Under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner has responsibility for management of An Garda Síochána and for the allocation and efficient use of Garda resources. This includes responsibility for the distribution of personnel across the various Garda Divisions. As Minister I have no direct role in these matters. I understand however that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities, to ensure their optimum use.
I have been informed by the Commissioner that to date, Divisional Protective Services Units have been established in 13 locations nationwide, namely Carlow, Cork City, DMR South Central, DMR West, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick, Louth and Waterford Garda Divisions as well as the newly established units in DMR East, DMR South and Tipperary which became operational in recent weeks.
Rollout of these units will meet a key commitment in A Policing Service for the Future , the four-year implementation plan giving effect to the recommendations of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland.
In terms of the timeline for roll-out of the remaining units, as the Deputy may know, it was originally envisaged in A Policing Service for the Future that this would be achieved by the end of 2019. However I am informed by Garda management that it is now expected the remaining units will be rolled-out on a phased basis by the end of Q1, 2020.
Although this is somewhat later than the originally intended schedule, roll-out is continuing and I understand that internal competitions in An Garda Síochána for selection of personnel for these units is complete in some cases and progressing or expected to commence shortly in others.