Garda tries to stop probe over homophobia complaint
A Garda sergeant who allegedly put a sign saying "FAG1" on a female colleague's car is trying to stop an internal investigation against him over alleged homophobic treatment.
The investigation against Sgt Paul Fanning, Cabra garda station in Dublin, arises from a complaint made by Garda Emma Corcoran on grounds of sexual orientation, the High Court heard.
It was alleged that, in May 2008, he placed a paper sign that read "FAG1" in front of a number plate of her car.
It was also claimed he asked her if she had enjoyed searching a woman prisoner and sent her inappropriate messages on the command and control system.
Sgt Fanning claims an investigation into the allegation against him is flawed on grounds including that certain material should not have been used against him. He also claims there was a delay in investigating the matter.
He is seeking orders quashing the decision to investigate the complaints, and to prevent the use of any statements taken in a previous investigation from being used.
He also claims the decision to investigate him is a breach of fair procedures and his rights.
The Garda Commissioner denies acting wrongly and says he has a duty to investigate.
On the opening day of the case yesterday, the court heard the investigation, under disciplinary procedures, began after Gda Corcoran made a complaint in June 2008, when they were both stationed at Ballyfermot garda station in Dublin.
It was stopped in February 2009 when Sgt Fanning brought High Court proceedings, which were settled. But a new investigation was initiated under the garda policy on harassment, sexual harassment and bullying.
The hearing continues.