Ireland's retiring Director of Corporate Enforcement has said a legislative change to extend the period of garda detention for suspects of white collar crime would be helpful in fight against corporate criminal activity.

Paul Appleby said potential suspects faced a lot of questions and, in his experience, 24 hours was a very challenging time-frame.

He made his comments in an interview on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland on his last day in his post.

The Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said the issue of extending detention periods for white collar crime suspects and said further examination was warranted.

Minister Shatter also said he had raised the matter with the Garda Commissioner.

He said the issue of detaining those suspected of white collar crime was currently being looked at as part of an overall review of detention powers generally.

Mr Abbleby was Ireland's first Director of Corporate Enforcement when the office to target company crime was established in 2002.

His enquiries into wrongdoing at National Irish Bank, revealed by RTÉ, saw the office's profile rise in its early days.

For much of the last almost four years his investigators along with the gardaí have been involved in examining various activities at Anglo Irish Bank.

That work, said Mr Appleby, had now now concluded with files sent to the DPP.

Despite unease at the length of time taken, and at one point the queries of a High Court judge, Mr Appleby defended what he said was a robust investigation.

Ian Drennen to replace Paul Appleby

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton has announced that Ian Drennan is to replace Paul Appleby as the Director of Corporate Enforcement.

Mr Drennan has spent eight years as CEO of the Irish Auditing & Accounting Supervisory Authority.

Richard Bruton wished him every success and said that, having established and developed the Authority, that Mr Drennan has a wealth of experience in the areas of advocacy, regulation and enforcement.

The Minister also paid tribute to the outgoing Director Paul Appleby and thanked him for his contribution over the past eleven years, saying that he had "contributed significantly to the compliance and enforcement regime for company law that exists today."