Belfast Telegraph

Senior PSNI officer named as new Garda Commissioner

Drew Harris, whose father was killed by an IRA bomb, has been in charge of the PSNI intelligence branch.

PSNI officer Drew Harris has been appointed the new Garda Commissioner, the Department of Justice has announced.

The Deputy Chief Constable, who was in charge of the PSNI’s intelligence branch, was shortlisted with five other candidates for the top Garda role.

He will now be responsible for the general direction of An Garda Siochana for five years and will receive a salary of 250,000 euro.

It was increased from 180,000 euro in order to attract interest in the position.

Mr Harris’s father was killed in an IRA bomb in 1989.

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan made the announcement on Tuesday.

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

New recruits on parade during a Garda graduation ceremony at Templemore in Co Tipperary (Niall Carson/PA)

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

The selection process was designed with the objective of attracting the widest possible field of candidates from a broad range of backgrounds to ensure that the successful candidate would be tested against international standards in police leadership.

Drew takes up office at a time of major reform and investment which will redefine An Garda Siochana as an organisation Charlie Flanagan, Minister of Justice and Equality

Mr Flanagan TD said: “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.

“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 Siochana as an organisation.

“As we approach the centenary of the establishment of An Garda Siochana, 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 Harris unveiling the new PSNI helicopter in Belfast (David Young/PA)

“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.

“I very much look forward to working with Drew on our shared objective of ensuring the security of the State and the safety of the public.

“Drew can be assured of my support and that of the Government as he faces the challenge of transforming An Garda Siochana so that it becomes a model of policing excellence, equipped to deal with the huge range of challenges facing police services worldwide.”

Chairwoman of the Policing Authority, Josephine Feehily said: “The process for selecting and nominating a person to Government for appointment as the next Garda Commissioner was comprehensive and thorough, as befits the significance of the position.

“It was very heartening for the Authority that very many candidates, both internal and external, presented themselves for consideration for such an important role.

“I would like to thank and compliment the Public Appointments Service for the professional manner in which the selection competition was carried out.

“The Authority, having reviewed the process and considered his experience, qualifications and expertise, was very satisfied to nominate Drew Harris for appointment by the Government.

“We look forward to getting to know him and to working with him in achieving our shared objective of ensuring a modern, professional Garda service which continues to enjoy the trust of the Irish people”.

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