Rift between Commissioner and Tánaiste
Major tensions have surfaced between Justice Minister and Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald and Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan over the filling of a series of key vacancies within the force.
Ms Fitzgerald has held up the promotions of a significant number of officers, including two assistant commissioners, after coming under pressure from the Policing Authority.
The newly established watchdog is understood to have voiced concern over the number of proposed promotions - meaning the jobs could remain unfilled until next year.
Sources say there is major anger within the force over the holding up of the promotions, and that the long-running vacancies weaken An Garda Síochána as a whole.
Some officers believe the decision not to send the list for Cabinet approval is "punishment" for Garda unions securing a special pay deal.
"This led to tensions between the Commissioner and Government and it is damaging to the force as a whole," said a source.
It now seems likely that the Policing Authority will be given a much greater say over the appointments process within the force.