Assistant Garda Commissioner suspended pending Gsoc probe

Assistant Commissioner Fintan Fanning has been suspended from duty pending the outcome of an investigation by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc).

The order was issued yesterday morning by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, the Irish Independent has learned.

Commissioner Harris acted swiftly following media reports that the officer remained in his post amid the Gsoc inquiry.

The move was greeted with shock within the force, as the suspension of such a high-ranking officer is unprecedented. Asst Commissioner Fanning has an impeccable record spanning decades of service, and is highly experienced and respected.

He has been a member of An Garda Síochána for 39 years, having joined in 1980, and is due to retire on age grounds in August of this year.

He 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.

It is understood the Gsoc investigation was launched in November on foot of allegations made by another member of the force, who is of garda rank.

The Irish Independent understands that lawyers for Asst Commissioner Fanning contacted Commissioner Harris yesterday. According to sources familiar with the ongoing enquiry, the senior officer is considering High Court proceedings.

A statement from An Garda Síochána said: “A Garda officer, who is currently subject of an investigation, has been suspended from duty.

“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.”

Last October, the Commissioner also made the decision to suspend John Barrett, the civilian head of the force’s HR section, pending a separate investigation.

Mr Barrett came in for criticism by Supreme Court Judge Peter Charleton in his report on the Disclosures Tribunal, which investigated the treatment of Maurice McCabe.

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