Irish Red Cross chairman and former Fianna Fáil minister Pat Carey has expressed his satisfaction with the Director of Public Prosecutions’ decision that he will not face prosecution in respect of abuse allegations widely publicised in 2015.
Thehas confirmed that Mr Carey’s solicitor was told by gardaí within the last month of the direction that he should face no further action.
In a statement to this newspaper, solicitor James MacGuill, acting on behalf of Mr Carey, has confirmed that his company has been advised by the Garda National Protective Services Bureau that the Director of Public Prosecutions has directed that there should be no prosecution against Mr Carey in respect of the allegations.
In “expressing his satisfaction” with this development, Mr Carey asked that his privacy be respected by all at this time.
“As there are legal proceedings in being arising from media coverage of this issue previously and related issues, neither Mr Carey or MacGuill & Company will be commenting further at this point,” the statement added.
Mr Carey took a High Court case against Independent News and Media, the State, and the Garda Commissioner in 2016 over the initial reporting of the allegations. The case is ongoing.
In late 2015, following media reports, Mr Carey stepped down from a number of roles but “absolutely and unconditionally” denied “any impropriety” following sex-abuse allegations against a politician.
Mr Carey, who resigned as Fianna Fáil’s director of elections for the 2016 general election campaign and temporarily from a role with the Irish Red Cross, said he was “deeply upset” at being contacted by journalists.
Mr Carey said at the time he did “not know if the allegations mentioned in the national press relate to him”.
However, he released a statement through his solicitors in which said he had instructed them “in relation to the rumour and innuendo surrounding anarticle published entitled ‘Former Minister investigated by gardaí over child abuse claims’ ”.
Mr Carey was first elected to Dáil Eireann in 1997 for the constituency of Dublin North-West, which he held until 2011. He served as chief whip to former taoiseach Brian Cowen from 2008 to 2010 during the economic crash. He was then elevated to the Cabinet, becoming minister for community and rural affairs.
After a botched reshuffle in 2011, which was blocked by Fianna Fáil’s coalition partners, the Green Party, Mr Carey ended up running three ministries for two months. After he left politics, he supported the 2015 marriage equality referendum and, in the run-up to the campaign, came out as gay.
He said: “My only regret is that I didn’t have the courage or confidence to [come out while in politics]. When I look back, it’s an awful pity I didn’t feel able to do that. Nobody stopped me, but I wasn’t sure how it would be received.”