A MEMBER of An Garda Síochána has for the first time in history addressed the United Nations general Assembly.

Assistant Garda Commissioner Michael O’Sullivan, the nation’s top security and intelligence expert, was speaking on the topic of counter-terrorism.

He called for measures to combat terrorist threats to involve all elements of counter-intelligence.

Mr O’Sullivan told the assembly how authorities here had integrated military intelligence, both at home and through the Irish peacekeeping presence overseas, into an holistic national approach to terrorism.

He headed a delegation that included Det Chief Supt Tom Maguire and representatives of Foreign Affairs and the Defence Forces and was speaking at a conference chaired in New York by the UN’s secretary-general, Antonio Guterres.

The Assistant Commissioner’s comments came in the wake of a year-long debate here about the future of the Garda’s security section and whether it would be hived off from the rest of the force if an “outside” candidate was appointed as the new commissioner.

The Government has now made clear, following the appointment of PSNI deputy chief constable Drew Harris as commissioner from September, that he will remain responsible for security, as well as all other policing operations and duties.

However, some changes to the present security model may be proposed by the commission on the future of policing, led by Kathleen O’Toole, when it issues its report to the Government, also in September.