Saturday 20 January 2018

Taxpayer could be hit with €500,000 bill for Ivor Callely’s legal costs reporters

TAXPAYERS could be hit with €500,000 legal bill by Ivor Callely, a public accounts committee has heard.

While Mr Callely has yet to submit his legal bill following his successful legal action against the State, it could be as “high as €500,000” – the secretary general of the House of the Oireachtas Commission Kieran Coughlan confirmed.

In 2010 the High Court ruled that the former senator had had his right to fair procedures breached and he was entitled to €17,000 in compensation.

Earlier, the Seanad Committee on Members Interests found he had misrepresented where he normally lived when claiming expenses and he was suspended from the house.

The High Court ruling has been appealed to the Supreme Court.

Members of the committee also heard that independent senators receive a €23,000 “party leaders’ allowance”, while independent TDs get €42,000 a year.

The payment to senators was described by Deputy Sean Fleming as “the best kept secret” in political life although it is already in the public domain.

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