*Gardaí in West Clare. Photograph: Martin Connolly
Clare’s Garda Division faces a potential amalgamation as part of major alterations within An Garda Síochána in Ireland.
Local divisions are expected to double in size with many moving significant distances into neighbouring equivalents with Clare and Tipperary pushing into the Southern Region joining Cork West, Cork North, Cork City, Kerry and Limerick.
A draft of the soon to be published Divisional Policing Model has outlined the intention to reduce the amount of Garda Divisions from 28 to 19, with similar deductions to Chief Superintendents and regions being cut from six to four, The Irish Examiner has reported.
These changes form part of Commissioner Drew Harris’ new model of policing which will alter the delivery of policing and it’s management at local and regional level. According to the proposal, the four regions and 19 divisions would have a “relatively good spread of staff” with 600 to 800 officers in 13 divisions, three divisions would have more than 800 and three divisions would have less than 600.
- North Western Region: Running from Mayo to Louth and from Donegal to Galway. This would replace both the current Northern Region (Donegal, Sligo/Leitrim, Cavan/Monaghan and Louth) and all but Clare of the current Western Region (Mayo, Galway and Roscommon/Longford);
- Eastern Region: This would incorporate both the current Eastern Region (Meath, Westmeath, Laois/Offaly, Kildare and Wicklow) and all but Tipperary of the current South Eastern Region (Kilkenny/Carlow, Waterford and Wexford);
- Southern Region: This would replace the current Southern Region (Cork West, Cork North, Cork City, Kerry and Limerick) and also subsume Clare and Tipperary;
- The Dublin Metropolitan Region will remain unchanged.
Last month, Clare’s latest Chief Superintendent was appointed with Galway native Sean Colleran succeeding Michael Gubbins following his promotion to the Office of Assistant Commissioner, Special Crime Operations. Gubbins who is a native of Kilmallock served for less than three months in the county but during that period was very well-received by Gardaí in Clare.
In March of this year, Assistant Commissioner, Anne Marie McMahon, a native of Kilmurry McMahon that no conversation had occurred regarding a possible merger of the Clare and Galway Garda Divisions but stressed the upcoming Divisional Policing Model would determine future plans.