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Thursday 23 November 2017

Senator shows up at talks despite his ban

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

SENATOR Ivor Callely turned up to attend an Oireachtas committee meeting earlier this week -- despite being suspended from the Seanad.

He sat in on the meeting of the Oireachtas Enterprise Committee, which he has been a member of since 2007, but did not speak.

An Oireachtas spokesman confirmed that Mr Callely was not barred from attending the committee meeting in the Leinster House 2000 building, even though he is currently serving a 20-day suspension from the Seanad.

"He is entitled to attend the committee," he said.

Freeze

The committee was holding a discussion with employers group IBEC, who called for a lengthy freeze of the €8.65-an-hour national minimum wage to bring it in line with other EU rates.

The Seanad members' interests committee recommended a 20-day suspension for Mr Callely after finding the former Dublin North Central TD had intentionally misrepresented his holiday home in west Cork as his primary residence for the purpose of claiming travel expenses.

Work is still ongoing to determine what proportion of Mr Callely's annual salary of €69,647 should be docked while he serves his 20-day suspension. The Oireachtas spokesman said the precise details were still being considered.

Mr Callely was not available for detailed comment yesterday on his attendance at the committee meeting, or the criticism from Fianna Fail Junior Minister Dara Calleary that he had "done the profession and the noble ethos of politics a disservice".

Irish Independent

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