The Garda Commissioner has reinstated an Assistant Commissioner after the Garda Ombudsman found he has no criminal case to answer.

Fintan Fanning was suspended last month following the commencement of a GSOC investigation into allegations of misconduct in public office contained in a protected disclosure from another garda.

He challenged the suspension in the High Court claiming it was unlawful, unprecedented and bizarre.

However GSOC wrote to the Commissioner today and informed him that Assistant Commissioner Fanning was no longer the subject of a criminal investigation.

A garda for 38 years and the longest serving Assistant Commissioner with four Masters degrees in related disciplines, Fintan Fanning is the highest ranking member of An Garda Síochána ever to be suspended.

He was removed from his position in charge of the Eastern Region last month after GSOC began an investigation into allegations made by another garda in a protected disclosure.

The High Court heard the garda claimed that he had been removed from a training course for an Armed Support Unit and separately suspended following a criminal investigation and that both actions against him had been recommended by Assistant Commissioner Fanning.

But the Assistant Commissioner told the High Court that the garda had failed to pass the selection process for the armed unit and various officers had expressed concerns including relating to the garda's access to firearms.

Assistant Commissioner Fanning also said that in relation to the second action it was another Assistant Commissioner in Garda Headquarters who suspended the garda, not him.

Today GSOC wrote to the Garda Commissioner informing him that the Assistant Commissioner was no longer the subject of the criminal investigation.

In a letter seen by RTÉ News, GSOC also says that while the senior officer is no longer the focus of its inquiry, its criminal investigation would continue until it is satisfied no criminality was involved and it has not ruled out disciplinary proceedings in the future.

Garda Headquarters confirmed this evening that Assistant Commissioner Fanning is no longer suspended.

The High Court heard that the Garda Commissioner told Assistant Commissioner Fanning last month that because of the GSOC criminal investigation in respect of an allegation of misconduct in public office there was no alternative but to suspend him.

However Fintan Fanning is no longer the subject of any proceedings and having been suspended for the past seven weeks, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has reinstated him to his position as Assistant Commissioner for the Eastern Region.