Mark Stedman/

Government approves promotions for 11 senior gardaí following controversy

The Minister for Justice had said last week she would examine vacancies in the force.

Updated: 20:40

THE GOVERNMENT HAS approved a number of promotions to fill vacancies at Assistant Commissioner, Chief Superintendent and Superintendent in An Garda Síochána.

In total, 11 appointments have been approved by Cabinet. Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said the government is determined that there is no undue delay in filling critical garda vacancies.

She said it was important to ensure that An Garda Síochána has a leadership team that “can address the serious challenges it faces every day in maintaining law and order”. Fitzgerald said there had been a number of mainly voluntary retirements from the senior ranks of the force since September.

“So having consulted with the Garda Commissioner, I proposed to government that the eight existing vacancies in the senior ranks be filled immediately and the Government has decided to make those appointments as well as a further three consequential appointments,” she said.

Independent Alliance Minister Sean Canney said today’s appointments ‘show common sense has prevailed’.

Canney said:”The filling of these vacancies is a pragmatic move to ensure gardaí are in the best position to manage the force.”

The Minister said he had been seeking these appointments “for some time”.

Frances Fitzgerald came under pressure last week after it was reported some senior garda figures were set to take legal action against the government over the failure to fill vacancies in key positions.

A list of names had been drawn up for promotion approval in the middle of last year, but only some of these officers had been promoted. There was reluctance in government to make any further appointments before the Policing Authority assumes this responsibility.

Today Fitzgerald said one appointment has been approved to the position of Assistant Commissioner, three have been approved to Chief Superintendent and seven to Superintendent.

The Tánaiste said the Policing Authority, which is due to take over responsibility for senior appointments at the start of 2017, had been consulted.

With reporting by Garreth MacNamee

Read: Tánaiste to discuss ‘critical’ garda vacancies with Garda Commissioner>

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