PLANS to merge two Cork garda divisions into one of the largest divisions in the country are back on track, after being suspended due to Covid-19.
The first steps of the plan were to be set in motion last April but were put on hold.
Now, plans are underway to bring all administrative functions including finance and human resources for Cork North and Cork West under the same division.
The division will cover from Youghal to Beara, while Cork city will be a separate division.
Sources said that a decision is due shortly on where to locate the administrative functions.
One said: "It will be rolled out in different stages."
At present, there are three divisions, each headed up by one chief superintendent. As a result of the remodelling of the divisional model, there will be just two posts out of the three retained - one to oversee Cork county, and one to head up Cork city.
No decision has yet been made on who will head up the new division, and what options will be available to the third chief superintendent.
Under the plan, there will also be a reduction of the number of superintendents from seven to four.
The new headquarters will be in Macroom.
However, the location will be Bandon in the immediate term as a new garda station is planned for Macroom.
It is being rolled out as part of a new garda management structure.
The new structure was piloted in Cork city, Galway, Mayo and Dublin.
The division will be policed by 650 gardaí and will have a population of just under 300,000.
It will also have 100 civilian staff providing administrative support to the policing service.
The division will cover almost 200km from Dursey Island in the west to Mitchelstown in the north east, and to Youghal in the east.
Under the new system, two of the four superintendents will be in charge of community engagement, one will oversee crime, and the fourth will head up performance assurance.
Anglesea Street will remain as the headquarters for Cork city, and for the southern region.