Suspended Garda HR chief faces probe over allegations
A senior official from the Department of Justice is to probe allegations of a serious breach of discipline by the suspended head of the human resources section in the Garda force, John Barrett.
Mr Barrett was suspended by Commissioner Drew Harris after it was claimed he had been involved in a serious disagreement with another senior member of Garda management.
As a civilian, the Commissioner did not have the power to suspend Mr Barrett without permission from Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan, who has now given the go-ahead to Mr Harris to take the action.
Mr Harris had written to the minister outlining the background to the alleged disagreement and had recommended a suspension.
The senior department official will now examine the allegations and establish the facts.
If this results in disciplinary proceedings and there is a finding against Mr Barrett, he faces a range of outcomes.
Under the civil service disciplinary code, the options range from a dismissal to suspension without pay, or a reduction to a specified lower grade or rank, or being put on a lower rate of remuneration, including the withholding of an increment, or withdrawal of allowances.
The suspension relates solely to the alleged disagreement Mr Barrett had with another management figure and does not involve comments made at the Disclosures Tribunal.
In his report, tribunal chairman Mr Justice Peter Charleton said much of Mr Barrett's evidence about a meeting with another senior civilian had "an imaginative element".