Ireland's new Policing Authority is officially in operation from today.
The group, which is chaired by the former head of the Revenue Commissioners Josephine Feehily, held its first meeting yesterday.
The body has responsibility overseeing the policing functions of An Garda Síochána, establishing a code of ethics for the force and appointing members to senior positions.
The creation of the body follows a number of controversies involving Gardaí and the Government, including the quashing of penalty points and the retirement of former commissioner Martin Callinan.
Speaking after the meeting, Policing Authority Chairperson, Josephine Feehily said: "Effective policing is crucially important for any society.
"In order to be effective, it must enjoy a very high standard of public confidence.
"Our job in the Authority is essentially to enhance public confidence by independently overseeing the performance of the Garda Síochána in relation to policing.
There are many aspects to oversight of performance and to enhancing public confidence and Garda accountability needs to be seen in a broad context which recognises those things that work very well as well as those which could work better.
It will take time for the Authority to establish itself fully but we are determined to move as quickly as possible on some critically important changes, such as discussing policing performance with the Garda Commissioner in public so that citizens can more easily hear about the work being done by the Gardaí, taking responsibility for senior appointments and establishing a Garda Code of Ethics as required by law.
"I am privileged to be joined on the Authority by experienced and distinguished colleagues to begin our work.
"Their commitment and enthusiasm convinces me that we can advance our first set of business priorities quickly.
"The Authority conveyed to the Commissioner its appreciation of the work of members Garda
Síochána throughout the country and noted that in this week of the anniversary of the death of Garda Adrian Donohoe it was timely to remind ourselves of the risks Gardaí face every day
on our behalf and to thank them."