Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, has a formal meeting with new Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, on his first day in office


3 September 2018


The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, this afternoon welcomed the new Garda Commissioner to the Department of Justice and Equality as Drew Harris took up his new role. 


Following their discussions, Minister Flanagan said: “I was pleased to welcome Commissioner Harris to my office today to discuss the Government’s policing priorities with him on his first day in office.  Our wide ranging discussion reflected the nature of the challenges facing police forces today and ranged from gangland crime to rural policing, Garda visibility, cybercrime, roads policing, White Collar Crime, and overall public safety.  We discussed accountability and the importance of the Garda reform programme which will ensure world class policing.


“We looked ahead to the forthcoming report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland which will set out a new vision of policing in Ireland later this month.


“I assured Commissioner Harris of my support as he goes about his challenging and important role. 


“Today is an important day in the history of An Garda Síochána and the organisation has every reason to look to the future with optimism.  Later this week I will join the Commissioner in Templemore where around 200 new recruits will formally join the ranks as we continue to rebuild the organisation.”


Minister Flanagan added: “I was pleased to be joined at the meeting by Aidan O’Driscoll who today took up his role as Secretary General in the Department of Justice and Equality.  As the Dáil recess draws to an end, I am looking forward to a very busy and active period ahead as Minister for Justice and Equality.”




Notes for Editors


In June, the Government agreed to appoint Mr Drew Harris to the post of Garda Commissioner for a period of 5 years.


The Commissioner’s appointment follows an open, international selection process run by the Public Appointments Service on behalf of the independent Policing Authority.  This is the first occasion that this new model for the appointment process, introduced in 2015, has been used.  The selection process was designed with the objective of attracting the widest possible field of candidates from a broad range of backgrounds to ensure that the successful candidate would be tested against international standards in police leadership. 


Mr Harris has 34 years policing experience, principally in Northern Ireland, including 12 years in senior leadership roles.  He was appointed to the rank of Assistant Chief Constable responsible for Crime Operations in the PSNI in 2006 and has served as Deputy Chief Constable since 2014. In addition to managing multiple organised and serious crime investigations, he was responsible for all intelligence gathering, operations and analytical support for the PSNI and worked closely with An Garda Síochána in this role.  He also has significant experience in delivering organisational change, managing budgets and personnel management.  Mr Harris holds an MA in Criminology from the Institute of Criminology at Cambridge University and a BA in Politics and Economics from the Open University.  He also holds qualifications in Leadership and Public Policy for Senior Law Enforcement Officers (FBI National Executive Institute), Company Direction and Police Studies.


Photograph attached: Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, and Secretary General of the Department and Equality, Aidan O’Driscoll, meeting this afternoon’s in the Minister’s Office, 51 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin.