Garda probe follows abuse complaint inquiry leak
A Garda investigation has been launched into the leaking of alleged complaints of abuse against an unnamed politician.
Former Irish Government minister Pat Carey last night denied any knowledge of allegations and stepped down as Fianna Fail's director of elections and chairman and member of a number of community and church organisations .
The 67-year-old said he does not know if allegations reported in the media about a former politician relate to him but that he was resigning following "unfounded speculation".
Reports of the alleged complaints emerged two days ago with the Garda press office stating it is the force's policy "not to comment on individual cases" before further information emerged attributed to sources.
In a statement issued through his lawyers last night, Eames Solicitors said Mr Carey "absolutely and unconditionally denies any impropriety", that he was distraught to hear of the complaints in the media and that he was "concerned at comments allegedly attributed to the gardai in media articles".
The lawyers also said Mr Carey is "a respected person and entitled to his good name" and that he was issuing a statement following "unfounded speculation".
The Garda press office said it is examining how information on a live investigation was made public.
"An Garda Siochana wish to confirm that we are examining all the circumstances surrounding how information relating to an ongoing criminal investigation entered the public domain," it said.
Mr Carey, a former TD for Dublin North West, was appointed last month as the chief strategist for Fianna Fail's campaign ahead of next year's general election.
He was Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs from 2010 to 2011 but left public life when the last government collapsed.
Originally from Co Kerry, during Ireland's recent historic referendum campaign for same-sex marriage, Mr Carey publicly came out as a gay man.
He was a school teacher before entering politics and worked in north Dublin.
It is the second time the Garda has launched an inquiry into the leaking of information to the media about an ongoing investigation.
The first incident related to reports about two separate Roma families who both had a fair-haired child taken into state care in October 2013 over unfounded fears the youngsters had been abducted.
The Irish cases followed international headlines about the discovery of a blonde girl called Maria in a Roma camp in Greece who was living with a couple who were not her biological parents.