The Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has failed to deal comprehensively with gaping holes in An Garda Síochána by only moving to fill less than half of the vacant senior garda posts, according to Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesperson Dara Calleary.
Deputy Calleary said: “I cannot understand why this has taken so long considering the Minister has known for months about gaping holes at senior level within the gardaí. The number of gardaí involved in the Anglo investigation alone as more than halved in the past year. Minister Shatter knew months ago that the two top gardaí leading this investigation would retire before Christmas and I have been urging him since early December to ensure these posts are filled as a matter of urgency. However it is my understanding that until today, the Minister didn’t even bring the matter before Cabinet.
“Minister Shatter’s failure to prepare for retirements in An Garda Síochána is just one symptom of the wider failure of this Government to make any contingency plans for the front-line posts left vacant across the public service due to the retirement scheme which expires this month.  In my view it is no coincidence that he eventually decided to act today, less than a week after the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan came before the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee and expressed serious concern about the increasing number of unfilled senior posts and said this needed to be addressed immediately.
“While I welcome that Minister Shatter has now finally decided to act to fill 33 top posts, this amounts to less than half of the senior garda posts currently vacant.  Even after these appointments are made, there will still be 3 vacant Assistant Commissioner posts, 11 vacant Chief Superintendent posts and 26 vacant Superintendant posts.  I am urging Minister Shatter and the Minister for Public Expenditure to move swiftly to allow the remaining key positions to be filled.”