The Government has agreed to bring forward legislation to allow candidates over the age of 55 to apply for the post of Garda Commissioner. 

Under the current rules, only those below this age threshold are eligible to put their names forward for the job.

However, a short piece of legislation will now be drafted to change this. 

The position will be advertised later this month and it is expected that a new Garda Commissioner will be appointed by the summer. 

The acting Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin has previously stated that he will not seek the job on a full-time basis. 

Speaking in the Dáil today, the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said that salary will not be an obstacle when it comes to attracting the best candidate for the job. 

Minister Flanagan said it had been agreed with the Policing Authority that an overly long delay in this process would not be optimal for performance or morale in the force. 

Defence Forces to join EU Battlegroup

The Cabinet also agreed today that members of the Defence Forces will join a German-led EU battlegroup working on UN peacekeeping missions this year.

Ireland was also involved in German battlegroups in 2012 and 2016.

The total number of Defence Forces personnel that will be involved in the battlegroup will be about 148.

Approximately ten of these personnel will deploy to posts in the force and operational headquarters during both the lead-up and the standby period.