A NUMBER of changes within the senior management ranks of the Limerick garda division are set to come into effect from early next month.
Details of the appointments were announced by the garda commissioner, Norín O’Sullivan, as part a radical restructuring of the force across the country.
Several national units are to be merged and a ‘Child Protection, Domestic Violence and Human Exploitation’ unit - headed up by a chief superintendent - is to be established.
As part of the changes, Superintendent Derek Smart, who previously served as both a sergeant and inspector in the city is to take up the role as Superintendent for the Limerick City North district, which includes Henry Street and Mayorstone garda stations.
Currently based in Ennis, he will replace Supt Dan Keane in the role following his transfer to the Southern region headquarters in Cork.
Elsewhere, Inspector Brendan McDonagh is set to move from Roxboro Road garda station to Ennis following his recent promotion to the rank of superintendent.
He is likely to be replaced by Insp Brian Sugrue who is expected to return to the city following the appointment of newly-promoted Superintendent Feargal Patwell as head of the Bruff garda district.
Supt Patwell, who is currently based at Tralee garda station, will fill the vacancy left following the transfer of Supt Alan Cunningham to Carrickmacross, County Monaghan last June.
His appointment means the Limerick division will once again have a full compliment of superintendents for the first time in almost ten months.
While the changes in personnel are due to take effect from March 9, there will be further changes within the senior management structure in the coming weeks following the retirement of Detective Superintendent Jim Browne after four decades of service.
Meanwhile, Chief Supt David Sheahan is to remain in his position as head of the Limerick garda division despite speculation in recent weeks that he was to be transferred to another division.
Speaking about the wide-ranging changes, Commissioner O’Sullivan says she hopes they will enable An Garda Siochana to provide the best possible service.
“These allocations, and the resulting additional changes at these ranks, are a critical element of our transformation programme as they will allow us to develop the new structures, units and approaches required to ensure we are providing the best possible service to the public,” she said.