Beef farmer to sue Dept as SIU row rumbles on
A CAVAN farmer is set to sue the Department of Agriculture over his treatment by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU).
Douglas Fannin, who was exonerated of any wrong-doing by Cavan Circuit Court last year after the SIU charged him with interfering with TB tests, also confirmed this week that he would be "delighted" to have his case investigated by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
"I've nothing to hide and my integrity is intact following the ruling by Judge Reynolds," said Mr Fannin.
The chairman of the PAC, Deputy John McGuinness, announced last week that a probe into the SIU would be a priority for him following the recent settlement between the Department and Offaly cattle dealer John Fleury.
Mr Fleury's 16 year-long legal battle with the Department ended when the State dropped all 160 charges against him and awarded him a substantial settlement earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Sinn Fein TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin described the Department's pursuit of Mr Fannin by the SIU as "unjustified and disgraceful".
Addressing the Minister for State at the Department of Agriculture, Tom Hayes, Deputy Ó Caoláin slated internal reports into the SIU as "whitewash efforts" on the part of the Department.
He also asked the Minister for Agriculture why SIU officials allowed animals from Mr Fanin's herd into the food chain, when they were simultaneously claiming they had been injected with unknown substances.