26 Jun 2022

Fears allayed as justice chiefs vow to appoint new Longford garda chief

Tributes paid to 'conscientious' and 'professional' Superintendent Jim Delaney ahead of retirement

A new superintendent will be appointed to replace Jim Delaney (pictured) who stepped down from his role last Friday

A new garda superintendent will be appointed to Longford, it has been confirmed this afternoon.

A meeting of Longford's Joint Policing Committee (JPC) heard how Department of Justice officials have given assurances the position vacated by Jim Delaney last week will be filled.

Longford Senator Micheál Carrigy made the announcement, saying moves to appoint a successor to the Tullamore native were already underway.

"The position will be filled and I have been in contact with the minister's (Heather Humphreys ) office over it," he said.

"It's important a new superintendent is appointed as a lot of progress has been made of late in relation to targeted raids and it is essential that work continues."

The Ballinalee postmaster's comments put paid to any lingering fears the county's most senior garda position could be left vacant after outgoing superintendent Delaney officially stepped down from the helm last Friday.

JPC chairperson Cllr Seamus Butler led a stream of glowing tributes to the 57-year-old's five year tenure in Longford, insisting the fruits of those efforts would live on.

"The people of Longford owe him a great debt," he said.

"Unfortunately, Covid has delayed a lot of prosecutions that would have otherwise come before the district and particularly circuit courts and it's a credit to Jim and all his staff for those."

Former JPC chairperson, Cllr Gerry Warnock followed suit, adding how Longford would be "all the poorer" for Mr Delaney's decision to take early retirement.

In the midst of those glowing endorsements, talk has already started to home in on who might take over the reins at the district's Battery Road headquarters.

It is understood that possible candidates include incumbent Cavan Superintendent Padraig Jones, Dundalk Superintendent Michelle Baker and current Granard Superintendent Seamus Boyle, all of whom are Longford natives.

Another possible candidate is Supt Blaithin Moran, who previously served as a former inspector in Longford before last year earning promotion to the Gardaí's National Roads Policing Bureau in Dublin.

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