Micheál Carrigy has issued an apology to Robbie Keane after he last week urged the former Ireland international to donate the FAI salary which he has received since 2020 to "local soccer clubs who are crying out for much needed funding".
In a statement, which was subsequently removed from the Fine Gael website, the Longford-Westmeath senator incorrectly stated that Keane's €250,000-a-year salary was paid "by the taxpayer". The Irish Examiner reported last week that according to an FAI source, this is not the case, while the Sunday Independent reported at the weekend that Keane's solicitors sent a legal letter to Fine Gael.
"On Thursday (24th March), I issued a press release about Robbie Keane," Carrigy, who was elected as a member of the Seanad in 2020, said in a further statement issued today.
"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"As a result, I have withdrawn the press release and apologise to Robbie for any damage caused."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 was announced as Ireland assistant manager to Mick McCarthy on a four-year deal in November 2018.
However, when Stephen Kenny took over from McCarthy as manager in April 2020, Keane vacated that role. Though he continues to be paid by the FAI, a new role not been appointed to him since. His contract is due to expire later this year.
Fine Gael Senator Micheál Carrigy says Robbie Keane should donate the salary he has received since leaving in 2020 to local soccer clubs.
“We simply cannot afford to waste €250,000 each year, when such money would be a gamechanger for players and teams across the country” pic.twitter.com/skebhMNYOo
— Rob O'Hanrahan (@RobOHanrahan) March 24, 2022