Se­nior garda may go to court to fight sus­pen­sion

Enniscorthy Guardian - - NEWS - By 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 he 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 to chief su­per­in­ten­dent of the Dublin South Cen­tral Di­vi­sion in 2005. He is the chair of the Com­mis­sioner’s Strate­gic Hu­man Rights Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee and also re­spon­si­ble for the Ir­ish Pol­icy and Scieim.

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

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