| 12.5°C Dublin

Callely claimed €39k over just 10 months

EX-Senator Ivor Callely was paid €39,875 in allowances for a 10-month period -- the highest in the Seanad last year.

Mr Callely, who won a High Court battle over expenses with the Oireachtas, received the money for the last 10 months of 2010 under the new parliamentary standard allowance scheme introduced in March last year.

The former senator hit the headlines when it was revealed he was claiming travel and subsistence expenses from his holiday home in west Cork and not from his constituency and home in Clontarf in Dublin.

His claims were made shortly after he won his High Court case which ruled that a Seanad Committee had acted outside its powers in disciplinary proceedings it had taken against him.

The figures, published last night on the Oireachtas website, also show Mr Callely claimed €15,285 for the period from January to April 25 of this year when the 23rd Seanad ceased.

In both sets of claims, Mr Callely lists his zone as 12 which is the furthest distance from Leinster House indicating that he claimed for travelling from his holiday home near Schull.

The highest allowances paid altogether were for three TDs, all of whom claimed more than €52,000 each in allowances for the last 10 months of last year.

They were former Independent TD Jackie Healy-Rae of Kerry South who got €52,338, former Cork South West deputy PJ Sheehan who got €52,958 and Donegal South West deputy Dinny McGinley who got €52,007.

Some TDs and Senators had to make repayments for not reaching the required number of attendance days for the full allowance.

The biggest repayment was €12,197 by former Fianna Fail TD for Donegal North East, Jim McDaid. Limerick Fianna Fail TD Willie O'Dea also made a repayment of €5,339 when he resigned as Minister for Defence following controversy over comments made about a Sinn Fein councillor in Limerick.

An Oireachtas spokesman said it had published the details as part of a policy of providing information about allowance payments to members in a clear and transparent manner.