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retraction Fine Gael senator Micheál Carrigy apologises to Robbie Keane over €250k FAI salary comments

Solicitors for the Republic of Ireland's record goal-scorer sought an apology and retraction from Fine Gael

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Robbie Keane

Robbie Keane

Robbie Keane

Fine Gael Senator Micheál Carrigy has apologised to former Irish international Robbie Keane for a statement about his FAI salary that "was inaccurate and false in a number of respects".

Solicitors for the Republic of Ireland's record goal-scorer sought an apology and retraction from Fine Gael over the statement made by the Longford-based senator last Thursday about the €250,000-a-year salary Keane receives from the FAI despite having no formal role within the organisation.

Fine Gael removed the statement from its website but it was carried by a number of news outlets and tweeted by several journalists after it was issued by the party’s press office.

It is understood Keane’s solicitors took issue with Mr Carrigy’s characterisation of how the salary is funded.

"On Thursday (24th March), I issued a press release about Robbie Keane," Mr Carrigy said in a statement issued by the Fine Gael press office on Thursday morning.

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“As a result, I have withdrawn the press release and apologise to Robbie for any damage caused.”

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Fine Gael Senator Micheál Carrigy

Fine Gael Senator Micheál Carrigy

Fine Gael Senator Micheál Carrigy

 

Former Spurs, Wolves and Celtic striker Keane (41) was appointed assistant manager of the national team four years ago as part of Mick McCarthy’s backroom team.

However, when Stephen Kenny took over as manager in 2020 he did not offer Keane a position in his backroom team. Keane remains on the FAI payroll with his contract set to expire this summer.

Mr Carrigy’s original statement called for the salary to be refunded and be put towards grassroots soccer clubs.

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The FAI had its annual State funding doubled to €5.8m in 2020 as part of a government rescue package for the debt-ridden association. It was also allocated €13m in Covid-relief funding in 2020 and €19m for the same purpose last year along with several other sporting organisations that were affected by the pandemic.

More to follow…

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