Five have taken part in final interviews for Garda commissioner

If an internal Garda candidate is chosen, appointment likely to go ahead in August

Five people have participated in the final round of interviews to become the next Garda commissioner. File photograph: iStockPhoto

Five people have participated in the final round of interviews to become the next Garda commissioner. File photograph: iStockPhoto

 

Five individuals have participated in the final round of interviews to become the next Garda commissioner, The Irish Times understands.

Former commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan stood aside last September after weeks of pressure on her position. Dónall Ó Cualáin is the Acting Commissioner.

Final interviews for the role are understood to have taken place over recent days and a decision may be taken as soon as within the next fortnight.

The Public Appointments Service will make a recommendation to the Policing Authority for consideration of Government, which will accept or reject the person for appointment.

The authority and Government were both represented on the interview panel by chair of the authority Josephine Feehily and a former secretary general at the Department of Justice.

Nóirín O’Sullivan: the former commissioner stood aside last September after weeks of pressure on her position. Photograph: Eric Luke
Nóirín O’Sullivan: the former commissioner stood aside last September after weeks of pressure on her position. Photograph: Eric Luke

If an internal Garda candidate wins the process, their appointment would likely go ahead in August. However, for an outside candidate, a security check would be required and possibly a work permit.

Appointed

Those additional steps in the process would mean the next commissioner would be appointed next September at the earliest.

It is understood Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll and Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy are the only two internal candidates in the running to head the Garda. File photograph: Getty Images
It is understood Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll and Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy are the only two internal candidates in the running to head the Garda. File photograph: Getty Images

That would mean the commissioner would be appointed around the same time the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland reports to Government after a year-long review process.

The commission had previously warned that the new Garda commissioner should not begin until its work was concluded next September.

Internal candidates

It is understood Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll and Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy are the only two internal candidates in the running.

Deputy Chief Constable with the Police Service of Northern Ireland Drew Harris is understood to also be in the final five.

The Government agreed last December the new Garda commissioner would be paid a salary of €250,000 a year, compared to the €180,000 paid to Ms O’Sullivan.