herald

Friday 25 April 2014

Garda chief postpones retirement to oversee station cuts

JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter has asked Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to stay in charge for another two years to oversee a raft of cuts and reforms.

Comm Callinan was due to retire next August -- but will now continue to oversee a number of controversial changes including station shutdowns and roster changes.

A ban on gardai serving beyond the age of 60 has had to be adapted to allow the Commissioner remain in the force, and the move was rubber-stamped by the Cabinet.

Modernised

"At a time of such significant organisational reform, I believe that it is desirable that there should be continuity in Garda leadership, and I am delighted that Martin has agreed to this extension," said Minister Shatter.

He noted that a new garda roster was now being piloted, the station networks were being reformed and modernised, and an effective policing service was being maintained at a time of significant resource constraint.

The closure of up to 80 of the country's 700 garda stations will be seen as one of Commissioner Callinan's biggest tests.

hnews@herald.ie

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