Seanad members to investigate new complaints
THE Seanad members' interests committee deals with complaints made against senators.
It is chaired by Fianna Fail Senator Pat Moylan, chairman of the Seanad. Its other six members are Fianna Fail senators Denis O'Donovan and Camillus Glynn; Green Party senator Dan Boyle; Independent senator Joe O'Toole, Fine Gael senator Frances Fitzgerald and Labour senator Alex White.
It recently investigated a complaint about Senator Ivor Callely's travel expenses. It found he had deliberately misrepresented his normal place of residence as being in west Cork rather than in Clontarf, Dublin, for the purpose of claiming travel expenses. It recommended a 20-day suspension from the Seanad, which was accepted by the Seanad without a vote.
At its meeting on Monday, the committee will discuss complaints against Mr Calley, Senator Larry Butler and Senator Ann Ormonde. The three will not have to attend the meeting. They will be informed afterwards if the committee has decided the complaints merit an investigation.
If it does, the three are expected to be called as witnesses to respond to the complaints against them.
The potential sanctions they face, if found to have committed a grave offence, include a vote of censure in the Seanad, suspension from the Seanad for up to 30 days and docking of pay for the period of the suspension.