NOIRIN O'Sullivan is the front runner to become Ireland's first female garda commissioner.
The hugely respected deputy commissioner was appointed to that role following a following a landmark Cabinet decision in March 2011 in which she became the first female deputy commissioner.
Ms O'Sullivan was in charge of the operational policing side of the force.
The 53-year-old Ms O'Sullivan is a native of Dublin. She has served with the force since 1981 in Dublin, Tipperary and Galway.
She was appointed to superintendent in 2000 and served in the garda college before becoming a detective superintendent in the Garda National Drugs Unit – a move at the time that made her the highest-ranking female in the detective branch.
She was promoted to chief superintendent in 2003 and served as a detective chief superintendent at the Technical Bureau and Human Resource Management.
In 2007, she was promoted to assistant commissioner in charge of the Western Region, before moving back to human resource management. In June 2009, she was appointed to the role of assistant commissioner in crime and security.
Ms O'Sullivan holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Masters of Business Studies and an Advanced Management Diploma from University College Dublin.