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Callely 'lives in Cork' as he claims €80k mileage

FIANNA Fail Senator Ivor Callely is mired in further controversy after claiming more than €80,000 in mileage and expenses from a house in Cork while still politically active in his old constituency of Dublin North Central.

Several political sources have said voters would be surprised to hear that Mr Callely was now living in west Cork, and not Clontarf where he has been based for years.

Since his appointment to the Seanad in 2007, the controversial former minister has been claiming the expenses from an address in Bantry.

TDs and senators from outside Dublin get paid overnight and travel allowances, while those travelling shorter distances from Dublin bases get much less.

Controversial Callely has claimed €81,015 since his appointment to the Seanad, yet he still runs a constituency office in Killester, and attends Fianna Fail meetings locally.

He also did a leaflet drop earlier this year in Clontarf, and he canvassed on behalf of his son Ronan in last year's local elections, where he failed to win a seat.

The Herald also spotted him out jogging along the coast at 7am on a day last July.

His official address is still listed by the Houses of the Oireachtas as 'Landsdale House', St Lawrence Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3. Mr Callely's office is on the Howth Road in Killester.

Senators do not have constituencies, but Mr Callely was regarded as still being based in Dublin North Central and was expected to run there in the next general election.

"I'd say people in this constituency will be surprised to hear he's moved to Cork," a senior Fianna Fail source said.

"He hasn't told us he's moved to Cork," a local party activist said.

Callely, who was unavailable for comment, is no stranger to controversy. He was junior minister for the elderly from 2002 to 2005, when he had to resign after it emerged he had his house painted for free by a construction company in the early 1990s.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fail sources are dismissing suggestions Dublin TDs won't be allowed to be members of the party if they don't live in their constituencies.