Minister for Justice Alan Shatter with the new Deputy Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan and Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan

History was made in Ireland on Tuesday when 50-year-old Noirín O’Sullivan was appointed to the second most powerful rank in the Irish police force.

O’Sullivan is the first female to be appointed as the Deputy Commissioner in the force, following a landmark cabinet decision.

In her new role, O’Sullivan will be in charge of the operational policing side of Ireland’s police force.

Assistant commissioners in charge of crime and security and the National Support Services, which include the specialist units of the force, will all report to O’Sullivan, as will all regional assistant commissioners.

The final decision was made at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting and was later announced by Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan

A native of Dublin, O’Sullivan joined the force in 1981. Appointed as a superintendent in 2003 she went onto serve as a detective superintendent at the Technical Bureau and Human Resource Management. Then in 2007 she was promoted to the role of assistant commissioner of the Western Region, before moving back to Human Resource Management. June 2009 saw the 50-year-old be appointed to the role of assistant commissioner in crime and security.