SENATOR Ivor Callely's wife, Jennifer, has insisted she had a right to receive disabled drivers and passengers tax relief.
Ms Callely has confirmed that her Range Rover Sport HSE was converted to carry a disabled person, believed to be her elderly mother.
And she said that she had received relief from tax under the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations 1994.
The tax break was designed to make it more affordable for people with disabled relatives to convert vehicles and install various modifications to make transportation easier.
The relief was approved by the Revenue Commissioners after a rigorous certification process that included the provision of medical reports and vehicle inspections.
It's understood that the modifications included the provision of hoist and anchorage points and special seating.
But, in a statement issued through her solicitor, she expressed concerns over the way this sensitive issue was treated.
"Jennifer's husband may be open to scrutiny on matters in the public arena, but she is not going to allow her personal, domestic, delicate and sensitive family related issues be drawn into the current issues," the statement said.
"This is a genuine family situation. Jennifer does not wish to disclose any details that may jeopardise the vulnerability of a particular family member, particularly a family member suffering a disability."
And the solicitor's statement added that Senator Callely was entitled to drive the vehicle.
"Jennifer and all the Callely family members are insured to drive this vehicle in order to assist the disabled family member with her transportation needs," it added.
The maximum tax relief that can be obtained under the scheme is €15,875.
O'Hanrahan and Company Solicitors said that the vehicle cost €72,635 plus additional modification costs in excess of €6,500, making a total cost of €79,135.
They added that this figure included €11,169.40 VAT plus Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) of €8,278, making a tax total of €19,447.40 plus the modification costs of the car.
The solicitors said that it was their understanding that the Revenue Commissioners calculated the Vat, VRT and modification costs at €24,153 and granted the tax relief of €15,875 towards this outlay.
"Jennifer paid the balance of tax of €8,278 to Revenue," it said. "The claim required detailed certification, medical reports and inspection of the vehicle.
"All such certification, medical reports and inspection were carried out and approved by the relevant authority," the statement added.
"The vehicle Jennifer Callely purchased and registered in her sole name as a purpose-bought vehicle for the transportation needs of a family member was in compliance with all the regulations."