THE next garda commissioner may not be from this country.
Acting commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan has been strongly mooted as the successor to Martin Callinan but she could face a challenge from north of the border in the shape of PSNI Chief Matt Baggott.
Mr Baggot, (55) is Chief Constable in the Police Service of Northern Ireland and announced his retirement from the force in January but will serve until September.
He is tipped to be a frontrunner for the role after the shock resignation of Martin Callinan.
"It'll be someone of the same calibre as Matt Baggott coming from the London Metropolitan Police," said an informed source.
"They want someone who isn't close to a political grouping.
"It's important now that they're careful not to politicise the police and that's the reason they're keen to recruit from outside of Ireland," continued the source.
When asked if he had been contacted about the job or had any interest in it, a spokesman for Mr Baggott stated, "at this moment in time, the Chief Constable is unavailable for comment."
The Herald asked the Department of Justice and Equality whether they were looking outside of the country and whether or not it was possible to recruit a non-national.
"The Government have announced that arrangements will be put in place for an open competition for a permanent appointment to the post of Garda Commissioner.
"The terms of that open competition will be finalised shortly," a spokesperson said.