Former garda commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan wants to bring a defamation action against a national daily newspaper, the High Court has heard.

Ms O'Sullivan, who served as commissioner between 2014 and 2017, claims she was defamed by the Cork-based Irish Examiner newspaper.

Her intended action against Irish Examiner Ltd was briefly mentioned before Mr Justice David Barniville during a vacation sitting of the High Court.

Her barrister Gary Compton told the court that Ms O'Sullivan seeks an order allowing her to extend the time legally allowed to bring defamation proceedings before a court.

He said that under the 2009 Defamation Act litigants had up to 12 months from the date of publication to bring defamation proceedings against the publisher but under Section 38 of that Act, the High Court could extend the 12-month time limit to a maximum of two years.

Judge Barniville granted Ms O'Sullivan's lawyers permission to serve Irish Examiner Ltd with short notice of her application to extend time.

He granted permission on an ex-parte basis, in the absence of any representation on behalf of the newspaper, and made the matter returnable to Friday's sitting of the court.

During the short hearing no details concerning the alleged defamation were aired in open court.

Ms O'Sullivan has served as Director of Strategic Partnerships for Europe at the International Association of Chiefs of Police since October 2017.

She was the first woman to lead An Garda Síochána in its 92-year history. 

Ms O'Sullivan announced her resignation from the force on 10 September 2017 and was appointed to her new position just over a month later.