The Chairperson of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland, Kathleen O'Toole, has said "transformative change" is needed to modernise An Garda Síochána.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Sean O'Rourke, Ms O'Toole said the Government perhaps "rightly" lost focus on policing reform when the recession hit due to other pressures.

However she said it is clear to her the Department of Justice has a great appetite to reform An Garda Síochána.

She suggested that the future management of the force should include civilian laypersons with significant business, leadership and management experience.

Ms O’Toole said a cohesive leadership team must have not just policing skills, but business acumen.

She said garda leaders must also be developed to have greater business and management skills. 

Ms O'Toole said the Commission was focused on five key categories, including oversight and governance structure; the relationship between police and community; technology and innovation and leadership and structures.

She said from a technology point of view the gardaí were "generations behind."

All of her Commission's recommendations would require political will to implement, she said, as well as buy-in to cultural change from members of the organisation.

She said she wants to develop a national dialogue on policing and has set up a website,, and also invited people around the country to attend public meetings that will be held in the coming months.

Ms O'Toole has ruled herself out from running for the position as future Garda Commissioner.

She said "the best person" should be appointed, regardless of whether they were from inside or outside of the organisation.