The Garda Commissioner has apologised to individuals and communities let down by the gardaí since its inception 100 years ago.

Drew Harris was speaking at an event to commemorate the centenary of the inaugural meeting of the 'Police Organising Committee' which led to the establishment of An Garda Síochána (The Civic Guard).

It replaced the Royal Irish Constabulary after the foundation of the Republic of Ireland.

Commissioner Harris said: "While we celebrate all the great many things that An Garda Síochána has achieved over the past 100 years and the benefits to Irish society, we must also reflect this evening on the times we did not meet our own high standards."

He said the evolution of the organisation over the past century has not been without its difficulties saying "we have encountered many challenges through our history".

"There were times when we let individuals and communities down. Times when we should have done more, and, should have done better. For all those times, I want to apologise to those that we failed," he said.

The Commissioner was speaking at a event in the Gresham Hotel in Dublin this evening, attended by the former Commissioner Nóirín O Sullivan, Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Former Justice Minister Nora Owen.

On 9 February 1922 a secret meeting took place in the same hotel, chaired by Michael Collins, the Chairman of the Provisional Government of Ireland to establish a new police force for the new republic.

Also present at that meeting were Michael Staines, first garda commissioner and Eoin O'Duffy and Eamon Broy, who both went on to become second and third garda commissioners respectively.

Michael Staines’ grandson attended this evening’s commemoration event which had been postponed due to Covid.

Comm Harris said throughout the decades, gardaí have prevented and detected significant amounts of crime.

He referenced the recent progress on targeting and disrupting organised crime groups.

"There have been incidents of crime that have shocked and dismayed during the past century and as a police service we have encountered and responded to deeply unsettling periods in Ireland's past," he said.

He paid tribute to the 89 gardaí killed on the job along with those who were injured while carrying out their duties.

"It is our task 100 years on, to maintain the community focus that is the bedrock of how we police, and we must continue to modernise to ensure we can deliver a policing service the country and all of us can be proud of," he added.