By Irish Echo Staff
Drew Harris, the current Deputy Chief Constable of the PSNI, is to be the new Garda Commissioner.
It means an “outsider” will head up An Garda Síochána for the first time. He will replace Noirin O’Sullivan, the Irish Independent reported.
Mr. Harris, who is in his early 50s, is married with four children, and is a police officer with more than thirty years of experience in the RUC and PSNI.
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He has a degree in politics and economics and a masters in criminology.
His father, RUC Superintendent Alwyn Harris, was killed by the IRA in 1989. A Semtex bomb exploded under his car as he was on his way to church with his wife. She survived the blast.
Harris, according to the Independent report, was selected as commissioner following a new process involving the Public Appointments Service on behalf of the Policing Authority.
The salary of the Garda Commissioner was increased to €250,000 a year from €180,000 in order to attract interest in the position.
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said he was pleased that the “rigorous selection process,” which had lasted ten months, had come to a successful conclusion.
“Drew takes up office at a time of major reform and investment which will redefine An Garda Síochána as an organization,” said Minister Flanagan.
“As we approach the centenary of the establishment of An Garda Síochána, the organization is on the cusp of significant change,” he said.
Mr. Harris will take up his post in September.
On taking up the post, the Independent report added, Mr. Harris will make a solemn declaration under section 16 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 including to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the State on the day that his appointment takes effect.
Acting Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin will continue to lead An Garda Síochána until Harris takes over. Ó Cualáin has indicated his intention to retire at the point.