The Future Of An Garda Síochána


Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald

Earlier today.

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald announced the 12 members of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland and the final terms of reference for the commission.

It will report back to her in September 2018 but, in her announcement, Ms Fitzgerald said:

“Crucially the Commission may bring forward immediate proposals and rolling recommendations for implementation, that it considers are required to be addressed in the short-term, in advance of its final report.”

In addition, Ms Fitzgerald said:

I am determined to continue shining a light to uncover bad practices and issues that must be resolved…It is clear from recent events that systemic issues which have emerged require the establishment of this expert group on policing to report in a timely way on the further changes now necessary to meet the requirements of a modern police force.”

The 12 members are Kathleen O’Toole, Noeleen Blackwell, Conor Brady, Dr Johnny Connolly, Dr Vicki Conway, Tim Dalton, Sir Peter Fahy, Dr Eddie Molloy, Tonita Murray, Dr Antonio Oftelie, Professor Donncha O’Connell and Helen Ryan.

From the Department of Justice…

Ms Kathleen O’Toole is currently Chief of the Seattle Police Department. She held the position of Chief Inspector of the Garda Inspectorate between 2006 and 2012 prior to which she was the Commissioner of the Boston Police.

Ms Noeleen Blackwell is a human rights lawyer who is Chief Executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. She was formerly the Director General of the Free Legal Advice Centre (FLAC).

Mr Conor Brady is a former editor of the Irish Times and the Sunday Tribune and was a member of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission from 2005 to 2011. He has written extensively on the history of An Garda Síochána and has served as a visiting professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

Dr Johnny Connolly is Irish Research Council Enterprise Scholar at the Centre for Crime, Justice and Victim Studies at the School of Law in the University of Limerick. His research project, co-funded by the Irish Research Council and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, is titled ‘Developing a comprehensive human rights based response to drug and gang-related crime and community violence’.

He has previously worked as a Visiting Research Fellow in the School of Social Work and Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin and as a Research Officer at the Alcohol and Drugs Research Unit of the Health Research Board. He has published widely on justice issues and is board member of the Irish Penal Reform Trust.

Dr Vicky Conway is a lecturer in law in the School of Law and Governance in DCU where she teaches criminal law and criminology. She has previously held positions at the University of Kent, Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Limerick and the University of Leeds. Vicky is a graduate of UCC (BCL, LLM), the University of Edinburgh (MSSc Criminology) and Queen’s University Belfast (PhD, PGCert Higher Education).

Dr Conway is a leading researcher on policing in Ireland with an emphasis on the intersection between social change, police culture and police accountability. She has published two monographs 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), edited a book on criminal procedure and written numerous articles on policing.

Her research has been funded by the British Academy and the European Commission. She was appointed a member of the Policing Authority in December 2015. She has held visiting scholar positions in North America, Australia and Ireland. Vicky is a member of the board of the Association of Criminal Justice Research and Development and has previously been a board member of the award winning Committee on the Administration of Justice in Northern Ireland.

Tim Dalton is a retired Secretary General of the Department of Justice and Equality.

Sir Peter Fahy has served in 5 UK forces spending 5 years as Chief Constable of Cheshire and 8 as Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police with 13,000 staff under his command. In his time as a police chief he championed Neighbourhood Policing and drove through significant change programmes.

For 8 years he was director of the Strategic Command Course at the police staff college Bramshill. He held national positions in charge of race and diversity and workforce development and was national police lead for the Prevent counter terrorism programme. He is a life member of the US Police Executives Research Forum having previously served on their board. ‎

When he left policing in November 2015 he took up a post as chief executive of the street children charity Retrak and among other responsibilities works with African police forces on how they deal with vulnerable children. He is also Chair of the Plus Dane Housing Association and a trustee of the Catholic Diocese of Salford along with a number of other trustee positions. He is an honorary professor at the University of Manchester.

Dr Eddie Molloy is Independent Management Consultant, Director Advanced Organisation. He specialises in strategy, large-scale organisation change and innovation.

Ms Tonita Murray is an international police development consultant with over 40 years as a civilian in government ministries directing the police and in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). She has specialised in police reform, policy development, training, leadership and management.

During her career in the RCMP she was one of the leaders of organisational change and a Director General of the Canadian Police College. From 2003 to the present, she has been engaged in police reform in Afghanistan and Kenya, including gender mainstreaming and gender sensitive policing. She has published on police management and reform, accountability and governance, women in policing and on the Afghanistan police reform effort.

Dr Antonio M. Oftelie is Executive Director, Leadership for a Networked World and Fellow, Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard. Dr Oftelie conducts research, teaches, and advises on how law, policy and technology can be aligned to create exceptional environments for organizational innovation and adaptation.

Based in the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, Antonio administers the Harvard Innovation Award program, is faculty lead for the Public Safety, Health and Human Services, Chief Financial Officer, Next Generation Operations, and Public Sector for the Future summits, and since 2004, has developed and taught in more than forty Harvard executive education programs.

