The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr. Michael McDowell, T.D., announced that the Government has today appointed Ms. Kathleen M. O'Toole to be the Chief Inspector of the Garda Síochána Inspectorate.

The primary function of the new Garda Síochána Inspectorate is to benchmark the overall policing performance of the Garda Síochána and to promote best practice in all its core operations.

The Minister said "The Garda Inspectorate will inspect the operation and administration of the Force and report to the Minister of the day with advice on best policing practice.  The Inspectorate will therefore not only assist the Garda Síochána itself to achieve the highest standards, but, as recommended by the Morris Tribunal, will make available to the Department an independent and objective assessment of the performance of the Force."

Regarding the selection process, the Minister said "The recruitment campaign for this post required that candidates for the post of Chief Inspector have excellent objective decision making skills and judgement, proven managerial and organisational ability at a senior level and excellent interpersonal skills.  I am delighted to say that Ms O'Toole has all of these qualities in abundance.  Ms O'Toole comes to the task with a wide breadth of experience in this area.  As well as being the outgoing Police Commissioner of the city of Boston, Massachusetts, she also brought her breadth of expertise to the Patten Commission of international experts that developed a new framework for policing as part of the Northern Ireland Peace Process."

It is intended that the Chief Inspector will now be involved in the recruitment and selection of the other two members of the Inspectorate. Ms O'Toole will take up her appointment as Chief Inspector on 1 July next.

16 May 2006



Following the enactment of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005 in July 2005, the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform requested the Public Appointments Service (PAS) to advise on the most appropriate recruitment process to source the best possible candidates for the members of the Garda Síochána Inspectorate. 

The PAS proposed a model which involved using a private sector partner with experience in international recruitment and selection. Following a restricted procurement process and receipt of sanction from the Department of Finance the PAS engaged PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) as an Executive Search partner to assist them in a global search of common law jurisdictions to source suitable candidates for appointment of the Chief Inspector. 

A Search Committee was engaged to advise PAS/PWC on the search process.  The Search Committee included retired Assistant Garda Commissioner Tony Hickey, Sir Dan Crompton, retired Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police Constabulary and former member of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabularies (HMIC), and Mr. Kevin Murphy, former Ombudsman and Information Commissioner. 

A Selection Committee chaired by Dr. Eddie Molloy, Management Consultant and consisting of Sir Ronnie Flanagan (Head of HMIC), Ms Isolde Goggin, Commissioner for Communications Regulation, and Mr. Seán Aylward, Secretary General, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, was established to assess the shortlist and select candidates for interview. A final of 6 candidates were interviewed on 6-7 April 2006 of whom 3 were shortlisted as being successful in the competitive process for selection. 

Ms O'Toole was the candidate who scored highest in the selection process.

The positions of the other two members of the Inspectorate, who will report to the Chief Inspector, are being advertised separately by PAS.  This process will again involve a search and selection process to be organised by PAS/PWC.  The Minister will bring proposals to Government for the appointment of these two other members.



Chief Inspector of the Garda Inspectorate

Kathleen M. O'Toole has held the position of Boston Police Commissioner since February 2004.  The Boston Police Department, the oldest municipal policy agency in the United States, consists of nearly 3,000 personnel, with an annual budget of over $250 million.  It is the largest municipal police force in the New England region and the 14th largest in the US.

Ms. O'Toole has spent more than twenty-five years in the public safety arena.  She rose through the ranks of the Boston, Metropolitan, and State Police organisations, including the position as Lieutenant Colonel of Massachusetts State Police from 1992 to 1994.

From 1994 to 1998 she served as Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety and in that capacity was responsible for twenty agencies, more than ten thousand employees and an annual operating budget exceeding $1 billion.

In 1998, Ms. O'Toole was selected to serve on the Independent Commission on Policing in Northern Ireland (The Patten Commission) which developed a new framework for policing and security in the North.

In 1999, she chaired the Boston Fire Department Review Commission which proposed sweeping recommendations for reform.

During her career, Ms. O'Toole has also held senior positions at Digital Equipment, Boston College and GPC/O'Neill and Associates.  In addition, she provided services to the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division as an expert witness on "profiling" cases.  She was also President and founder of O'Toole Associates LLC, an international consulting firm with offices in Boston and Dublin.

As Police Commissioner, Kathleen O'Toole was active in the international police community as a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the IACP's Committee on Terrorism, the Police Executive Research Forum and the FBI National Executive Institute Associates.

Kathleen O'Toole is a graduate of Boston College and the New England School of Law.  She was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1982.  She is married with one daughter.

Ms. O'Toole will take up her new position as Chief Inspector of the Garda Inspectorate on 1 July next.