Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan Retires

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan Retires
Rachael O Brien
Rachael O Brien

10 Sep 2017

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan has announced that she is retiring from An Garda Síochána. 

It's after 36 years of service. 

Ms. O’Sullivan notified Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan this afternoon.

In a statement, O'Sullivan said:  

"The support for me to continue in the role is evident, however, I devoted much of my summer break to considering if continuing would be the right thing to do. It has become clear, over the last year, that the core of my job is now about responding to an unending cycle of requests, questions, instructions and public hearings involving various agencies including the Public Accounts Committee, the Justice and Equality Committee, the Policing Authority, and various other inquiries, and dealing with inaccurate commentary surrounding all of these matters.

"They are all part of a new – and necessary – system of public accountability. But when a Commissioner is trying – as I’ve been trying – to implement the deep cultural and structural reform that is necessary to modernise and reform an organisation of 16,000 people and rectify the failures and mistakes of the past, the difficulty is that the vast majority of her time goes, not to implementing the necessary reforms and meeting the obvious policing and security challenges, but to dealing with this unending cycle.”

The Minister for Justice has announced he is appointing Deputy Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin Acting Commissioner with full powers with effect from midnight tonight.

She also said that she was not leaving her role to take up another job. 

The Commissioner said that despite the unprecedented challenges, controversies and criticisms of the last few years, she looks back on her 36 years in the service with enormous pride.

The Commissioner said that she would be making no further comment at this time.