MINISTER FOR JUSTICE Alan Shatter has approved the promotion of 18 senior gardaí, including the appointment of another Assistant Commissioner.
Thomas Quilter, the former head of the National Drugs Unit, has been elevated to an Assistant Commissioner position for the southern region.
In the shake-up, recently-promoted Assistant Commissioner Dónall O Cualáin will transfer back to the west and Anthony Nolan will take charge of the southeastern region.
Nolan will also assume responsibility for organisation development and strategic planning. In conjunction with his responsibilities for the Eastern Region, Assistant Commissioner Gerard Phillips will take over the National Traffic Bureau.
The four new Chief Superintendents are:
- John Scanlan for the Laois/Offaly division
- John McMahon as the head of the National Drugs Unit
- Aidan Glacken for the Meath division
- John Gilligan at Liaison and Protection
In the reshuffle, three Chief Superintendents have been transferred, including one to the Garda Professional Standards Unit.
The 13 new Superintendents are:
- Noreen McBrien at Athlone
- Patrick McMenamin at Mullingar
- Elizabeth Devine in the Professional Standards Unit
- Nicholas McGrath in the Tipperary Town District
- Patrick Doherty at Claremorris
- Thomas O’Connor in Roscommon
- John Furlong at Manorhamilton
- Daniel Keane at Roxboro
- Florence Murphy at Killarney
- Gerard Roche in Ballinasloe
- David Taylor at the Garda Press Office
- Denis Kettle in the Communications Centre
- Louise Synnott in Internal Affairs
A further eight Superintendents have been transferred, including one to the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation and another to Security & Intelligence.
As of the end of February this year, the size of Ireland’s police force was 13,511. The Garda Representative Association has called for the immediate and urgent recruitment of rank and file gardaí for the front line.
In a statement following the announcement of the top-level promotions, GRA president John Parker said policing is an investment, not an expense.
“If numbers aren’t available on the streets to prevent crime then we will pay a heavy price in the future,” he argued. “The force is being systematically reduced down to 13,000, yet just five years ago all political parties agreed the need for 16,000 officers to effectively police our community.”
An Garda Siochana needs recruitment to begin immediately to replenish and revitalise a force that has already been reduced beyond its elastic limit and to replace those further gardaí retiring over the next two years.Ireland is the only country in the EU with no police officers in training. This is clearly not sustainable.
New pathology office
As part of the Government’s €2.25 stimulus plan, Minister Shatter received €190 million to divide between Garda and courts projects, as well as a new laboratory for the State Pathologist.
Three new Garda Divisional Headquarters have been approved for Dublin South Central, Galway and Waterford. Shatter said the developments will “significantly enhance the capacity of the Force to carry out its functions more effectively” as current accommodation does not meet modern requirements.
The facility for the Office of the State Pathologist and the Dublin Coroner will allow a project known as the “medico-legal centre”, which had been postponed due to lack of funding, to be completed. It will incorporate state-of-the-art post-mortem rooms, laboratories and modern mortuary facilities. The Justice Department said it will play a vital role in death investigation process and provide enhanced facilities for staff, professionals and members of the public.
It is expected that the projects will commence in 2013 and construction will continue during 2014 and 2015.