First Outsider Appointed To Garda Top Job

Deputy Chief Constable Drew Harris. Picture by: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images
Deputy Chief Constable Drew Harris. Picture by: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images

A senior PSNI officer has been appointed as the new Garda Commissioner. Drew Harris will take up the job in September. He has more than 30 years of policing experience in the RUC and PSNI and will become the first outsider to lead An Garda Siochana.

Mr Harris is in his early 50s and is married with four children. His father, who was a Superintendent in the RUC, was killed by an IRA bomb in the 1980s. The new Garda chief has a degree in politics and economics as well as a masters in criminology.

He’s been involved in the senior leadership of the PSNI for 12 years and has been Deputy Chief Constable since 2014. He’s also studied with the FBI and completed courses in strategic command and international counter-terrorism. Drew Harris has been appointed on a five year term at an increased salary of €250,000.

Mr Harris has served as the PSNI’s Deputy Chief Constable since 2014 having been appointed Assistant Chief Constable responsible for Crime Operations in 2006.

In a statement the Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan expressed his satisfaction at the appointment:

“I am pleased that the rigorous selection process by the Public Appointments Service on behalf of the Policing Authority has come to a successful conclusion with the appointment today by Government of Drew Harris as the next Garda Commissioner with the full functions of that role including safeguarding the security of the State,”

“I thank both the Policing Authority and the Public Appointments Service for their intensive work on this important process over the past 10 months. ”

“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.”