Fine Gael Senator apologises to Robbie Keane for ‘inaccurate’ statement

Senator says information in press release was ‘inaccurate and false’ and ‘unfair’

Fine Gael Senator Micheál Carrigy has apologised to former Republic of Ireland footballer Robbie Keane for an "inaccurate" and "unfair" statement.

The party issued a press release last week in which Mr Carrigy criticised the €250,000 salary being paid to Mr Keane by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).

The Sunday Independent reported at the weekend that Keane’s solicitors had contacted Fine Gael seeking an apology and retraction of the remarks.

Mr Carrigy has now apologised for statements made in the press release last Thursday.

He said: “I’ve since learned that the information contained in this release was inaccurate and false in a number of respects and was unfair.

“As a result, I have withdrawn the press release and apologise to Robbie for any damage caused.”

Keane received a four-year contract in 2018 to work as an assistant coach under Mick McCarthy who was the then Irish squad manager.

When Stephen Kenny took over in April 2020, he appointed new assistants leaving no room for Keane in his backroom team.

FAI chief executive Jonathan Hill last year criticised the association’s previous handling of the situation.

He said: “I think it is fair to say the situation around Robbie initially was not of his making” and added: “I personally don’t believe the association handled that situation particularly well.”

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times