Tuesday 28 March 2017

Judgment deferred on Callely's challenge

Tim Healy

JUDGMENT was deferred yesterday in senator Ivor Callely's High Court action aimed at overturning a Seanad committee's finding that he misrepresented his normal place of residence to claim expenses.

Last July, Mr Callely was suspended from the Seanad for 20 days after its Select Committee on Members' Interests made a finding that he had intentionally misrepresented his normal place of residence as Kilcrohane, Bantry, Co Cork.

He argued that the committee made a political and ethical decision against him, which he claims it was not entitled to do.

Mr Callely also claimed that the committee disregarded the Department of Finance's definition of a normal place of residence.

However, the committee said the action should be dismissed because the courts do not have jurisdiction to hear his action.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill said he was reserving his decision.

During the hearing, the judge remarked that the proceedings raised issues that were "new territory" for the courts.

Yesterday, Conleth Bradley, for the committee, told the court that the committee was entitled to ask "hard questions" of Mr Callely.

Michael O'Higgins, for Mr Callely, said that the transcript clearly displayed that there was bias against his client.

Irish Independent

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