119. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which various promotional posts remain to be filled throughout An Garda Síochána; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7574/15]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): One of the primary functions of the Garda Commissioner under the Garda Síochána Acts is to direct and control An Garda Síochána. The Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of personnel among the Garda Regions, Divisions, and Districts. Garda management keep this distribution under continuing review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the best possible use is made of these resources. This necessary ongoing flexibility in the distribution of personnel means that it is not feasible to identify specific vacancies within specific areas of the force.
Where current actual strength is below the approved maximum strength, it is the Garda Commissioner who will make the necessary arrangements to have the balance of posts filled through promotion competitions.
Promotion competitions to fill a number of vacancies at the ranks of Chief Superintendent and Superintendent have been completed and the Government has approved my recommendation to make six (6) appointments at Chief Superintendent level and thirty five (35) appointments at Superintendent level. Competitions for promotion to the ranks of Inspector and Sergeant will commence as early as possible this year.
An open competition to fill the two vacancies at Deputy Commissioner level is currently underway under the auspices of the Public Appointments Service.