Monday 17 June 2019

Garda under investigation by Gsoc says allegations against him are 'spurious'

Assistant Garda Commissioner Fintan Fanning
Assistant Garda Commissioner Fintan Fanning
Garda Síochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) headquarters in Dublin
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

The Assistant Commissioner under investigation by the Garda Ombudsman has described the allegations made against him by another officer as "outrageous and spurious".

Assistant Commissioner Fintan Fanning's legal team last week wrote to Garda Commissioner Drew Harris asking him to "immediately remove the suspension".

In the letter, Mr Fanning's solicitors said the decision to suspend the high-ranking officer was "grossly disproportionate and wrong".

"Assistant Commissioner Fanning has at all times acted lawfully and reported wrongdoing as a member of An Garda Síochána," the letter added.

Mr Fanning has been suspended from the force pending the outcome of an investigation by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) arising from allegations against him by a rank and file officer.

The investigation is understood to centre on two allegations made in a protected disclosure about Mr Fanning and his dealings with the lower ranked member of the force.

The first relates to the junior garda's unsuccessful application to be promoted to an armed response unit. This incident has been the subject of an internal Garda investigation.

The second relates to an incident in a hotel involving the same garda, which was referred to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).

The garda was suspended from the force while an investigation into an assault at the hotel was ongoing. However, following a full investigation, the DPP decided the garda had no case to answer and he was re-instated.

Mr Fanning had involvement in both incidents in his role as an Assistant Commissioner.

However, he maintains the Garda Commissioner's office and other senior members of the force were also involved in the decisions taken in both incidents.

In the letter to the Commissioner, Mr Fanning's solicitors said: "Your office has been aware of these matters for some in that they relate to issues that occurred in November and December 2017, involving decision making by several senior ranking officers and are the subject of a number of independent enquires established by the Garda Commissioner, which remain outstanding."

Mr Fanning, who has been a garda for almost 40 years, is due to retire in August.

He held a number of senior positions during his career, including serving as head of human resources and regional commander for the Northern and Eastern Regions.

The Garda press office said: "As this is an ongoing investigation, An Garda Síochána will not be making any further comment.

"An Garda Síochána will not be commenting on the identity of the member."

Irish Independent

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