SENATOR Ivor Callely last night admitted that he had a role in appointing the director of a printing company which carried out work for him to the board of the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).
He is still being pursued for a debt of over €17,000 owed to Future Print, which printed political literature for him,.
But although Mr Callely denies he owes the money for the printing work, it has emerged that, in 2005, he promoted one of the company's directors for appointment to the IAA board.
Mr Callely was junior minister at the Department for Transport at the time and had special responsibility for the IAA when Jacqueline Jameson was appointed to its board.
"Ms Jameson was promoted by me as a responsible and prominent business person suitable for appointment to the board of the IAA. The said promotion was made in good faith," he said.
The appointment was officially made by then Transport Minister Martin Cullen, who retired from politics last year due to a back injury.
A spokesman for Mr Cullen confirmed that it was Mr Callely who promoted Ms Jameson for the position.
Ms Jameson stepped down from the board of the IAA in 2009 after completing her four -year term. Ms Jameson is the wife of Chris Jameson, who founded the Future Print company in Dublin.
Mr Callely has continued to insist that he does not owe any money to Future Print for the work it carried out for him. "There is no €17,000 owed to Future Print as alleged and no unpaid bill as alleged," he said.
In a statement, Mr Callely denied there was any unwritten agreement between him and Ms Jameson that Future Print would carry out work and not insist on the invoice being paid.
"You will appreciate that if you make any suggestion in your article that there was anything inappropriate on my part I will take the necessary legal action," he said.
Future Print went into liquidation last year with the loss of over 112 jobs. In the months preceding its closure, it had specifically cited bad debts as one of the factors which had contributed to its difficulties. It had total debts of almost €19m.
Mr Callely is now being pursued by one of the UK's largest Merchant Banks, Close Brothers, which has taken over many of Future Print's debts.
Ms Jameson could not be contacted for comment.