RCIPS Commissioner Derek Byrne

Cayman’s senior police officer said Monday that he was not a candidate for the leadership post at Ireland’s national police force An Garda Siochana.

Reports in the Irish media have surfaced over the past month that Royal Cayman Islands Police Commissioner Derek Byrne – a 36-year Garda veteran – was seeking to take the top job at his former police service.

Mr. Byrne bluntly denied those reports Monday: “I am not a candidate for this post. I am committed to completing my contract here in Cayman where I am embedded in the work that I am doing.”

Mr. Byrne joined the RCIPS in November 2016 after retiring from “the guards”- as Ireland’s national police force is sometimes called. Typically, Cayman police commissioners are given four-year contract agreements, which would put Mr. Byrne at the RCIPS until late 2020.

Former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan retired from the job in 2017 following a number of allegations made about the Irish force’s treatment of one of its sergeants – Maurice McCabe – who “blew the whistle” on a number of questionable acts within the Garda.

Mr. Byrne, a former Garda assistant commissioner, was interviewed at some length as part of a commission of investigation report into allegations of police misconduct at a particular division of the Irish national police force.

The commission of investigation was the subject of a 363-page report by a retired Irish high court judge issued in May 2016. Justice Kevin O’Higgins concluded the following about Mr. Byrne’s participation in the review: “Assistant Commissioner Byrne gave evidence to the commission in a forthright, honest and helpful manner. He is a man of integrity and a highly competent member of An Garda Siochana, clearly committed to the good of the force. The commission is absolutely satisfied that the public can repose trust in him in the exercise of his duties.”

The Dublin native has a 39-year career in law enforcement, spending the last 20 months in Cayman. He joined the Garda in 1979 and was appointed as assistant commissioner of national support services there in May 2007, according to the Irish national police website. He unsuccessfully sought the commissioner’s post for the Police Service of Northern Ireland in 2014.