Saturday 24 August 2019

New Garda Chief: 'Quiet man' whose father was murdered by the IRA

Drew Harris
Drew Harris
Drew Harris
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Drew Harris is set to make history in September when he becomes the first non-member of An Garda Síochána to be appointed Commissioner.

But he comes with a notable track record over 34 years as a police office, primarily in Northern Ireland.

Known by colleagues as the “quiet man”, his appointment to the position as PSNI Deputy Chief Constable attracted significant attention because of his personal story.

Mr Harris’s father, Alwyn Harris, was murdered by the IRA in 1989.

He was a superintendent in RUC and died after a bomb exploded under his Vauxhall Carlton car close to his Lisburn home, as he and his wife, who escaped with minor injuries, were on their way to church for a Harvest Thanksgiving service.

Drew Harris went on to join the RUC and subsequently the PSNI.

He has held a number of operational commands and spent a two-year secondment with Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland.

In a note today, the Department of Justice said he has managed multiple organised and serious crime investigations.

He was responsible for all intelligence gathering, operations and analytical support for the PSNI and worked closely with An Garda Síochána in this role.

Mr Harris also has “significant experience in delivering organisational change, managing budgets and personnel management”.

He holds an MA in Criminology from the Institute of Criminology at Cambridge University and a BA in Politics and Economics from the Open University.

He also holds qualifications in Leadership and Public Policy for Senior Law Enforcement Officers (FBI National Executive Institute), Company Direction and Police Studies.

Mr Harris, who is aged in his 50s, has a wife and four children.

He will now command a salary of €250,000 in a job that comes with huge challenges and a five year contract.

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