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Sunday 25 February 2018

Fresh attack casts doubt on Callely's future in FF

Colleague berates senator for 'doing politics a disservice'

Anita Guidera

THE future of disgraced senator Ivor Callely in Fianna Fail is in question following the publication of a damning Seanad report on his expenses, a government minister said yesterday.

Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Dara Calleary, stopped short of calling for Mr Callely's outright expulsion from the party. But he admitted it was "something that should be looked at".

In a blistering attack on his party colleague yesterday at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Co Donegal, the minister said Mr Callely had "done the profession and the noble ethos of politics a disservice".


Mr Callely, who has already lost the parliamentary party whip and has been suspended from the Seanad for 20 days for intentionally misrepresenting his normal place of residence for the purposes of claiming expenses, now faces further pressure to quit Fianna Fail.

"I want to see what his response to the Seanad report is," said Mr Calleary.

"I think in fairness, the Seanad put together a report very quickly. They took decisions quickly and I think now that Ivor should take time out to look at it, to look at the consequences of it, and if action has to be taken within the party then it should be taken."

The junior minister and TD for Mayo told the summer school that the vast majority of public representatives were in the job, not for expenses or ego, but for the noble reason of serving community and country.

"There are those who have let the profession down and I include Ivor Callely in that, they get all the coverage. Those of us who are trying our best to work for our country, to work for our communities, just get on with the job," he said.

Speaking afterwards, he said that a lack of sympathy towards Mr Callely extended beyond Fianna Fail into all parties, not just at Dail level but "right across the country".

"Public representatives are not there for the expenses, we are not there for the salary, we are there to do our best. Every so often someone's head goes up over the line, and all of us get tarred with the same brush and that is just enormously, enormously frustrating," he said.

Mr Calleary was addressing the third day of the summer school on the subject of providing a more cost-effective and efficient public service. He said that three key appointments, which will be finalised in the coming weeks, would help to streamline the service.


"We are appointing a new chief information officer, a procure-ment officer and a shared services officer. These are top-level appointments, these people will be charged with bringing a lot of those functions which are currently separate across the service together, and they will take charge of the strategy across the service," he said.

Civil and Public Services' Union general secretary Blair Horan, who also addressed the conference, insisted there must be accountability for frontline workers in the civil service.

"Frontline workers will be sacked and will be held accountable," he said.

He said trade unions had warned of the housing bubble as early as 1999, but insisted that they were not the decision makers on policy in the build-up to the crash.

"The choice was if we had opted out of social partnership it wouldn't have made things better, it would actually have made things worse," he added.

Irish Independent

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