Tuesday 17 January 2017

Callely in firing line again after allegations of forgery

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

Published 02/08/2010 | 05:00

UNDER fire Ivor Callely faced fresh calls for his resignation from the Seanad last night over allegations he used forged invoices to claim €3,000 from the taxpayer.

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And he could face a further grilling over the damaging claims, with senators last night calling for Mr Callely to be brought before an Oireachtas committee to explain himself. It was also claimed that the matter should be looked at by gardai.

Documents published by a Sunday newspaper show Mr Callely submitted a claim for four different mobile phones and car kits in November 2007.

The phones were purchased between 2002 and 2006, while Mr Callely was a TD and a junior minister, and the four invoices added up to almost €3,000.

However, it was reported that the company which issued the invoices, Business Communications Ltd, went out of business in 1994 -- eight years before Mr Callely claimed to have bought his first phone.

The latest details come after Dublin-based Mr Callely was last month suspended from the Seanad for 20 days without pay after he claimed €80,000 in travel expenses from his holiday home in west Cork.

Green Party Senator Dan Boyle, who sat on the committee which investigated Mr Callely's travel expenses, said the latest revelation should be looked at further.

Mr Boyle, who said Mr Callely should now consider his position, said the latest allegations could be a matter for the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission, which covers both the Dail and Seanad.

Fine Gael Senator Eugene Regan said Mr Callely should resign his seat and called on Taoiseach Brian Cowen to remove him from the Seanad.

Resign

The former Dublin North-Central TD was appointed to the upper house by former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern after he failed to hold his Dail seat at the 2007 General Election. But Mr Cowen previously said he did not have the power to force Mr Callely to resign.

"There may be a legitimate explanation for it," Mr Regan said. "It does have to be examined by an Oireachtas committee but I think he should resign. I don't think people will stand for this."

Mr Regan also said the issue should be looked at by gardai.

Mr Callely, who could not be contacted last night, is already outside the Fianna Fail parliamentary party, having resigned the party whip.

He "strenuously" rejected the Seanad report which said he misrepresented his normal place of residence for the purpose of claiming extra travel expenses.

Irish Independent

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