As an application of his research, Antonio advises senior government and business executives on organizational transformation by helping them to adapt their mission and strategy, ideate new business and service models, build dynamic capacity, and create performance and value measures.

Professor Donncha O’Connell is an Established Professor of Law at the School of Law, NUI Galway where he has just completed a four year term as Head of School. He is also a Commissioner of the Law Reform Commission and was, for four years, a board member of the Legal Aid Board.

Professor O’Connell was a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, London School of Economics in the academic year 2009-2010. From 1999-2002 he was the first full-time Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL). He has also served on the boards of the following human rights NGOs: INTERIGHTS; Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) Ltd; and Amnesty International – Ireland.

He was a member of the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights that advised the EU Commission on a wide range of human rights issues from 2002-2007 and, latterly, the Senior Irish member of FRALEX, a legal expert group that advised the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in Vienna from 2007-2010.

Ms Helen Ryan was the Chief Executive Officer of Creganna-Tactx Medical from 2005 – 2013, a global supplier to the medical device industry specialising in products, technologies and solutions for minimally invasive therapies. The company is currently ranked among the world’s top 10 medical device outsource providers.

During Ms Ryan’s time as CEO, the company grew five-fold to become the largest indigenous medical device company. The expansion included three company acquisitions, a strategic joint venture in Asia, and the raising of significant debt and equity financing. The organisation grew from 100 people at a single site in Galway to over 1,250 people across a global network of four sites in Ireland, the USA and Singapore.

Prior to joining Creganna-Tactx in 2003, Ms Ryan worked with Medtronic and Tyco Healthcare (Covidien) in Product Development and R&D functional management roles. She is a fellow of the Institute of Engineers of Ireland and a member of the Boards of Enterprise Ireland and of the Galway University Foundation. She is a past Chair of the Irish Medical Devices Association, and serves as a non-executive director of a number of companies.

Tánaiste announces membership and final terms of reference of Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland (Department of Justice)


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23 thoughts on “The Future Of An Garda Síochána

  1. cynthia owen

    Can anyone explain what exactly will this Commission be looking at? Or what aspect of the Garda will it be “investigating”? Thanks in advance

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Conor Brady can compare notes with herself. “In March 2014, she took on the role of Acting Garda Commissioner, following the resignation of former Garda Commissioner Mr Callinan, who retired as the whistleblower controversy continued.
      In the same month, she travelled to the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, as part of the McCabe Fellowship programme.”

  2. John Joe

    The picture at the head of the article sums up the issue within An Garda Siochána, namely lack of discipline and poor management. We see the Garda Commissioner alongside the Minister for Justice, and to the left of the photograph,( Behind and to the right of the Garda Commissioner) are two young Gardaí, one with her hands in her pockets, while the other has her arms folded. If the Garda feels she can ‘get-away’ with standing with her hands in her pockets at the training college on what was presumably a graduation day, while within sight of many members of the public and indeed a Minister and the Commissioner herself, my point is made. Unprofessional and lacking discipline.

    1. Jackdaw

      You’re worried about a Guard with her hands in her pockets. Jesus Christ. Sometimes I despair.

      1. delacaravanio

        Sounds like something Kevin Myers would complain about.

        “In my day the civic guard always had a shine to their boots, and their moustaches were immaculately trimmed. Of course the leather gloves they wore were much smarter too. They made beating confessions out of ruffians and vagabonds much easier on the hand.”

        1. Sheik Yahbouti

          :-D. Makes me nostalgic! The ngardai ‘heavy mob’ of the seventies wore a nice line in leather gloves (and rubber coshes). Dem was de days!

    1. bisted

      …just thinking that our minister for sport could achieve something to justify his pension if he could persuade the olympic committee to adopt can kicking as an olympic sport…

  3. newsjustin

    If anything turned the force sour it’s those silly tall lady hats. Each one a different height and none with the right proportions.

  4. Frilly Keane

    this must be the most expensive “commision”
    the new name for Committee btw
    in the history of the State

    And that’s sum’ting right there

  5. Sheik Yahbouti

    Flathead Frannie (the Social Worker who never met an actual poor person) and her pal “the Commish” – let us all marvel! -or shoot ourselves -I’m past caring.

  6. Listrade

    Wasn’t Dr Conway once of this Parish or at least her work was referenced a few years ago, maybe “The Thick Blue Wall” time?

    She has never been shy about discussing or analysing Garda corruption or issues, in fact I’d have her as once of the leading, rational analytical voices on it.

    Might just be one of the people on the committee, but Dr Conway is a good ‘un. I can’t speak for the others as don’t really know them.

  7. Clampers Outside

    Impressive line of backgrounds on many if them, going by those short bios
    Now let’s hope the brief, and scope for change in the recommendations made are wide enough to go beyond deck shuffling…

  8. Fergus the magic postman

    “I am determined to continue shining a light to uncover bad practices and issues that must be resolved”

    The absolute bare faced cheek of that woman.

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