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Parliament shooting hero Kevin Vickers appointed ambassador to Ireland

WATCH: Just three months ago, Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers shot the gunman who stormed Parliament Hill. Now, in a surprise appointment, he’s been named the new Canadian ambassador to Ireland. Mike Le Couteur reports.

TORONTO – Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers has been appointed the next Canadian ambassador to Ireland.

“As a Canadian with family on both sides hailing from Ireland, there could be no greater honour. I am humbled by the invitation to serve my country in this way,” said Vickers in a statement Thursday afternoon.

Vickers is credited with killing Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the gunman who stormed into Centre Block in October after killing Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial.

He was given an emotional standing ovation for his actions in the House of Commons and has gone on to international renown, feted by world leaders and media personalities.

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Vickers said he’s saddened to leave Parliament Hill, and thanked Canadians for their support over the last few months.

“You have my word that I will do my best to represent you in Ireland with pride and dignity.”

Vickers is a 29-year veteran of the RCMP, where he led investigations into homicides, drugs and into the safety of Canada’s blood supply. He also served as Aide-de-Camp for the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick and provided security to the Queen during one of her visits to Canada.

WATCH: Prime Minister Stephen Harper congratulates Kevin Vickers on his new appointment

Vickers, 58, has been Sergeant-at-Arms since 2006. Although it is partly a ceremonial role, with Vickers carrying the ceremonial mace into the House of Commons while it is sitting, he is also in charge of Parliamentary security.

Vickers will be replacing Loyola Hearn, the former Conservative MP and cabinet minister who was appointed to the position in 2010.

The ambassador position will take effect Jan. 19.

WATCH: The emotional standing ovation for as the House of Commons returned to work following the attack on Parliament (Oct. 23, 2014)

With files from Global News reporter Leslie Young and The Canadian Press

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