Government confirms several key Garda vacancies will be filled

Frances Fitzgerald says she is determined that there is no undue delay filling critical Garda vacancies

Government confirms several key Garda vacancies will be filled

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The Government has announced it will fill a number of key vacancies within An Garda Síochana.

One appointment has been approved to the position of Assistant Commissioner, three have been approved to Chief Superintendent and seven to Superintendent.

The force had been the subject of criticism after it emerged that 17 officers had been left on a waiting list to be promoted before the end of the year.

The applicants were warned they would have to re-apply for their jobs if they were not in place before the Policing Authority takes over.

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan has been seeking to have “critical vacancies” filled since last June.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said last week that the confusion over appointments was a symptom of “an apparent sense of dysfunctionality” in the justice system.

Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald says the Government is determined that there is no undue delay filling critical Garda vacancies.

She has also indicated she is determined to ensure that An Garda Síochána has a leadership team that can address "the serious challenges it faces".

In a statement after today's Cabinet meeting, Minister Fitzgerald said: “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.

“These appointments are within the agreed strength of the Employment Control Framework and the Policing Authority has been consulted on them.”

The statement adds that the Government is 'absolutely committed' to the Policing Authority taking over its role in the senior appointments process.

"The intention is to bring the Regulations to Government for approval in December and that the Authority will take over the appointment function by 1 January," Minister Fitzgerald explains. "Once this is done it will be a matter for the Authority to undertake its own selection competitions for appointments to these ranks.”