Sunday 21 July 2019

Senior garda may go to court to fight suspension

Assistant Commissioner Fintan Fanning
Assistant Commissioner Fintan Fanning

Sara Gahan

Kilanerin native and high-ranking Garda, Fintan Fanning, may go to court to challenge a decision to suspend him last week pending the outcome of a Garda Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) investigation.

The suspension follows allegations of misconduct that were made against him by a rank and file garda but is understood to be without prejudice to the investigation as no adverse finding has been made and the allegations have yet to be properly tested.

Mr Fanning, who is the Assistant Commissioner for the Eastern Region, grew up in Kilanerin before moving to Dublin in 1980 after joining An Garda Siochana.

According to reports in the Irish Independent last week, the Assistant Commissioner is planning a High Court action challenging the decision if necessary. The high-ranking officer, who has 39 years experience, believes that his suspension is unnecessary as he provided the Garda Commissioner with full, detailed answers to the allegations of misconduct made against him, denying any wrongdoing.

The suspension order was issued to the County Wexford man by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris last week, who acted to suspend Mr Fanning as a GSOC inquiry was underway.

Mr Fanning has spent most of his life in Dublin with his family but the Assistant Commissioner has many relatives in the north Wexford area.

Appointed to Assistant Commissioner in 2008, the news comes as a shock to the force as Mr Fanning is such a high-ranking officer. He is due to retire on age grounds later this year.

He has many career highlights, including being promoted in 2005 as chief superintendent of the Dublin South Central Division. He is the chair of the SHRAC - the Commissioner's Strategic Human Rights Advisory Committee and also responsible for the Irish Policy and Scieim. He also holds numerous academic qualifications.

It has been reported that Garda members who know him expect him to fight to protect his reputation.

Gorey Guardian