Legislation providing for the establishment of the independent Policing Authority has been published.

The new body is to oversee the governance, structures and performance of An Garda Síochána.

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said the new authority constitutes a major reform of policing in Ireland.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke, the minister said policing will now be subject to the authority of an independent body, something she described as a "sea change".

Ms Fitzgerald said garda superintendents and chief superintendents would no longer be appointed by the Government, and would not be done on the recommendation of the Garda Commissioner.

Appointments for the new authority will be made in July, she said, with the hope that the first meeting would take place in September.

Josephine Feehily, former chair of the Revenue Commissioners, is already in situ as chairperson of the new authority.

She welcomed the publication of the bill, saying she looked forward to the "implementation and formal establishment" of the authority.