Former Fianna Fáil government minister Pat Carey is to step down as Director of Elections for Fianna Fáil and as a member of the party following "unfounded" speculation in the media.

Mr Carey has issued a statement through his solicitors to RTÉ News, saying he does not know if the recent allegations of abuse in the media about a former government minister relate to him.

But the statement says 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 says he was distraught to first learn of these matters on the front page of a national newspaper.

It says he is also concerned about comments allegedly attributed to the gardaí in media articles in the past 24 hours.

The statement goes on to say that he is a respected person and entitled to his good name. However it says that 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 statement adds Mr Carey will also step down as Director of Elections for Fianna Fáil and as a member of the party.

The statement says he does not know if the allegations mentioned in the national press relate to him but that given the "unfounded" speculation that has arisen he is taking this action of his own volition and with a heavy heart.

He says he will not be making any other further public statement and the matter will be dealt with through his solicitors.

A Fianna Fáil spokesperson commented, "We have received confirmation of Pat Carey's decision to step aside from his role as Director of Elections and as a member of Fianna Fáil.  

He has outlined his reasons for this in his own statement released through his solicitors.  

An announcement on his replacement as Director of Elections will be made in due course."