Cabinet promotes four gardaí to vacant senior jobs
Four new Assistant Garda Commissioners have been appointed by the Government - just weeks before responsibility for such promotions switches to the new independent Policing Authority.
Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan is understood to have told the Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald that it was "untenable" to wait any longer for the positions to be filled.
As a result, the Cabinet signed off on the appointments of Chief Superintendents Michael O'Sullivan, John O'Driscoll, Eugene Corcoran and Anne McMahon. They will fill existing vacancies in the Dublin Metropolitan Region, the Northern Region, Southern Region and Western Region.
It is understood that Mr O'Sullivan is scheduled to retire early next year.
The vacancies arose as a result of a combination of promotions and retirements over the last 14 months.
The successful candidates were selected following an interview process led by Dorothy Scally, chair of the Top Level Appointments Committee.
However, the decision by Cabinet ahead of the Policing Authority's powers being bulked up in July will raise some eyebrows.
Sources last night told the Irish Independent that if the appointments were delayed to allow the Policing Authority make the final judgement, then the process would have to be restarted and it would be the latter half of the year before the vacancies would be filled.
"The advice from the Garda Commissioner was that such a situation would be untenable," said a Government source.
Two other Assistant Commissioner jobs are expected to become vacant next year.
Mr O'Sullivan was chief superintendent in the Drugs and Organised Crime Division, Mr O'Driscoll was with the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Mr Corcoran worked at the CAB, and Ms McMahon was based in the Garda College.