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Monday 14 October 2019

Court rules against Callely for his failure to pay fees


FORMER Fianna Fail senator Ivor Callely has been hit with a judgment for €1,662 for failing to pay fees he owes to a firm of accountants.

The unpaid bill with Galway-based Gallagher & Company is understood to relate to services it provided to a property consortium Mr Callely was involved in with the late John O'Dolan in Clontarf.

The Sunday Independent understands that the fees which were incurred by Mr O'Dolan and other members of the Clontarf Road consortium have been paid in full.

The granting of the judgement against Mr Callely in the District Court on December 5 last represents just the latest blow to his personal fortunes.

With his departure from public life already mired in controversy over his claims for travel and mobile phone expenses, Mr Callely's poorly-timed foray into the world of property speculation would now appear to be coming back to haunt him.

Ever since it was conceived in 2007, Mr Callely's plans to redevelop the derelict site next to St Anthony's Church on Clontarf Road have been beset by planning and financial difficulties, and-- in the case of Galway-based developer John O'Dolan -- human tragedy

The €10m project in which the former Fianna Fail politician was partnered by John O'Dolan, Daragh Sharkey and Denis Kenny, was to have seen the houses at 59 and 60 Clontarf Road demolished and redeveloped into 44 apartments and two shops.

John O'Dolan is understood to have been the driving force behind the development in terms of its design and specification while Mr Callely is said to have insisted on taking what informed sources describe as the "lion's share" of the multi-million euro Clontarf Road deal. Mr Callely was Mr O'Dolan's 50 per cent partner in the venture.

And while Mr O'Dolan didn't ask Mr Callely from where he was getting the money to support his investment, he is understood to have been led by the then TD to understand that he would be freeing up equity in a number of rental properties he owned with his wife Jennifer in north Dublin. Records held at the Registry of Deeds show that Mr Callely did just that when he took out six mortgages with AIB on March 30, 2007, on houses he owned in Coolock, Killester, Artane and on the Malahide Road. The date coincided precisely with the partnership's deadline for financing the Clontarf Road project.

Ultimately, Mr Callely and Mr O'Dolan's ambitious proposals were rejected by An Bord Pleanala, while the site itself went into receivership in December 2009 after Investec Bank called in the €8m in loans it had advanced.

The most tragic blow to the Clontarf Road partnership had already come that February, however, with the death of John O'Dolan. He was found hanged in a disused shed on lands he owned on the Barna Road in Galway.

Ivor Callely lost his Dail seat at the 2007 general election and was also unsuccessful at the Seanad elections. He was subsequently appointed by then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to the Seanad.

Sunday Independent

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