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Question

420. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of Garda vacancies outstanding by rank; the period of time they have been vacant; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13386/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for the distribution of personnel among the Garda Regions, Divisions and Districts, the various Garda national units and of course Garda Headquarters. 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.
At a national level, sanction has been given by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform for a maximum strength in each rank. The agreed strengths for ranks above Garda rank are given in a table, together with current actual strength (as of the end of February 2015). 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. Competitions to fill vacancies at Sergeant and Inspector are currently being organised by the Garda Commissioner.

Rank Actual strength Approved max. strength
*COMMISSIONER 1 1
**D/COMMISSIONER 0 2
A/COMMISSIONER 8 8
C/SUPERINTENDENT 44 45
SUPERINTENDENT 166 166
INSPECTOR 261 300
SERGEANT 1,908 2,000