Nóirín O’Sullivan fails to secure top Europol post

Garda Commissioner now likely to remain in current position until contract expires in 2021

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan has informed the Government that she will not be standing aside to take up a major role with the European Union's law enforcement agency, Europol.

The Irish Times understands Ms O'Sullivan was in the running for a senior position in the area of specialist operations but was unsuccessful in her candidacy due to her lack of experience at a senior management level.

The role sought candidates with up to 15 years of such experience but Ms O’Sullivan has only been commissioner since 2014.

The outcome is likely to see Ms O’Sullivan remaining as commissioner until her contract expires in 2021.


Ms O’Sullivan, who is on a leave of absence from the force until September 4th, is understood to have informed senior Government figures of the outcome in recent days.

The commissioner has faced repeated calls to stand aside after a series of controversies engulfed the force over issues such as inflated drink-driving breath test figures and the handling of whistleblowers.

The Europol job would have required Ms O’Sullivan to depart from her current role in September to take up the new role in November.

Senior Garda figures insisted she was eager to come back to work in September and participate fully in the Charleton Tribunal, which is examining allegations of a smear campaign against whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan declined to comment on speculation surrounding her move last week but insisted Ms O'Sullivan would be leading the force on a radical reform programme. Mr Varadkar also declined to discuss the speculation but stressed that she retained the Government's confidence.