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Monday 22 September 2014

Ivor Callely moved to prison's medical unit over safety concerns

Shane Phelan Public Affairs Editor

Published 01/08/2014 | 02:30

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Ivor Callely
Ivor Callely

DISGRACED politician Ivor Callely has been transferred to the medical unit of Mountjoy prison.

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Callely (56), who began a five- month sentence for expenses fraud on Monday, was moved to the unit after prison staff expressed concern for his wellbeing.

A source said the former junior minister had been "withdrawn and quiet" and there was concern about the fact he was not adapting to prison life.

He is now being observed around the clock by medical staff and is being kept in a single cell away from the rest of the prison population.

Normally, this sort of monitoring is only conducted for the first 24 hours of a person's sentence.

"This is a precautionary measure. For someone like Callely, who has no history of imprisonment, it can be a significant shock," said a prison source. Callely was moved to the medical unit on Wednesday night.

Prison authorities had planned to move him to Wheatfield prison in west Dublin earlier this week.

This move will still go ahead at some point, but not before staff become satisfied Callely is fit to be transferred.

The ex-Fianna Fail TD and senator will share a cell when he is moved to Wheatfield.

Callely was visited in prison by a lawyer the day after he was sentenced, but it is not thought that he will appeal the severity of the sentence.

He was jailed at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court after pleading guilty to four counts of using invoices believing them to be false instruments between November 2007 and December 2009 while he was a member of the Seanad.

Invoices

The invoices were used to claim over €4,000 worth of expenses under a mobile phone reimbursement scheme open to members of the Oireachtas.

Some of the bogus invoices used were from businesses which no longer existed.

Callely withdrew five of six claims he submitted and paid back most of the money after a journalist sought details of the payments in a freedom of information request in 2011.

Irish Independent

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