‘No policing experience necessary’: Garda Commissioner job advertised

Position attracts salary of up to €250,000 in addition to incentives agreed by Cabinet

Garda recruits during a passing out parade at the Garda College in Templemore last year. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The vacancy at the head of An Garda Síochána has been advertised, with a salary cap of €250,000.

This marks a significant increase on the current €180,000 salary.

Whoever becomes the next Garda Commissioner will negotiate their salary up to the €250,000 cut-off point. Policing experience is not essential for the role, according to the advert.

The Public Appointments Service has advertised the post, which has been vacant since former commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan’s no-notice retirement last September, in the media on Friday.


An email address is supplied in the advert for prospective candidates to contact to arrange a “confidential discussion”.

The closing date for applications is April 12th.

The advert states the successful candidate will have a “unique opportunity” to manage and lead a service due to expand by 30 per cent in the next five years.

It further states the successful candidate will be an “exceptional” and “inspirational leader” and will have “the utmost integrity”.

“You will possess the experience and stature to immediately gain respect and instil confidence across an organisation with 16,000 members and a budget of €1.6 billion,” it states. “Your personal impact, leadership and communication skills will drive positive change and reform across the service.”

As well as the salary increase, Cabinet has already agreed that other incentives may need to be offered to secure the right candidate. They include a budget for travel to and from Ireland and private education costs for any dependent children.

External candidate

Government sources have also indicated that because an external candidate would be coming into the Garda for five years, pension entitlements would not apply and so a special financial arrangement may be made in addition to base salary.

None of those additional details has been set out in the job description or advertisements for the post. However, the advertisements made it clear the base salary was part of a wider “remuneration package”

In a new move, the recruitment process is being overseen by the Policing Authority, which has also devised how the competition will run.

However, the Public Appointments Service is running that process. The authority will ultimately recommend a candidate for the post, which can be accepted or rejected by Government.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said the recruitment process should take four months. Informed sources said some additional time may be need to complete security checks.

“The role of Commissioner, the most senior post in Irish policing, is extremely challenging,” Mr Flanagan said.

“The overriding concern of all stakeholders has been to ensure that this process is designed to attract the widest possible pool of high calibre candidates, so that whoever is selected and nominated by the Authority for appointment by Government is tested against a strong field.”

The Policing Authority said in a statement the post offered an exciting opportunity. It was also “keen to ensure” a large field of candidates.

“Applications are welcomed from candidates of an appropriate calibre from policing, security or civilian backgrounds in Ireland and abroad,” the authority said.

“While policing experience is desirable, it is not essential for this role. What is essential is the appetite and capacity to lead and transform a large complex organisation which delivers one of the most important public services in Ireland.”

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times