Meeting in Public


Garda Appointments

Press Release

Policing Authority appoints an Assistant Commissioner in the Garda Siochána

The Policing Authority is pleased to announce that it has appointed Chief Superintendent Paula Hilman to the rank of Assistant Commissioner in the Garda Síochána, following her retirement from the PSNI at the end of this month.

Speaking on the appointment, Policing Authority Chairperson Bob Collins said:

“The Authority is delighted to appoint a person of Paula Hilman’s experience and quality to this senior position in the Garda Síochána. She adds a distinctive perspective to the Senior Leadership Team, bringing a range of different experiences and perspectives.”

This appointment brings to four the number of female officers serving in the ranks of Assistant Commissioner and above in the Garda Síochána.

Policing Authority Chairperson Bob Collins welcomed the diversity that this brings to the most senior levels in the Garda Síochána and expressed the hope that the appointment of Assistant Commissioner Hilman, together with the appointment of Assistant Commissioner Anne Marie Cagney last month, will encourage female officers to aspire to serving at the highest levels of policing.

The appointment was made following a selection competition that involved a three-staged process, conducted in accordance with the statutory framework and the Authority’s Statement of Practice.

The Authority has also appointed Chief Inspector Stephen McCauley, who is due to retire from the PSNI in the coming week, to the rank of Superintendent in the Garda Síochána.

Assistant Commissioner Hilman and Superintendent McCauley will take up their positions in the Garda Síochána in early May.

The Authority congratulates Assistant Commissioner Hilman and Superintendent McCauley and wishes them both well in their future careers.


Notes for Editors

Biographical Details:

Detective Chief Superintendent Paula Hilman MBE BA (Hons)

Paula has over 34 years policing experience, having served across a number of Districts and Departments in the PSNI.

Most recently Paula was Head of Public Protection Branch, responsible for investigating child abuse, domestic abuse and serious sexual crime, as well as working in partnership with other agencies to ensure adult and child safeguarding. 

Paula is a Gold Public Order Commander and Strategic Firearms Commander. This has included command of events such as the Irish Open Golf Tournament, challenging public order operations across Belfast and consequence management of gang feuds.

As Head of Criminal Justice Branch, Paula worked with partners to deliver criminal justice reform, including working with the Public Prosecution Service to create Northern Ireland’s first Victim and Witness Care Unit.

As a Superintendent in Belfast, Paula led on Hate Crime for PSNI, overseeing the introduction of new internal governance structures and policy and externally working with partners both in relation to hate crime and as the strategic lead for the integration of Syrian Refugees into NI.

Paula was Chair of the Superintendents Association for NI — the staff association that represents Superintending ranks.

Chief Inspector Stephen McCauley

Stephen McCauley is a career police officer with 30 years policing experience, most recently at the rank of Chief Inspector in the PSNI. He is experienced in a range of policing roles including front line operational delivery, Neighbourhood Policing, Public Order, Planning and Command and Roads Policing.


Statistics from Assistant Commission Competition 2020

Applications for Assistant Commissioner in the Garda Síochána Competition 2020
By Gender No. of Applicants By Employing Organisation No. of Applicants
Male 18 Garda Síochána 22
Female 5 PSNI 1
Total 23 Total 23