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Sunday 22 July 2018

Garda 'ego' row in search to find Commissioner

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Stock photo
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

The search for a new Garda Commissioner has been thrown into turmoil after a senior member of the force raised serious concerns about being asked if he had an "ego" during the interview process.

The long-serving garda is understood to have taken exception to questions about his ego after his application was turned down by the Public Appointments Service.

He subsequently appealed the agency's decision and in his submission said it was "unfair" that he was asked about his ego.

In his letter of appeal, which has been seen by the Sunday Independent, the garda asked if other applicants for the Garda Commissioner position were questioned about their egos.

The appeal quotes extensively from notes taken by a Public Appointment Service official during the interview.

One member of the interview panel is quoted as saying: "Reading (your) statement as someone with a psychology background help me not to hear a big ego."

The garda responded saying he had "no ego".

The interviewer then insisted everyone has an ego.

The garda said he considered himself as a "cog in (the) wheel" within An Garda Siochana and was "not across TV (and) newspapers" like other members.

He also said he was a "bit on the modest side", according to the notes of the interview. After the interview, he was informed he had not been shortlisted for the final round of the job application process.

His subsequent appeal of the outcome of his interview was also rejected by the Public Appointments Service. The agency said the process was carried out fairly and in line with best practices.

A Public Appointment Service spokesperson said the agency would not comment on individual cases but would make a full report once the next Garda Commissioner is appointed.

"In line with established practice, PAS makes no comment on any aspect of a recruitment and selection process whilst it is under way - a full and transparent report will be published on our website at the end of the process," he said.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said the process for appointing the next commissioner is run independently of his department.

However, the minister told the Sunday Independent he "expects the framework to be in accordance with the law and best practice".

The successful candidate for the position will be submitted by the Public Appointment Service to the Policing Authority for approval.

The Cabinet will then have the final say on who should be appointed to replace former Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan.

It is expected the new commissioner will be in place by September.

Sunday Independent

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