Ireland has a new Garda Commissioner.

Drew Harris, who was sworn in early this morning, has promised to protect the vulnerable and create an open and transparent force.

At midnight Acting Garda Commissioner, Connemara native,  Dónall Ó Cualáin stepped down and was replaced by Drew Harris - former Deputy Chief Constable of the PSNI.

The transition was made at a private ceremony at the newly refurbished Kevin Street Headquarters, in Dublin,in the early hours of this morning, where Commissioner Harris signed the Garda Code of Ethics and the Official Secrets Act.

His first official act as Commissioner has seen Mr Harris issue a statement promising to protect the vulnerable.

To that end he claims defending the State from the threat of terrorism is his top priority.

He's also pledged to deliver the highest ethical standards and says he wants a workplace of openness and transparency..

Carna native, Donall Ó Cualáin had been the acting commissioner since last September following the resignation of then Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’ Sullivan.

He held the position of acting Garda Commissioner as a lengthy campaign sought a replacement for Nóirín O’ Sullivan, over the past year.

A fluent-Irish speaker, Donall was previously a sergeant on the Aran Islands before becoming a Superintendent and subsequently Chief Superintendent of the Galway garda division.

In 2012, he was appointed as an assistant commissioner, and two years later Nóirín Ó Sullivan appointed him as deputy commissioner.

Mr. Ó Cualáin had already been covering the commissioner role during the extended summer holiday period while Nóirín Ó Sullivan was on leave.

On taking up the position of acting Garda Commissioner Donall Ó Cualáin had stated that while he would remain in the interim position until a replacement was found, he would not be putting himself forward for the permanent job.



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