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Government approves nominations to the Policing Authority

  • Shalom Binchy, Elaine Byrne, Donal de Buitléir and Stephen Martin nominated following an open state boards process 
  • Resolutions will now be moved in both Houses of the Oireachtas

The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, has today received Government approval for the appointment of four new nominees to the Policing Authority, following an open competition through the State Boards process run by the Public Appointments Service.

The four successful candidates are Shalom Binchy, Elaine Byrne, Dr Donal de Buitléir and Stephen Martin.

Minister McEntee said: 

“I am delighted to be nominating four such eminent candidates for appointment to the Policing Authority.  The four nominees will bring a breadth of skills, knowledge and experience to their roles and ensure the continuing effectiveness of the Authority in supporting excellent policing through effective oversight of An Garda Síochána. My Department will now arrange for the necessary resolutions to be moved in the Oireachtas recommending their appointment. These appointments arise following the expiration of the term of office of members of the Authority and I would also like to express my gratitude to Pat Costello, Dr Vicky Conway and Judith Gillespie, for their diligence and commitment throughout their term of office.”

The Authority consists of 9 members (8 ordinary members and a chairperson). Five of the members were re-appointed by Government recently, resulting in four vacancies to be filled.

The members of the Authority are appointed from persons identified and recommended as suitable for appointment through the state boards process run by the Public Appointments Service. The appointments are subject to resolutions being passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas. 

Work is ongoing on a new Policing and Community Safety Bill to enhance the governance and oversight framework of An Garda Síochána, including the establishment in due course of a new Policing and Community Safety Authority, which will encompass both the existing Policing Authority and Garda Síochána Inspectorate.

Notes for Editors:

Policing Authority

The Policing Authority is an independent agency established on 1 January 2016. Its fundamental role is to oversee the performance by An Garda Síochána of its functions relating to policing services by carrying out a broad range of oversight, review and governance functions.

Biographies of nominees

Shalom Binchy

Shalom is a practising solicitor, with 23 years of experience in that field, founding her own firm in 2002 and has recently merged with Sheehan and Partners Solicitors.

Elaine Byrne

Elaine is a practising barrister, journalist, author and former lecturer in law and political science.

Dr Donal de Buitléir

Donal has experience in the public and private sector, including at a senior level in Revenue and AIB.  He has served as President of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland and is a past Chairman of the Foundation for Fiscal Studies. 

Stephen Martin

Stephen spent 34 years as a police officer in Northern Ireland; he retired in 2020 as Deputy Chief Constable of the PSNI.