Monday 22 July 2019

Assistant Garda Commissioner ready to challenge his suspension in court

Assistant Garda Commissioner Fintan Fanning
Assistant Garda Commissioner Fintan Fanning
Paul Williams

Paul Williams

The Assistant Commissioner who has been suspended from duty pending the outcome of an investigation by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) is planning a High Court action challenging the decision.

Assistant Commissioner Fintan Fanning was suspended on the orders of the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris on Thursday.

It is understood he will argue that his suspension was unnecessary as he had provided the commissioner with full and detailed answers to allegations of misconduct which were made against him by a rank and file garda last November.

Mr Harris moved to suspend Mr Fanning, who is due to retire next August after 40 years unblemished service, as an ongoing Gsoc inquiry is under way.

However, it has still been greeted with shock within the force, and the suspension of such a high-ranking officer is unprecedented.

The Irish Independent understands the garda whose complaints are being investigated by GSOC has made two allegations against Mr Fanning.

The first concerns an alleged incident where the garda was temporarily suspended from duty pending an investigation of an alleged assault two years ago.

However, following a full investigation, the DPP decided the garda had no case to answer and he was re-instated.

The second allegation is understood to centre on an the officer's unsuccessful bid to be selected on a specialist firearms course.

The Irish Independent also understands Mr Fanning submitted a number of full and detailed responses to the allegations which were sent to the Commissioner's office in December.

It is believed Mr Fanning has claimed he was following established procedures in relation to the complainant's original suspension from duty pending an investigation.

In respect of the second allegation, the senior officer has denied that he had any involvement in the selection process for the specialist course.

Sources

The Irish Independent also understands lawyers for Mr Fanning have been in contact with Commissioner Harris' office.

According to sources familiar with the ongoing enquiry, the senior officer is preparing to take High Court proceedings if necessary.

Mr Fanning has held several high-profile posts, including chief superintendent of the Dublin South Central Division, head of HR and regional commander for the Northern and Eastern Regions.

He is also an accomplished academic.

Irish Independent

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