A new policing system, which could see the Clare Garda Division amalgamated with Tipperary, has been described as the most significant restructuring of the force since its foundation.
If the proposed new model is finalised, it’s expected that the number of Garda Divisions and Regions will be reduced, as well as the number of Chief Superintendents.
This has led to concern in Clare.
Deputy Chair of Clare’s Joint Policing Committee Alan O’Callaghan is reacting to news that the Clare Garda Division could be amalgamated with Tipperary, if this new plan gets the go ahead.
The proposed new model follows a long process which got underway in 2015, and includes recommendations from the Garda Inspectorate and the Commission for the Future of Policing.
Under the plan, the number of Garda Regions will be reduced from 6 to 4, while Garda Divisions would be cut from 28 to 19, with an expected reduction in Chief Superintendents also.
This would see Clare and Tipperary becoming part of the greater Southern Region along with Limerick, Kerry, Cork West and North; and Cork City.
The Inagh-based CEO of Muintir na Tíre has welcomed the proposal, but Niall Garvey is concerned about how the change in the leadership structure in the division might affect Clare.
Dr Johnny Connelly, a legal expert at the University of Limerick, is a member of the Commission for the Future of Policing in Ireland.
He says the proposed plan is a fundamental and most significant restructuring of the force since it was established almost a hundred years ago.
He’s reassuring that if the plan is properly implemented, it will lead to increased resources on the ground.