The merging of Louth Garda Division with the neighbouring Cavan/Monaghan Division is expected to commence in October, An Garda Siochana have confirmed today.
That merger will make up part of Phase Four of the overall implementation of the new Garda Operating Model. Implementation of Phase One, including the merger of Meath and Westmeath, has already begun. Commissioner Drew Harris had originally said upon announcing the restructuring last August that the Louth/Cavan/Monaghan Division would be among the last to be implemented.
This was due to the force waiting to see what implications followed Brexit and to necessitate more time to iron out border-related issues. He said on Friday that the move was to “maximise learnings from other phases.”
The second phase will involve Clare/Tipperary; Kerry; County Cork; DMR East, and DMR South. It is anticipated that implementation of the Model in these Divisions will commence in April 2020.
The third phase will involve Waterford/Kilkenny/Carlow; Laois/Offaly/Kildare; DMR West; Wexford/Wicklow, and DMR North Central. It is anticipated that implementation will commence in June 2020.
Commissioner Harris told last Friday’s combined meeting of the Joint Policing Committee the new Operating Model will lead to larger divisions, enhanced national and regional support, more frontline Gardai and improved performance, which in turn will bring increased consistency of high-quality policing services and deliver a more localised service to communities.
The new model will see the number of Superintendents across the combined divisions reduced. Currently, there are eight superintendents stationed in Louth (three) and Cavan/Monaghan (five). The merger will see that number reduced to five.
However, as Harris was at pains to state on Friday, the new Operating Model will see the introduction of additional Inspectors, Sergeants and officers allocated to the division. Each division will have an on-duty Inspector at all times – ensuring a 24/7 presence to provide enhanced supervision and direction.
Currently, Louth has three Superintendents – Supt Gerry Curley in Dundalk, Supt Andrew Watters in Dundalk and Supt James O’Leary in Ardee.