PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Drew Harris appointed Garda Commissioner

An Garda Síochána is ‘on the cusp of significant change’, says Minister for Justice

Deputy Chief Constable with the Police Service of Northern Ireland Drew Harris who has been chosen as the next Garda Commissioner. Photograph: Getty

Deputy Chief Constable with the Police Service of Northern Ireland Drew Harris who has been chosen as the next Garda Commissioner. Photograph: Getty

 

The Government has agreed the appointment of Drew Harris as the next Garda Commissioner at a salary of €250,000.

Mr Harris, who is currently the Deputy Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, was chosen following the appointment process run by the Public Appointment Service.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan confirmed Mr Harris will take up the position in September, in succession to acting commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin.

Mr Flanagan said: “Drew takes up office at a time of major reform and investment which will redefine An Garda Síochána as an organisation. As we approach the centenary of the establishment of An Garda Síochána, the organisation is on the cusp of significant change.

“The expert Commission on the Future of Policing is in the final stages of its work; its report will chart a new model for Irish policing in the decades ahead.

“Drew will take up the post of Commissioner in September and this will come at a critical time - coinciding with the conclusion of the work of the Commission.”

Mr Harris has 34 years policing experience, principally in Northern Ireland, including 12 years in senior leadership roles. He has served as Deputy Chief Constable since 2014.

His father was killed in an IRA undercar bomb in 1989. His mother survived the attack with minor injuries.

His appointment marks a new departure for An Garda Síochána and is the first time a police officer from outside the force has been appointed to such a senior role.

Mr Harris will take office in September, when the Commission on the Future if Policing concludes its work. It is examining the structure of An Garda Síochána, the culture and ethos, recruitment, training and management.

An Garda Síochána is currently responsible for policing and security. The commission is assessing whether it is appropriate to continue this practice. It will report in September.

The appointment of Mr Harris will coincide with its final report. It also marks a year since former commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan stood aside from her position.