Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has rejected claims that incoming Garda Commissioner Drew Harris is an outsider, describing him as an Irishman.

Mr Harris, a former PSNI Deputy Chief Constable, was appointed to replace Nóirín O'Sullivan earlier this summer.

His appointment prompted a legal challenge by the grandson of a victim of the Troubles. This action was dismissed by the High Court last week.

Minister Flanagan said that Mr Harris, who is due to start in his new role next week, will be an excellent commissioner.

Mr Flanagan said Mr Harris has worked closely with An Garda Síochána while he was with the PSNI.

He also said he was satisfied that all the appropriate levels of security and vetting took place as part of the recruitment process.

The Garda Press Office has confirmed that Mr Harris does have an Irish passport.

Minister Flanagan also took the opportunity to thank Acting Commissioner Donall Ó Cualáin for his service, ahead of his imminent retirement.