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Gardaí investigating how child sex abuse allegations were leaked to press

This relates to a story earlier in the week about allegations of sexual assault against a former minister.

Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Updated 7.35pm 

AN GARDA SÍOCHÁNA has confirmed that it will examine how information about an ongoing criminal investigation was obtained by the media in recent days.

The internal investigation relates to a story reported by a number of media outlets on Tuesday that individuals had come forward with allegations of sexual abuse against a former government minister. 

It is unclear at this time if the leak came from within An Garda Síochána.

This evening the Department of Justice said it had no information on the investigation prior to its disclosure to the media.

In a statement, the Department said:

In view of reports that officials of the Department of Justice may be among those who have to be looked at as potential sources as part of an examination by An Garda Síochána into the disclosure of information relating to an investigation into alleged child abuse, the Department wishes to make it clear that it had received no information on the investigation in question prior to its disclosure to the media.

Last night, former Fianna Fáil minister Pat Carey stepped down as the party’s director of elections and resigned his membership of the party. He also quit his roles with several organisations he had been involved with.

Carey said that he did not know if he was the minister at the centre of the investigation, but was taking the action in the wake of what he said was “rumour and innuendo” regarding his name.

The former Dublin North-West TD said he absolutely and unconditionally denies impropriety in relation to the allegations.

In a statement issued on behalf of Carey, his solicitors said:

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 Gardaí in media articles in the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil has named his replacement this evening with Cork North-Central TD Billy Kelleher to take up the role as director of elections for next year’s general election.

Party leader Micheál Martin thanked Carey for his work on the campaign to date, saying in a statement:

Billy was first elected to the Dáil in 1997 and has a wide range of experience, having served as Minister of State for Trade and Commerce and Minister of State for Labour Affairs.

“He replaces Pat Carey. I would like to thank Pat and acknowledge his work on the campaign to date.”

- additional reporting from Hugh O’Connell and Sinead O’Carroll 

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