Thursday 23 November 2017

Now Callely seeks more time to plan his defence

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

EMBATTLED Fianna Fail Senator Ivor Callely is likely to request an extra fortnight to present his case to the investigation into his expenses claims.

The latest inquiry into Mr Callely follows complaints over his mobile-phone expenses' claims. Ahead of Monday's deadline, four senators who had complaints made against them issued replies to the committee conducting the inquiry.

The Seanad committee on members' interests will meet privately on Monday to consider the initial responses.

The committee will have to decide if it has sufficient information to proceed with its inquiries at this point. But it is likely more time may have to be provided for additional information to be submitted.

Mr Callely's legal adviser is believed to be away on holidays at the moment, meaning he will appeal for more time to prepare his defence. The committee is likely to grant Mr Callely's request, to avoid any claim he was prevented from presenting an adequate response.

The Seanad committee previously investigated Mr Callely's travel expenses claims from his holiday home in west Cork and suspended him for 20 days.

It found he deliberately misrepresented his normal place of residence as his holiday home in west Cork, rather than his home in Dublin, for the purpose of claiming expenses.

The latest investigation comes after revelations Mr Callely submitted an expenses claim to the Oireachtas Commission for almost €2,900, for four different mobile phones and car kits in November 2007.


He said he bought the products between 2002 and 2006. But the invoices came from a company called Business Communications Ltd that was wound up eight years earlier.

The four senators had until 10am on Monday, August 23, to respond to the committee, but their replies arrived into the Oireachtas yesterday.

Aside from Mr Callely, Fianna Fail Senators Anne Ormonde and Larry Butler are being asked to deal with complaints concerning travel expenses from Waterford and Carlow respectively.

Independent Senator Ronan Mullen has to respond to a complaint over an anecdote he told of a colleague advising him to claim expenses from his base in Galway, rather than Dublin.

Mr Mullen objected strenuously to being included with the other three senators as there is no complaint against him regarding his expenses. He wanted the committee to deal with him separately.

Irish Independent

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