The Garda Representative Association (GRA) has appointed a non-garda to the position of Deputy General Secretary for the first time.
Philip McAnenly, from Co Monaghan, will take up the role following ratification at the GRA Annual Delegate Conference in Killarney this week.
Mr McAnenly was formerly an Industrial Relations Officer at the Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation.
GRA General Secretary Pat Ennis said the appointment of a civilian to the organisation was "an historic moment".
“This is the first time someone that does not have a Garda background has been appointed to such a high-level position," he said.
“We followed a thorough selection process with expert external oversight. Philip brings great experience as an industrial relations practitioner and provides a new dimension to our negotiating team.
"As the representative body for rank-and-file gardai, we will be engaged in an intense period of negotiation to improve policing in the public interest and in the interest of our own members.
“It is also a measure of the commitment the GRA has to internal reform that Philip was overwhelmingly ratified by the GRA Central Executive Committee and now by our Annual Delegate Conference," he said.