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Acting Commissioner Noirín O'Sullivan Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland
acting up

These are the temporary, Tetris-like moves being made so the Gardaí can fill 28 senior roles...

The force needs to hire 28 superintendents and chief superintendents. Here’s how the Government’s planning to make it happen.

THERE’S A FEW gaps in An Garda Síochána’s command structure at the moment.

In normal practice, there’d be a Garda Commissioner in overall charge of the force, and two Deputy Commissioners — one in charge of ‘Operations’ (day-to-day management) and the other heading up ‘Strategy & Change Management’ (longer-term stuff).

Before Martin Callinan’s resignation earlier this year, there was just one deputy, however — Noirín O’Sullivan.

And since she’s now Acting Commissioner, in effect there’s no-one formally occupying the two next senior roles.

That fact’s been hampering plans to hire 28 lower ranked officers — as current rules dictate that in the recruitment process for superintendents and chief superintendents, an interview panel must include at least one Deputy Commissioner.

Still with us?

Well, in a development yesterday, the Cabinet has agreed to a temporary amendment — allowing assistant commissioners to effectively ‘act up’ as deputy commissioners for the purposes of recruitment, solving the problem for the moment.

There are currently four chief superintendent vacancies in the force, and 24 for superintendents.

There’s also, obviously, a vacancy for at least one Deputy Commissioner; the Government also signed off on recruitment plans for that role yesterday.

The new hire will be looking after the ’Strategy & Change Management’ end of things, as O’Sullivan is still, technically, ‘Operations’ chief.

A Justice Department spokesperson said the Interim Commissioner would be making arrangements for the hiring of the 28 superintendents and chief superintendents “as soon as possible”.

Regarding the vacant deputy role, she added “arrangements for the filling of the post are in preparation and will be finalised shortly”.

Two Assistant Commissioners are currently fulfilling the functions of the Deputy Commissioners in addition to their own day-jobs as the hiring limbo situation continues.

Read: These are the judges designate of the Court of Appeal (and three new ones for the High Court)

Read: This top civil servant wants to talk about making it easier to sack public sector workers 

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