Policing Authority takes responsibility for senior Garda appointments

Minister says selection of candidates to senior Garda roles ‘an onerous responsibility’

Josaphine Feehily, chairperson of the Policing Authority. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

The Policing Authority will assume responsibility for the appointment of senior gardaí from tomorrow, taking over this function from the Government.

All appointments to the rank of assistant Garda commissioner, chief superintendent and superintendent will be managed by the authority.

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said with the assumption of this responsibility on January 1st, the authority had, within 12 months of its formation, assumed all of its intended functions.

The Policing Authority is an independent body which has been set up to provide oversight of the provision of policing in Ireland by the Garda Síochána.


Ms Fitzgerald said the selection and appointment of candidates to senior Garda roles was “an onerous responsibility and I want to wish the authority every success with this very important work”.

Also from tomorrow, inspectors and superintendents in both An Garda Síochána and the Police Service of Northern Ireland are eligible to apply for appointment to the assistant commissioner and chief superintendent ranks.

Before Christmas the Cabinet filled senior Garda vacancies shortly after Garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan warned “critical” roles within the force needed to be filled.

Ms O’Sullivan had said eight of the 17 senior Garda officers currently listed for promotion must be appointed immediately to fill “critical” roles.

As well as making the eight promotions requested by Ms O’Sullivan, Ms Fitzgerald said an additional three appointments were also approved by Cabinet.

The appointments included one to the position of assistant commissioner, three chief superintendents, and seven superintendents. They will be made at national, divisional and district level.

“The Government is determined that there is no undue delay filling critical Garda vacancies and is determined to ensure that An Garda Síochána has a leadership team that can address the serious challenges it faces every day in maintaining law and order,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

The Policing Authority was consulted on these appointments.