Pat Carey steps down as Fianna Fail director of elections
A former Irish Government minister has stepped down as a senior party strategist and denied any knowledge of alleged complaints of abuse.
Pat Carey, who quit public life in 2011 after losing his seat, will no longer act as director of elections for the main opposition party, Fianna Fail.
The 67-year-old said he does not know if allegations reported in Irish media about a former and unnamed politician relate to him but that he was resigning following "unfounded speculation".
In a statement issued through his lawyer, Eames Solicitors said he was a respected person and entitled to his good name.
"Mr Carey is deeply upset to be contacted by various journalists on this matter when he has no knowledge of the actual complaints already made," the law firm said.
"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 gardai 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 is stepping down as chairman and member of a number of community and church organisations as well as from his political strategist role.
The solicitor continued: "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 statement was issued following reports an alleged complaint of abuse against a former and unnamed politician was being investigated by gardai.
Mr Carey, a former TD (MP) for Dublin North West, was appointed last month as the chief strategist for Fianna Fail's campaign ahead of next year's general election.
A Fianna Fail spokesman said: "We have received confirmation of Pat Carey's decision to step aside from his role as director of elections and as a member of Fianna Fail.
"He has outlined his reasons for this in his own statement released through his solicitors.
"An announcement on his replacement as director of elections will be made in due course."
Mr Carey was Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs from 2010 to 2011.
During Ireland's recent historic referendum campaign for same sex marriage, Mr Carey publicly came out as a gay man.
He is originially from Co Kerry.
He was as a school teacher before entering politics and worked in north Dublin.