The Government today approved of the making of regulations by the Minister for Justice and Equality and Defence, Mr Alan Shatter TD, which allows members of the PSNI to compete for promotion to senior ranks in the Garda Síochána.

Speaking after the Government meeting the Minister said "I very much welcome the opportunity to introduce these regulations which implement a commitment in the Intergovernmental Agreement on Police Co-operation. That agreement, which has been progressively implemented, provided that members of the PSNI or the Garda Síochána should be able to apply for positions at ranks above Inspector level in the other police force. These regulations give effect to that commitment for the Garda Síochána. Similar arrangements are in place in the PSNI."

The regulations allow members of the PSNI at the rank of Inspector or above to compete for appointment, in the same competition as similar ranks in the Garda Síochána, to the ranks of Superintendent, Chief Superintendent or Assistant Commissioner in the Garda Síochána.

The Minister also said "The agreement also provided for cooperation between the two police forces at the level of exchanges without police powers and secondment with police powers. The experience gained by officers from both sides continues to enhance the level of cooperation and exchange of information between both forces. These new regulations mark a truly historic further step in relations between the two forces, to the benefit of policing on this island."

The new regulations will come into force immediately.

13 March 2012