Friday 24 January 2020

Garda Commissioner 'disappointed' at pace of civilianisation of force

Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan Picture: PA
Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan Picture: PA
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

GARDA Commissioner Nóírín O'Sullivan has said she is "hugely disappointed" at the pace of the civilianisation of roles the force so that Garda members can be returned to the beat.

Ms O'Sullivan is this afternoon appearing before the Policing Authority.

One of its members, Bob Collins quizzed her on civilianisation and redeployment of Garda officers to frontline policing and pointed out that just 43 such roles had been identified up to the end of December last year.

He said that little action has been taken to fill roles that sanction has already been given for.

He asked her if she accepts the characterisation that the process lacks pace.

Ms O'Sullivan said she does accept that  adding she is "hugely disappointed that the workforce plan that was committed to hasn't produced much earlier".

She also said: "We must make more rapid progress in some areas".

Read More: Varadkar unhappy at speed of reforms in scandal-struck Garda

Mr Collins said that the government has set a target of recruiting 500 civilians to take on jobs in the force this year and raised questions over whether this is at risk.

Ms O'Sullivan said she wanted to reiterate her "absolute commitment" to the government decision and that she would welcome the recruitment of 500 civilians this year.

She insisted there is a "sense of urgency around it" and that roles have been identified that would be suitable for qualified civilians.

Read More: Ombudsman to investigate financial irregularities at Garda College

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