Garda go-ahead for 100 new sergeants
THE Government has sanctioned a raft of garda promotions, which will fill more than half of the existing vacancies at various ranks in the force.
Interim Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan has announced the appointment of 100 sergeants and 35 inspectors following recent promotion competitions.
A further 80-plus sergeants have also been placed on a list of successful candidates but their promotions will not become operational until later in the year.
An additional batch of eight inspectors has also been listed for the future.
The competitions were held to help fill the 168 and 37 vacancies at sergeant and inspector ranks, respectively. Vacancies exist for 19 superintendents and three chief superintendents but government approval for competitions at those ranks has not yet been granted.
The two deputy commissioner posts are both unfilled and it is not clear whether appointments will be made at that rank before the position of commission has been determined by open competition.
If not, the two jobs are expected to remain open until at least the end of the year, and possibly early 2015.
The number of assistant commissioners has been dropped in the past couple of years from 12 to nine and the approved maximum strength will be reduced further to eight when the human resources position is civilianised later in the year.
At present the actual strength currently stands at eight and the shortfall has led to three assistants being forced to "double up" in their duties to cover the gaps in the command chain.
The overall strength of the force has dropped to around 12,950, below what former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan had warned the government was a "bottom line" figure of 13,000.