That Dáil Éireann, noting that the Government on 6th January, 2021, nominated Emily Logan and Hugh Hume for appointment by the President to be members of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, recommends, pursuant to section 65(1)(b) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, that Emily Logan and Hugh Hume be appointed by the President to be members of the Commission.
The appointment of members of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, GSOC, is governed by the provisions of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, which requires the Government to satisfy itself that a person to be nominated for appointment has the appropriate experience, qualifications, training or expertise for appointment. The Act also provides that a member of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission is appointed by the President following their nomination by the Government and the passage of resolutions by both Houses of the Oireachtas recommending their appointment.
In this regard, at its meeting on 6 January 2021, the Government nominated Ms Emily Logan and Mr. Hugh Hume. I am pleased to recommend formally to the House that Members approve Ms Logan and Mr. Hume for appointment by the President to be members of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.
The need for these appointments arises from the expiry of the terms of office in December 2020 of two members of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, namely, Dr. Kieran FitzGerald and Mr. Patrick Sullivan. I would like to take this opportunity to express the Government's sincere appreciation of the contributions that both Dr. FitzGerald and Mr. Sullivan have made to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission's important and complex work. I wish them both well in the future. I would also like to pay tribute to Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring, the chairperson of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, who continues to provide leadership and vision in that capacity.
The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission has and will continue to play a critical role in the overall architecture of policing in the State. Its independence is the guarantee to the public that complaints against members of An Garda Síochána will be investigated without fear or favour. Its three key operational principles of inquiry, independence and impartiality are the hallmarks of a policing oversight organisation of which we can be justifiably proud and which are vital in an advanced democracy such as we are fortunate to inhabit.
At the Government's request, the Public Appointments Service conducted an independent and international competition to identify candidates suitable for appointment to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission. Almost 100 applications were received by the closing date. Following a rigorous selection process, Ms Logan and Mr. Hume were each recommended by the Public Appointments Service for appointment.
Ms Emily Logan has been a leader in a number of important public sector fields. She was chief commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission for five years until 2019 and clearly demonstrated her ability to be both impartial and inclusive. Prior to that, Ms Logan served as Ireland's first Ombudsman for Children from 2003 to 2014. She now serves as adjunct professor of human rights practice at the Irish Centre for Human Rights in NUI Galway. Her ability to address difficult issues consistently and fairly, her experience in making complex issues easily understood by the public, as well as her deep-seated credibility, will be of benefit to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.
Mr. Hugh Hume has been a member of the Garda Inspectorate since 2017. Prior to that, he was a serving police officer in Northern Ireland, retiring from the PSNI at the level of detective chief superintendent and as head of the PSNI's intelligence and analysis service. Mr. Hume's extensive experience in law enforcement and investigation will be of practical use to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, as well as his well-developed strategic, analytical and risk awareness skills. He is adept at relationship building, which is an important facet of bringing about positive change.
Both Ms Logan and Mr. Hume are committed to serving the public to a high standard. As with all new appointments, Ms Logan and Mr. Hume will bring fresh energy and a new perspective to the organisation, all of which is desirable in an area of activity as complex and challenging as that of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission. The House will agree that it is vital that the public has deep confidence in An Garda Síochána and its system of oversight, of which the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission is a key component. The considerable skills and experience of Ms Logan and Mr. Hume will serve to enhance the public's existing confidence in the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission's role.
I am confident the House will agree that both Ms Logan and Mr. Hume have impressive track records and credentials. Subject to the agreement of both Houses, the Department will make the necessary arrangements for the President to appoint Ms Logan and Mr. Hume as soon as practicable.
The Government has agreed that they will be appointed to the ombudsman commission for a period of three years and six months, or such shorter term as may result from the enactment of legislation providing for the restructuring of the commission. I hope the House will agree that the appointment of Ms Logan and Mr. Hume is to be welcomed. On behalf of the Government, I am pleased to commend the motion to the House.