O’Toole floated as replacement for Orde

It would appear that Niall O’Dowd, the prominent Irish-American publisher of The Irish Voice, has been amongst the first to float the name of a potential successor to Hugh Orde as Chief Constable of the PSNI. In this article, O’Dowd suggests that the current Chief Inspector of the Garda Inspectorate, Kathleen O’Toole, may be poised to throw her name into the hat. The US born O’Toole is a former member of the Patten Commission and also served as the first female Commissioner of the Boston police force from 2004-2006.

  • Blinding

    Kathleen O’Toole is a very good suggestion and certainly Northern Ireland needs women in positions of authority and not to carry on with the same old same old.

  • 0b101010

    Nothern Ireland needs people with ability in positions of authority, regardless of sex.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    According to yesterday Irish Times there are very restrictive criteria to qualify for the post – including training in Britain – which probably rules out most overseas applicants and homegrown ROI ones.

  • I don’t see the necessity, as has been suggested in some of the coverage of this matter, that a successor to Mr Orde should come from the UK. It would be refreshing, for instance, if a senior Garda were to be considered. I’m sure, however, that the mooting of this idea, the appointment of Kathleen O’Toole, by Niall O’Dowd, will mean that she doesn’t get the job. This is because she will be seen as a tribal champion, by virtue of the canvassing on her behalf by O’Dowd, and thus be disqualified. I’m sure that Ms O Toole would be a highly competent Chief Constable.

  • Scaramoosh

    The informed early money says that it will be a woman, but that that woman will be the current head of Cambridgeshire Police Julie Spence.

  • Chris Donnelly

    I know what you’re saying but what about the fact she was a British Government appointee to the Patten Commission?

  • ArchiePurple

    For once I agree with Sammy McNally….the criteria for applicants specifies that the Advance Police course at Bramshill must be completed…it is unlikely that many Garda officers nor indeed Ms O’Toole will have undertaken the course. I would suggest it is most likely that an officer of the calibre and rank of Commander John Yates [he of Tony Bliar’s cash for honours inquiry] will be the front runner for the position of Chief Constable. Gender or political appointments to appease former Police killers shouldn’t be a consideration. Ability and qualifications for the job…in other words merit should be the guiding factor in who is considered for the position.
    When people like convicted terrorist Martina Arnderson have a say in who is appointed the head of our Police service, it just confirms that the lunatics have partial control of the ayslum.

  • blinding

    0b101010 said

    “Nothern Ireland needs people with ability in positions of authority, regardless of sex.”

    Northern Ireland is remarkable in how rarely this person is female.

  • Clay Davis

    Is there any truth to this at all, or is this just another bit of wishful thinking by O’Dowd? My favourite recent bit was the Irish Echo’s piece a few months back about who would be the next special envoy. It was chock full of inaccurate assumptions (e.g. Hillary Clinton would have the final say about NI-the whole point of the Special Envoy is that s/he reports directly to the President, bypassing the Secretary State–FYI this is why Hillary’s campaign promise to ‘appoint an envoy who reports directly to the president’ was meaningless) and inappropriate editorialising. For instance, Bruce Morrison, Nancy Soderberg and Anne-Marie Slaughter were all named as potential candidates, yet for some reason, Nancy Soderberg (who was never seriously in the running, btw) was presented as the best candidate, even though she has the same level of experience as Morrison vis-a-vis NI, and nowhere near the credentials of Slaughter, who happens to be one of the premier IR theorists of this generation. Could her suitability possibly have stemmed from the fact that Soderberg might actually return one of O’Dowd’s phone calls? Hmmmm…..

  • Zoon Politikon

    0b101010 said

    “Nothern Ireland needs people with ability in positions of authority, regardless of sex.”

    But what if one’s ability is only in sex?

  • Chris Donnelly


    Don’t know but love the reference to The Wire, which is currently keeping me up most nights….

  • All the members of the Patten Commission were British Government appointees, were they not? Even if she were the only one to be appointed by the British Government, would it matter. She’s an Irish Government appointee to the Garda Commission in the south. Should that make a difference?

    I don’t know enough about the exact criteria for the vacancy but I do think that if a candidate were to be disqualified from applying for a post by virtue of whether or not they attended a particular course in a particular place even if they had attended a similar course with a similar standing in another country, for example the USA, then that would be an egregious discrimination which would run counter to fair play. No doubt there are several likely candidates in the UK who would follow the Orde act – let them enter the contest but with no unfair advantage over equally competent and qualified candidates for the job. Otherwise the successful applicant may end up as the victor of a tarnished recruitment….

    As for Archie Purple, there are many people on that police board with whom I would have issues and Martina Anderson is only one of them….

    I don’t think that it’s too outlandish to suggest that an applicant for this position, the head of a police service on the island of Ireland, would have an appreciation of Irish culture and even have a ‘cúpla focal’…..that would be a refreshing change from the culture of hostility towards the Irish language which persisted through the reign of Mr Orde.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sounds more like Niall O’Dowd wanking about Americans being closely involved in NI affairs again.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    re. The Wire, Jimmy-wheres-me-Jameson-McNulty, is it possible to be any less convincing as a Yankee/Oirishman?

  • Lidl Richard

    No Slugger No. Do not take up this appointment. Who would run this site?

  • Groundhog Day

    O’Toole will never get the job. We still live in an orange state. They don’t allow women to join.

  • redhugh78

    “According to yesterday Irish Times there are very restrictive criteria to qualify for the post – including training in Britain – which probably rules out most overseas applicants..”

    I did’nt know Hugh Orde was Irish.

  • Groundhog Day

    EU law allows member states to designate certain public positions as being restricted to their own nationals. There are still plenty of positions within the senior northern irish civil service that you can’t take if you describe yourself as irish on the application form!!

  • Danny O’Connor

    Kathy O’Toole would be an excellent choice,however, she may not want it.

    Good luck to whoever is appointed because they will have a huge task ahead of them,policing performance is getting worse by the day.

  • Buile Suibhne

    As is the performance of our MLAs Danny!