Saturday 24 February 2018

The process to find a replacement for Noirín O'Sullivan has begun, Policing Authority

Noirin O'Sullivan said she was leaving the force after facing an
Noirin O'Sullivan said she was leaving the force after facing an "unending cycle" of public and political scrutiny
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

The Policing Authority has confirmed that it has begun the process of finding a replacement for Noirín O'Sullivan.

In a statement the body, chaired by Josephine Feehily, confirmed it has "immediately commenced" consideration and research on the process to identify and appoint the next Commissioner of the Garda Síochána.

The statement repeats that this will be the first time that the new legislative process, under section 9 of the Garda Siochana Act 2005, is utilised.

"In practical terms, the Authority will be working with the Public Appointments Service and the Department of Justice and Equality over the coming weeks to agree the precise requirements for the role and to formally initiate the selection competition."

Ms Feehily spoke with Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan this morning and the statement from the Policing Authority said they both agreed it is "crucial that a deliberate and considered process takes place".

Speaking about his discussions with Ms Feehily, Minister Flanagan said: “I acknowledge the seriousness of the situation. I would like the process to get underway, acknowledging the fact it’s not something that can be done in a very short period of time.

“I want to acknowledge the extent of difficulties within An Garda Siochana. It has been a very difficult time. There have been challenges, there have been problems. I’m very keen to ensure we can move on to a better place.”

The minister said he is “pleased” that the Policing Authority will be using its powers to recuit “the best candidate available”, adding: “That may involved an international selection process, it may not.”

Asked whether the €180,000 currently paid for the role would be enough to attract a suitable candidate, Mr Flanagan replied: “It’s important in the first instance that we look at who might be available. Obviously the process is just commencing. The Policing Authority will be discussing the issue with the Public Appointments Service. There is considerable distance to run on this issue.”


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