Minister Flanagan makes new appointments to the Policing Authority


29 January 2019


The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has today appointed Dr Vicky Conway and Mr Paul Mageean to the membership of the Policing Authority.


Announcing the appointments, Minister Flanagan said: “I am delighted to appoint Dr Vicky Conway and Mr Paul Mageean to the Policing Authority. Vicky and Paul bring excellent skills and a breadth of knowledge and experience which will be invaluable to the work of the Authority in its continuing oversight of the performance of An Garda Síochána. Their appointments are particularly important and opportune following the recent report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland and the implementation of its recommendations. I am delighted that they have agreed to serve on the Board and I wish them well in their roles.”


The appointments follow an application and shortlisting process run by the Public Appointments Service based on a public advertisement.


The Minister added: “The Policing Authority has played a key role, particularly in putting in place the solid foundations which have become the building blocks for a programme of policing reform. I believe that the manner in which the Authority carries out its functions has engendered a focus on the need for An Garda Síochána to provide a service to the highest standards possible. Our goal now must be to protect and build on the success achieved to date and to maintain and enhance public trust in policing, to address current challenges and also enable An Garda Síochána to meet future challenges.”


The appointments return the membership to its full complement of 8 ordinary members. The two new members have been appointed until 31 December 2020. Minister Flanagan also took the opportunity to thank Mr Noel Brett, who is standing down from his membership of the Authority, for all his work during his time in the role.




Notes for editors:


New appointments

Dr Vicky Conway is former member of the Authority and was a member of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland.  She is an academic lawyer lecturing in DCU.  Vicky lectures across a range of modules related to criminal justice and the operation of the legal system in Ireland.  

Vicky is also a leading researcher on policing in Ireland with an emphasis on the intersection between social change, police culture and police accountability. She has conducted innovative qualitative research in this area, which has resulted in two detailed studies on policing in Ireland -  The Thick Blue Wall: The Morris Tribunal and Police Accountability in the Republic of Ireland and Policing Twentieth Century Ireland: A History of an Garda Síochána.

Mr. Paul Mageean is a member of the Human Rights Commission in Northern Ireland and is the Director of the Institute of Professional Legal Studies in Queens University Belfast. Paul is also a Parole Commissioner, a member of the Parole Board and Chair of Public Interest Litigation Support Project.


Previously, Paul was a Legal Officer for the Committee on the Administration of Justice (1995-2004), Head of the Criminal Justice Secretariat for the NI Court Service (2004-2005), and Director of the Graduate School of Professional Legal Education (2008-2013). He was also a Commissioner for the Criminal Cases Review Commission.


Background on Policing Authority

The Policing Authority is an independent agency established on 1 January 2016. Its role is to oversee the performance by the Garda Síochána of its functions relating to policing services by carrying out a broad range of oversight, review and governance functions.


The Authority was established by the enactment of the Garda Síochána (Policing Authority and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 which amends the Garda Síochána Act 2005. The Act provides for an extensive range of functions for the Authority, some of which were previously the responsibility of Government or the Minister for Justice and Equality.


The Authority’s vision is of a society served by a professional, impartial, constantly improving police organisation which deserves and enjoys the trust and support of the people. Its oversight role is to oversee the performance of the Garda Síochána in relation to policing services and its mission is to drive excellent policing through valued and effective oversight and governance.


Appointment Process

The Public Appointments Service advertised for members of the Authority on 17 October 2018 with a closing date for applications of 14 November 2018. A selection panel was formed by PAS and applicants were shortlisted for interview, following which a list of suitable candidates was submitted to the Minister for transmission to Government. It was the view of the selection panel that Mr Paul Mageean and Dr Vicky Conway were the most suitable candidates and their appointment to the Policing Authority was recommended.