Tuesday 21 November 2017

Ivor shoots from the lip

Senator Callely's statements to the committee.

On losing his Dail seat.

"This had an immediate and devastating effect on my social and personal life."

On having to resign as Junior Minister after it emerged that he had got his house painted for free by a building contractor while he was chairman of the Eastern Health Board.

"As far as I'm concerned I was hung for a non-hanging offence in December 2005 and left me with no option but to resign as minister of state. The months that followed did not help my re-election prospects."

On why he was seen so much in Dublin.

"I am visible when I am in Dublin. I do not hide myself. I make myself clearly visible when I'm around and again maybe most politicians do that in the constituency. I shop in my local independent grocer, Nolan's in Vernon Avenue. I would be seen in the local gym. I would be seen walking my dog on the promenade ... I'm seen in west Cork walking my dog as well."

On meeting Fianna Fail Senator Denis O'Donovan in west Cork.

You don't always know when I'm there but as it happens in the last two or three weekends, we happened to bump into each other at a fair day, a butcher's shop and I forget where else.

On why he simply didn't ask the Seanad authorities to change his primary residence from west Cork to Dublin.

It certainly wasn't for financial advantageous (sic) as you put it. It would have been if I did full 12-month claims. It would have been far more financially advantageous, I didn't want to do that.

On the impact of the controversy on him.

What has been hard is the assumption that I have done wrong and the continual media bashing and other conclusions that have been arrived at by other means. That assumption that I have done wrong -- I have not.

On not ruling out running again for a Dail seat in Dublin North Central.

I'm also conscious of Richard Nixon's few words after his debate with John F Kennedy and where he ended up a few years later (as US president). And we all know a week's a long time in politics. I appreciate you don't necessarily want me to nail my colours to the mast on that one.

Irish Independent

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