29 considered for top garda post

Some 29 people — 26 men and three women — were considered for the Garda Commissioner job.

PSNI deputy chief constable, Drew Harris, has been appointed to the position, fighting off both internal and other external candidates for the €250,000-a-year job.

Just over half of the candidates were Irish and the rest were foreign.

None of the female candidates were Irish.

While non-police candidates made up more than half of those under consideration, just 15% of the people who made it to interview stage did not have policing experience.

The Public Appointments Service, which ran the competition, has published a report on the process.

It shows that 78 applications were received, of which 26 met the eligibility criteria.

In addition, an executive search was conducted, identifying candidates in Canada, US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

The PAS report said that a number of international candidates came forward and that the executive search recommended four to the shortlisting panel.

29 candidates were considered by the panel, which was chaired by Jane Williams, chair of the Government’s Top Level Appointments Committee.

Other members included Joe Brosnan, former secretary general of the Department of Justice, Bob Collins and Josephine Feehily, of the Policing Authority, Martin Fraser, secretary general to the Government, Anne Heraty, ceo of Cpl Resources, Ian Livingstone, interim chief constable of Police Scotland, Alex Marshall, former chief constable of Hampshire Constabulary and a PAS representative.

Josephine Feehily

Of the 29 interviewees:

  • 26 were male and three were female;
  • 13 had a policing background (12 male and one female);
  • 16 had a non-policing background (14 male and two female);
  • 16 were Irish (all male);
  • 13 were foreign (10 male and three female).

Of these 29, 13 went through to the preliminary interview stage, 12 men and one woman.

But while non-police candidates made up 55% of the shortlist, they comprised just 15% of those being interviewed.

Eight of those interviewed were Irish and five weren’t. The board selected five candidates to go through to the final stage, one of whom withdrew.

Though the report does not name the candidates, the Irish Examiner previously identified two other of the main candidates as Deputy Commissioner, John Twomey, and Assistant Commissioner, Pat Leahy, as well as Assistant NYPD chief Kathleen O’Reilly.

The PAS submitted a report on the selection process, and details of the preferred candidate, to the Policing Authority, which agreed and made its nomination to the Government.

Mr Harris takes up his position in September, the same month the Policing Commission is due to report.


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