Deputy Chief Constable of PSNI Drew Harris named as new Garda Commissioner

Drew Harris. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has announced Drew Harris as the new Garda Commissioner.

Mr Harris is currently Deputy Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and is due to take up his new post in September.

He has been appointed on a five-year term at an increased salary of €250,000 - one that was raised to attract a higher class of candidate.

His appointment follows an international selection process run by the Public Appointments Service on behalf of the Policing Authority.

This is the first occasion that this new model for the appointment process, introduced in 2015, has been used.

Mr Harris is in his early 50s and is married with four children. His father, who was a Superintendent in the RUC, was killed by an IRA bomb in the 1980s.

Mr Harris has served as the PSNI's Deputy Chief Constable since 2014 having been appointed Assistant Chief Constable responsible for Crime Operations in 2006.

"I am pleased that the rigorous selection process by the Public Appointments Service on behalf of the Policing Authority has come to a successful conclusion with the appointment today by Government of Drew Harris as the next Garda Commissioner with the full functions of that role including safeguarding the security of the State," said Mr Falnnagan in a statement.

"I thank both the Policing Authority and the Public Appointments Service for their intensive work on this important process over the past 10 months. "

"Drew takes up office at a time of major reform and investment which will redefine An Garda Síochána as an organisation. As we approach the centenary of the establishment of An Garda Síochána, the organisation is on the cusp of significant change.

"The expert Commission on the Future of Policing is in the final stages of its work; its report will chart a new model for Irish policing in the decades ahead. Drew will take up the post of Commissioner in September and this will come at a critical time – coinciding with the conclusion of the work of the Commission."

Acting Commissioner Dónall Ó'Cualáin will remain in his post until September and has notified the Mr Falnnagan of his intention to retire at that time.

Referring to the acting commissioner, Mr Flanagan said: "I want to acknowledge the leadership, integrity and commitment of Acting Commissioner Dónall Ó'Cualáin.

"The Government is very grateful to him for his dedication to duty and effective leadership of the organisation since last September. He has been a steady hand at the tiller in difficult times for the organisation ably supported by Deputy Commissioner John Twomey."

The appointment comes after former commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan resigned last September.

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