commissioner rank to the administrative functions of the office of Deputy Commissioner, Strategy & Change Management.
In the absence of a Deputy Commissioner and to streamline the administration and operation functions of the office of the Deputy Commissioner Operations, the Commissioner has also assigned a senior officer of Assistant Commissioner rank to the administrative and operations functions of the office of Deputy Commissioner, Operations.
Both of these portfolios are currently vacant and these senior officers will hold these additional responsibilities until such time as appointments to the Deputy positions are made by the appropriate authority.
Additionally the Commissioner has appointed a senior officer of Assistant Commissioner rank with responsibility for Internal Audit and Legal Affairs. This Assistant Commissioner will have specific responsibilities for Risk Governance.
Speaking about the matter, Mac Lochlainn said yesterday he found it ”quite alarming” given that the new Garda Authority, which will have responsibility for appointments of senior gardaí through the Public Appointments Service, is to be established in the coming months.
He called on Minister Fitzgerald to say whether she was consulted about them and if she was consulted she should clarify whether or not she approved of them.
“All senior positions in An Garda Síochána should be appointed through the Public Appointments Service with the Garda Authority making the final decisions to hire,” he said.
“It may well be the case that the two appointees are the best people for the job but it would be much better if they were appointed in the proper manner with transparent procedures,” he concluded.
- Additional reporting Aoife Barry