Concerns among rank and file as first steps taken toward implementation of new super garda division in Cork 

Concerns among rank and file as first steps taken toward implementation of new super garda division in Cork 
Picture Dan Linehan

THE first steps of the implementation of a new super garda division from Youghal to Beara will get underway next month.

It will replace the current two divisions of Cork North and Cork West, and will reduce the number of superintendents in the county from seven to four.

The number of chief superintendents will be reduced from two to one and 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.

Garda management announced today that the new superdivision will be initiated next month.

It is being rolled out as part of a nationwide 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.

A garda spokesman said: "The Garda Operating Model is being introduced as part of A Policing Service for the Future, which is the implementation plan based on the report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland."

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 region.

The garda spokesman said: "An Garda Síochána has committed to ensuring Superintendents will be in locations throughout a Division and not all located in the Divisional Headquarters. Before changes are made at a Divisional level, change impact assessments will be conducted at a local level to ascertain what needs to be done to enable implementation."

He added: "An Assistant Principal, which is the grade equivalent of a Superintendent, will also be appointed in each Division to head up Business Services, which covers areas such as HR, Finance and Administration."

Gardai of all ranks have concerns about the new plan, with rank and file gardaí concerned about how the new structures will impact on policing rural areas. 

Middle and senior management at local level also have concerns about how policing can be managed over large areas with less management personnel and also have concerns on the futures of superintendents and chief superintendents who will no longer have the positions they held in the current structure.

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