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Senators fear Callely about to breach ban

SENATORS fear Ivor Callely may attempt to brazenly resume his seat in the Seanad this evening, despite being banned for 20 days.

The disgraced senator's colleagues have demanded that Oireachtas authorities take whatever measures necessary to prevent him from flouting the suspension.

Senator Callely was handed a 20-day expulsion after an investigation found he had acted inappropriately when claiming more than €80,000 in travel expenses from a west Cork holiday home.

However, he recently returned to Leinster House and attended a committee meeting, sparking fears he is set to ignore the Oireachtas ruling which he disputes. Today, Fine Gael Senator Eugene Regan said that if Callely does return today alongside other senators, it "must not be tolerated".

The senator -- who is also subject to investigations relating to mobile phone expenses and property declarations -- has already taken a High Court action against the committee that banned him.

However, the landmark case does not seek an injunction to block the resolution of the Seanad after its summer recess.

Mr Callely saved President Mary McAleese's blushes last night by not turning up with his colleagues for an official reception at Aras an Uachtarain.

However, Senator Regan said that "speculation is rife" that he will try to adopt a business-as- usual approach today.

Ejected

"If he attempts to take his seat the Cathaoirleach, Pat Moylan, will have to call upon the Captain of the Guard in the House and have him ejected.

"He is not entitled to take his seat and if he attempts to do so, I will personally seek to have him removed," said Senator Regan.

The Seanad Committee on Members' Interests will also meet today to further discuss Mr Callely's expenses.

hnews@herald.ie


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