THREE Garda superintendents and one chief superintendent will retire in Cork this year.
One of the superintendents has already retired in recent weeks. Pat Lehane retired after 40 years in the force, and was the head of roads policing for the southern region when he retired three weeks ago.
Garda sources said he will not be replaced in that role.
A decision is expected within days on when a new superdivision, combining Cork North and Cork West, will come into operation.
At that point, there will be a reduction in the number of superintendents, as outlined when details of the new Garda operating model were released last September.
The new division will go from seven superintendents to four and from two chiefs to one.
Two of the four will be in charge of community engagement, one will oversee crime, and the fourth will oversee performance assurance.
Under the plan, the four superintendents will be located in different areas of the new division, which will staffed by 650 gardaí for a population of just under 300,000 people.
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.
Macroom is to be the new headquarters for the new division, resulting in a demotion in status for Fermoy and Bandon.
Anglesea Street will remain as the headquarters for Cork City, and for the region.
Many gardaí have concerns about the plan. Rank-and-file gardaí are concerned about how the new structures will impact rural policing.
Middle and senior management at local level are concerned about how policing can be managed over large areas with less management personnel. The futures of superintendents and chief superintendents who will no longer have the positions they held in the current structure is also an issue.