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Government Approves Reappointments Of Members Of Policing Authority.

  • Ms Elaine Byrne will take over as Chair of the Policing Authority in January 2024.
  • Policing Authority will continue important oversight of An Garda Síochána until the establishment of the Policing and Community Safety Authority.

The Government has agreed to reappoint Ms Elaine Byrne, Mr Donal de Buitleir, Mr Anthony Harbinson, Dr Jane Mulcahy, Mr Paul Mageean and Dr Deborah Donnelly, as members of the Policing Authority.

Ms Elaine Byrne has been appointed as the new Chairperson of the Policing Authority, taking effect from January 1st 2024.

Dr Byrne has served as a member of the Authority since March 2021. She is a practising barrister with a specialisation in Regulatory Law and Employment Law. She has acted as a consultant on governance matters for the European Commission, the United Nations and the World Bank. She has served as a member of the Hamilton Review Group on Economic Crime and Corruption, and the Seanad Working Group on Reform.

The new Policing Security and Community Safety Bill will complete its journey through the Houses of the Oireachtas as soon as possible and it will provide for a new governance and oversight framework for policing and provide for the establishment of a new independent oversight body replacing the Policing Authority and the Garda Síochána Inspectorate. This body will be known as the Policing and Community Safety Authority.

In the meantime, there remains a need for the Policing Authority to remain fully functional and therefore it is necessary to reappoint members of the Policing Authority to ensure continuity of its functions until the new Policing and Community Safety Authority is established.

As such, Mr Paul Mageean and Dr Deborah Donnelly are reappointed as members of the Policing Authority with effect from January 1st 2024 until December 31st 2024 or until the dissolution of the Policing Authority, whichever takes place first.

Similarly, Ms Elaine Byrne, Mr Donal de Buitleir, Mr Anthony Harbinson and Dr Jane Mulcahy are reappointed as members of the Policing Authority with effect from March 9th 2024 until December 31st 2024 or until the dissolution of the Policing Authority, again whichever is the sooner.

The Minister for Justice, Mrs Helen McEntee said: “I welcome the reappointments announced today and I want to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Policing Authority for their commitment up until now and for continuing the important work of the Authority.
The introduction of the Policing, Security and Community Safety Bill has been a priority for me and it will see the introduction of the new Policing and Community Safety Authority. I’m happy to say the Bill is progressing very well and we hope to see it completed very soon indeed.
I wish the esteemed members of the Policing Authority continued success in their respective roles and I want to thank Elaine Byrne for taking over as Chair of the Authority. I also want to sincerely commend Bob Collins, whose term as Chair of the Authority will end at the end of December, for his dedication to the role, and to thank Dr Moling Ryan and Valerie Judge for their work as members of the Authority for the past eight years.”

The new Authority will combine the broad-ranging oversight function of the Policing Authority and the complementary inspection function of the Garda Síochána Inspectorate. It will be exclusively focused on providing robust independent oversight of the performance of An Garda Síochána in relation to policing services.

Meanwhile, separately the Government has won a Dáil confidence vote, tonight, in the Minister for Justice Mrs Helen McEntee, by a clear majority of 83 votes to 63.

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