Former Fianna Fáil minister Pat Carey has stepped down from his position as the party’s director of elections, but has said he doesn’t know if he is the politician at the centre of recent allegations of sexual abuse.
The Keel, Castlemaine native released a statement through his solicitor tonight in which he also said he is temporarily stepping down as a member of the party.
The statement said: “Mr Carey is deeply upset to be contacted by various journalists on this matter when he has no knowledge of the actual complaints allegedly made.”
“He absolutely and unconditionally denies any impropriety in this matter or in his 30 years’ experience as a teacher; as a community worker and in his public life.
“He was distraught to first learn of these matters on the front page of a national newspaper. He is also concerned at comments allegedly attributed to the gardaí in media articles in the past 24 hours.
“Mr Carey is a respected person and entitled to his good name.
“However, in order to allow the good work of the organisations that he is involved in to continue without controversy or distraction, he will step aside from all such roles to allow any investigation to take place.
“Mr Carey does not know if the allegations mentioned in the national press relate to him, but given the unfounded speculation that has arisen, he is taking this action of his own volition and with a heavy heart.
The 68-year old former teacher who had just been recently elected chairman of the Red Cross played a prominent role campaigning for a yes vote in last May’s same sex marriage referendum.
Yesterday the Irish Independent reported that a former politician was being investigated for allegations of child abuse.