The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD, today announced that the Government has approved his proposal for a two year extension of the term of office of the Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan.

The extension will move Commissioner Callinan’s retirement from August 2013 to August 2015.

Making the announcement, the Minister said "I am very pleased to announce a two year extension of the term of office of the Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan.

Martin has been Commissioner for just less than two years, but has overseen radical and extensive change to the Garda Síochána.  A new Garda roster is currently being piloted, the Garda District and station networks are being reformed and modernised, and a highly effective policing service is being maintained at a time of significant resource constraint.  Every aspect of the organisation and operation of the Garda Síochána continues to be examined so as to identify further efficiencies. 

At a time of such significant organisational reform, I believe that it is desirable that there should be continuity in Garda leadership, and I am delighted that Martin has agreed to this extension.  His leadership over this period, during which there will be further challenges to be met, will be invaluable.

Since his appointment, Central Statistics Office crime statistics have shown reductions in the great majority of crime groups.  Specific initiatives have been launched to deal with particular issues of concern: under Operation Fiacla, launched earlier this year by the Commissioner to deal with burglaries, about 2,500 people have been arrested and 1,400 people charged.  Week in week out, the activities of gangs have been tackled and this has been reflected in very substantial drugs seizures.  The activities of criminal terrorist groups continue to be addressed robustly and cooperation between An Garda Síochána and the Police Service of Northern Ireland has never been better.

I also want to express my appreciation for the vital work that the Garda Síochána, despite all the pressures on resources, continue to do on behalf of the public in the fight against crime.  Their contribution is deeply valued by me and the Government."

13 November 2012

ENDS


Note to Editors:

The proposed extension will require a change to the regulations governing Garda retirements, which currently set 60 as the mandatory retirement age for all members.  The Minister will return to Cabinet in due course for formal approval of the necessary regulatory change which will technically implement the two year extension for Commissioner Callinan.