Nóirín O'Sullivan is to appoint some of her closest associates, some of whom are retired, to an internal unit aimed at preventing her from being sacked as Garda Commissioner.
The Irish Independent can today reveal an unprecedented level of unrest within the force over Ms O'Sullivan's appointments to an internal unit established to liaise with the Charleton Inquiry.
Mr Justice Charleton will establish whether there was a smear campaign within An Garda Síochána against whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe.
But this newspaper can reveal that several senior members of the force have contacted Garda Headquarters in recent days to request instructions and guidance because they fear they will be called as witnesses.
The issue has caused consternation in Garda Headquarters.
And in further revelations, Ms O'Sullivan - who is at the centre of the Charleton Inquiry - has appointed closest associates to the liaison team, including a senior officer who is the right-hand man of her husband, Det Supt Jim McGowan.