Sunday 22 April 2018

A political career mired in controversy

Aside from the investigations into the complaints, Ivor Callely is no stranger to controversy.

  • Ministerial mileage:

He claimed more than €80,000 in mileage subsistence over two years, while junior minister for health from 2002 to 2004.

Mr Callely filed for the maximum mileage allowance of 5,000 miles per month, even though he lived less than three miles from his office.

  • Private secretary:

Mr Callely's private secretary resigned in 2005 after refusing to attend what she said was a political function. She walked out after the then junior transport minister ordered her to accompany him to a policy breakfast in Dublin.

The secretary was the latest in a series of staff who sought transfers from his office.

  • Adviser's car:

The junior minister's politically appointed adviser, Niall Phelan, resigned in 2005 and wrote to Mr Callely complaining about his conduct when he offered to buy Mr Phelan a car as an incentive not to leave.

  • Paint job:

Mr Callely was forced to resign in 2005 after it was revealed that he had his house painted for free by a construction company.

John Paul Construction had paid a sub-contractor directly for the painting of the Clontarf house in the early 1990s.

  • Planning permission:

Mr Callely backed down in a battle with Cork County Council in 2005 over planning permission at his holiday home in Kilcrohane on the Sheep's Head peninsula.

After getting permission for a garage in 1997, the portion of the property was converted to house two bedrooms and an upstairs store.

  • Donations:

Mr Callely received a donation for €2,500 from Gannon City Recovery and Recycling Services in 2005.

He only declared €1,500 and said the rest was for the Fianna Fail headquarters.

In an exchange of letters with the Standards in Public Office Commission, he said the money was passed on to the party and was not his responsibility to report.

Fianna Fail said it had not received the money, so Callely searched for the cheque again, found it and passed on the €1,000 to the party.

  • Yacht:

His boat, Serendipity II, reportedly collided with two vessels and allegedly caused €40,000 worth of damage last summer. When he was tracked down by the authorities, he helped with inquiries and passed on his insurance details.

Irish Independent

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