Belfast Telegraph

Garda shock as top officer suspended by ex-PSNI man

By Paul Williams

The former PSNI man now leading the police in the Irish Republic has suspended one his most senior officers from duty.

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

The order was issued yesterday morning by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, a former PSNI Deputy Chief Constable.

Mr 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.

Mr Fanning has an impeccable record spanning decades of service, and is highly experienced and respected.

He has been a Garda for 39 years having joined in 1980 and is due to retire on age grounds this August.

It is understood the GSOC investigation was launched in November following allegations made by another member of the force.

It is understood that lawyers for Mr Fanning contacted Mr Harris yesterday. According to sources, Mr Fanning is considering High Court proceedings.

A statement from An Garda Siochana said: "A Garda officer, who is currently subject of an investigation, has been suspended from duty. As this is an ongoing investigation An Garda Siochana will not be making any further comment. An Garda Siochana will not be commenting on the identity of the member."

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