Tuesday 25 October 2016

Highest ranking civilian to quit Garda for CIE job

Published 21/10/2015 | 02:30

New Deputy Commissioner John Twomey. Photo: Frank McGrath
New Deputy Commissioner John Twomey. Photo: Frank McGrath

The highest-ranking civilian in the Garda organisation is leaving his post.

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Chief administrative officer Cyril Dunne, whose rank is equivalent to a deputy garda commissioner, is to quit the force before the end of the year after serving less than three years. He is taking up the position of chief operating officer with CIE.

The Irish Independent learned of his departure last night as the Government moved to fill the two existing vacancies at the top of the Garda.

The Cabinet approved the appointments of John Twomey and Dónall Ó Cualáin, who have been acting deputies for a year.

A competition to fill the two jobs was held earlier this year but the successful candidates could not be sanctioned because of a High Court challenge launched by another candidate. That challenge was dismissed by the court last week.

Mr Twomey, who is from the capital, has been an assistant commissioner in charge of the Dublin metropolitan region since February 2012 and was responsible for road traffic for the previous 18 months.

Mr Ó Cualáin, from Carna, Co Galway, was promoted to assistant commissioner in February 2012 and put in charge of the southern region, before being transferred to the western region five months later.

One of the deputy posts has been vacant since 2013, arising from the retirement of Nacie Rice. The second position has not been filled since the official appointment of Nóirín O'Sullivan as Garda Commissioner last November.


Mr Dunne's early departure is a fresh blow to hopes of introduce some continuity in the upper echelons of the force when it is undergoing its biggest overhaul since its foundation.

Last January, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald acknowledged that she viewed the strengthening of senior national management as critical to the delivery of garda reforms.

Mr Dunne has been reporting to the garda commissioner on his brief, which includes human resources, finance, corporate services and information and communications technology.

Before joining the force in 2013, he held a number of board-level positions in financial services and retail.

Last August, the interim report of the Fennelly commission into the circumstances surrounding the sudden "retirement" of Martin Callinan as garda commissioner in March 2014 disclosed a serious breakdown in communications involving Ms O'Sullivan and Mr Dunne.

The commission noted that information about the discovery of recorded phone calls at garda stations, which had been in the possession of both Ms O'Sullivan and Mr Dunne, had not been passed on to Mr Callinan for several months.

Fennelly found that Ms O'Sullivan and Mr Dunne were "of the view that responsibility for briefing the commissioner on the recordings issue, as it developed, lay with the other".

This meant that Mr Callinan was not aware of crucial facts in relation to the recordings until almost six months after some of his key advisers learnt of them and only a few days before his "retirement".

Irish Independent

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