Monday 26 September 2016

Ivor Callely avoids jail over long-running debt

Alison O'Riordan and Tom Tuite

Published 09/06/2016 | 02:30

Former politician Ivor Callely Photo: Frank McGrath
Former politician Ivor Callely Photo: Frank McGrath

Disgraced former politician Ivor Callely has dodged another spell in jail after finally settling a long-running debt.

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The former Fianna Fáil minister has paid €1,755 he owed for more than three years to an accountancy firm.

But Judge Michael Coghlan said yesterday Callely led a "merry dance" over seven court appearances to resolve the debt.

He ordered him to pay an additional €1,750 in costs arising out the action which came close to putting Callely behind bars again. Finalising the case, the judge strenuously warned he would not wait another four years for him to pay the outstanding legal fees.

Callely (58), of St Lawrence's Road, Clontarf, Dublin, was jailed for five months in 2014 for using false invoices to claim expenses €4,207.45 between November 2007 and December 2009 while a member of the Seanad.

A bench warrant for his arrest was issued on May 17 by Dublin District Court in an unrelated case. These proceedings, which ended yesterday, resulted from his failure to comply with terms of a 2013 district court judgement compelling him to pay a €1,755 debt or face jail.

The former junior minister owed the money to Galway-based accountants Gallagher & Company.

Yesterday, barrister for Callely, Karl Moran, told the court that the "substantive debt" of €1,755 had been discharged by his client to the accountancy firm.

A costs figure of €1,750 was agreed. Mr Moran said there was "no reality" in his client being able to pay it within a week, as suggested by the solicitor for the accountancy firm. Judge Coghlan said Callely "does not get that latitude" and ordered he pay it within 30 days.

Irish Independent

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