Minister washes her hands of vacant Garda Inspector post in Bailieborough

Picture Conor McCabe PhotographyDeputy Smyth calls on Garda Commissioner to prioritise vacant post in Bailieborough
Fianna Fáíl TD for Cavan/Monaghan Niamh Smyth says she is disappointed by a statement from the Minister regarding the failure to fill the position of Inspector at Bailieborough Garda Station.
“This position has been vacant for weeks and Minister Frances Fitzgerald in her latest statement has completely washed her hands from the matter. I think it’s quite ironic that such a position can be left vacant in a station which was the focus of the O’Higgins Report.”
Deputy Smyth says, “The Gardaí are under resourced as it is. It is vital that these senior positions are never left vacant.”
The position was vacated months ago, when the Inspector is understood to have been moved to a neighbouring division. In her latest statement to Deputy Niamh Smyth, following a Parliamentary question tabled by the local Deputy, Minister Fitzgerald said, “she has no direct role in the matter” and that it is up to the Garda Commissioner to fill this position.
“Minister Fitzgerald has pointed out to me in her response that as of the 30th of April 2016 there were 314 members assigned to the Cavan/Monaghan Garda Division and that 62 members are working in the Bailieborough District. This doesn’t answer my question as to why a high ranking position like Inspector could be left vacant for so long.”
“I am calling on the Garda Commissioner to prioritise filling the position of Inspector at Bailieborough Garda Station.”

Parliamentary Question asked on this issue

QUESTION NO: 134

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald)
by Deputy Niamh Smyth
for WRITTEN on Tuesday, 14th June, 2016.
* To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality when she will fill the post of Inspector in Bailieborough Garda Síochána station in County Cavan following the relocation of a senior Inspector to another neighbouring Division (details supplied)..

– Niamh Smyth

given that this District was the focus of the O’Higgins Report and it is imperative that senior roles are filled as soon as possible
REPLY.
As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. I am assured by the Garda Commissioner that the allocation of Gardaí is continually monitored and reviewed taking into account all relevant factors including crime trends, demographics, and security assessments relating to the area in question so as to ensure optimal use is made of Garda human resources.

Appointments to the ranks inspector are a matter for the Commissioner under section 14 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005. I am further informed that a competition in accordance with the Garda Síochána (Promotion) Regulations 2006 Regulations for the selection of persons for appointment to the rank of inspector is to be concluded shortly and that the needs of all Garda Divisions will be considered when assigning the successful candidates.

The area mentioned by the Deputy is in the Cavan/Monaghan Division. I am informed by the Commissioner that, on the 30 April 2016, the latest date for which figures are readily available, there were 314 members assigned the Division, of which 62 members were assigned to the Bailieboro Garda District. The table overleaf sets out in detail the rank and location of these members.

The O’Higgins report identified a number of weaknesses in the conduct of Garda investigations in the Cavan Monaghan District of the Garda Síochána in the period 2007/8. I am advised by the Garda Commissioner that under new supervisory arrangements daily Performance Accountability and Learning Framework (PALF) meetings take place at which incidents which have occurred in the previous 24 hours are discussed by the District Superintendent with Gardaí and supervisors. Directions and instructions are provided on matters under investigation. In a further recent development (PULSE Release 6.8) a nominated supervisor is allocated to all matters under investigation. Required actions are marked on associated PULSE incidents under investigation and must be attended to by investigating Gardaí. All incidents are reviewed by managers to ensure all actions and investigations are progressed. The Commissioner has assured me that the new supervisory arrangements in place should ensure that, as far as possible, there is no recurrence of the types of incidents which feature in the O’Higgins report.

Click here for Garda figures for Cavan Monaghan as per my Parliamentary Question 134 on the above issue.