Superintendent Ollie Baker.

Ballinasloe appointment for locally-based Superintendent

Garda Superintendent Ollie Baker has been appointed to a new role at Ballinasloe Garda Station, where he will have responsibility for the 'Galway East Community Engagement Area', under the new Garda operating model.

The Athlone resident, and former high-profile Clare hurler, previously served in Nenagh Garda Station, where he had responsibility for the Clare East - Tipperary North Community Engagement Area.

His wife, Michelle, is also a Garda Superintendent and is based in Athlone Garda Station with responsibility for the 'Performance Assurance Functional Area' in the Meath - Westmeath Garda division.

Superintendent Ollie Baker's new role was among a number of Garda appointments which were publicly announced and came into effect on Monday of this week.

Another appointment in the wider Midlands region saw Superintendent Michael Dorrigan moving, on promotion, to Roscommon Garda Station with responsibility for the Roscommon Community Engagement Area.

In recent years the roll-out of the new Garda operational model has been taking place on a phased basis.

Under the new operating model, Superintendents have been moved away from having responsibility for policing a specific geographical area, and are instead being given responsibility for a particular policing function across their Garda division.

Garda divisions have increased in size and reduced in number, from 28 to 21, under the new Garda model.

An Garda Síochána said the restructuring of its operations "reflects international best practice as well as the realities of modern day policing in Ireland, the changing nature of crime and population trends".