Garda Commissioner Drew Harris says he has no interest in PSNI job

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris Says He Has No Interest In Psni Job
Mr Harris said for him, it wasn’t about “the blow”(of the vote) but “the ability to stand back up and keep going.”
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Olivia Kelleher

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has said he has no desire to be Chief Constable of the Police Service in Northern Ireland and has no intention of resigning his post after a GRA no confidence vote was passed by a margin of 98.7 per cent against him.

Speaking during the opening of a newly refurbished garda station in Rathcormac, Co Cork, Mr Harris said his plan is to remain in his role.


“I am a bit surprised about that question (the PSNI post). I have no interest whatsoever in being the Chief Constable of the Police Service in Northern Ireland.

"This is a real privilege to be Commissioner of An Garda Siochana and I take that role extremely seriously. I take my role in terms of protecting the people of Ireland, the national security of Ireland and also the health and well-being of my staff extremely seriously. And I have a job to finish here. “

Mr Harris said for him, it wasn’t about “the blow”(of the vote) but “the ability to stand back up and keep going.”

“I have a job to do and that is to protect the people of Ireland with the organisation I am privileged to lead. Part of that is using our resources to maximum effect to make sure we do our very best.


"And that means then that priorities have to be set and management decisions have to be made. That is my responsibility.

"I recognise (the GRA) are not happy. I am very familiar with all the issues that they have raised. A huge amount of work is being undertaken and is ongoing in respect of the issues that they raise.”

Mr Harris insisted that he is  “always open” to a “conversation” and a “negotiation” with the GRA and other associations.

“We want to get to a new roster, and we also want to resolve the other issues that have been raised. I have already proposed using a WRC which is a Government resolution process for industrial relations exercises.


So in effect nothing is barred in terms of trying to resolve these issues, and I am more than happy to meet with them myself. But then I also have a whole industrial relations apparatus as well in place.

We have spent a huge amount of time trying to resolve these (issues)….over three years of negotiations and that is why I have asked for the help of the WRC.”

Mr Harris admitted that he was “concerned” to see small numbers of gardai leaving  An Garda Siochana  for other jobs.

“Not all (who have left) are mid-service. Some are more junior in service. Some join the organisation and find it is not for them. Also then other opportunities that were closed during Covid have reopened.


"The question is “am I concerned” yes I am concerned. In response to that we have set up our own recruitment and retention working group. All of the associations are represented in that.

"We are no different from any large scale organisation in terms of people looking elsewhere for employment opportunities. Where we are different is the small percentage who choose to leave. “

Mr Harris denied suggestions that a return to the old Garda roster would lead to a “gutting” of community policing.

“That is not correct. Again we have set out what our policy is in terms of bringing in the 2012 roster. Part of that is to protect community policing. We made that clear to all divisional officers. The priority for me is about visibility. This is about staffing and about giving more visibility.”


Meanwhile, Mr Harris was asked about the plan by detectives in Dubai to travel to Ireland to advance the investigation in to the Kinahan organised crime group

Mr Harris said last week he had the great “privilege” of visiting police in Dubai.

“Obviously, elements of the Kinahan organised crime gang are based there. It is in our interest as a police service and bringing individuals to justice to have a good relationship with Dubai police.

"I think last week was a really important step in terms of meeting my counterpart in order to advance that relationship. And part of that is understanding the investigations that Dubai police have been undertaking.

"They are a very advanced organisation and I think we can have a very positive partnership with them. So the invitation has been made for them to visit Dublin, so we share both information and intelligence and hopefully work towards a bi lateral agreement with Dubai police in terms of advancing our investigations.”

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