Monday 23 October 2017

Fresh appeal for return of Callely €6,000 in 'expenses'

Treacy Hogan and Ralph Riegel

TRANSPORT minister Leo Varadkar's senior officials have issued a fresh appeal for former minister Ivor Callely to repay almost €6,000 in overpaid expenses.

And they told Mr Callely that if he had been underpaid the mileage allowances, they would have moved to refund him.

In a statement last night the Department of Transport said: "If the department had made an underpayment in error, it would be happy to rectify the matter. The same principle applies to overpayments."

It follows revelations in yesterday's Irish Independent that the former senator has so far failed to pay back the money.

He claimed mileage expenses at a higher rate than he was entitled to in 2004.

The former Fianna Fail politician also claimed mileage expenses for the month of April 2005 on two separate occasions.

The Department of Transport accepts it was at fault in making the overpayment, and that there was no attempt by Mr Callely to claim excess expenses.

Despite several letters, and a meeting between Mr Callely with two senior department officials in Leinster House, the money has so far not been repaid.

Following the legal advice from the Attorney General, a decision was taken at the end of January by senior department officials to "let the matter rest".

Refused

Mr Callely was not available for comment in Dublin or Cork yesterday. There was no answer at his Clontarf home, or his office on the nearby Howth Road. There was also no sign of him at his west Cork holiday home outside Kilcrohane.

In the nearby village, residents refused to discuss Mr Callely.

His luxury yacht, Serendipity II, was not moored in either Kilcrohane or Crookhaven and is believed to be in dry dock outside Skibbereen.

Irish Independent

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