Assistant garda chief in shortlist for top job at PSNI
ONE of the most senior officers in the gardai has been shortlisted for the vacancy of chief constable in the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).
Assistant Commissioner Derek Byrne is one of the most experienced crime investigators in the gardai and currently holds a key post in charge of the national support services.
He has been tipped for promotion when the Government gives the go-ahead for appointments in the higher ranks to be filled.
It emerged yesterday that he has been placed on a shortlist of three for interviews on May 29 to succeed the current PSNI chief Matt Baggott, who is due to leave the post in the autumn.
Also on the shortlist is PSNI assistant chief George Hamilton and a senior London Metropolitan police officer, Cressida Dick.
Mr Byrne told the Irish Independent last night that he was very pleased to have made the final list and saw the vacancy as an opportunity to work with a very progressive police force.
He said he had worked regularly alongside the PSNI in cross-border investigations in recent years.
He is completing a Masters degree course in violence, terrorism and security at Queen's University in Belfast and has been accepted into the Association of International Chiefs of Police after completing studies for senior officers at the FBI academy in Quantico, Virginia, and in the UK.
Mr Byrne has spent much of his police career in the detective branch and has been been in charge of several high profile investigations into murders and other serious crime.
In his current position, he took charge of the highly successful Operation Fiacla, which has resulted so far in a reduction of over 10pc in burglaries nationwide and also had overall control of the garda investigation into the Anglo Irish Bank debacle.
He also headed up the garda inquiry into a series of allegations made by whistleblower, Sergeant Maurice McCabe, over the past few years.
This resulted in a massive file being submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who decided against criminal charges.