Callely denies he owes struggling printer €17,500
FORMER Fianna Fail junior minister Ivor Callely has denied he owes €17,500 to a print company that is fighting for survival.
Future Print, which has 112 employees, has cited problems with the collection of bad debts as one of the reasons it required the appointment of an examiner in the High Court this week.
The Dublin-based company printed political literature for Mr Callely, as well as 50,000 calling cards -- which were used to show voters he had visited their house.
It is understood €14,000 of the €17,500 printing bill that Future Print claims it is owed by Mr Callely dates back as far as April 2007.
This was when he was in the midst of his ultimately unsuccessful campaign to be re-elected to the Dail in the Dublin North Central constituency.
He lost out in his subsequent bid to be elected to the Seanad, but was later appointed as one of the government nominees by former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.
Mr Callely last night denied he owed €17,500 to Future Print for printing political literature for him.
"There is some issue about some bills, but as far as I know the amounts due that are being demanded are incorrect and are being resolved by Future Print themselves," he said.
He said he did not know anything about being listed as a debtor by the company because he was not negotiating with it about the bills.
"It was somebody else," he told the Irish Independent.
Mr Callely also denied a large part of the bill had been outstanding for nearly three years.
"It's not outstanding as I said. That's the position and I hope that's helpful. I'm saying the money isn't due," he added.
Mr Callely resigned as a junior minister in December 2005, after it emerged that a building contractor involved in public contracts had painted his house free of charge in the early 1990s.
Last year, a prime Dublin site Mr Callely co-owned was seized by investment bank Investec.
In a statement, Future Print confirmed the High Court had appointed David Carson of Deloitte & Touche as examiner to the company.
It said the factors that had contributed to its cash flow difficulties included bad debts, the awarding of state contracts to printers overseas, a shortfall in requested bank funding and the lower VAT rate in the North.
However, an independent accountant's report presented to the High Court concluded that the company, which is based in Baldoyle in Dublin, had a reasonable prospect of survival as a going concern.
The Irish Independent last night contacted Mr Callely again for further details about €17,500 printing bill Future Print claims it is owed.
"The best thing to do is that if you can write to me, I will answer any questions. But there's a dispute over some of that stuff, and most of it was returned, so if you want to send any questions to me, I'll be happy to answer them," he said.
However, Mr Callely did not respond to the list of further questions sent to him via email.