Former minister Pat Carey says he does not know if he is the person at the centre of Garda investigation into alleged child abuse claims and this week resigned from several positions.
The claims have sent shockwaves through Leinster House but Mr Carey has denied any impropriety and says he has “no knowledge” of the allegations of abuse reported.
A garda chief superintendent has been appointed to head up the investigation into how details of an investigation into an alleged crime were leaked to the media. Members of the force, journalists and officials with state agencies are among those expected to be quizzed, garda sources confirmed.
A statement from gardaí added:“An Garda Síochána wish to confirm that we are examining all the circumstances surrounding how information relating to an ongoing criminal investigation entered the public domain.” Sources confirmed that garda phones would also be checked and the numbers dialled by some members examined.
Mr Carey resigned as Fianna Fáil’s director of elections this week as well as other public roles, saying he wanted the work of groups to continue without controversy or distraction.
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”.
The Irish Red Cross yesterday confirmed Mr Carey had resigned as its chairman, saying it respected his decision and that “authorities must now be given time to investigate”.
It said the charity’s work “at home and abroad is not affected”. It noted that the allegations of abuse allegedly relating to Mr Carey dated back more than 30 years, before Mr Carey’s time with the charity.
There was criticism yesterday of how details of the claims had been leaked to the media, especially since Mr Carey has not yet spoken to gardaí on the matter.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said: “The gardaí are investigating information getting into the media. I’m concerned because it’s extremely important that all proper procedures are followed.
“Clearly the [Garda] Commissioner would be concerned about any inappropriate behaviour in terms of any investigations which are taking place and would be following up on that.”
The leaking of the information was also criticised by Renua Ireland leader Lucinda Creighton, who said: “It should not have been leaked. The person identified has not even been interviewed by the gardaí yet. Every citizen has the right to protect their good name.”
Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD has appointed the party’s Health spokesman, Billy Kelleher TD, as director of elections ..