MICHEAL Martin has hit out at suggestions that excessive payments made to Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) bosses are linked to a "legacy of the Fianna Fail party".
The Fianna Fail leader said such claims were being made for "political advantage" and that his party had "nothing to do with the management" of the CRC.
Former CRC chairman Des Peelo last month denied he was part of a Fianna Fail "cabal" due to his friendship with former Taoisigh Bertie Ahern and Charles Haughey. While Mr Peelo represented both former Fianna Fail leaders during tribunals, he said he was "outraged" at the claim, which was made by Independent TD Shane Ross.
Mr Martin has moved to distance the party from the CRC management.
He said a "perception" had been encouraged to link former CRC boss Paul Kiely's €740,000 pension package to the Fianna Fail legacy.
"That perception has been encouraged. The Fianna Fail party has nothing to do with the management of Central Remedial Clinic.
"And indeed, Paul Kiely's excessive pension package was only agreed last March," according to Mr Martin.
Mr Martin said he was on the public record as describing Mr Kiely's package as "excessive", adding that a "considerable or large portion of that funding should be restored".
"It's wrong to suggest it's a legacy of the Fianna Fail political party, and I think it's unfair and I think it's an attempt by some people to exploit for political advantage," he added.
The Public Accounts Committee will this week continue its preparation to recall the entire board, including Mr Kiely, to answer questions about payments to executives.