Policing Authority now officially in operation
Ireland’s Policing Authority is now officially in operation following its inaugural meeting in Dublin.
Chairperson Josephine Feehily, setting out the new body’s aims, said it would focus on the appointment of senior Garda officers and examine the distribution of resources in An Garda Síochána.
The Garda policing plan for 2016 will be the last one drawn up by the force alone, she said at a press conference.
She added that it would “take time” for the Authority to get up and running, but that it would move as quickly as possible to scrutinise Garda performance and policy.
Ms Feehily said the body would strive for an “appropriate” relationship with Garda and the Garda Commissioner.
The authority will hold regular meetings with the Garda Commissioner, including at least four every year which will be open to the public and the media. The first of these meetings will take place in March.
The Policing Authority was established at the start of the year as part of the Government’s “comprehensive programme of justice reform”.
Its capabilities include the power to request that the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) or the Garda Síochána Inspectorate initiates an inspection, inquiry, or examination of Garda practices and procedures, although it cannot directly order one.
Its other functions include approving Garda strategy statements and annual policing plans, and setting priorities and performance targets.