Sunday 18 August 2019

Ex-minister Pat Carey won't face charges over abuse claims

Investigated: Former minister Pat Carey will not be prosecuted in relation to allegations. Photo: Tom Burke
Investigated: Former minister Pat Carey will not be prosecuted in relation to allegations. Photo: Tom Burke

Ken Foy

Former government minister Pat Carey will not be prosecuted in relation to historical sexual abuse allegations.

It is understood that Mr Carey (71) was made aware of the Director of Public Prosecutions' (DPP) decision in late July.

Specialist gardaí had spent a number of years investigating the claims and submitted a file to the DPP.

After reviewing all the information given to it, the DPP decided that Mr Carey will not face charges.

Solicitor James MacGuill, acting on behalf of Mr Carey, last night confirmed he would not be prosecuted.

"MacGuill and Company Solicitors have 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 allegations widely publicised in 2015," a statement said.

"Mr Carey in expressing his satisfaction with this development has asked in particular 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."

It is understood that gardaí interviewed a number of people as part of an investigation which was carried out by the Garda National Protection Services Bureau (GNPSB).

When it became public in November 2015 that an investigation was being conducted, Mr Carey stepped down in his then role as Fianna Fáil's director of elections for the 2016 General Election.

He issued a statement through a solicitor at the time, saying he "does not know if allegations 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".

Mr Carey has always denied any allegations and issued a statement via his solicitor on November 12, 2015.

"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," the statement read. The statement also said he "has no knowledge of the actual complaints allegedly made".

It described Mr Carey as 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.

"This includes his role as chairman and member of many community and Church-related organisations."

The Kerry native was a TD for Dublin North West from 1997 to 2011 and served as government chief whip from 2008 before becoming community, equality and Gaeltacht affairs minister in 2010.

He also served as transport minister, as well as communications, energy and natural resources minister.

Irish Independent

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