It’s been confirmed that the Clare Garda Division will be amalgamated with Tipperary.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has unveiled the new Operating Model for the force, which will see the number of Garda divisions and regions reduced.
He says it will lead to efficiencies in the force, and more Gardaí on the beat, but it’s still not known whether Clare will retain its Chief Superintendent and its Divisional Headquarters in Ennis.
1,800 more Gardaí are to be deployed to the front-line by 2021, as part of radical changes to the way the force operates.
800 additional members are being recruited, while 1,000 existing Gardaí will be reassigned to frontline duties.
The number of Garda divisions is being reduced from 28 to 19, while the number of regions will go from 6 to 4, in the biggest overhaul of the force in years.
Here, it means the Clare and Tipperary Garda divisions will be merged next year.
From Monday, Clare will also form part of the Southern region, which also includes Tipp, Limerick, most of Cork and Kerry.
Commissioner Drew Harris is rejecting claims that the reforms could leave rural areas without enough Gardaí.
The new Divisions will have 6- to 800 officers, and also greater control over how policing is delivered.
But as part of the changes, it looks likely that there will be a reduction in the number of senior officers, with one Chief Superintendent and four Superintendents planned for each Division.
Currently, between Clare and Tipperary, there are two Chief Superintends and a combined total of seven Superintendents.
Criminologist at the School of Law at the University of Limerick, Johnny Connolly says there will be a greater delegation of power and autonomy:
The Policing Authority says believes the new structure of An Garda Siochana represents a clear future direction for the organisation.
It says reducing the number of regions and divisions will deliver a more visible and responsive policing service.
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan is also welcoming the announcement, but the Association of Garda Superintendents is among those expressing concerns.