Outsider appointed governor of prison for first time
An outsider has been appointed as a prison governor for the first time.
The ground-breaking move has been made by Brian Murphy, who is director of operations in the Irish Prison Service. The civil servant is the first non-prison officer to be appointed as a governor.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald announced that Mr Murphy will become governor of the Mountjoy Prison campus in Dublin from Monday.
He succeeds Ned Whelan, who is retiring at the end of the week after a hugely successful career in which he took charge of an overhaul of Mountjoy, eliminating many of the problems there. He had moved from the maximum security prison at Portlaoise, where he tackled a wide variety of issues involving terrorist inmates.
Mr Murphy's appointment follows an open recruitment competition carried out by the Public Appointments Service.
Open recruitment was introduced into the prison service as a result of the Croke Park public service agreement.
The appointment has been made as speculation grows on whether an outsider will be given the position of Garda Commissioner. That post is due to be advertised in the coming days.
The current favourite for the job is the Interim Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan.
Prior to joining the prison service in 2009, Mr Murphy was a principal officer with the Department of Finance and previously worked with the Departments of Social Protection and Agriculture.