The Chief Constable of the Police Service in the North has said that he did not put a firm date on his retirement when he wrote to the Policing Board last week confirming his intention.

However, three months notice is the minimum requirement and it is expected that he will leave the post in the New Year.

Sir Ronnie Flanagan said that his departure from the post would depend on how long it would take the Board to select a replacement and he was not sure how long that would be.

He spoke to reporters as he attended a special thanksgiving service at St Anne's cathedral in Belfast to mark the service given by the RUC, which was replaced a month ago by the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Sir Ronnie said that the ceremony was tinged with sadness. They were celebrating the work of the RUC but were also looking forward to a new and exciting future with its replacement.