254. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda inspectors in Cork city and county; the vacancies in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8748/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the distribution of resources, including personnel, among the various Garda Divisions and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter. Garda management keeps this distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities so as to ensure that the optimum use is made of these resources.
I am informed by the Commissioner that in regard to the deployment of Garda personnel, a distribution model is used which takes into account all relevant factors including population, crime trends and the policing needs of each individual Garda Division. Where a deficiency in resources is identified the matter is considered fully and addressed accordingly.
Appointments to the rank of Inspector are a matter for the Garda Commissioner under section 14 of Garda Síochána Act 2005.
I am advised by the Commissioner that the overall strength of the Inspector rank was 270 as of 31 December 2017, the latest date for which figures are available. I am further advised by the Commissioner that there is currently a competition in train for promotion to the rank of Inspector with the aim of bringing the strength to 300 as agreed under the Employment Control Framework. I am assured by the Commissioner that following completion of this competition the needs of all Garda Divisions including the Cork Divisions will be fully considered when determining the allocation of Garda Inspectors.