Policing Authority to take responsibility for filling senior garda posts

The Tánaiste says she has not been informed of any legal action by senior gardaí over government's failure to fill the vacancies

Policing Authority to take responsibility for filling senior garda posts

Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald at Iveagh House in Dublin | Image: Rollingnews.ie

The Tánaiste has said the new Policing Authority will have the power to fill senior garda positions by the end of the year.

Senior garda officers are reportedly considering legal action over the government’s failure to fill high-ranking garda and state security positions.

They say there are currently 17 vacant senior garda posts at assistant commissioner, chief superintendent and superintendent ranks.

Garda members have been informed they will be promoted to the vacancies - however the government has yet to officially appoint them.

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

The positions reportedly include management posts in units investigating serious and subversive crime as well as traffic corps and regional policing units.

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald said 38 gardaí were promoted during the summer with future appointments now a matter for the Policing Authority:

Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin said the continuing confusion over appointments is a symptom of “an apparent sense of dysfunctionality” in the justice system.

The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny said he is sure the Policing Authority is making arrangements to officially fill the appointments early next year:

Minister Fitzgerald said she had not been informed of any potential legal action by gardaí and said the department has made it “very clear” that the Policing Authority will take on responsibility for the vacancies over the next two months.

“For many years people have said that the promotion system within An Garda Síochána should be done outside of government and I agree with that, I think it is the right thing to do,” she said.

The Association of Garda Superintendents (AGS) has already discussed the vacant positions with the minister, while the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) will meet her next week.