Bob Collins named new chairperson of Policing Authority

Josephine Feehily, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and Bob Collins
Pictured (L-R): Josephine Feehily, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and Bob Collins

Policing Authority member Bob Collins has been named as the watchdog’s new chairperson.

Mr Collins will succeed outgoing chairperson Josephine Feehily, the inaugural officeholder who oversaw the establishment of the Policing Authority in 2016.

Ms Feehily announced last month that she would not seek reappointment to the role and her term would therefore end on 31 December 2019.

Announcing the appointment, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said: “I am delighted that Bob Collins has agreed to serve as Chairperson of the Policing Authority.

“Mr Collins brings a wealth of experience to this role, not only from his membership of the Authority since its establishment but also from his previous roles in the public sector.”

Mr Flanagan also extended his “sincere thanks to Josephine Feehily for her stellar work as the first chairperson of the Authority”.

The Policing Authority is likely to be replaced in the near future by a new oversight body, in line with the recommendations of the Commission on the Future of Policing.

Mr Flanagan said: “Mr Collins’s appointment comes at an important juncture, as the implementation of the recommendations of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland gathers pace.

“Bob’s skills and his experience at the most senior levels in the public sector will be key ingredients in successfully leading the Authority through the coming time of significant change while ensuring that it continues to provide robust public scrutiny of our policing services.”

The Government has also appointed Dr Deborah Donnelly as a member of the Policing Authority and reappointed Judith Gillespie as a member for a further term to 31 December 2020.

Dr Donnelly will fill a vacancy which will arise on expiry of the term of Maureen Lynott on 31 December 2019.

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