10 September 2017

I have been notified by Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan of her intention to retire from An Garda Síochána today.  

In accordance with the provisions of section 32 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, I am appointing Deputy Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin Acting Commissioner with full powers with effect from midnight tonight. 

In the coming weeks I will consult with the chair of the Policing Authority about a process to identify and appoint a permanent Commissioner to An Garda Síochána.

I will brief the Government at the next Cabinet meeting.

I wish to express my sincere gratitude to Commissioner O’Sullivan and to acknowledge her public service to the State over the course of an accomplished 36 year career in a variety of roles in An Garda Síochána, which ranged from under-cover detective work in Dublin’s inner city in the 1980s to being appointed to the most senior position in the service in March 2014.
Since the establishment of An Garda Síochána, the role of Commissioner has been a hugely demanding one but I want to acknowledge that, during Commissioner O’Sullivan’s tenure, she was faced with particularly significant difficulties, many of which had built up over several decades.  Commissioner O’Sullivan showed enormous resilience, determination and integrity in addressing those challenges and, in particular, in instituting a radical reform programme to modernise our policing service with the aim of providing the people of Ireland with world-class policing.  

As Minister for Justice and Equality, I will continue to press ahead with that necessary reform programme, informed by the work of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland and supported by the Policing Authority and the Garda Inspectorate. I have no doubt that the men and women of An Garda Síochána who serve Ireland in the front line of policing have the appetite to embrace and drive that change.

I wish Commissioner O’Sullivan and her family well in her retirement.