herald

Wednesday 16 August 2017

Jailed Ivor may be released in days

DISGRACED former minister Ivor Callely is due to get out of prison at some time within the next two weeks - and could be out in days with remission.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that Callely has been writing a memoir about his time in prison and may be planning a media blitz when he is released.

Callely (56) was jailed last July after it was found that he fraudulently claimed €4,207.45 in expenses from the Oireachtas on forged mobile phone invoices.

Under Irish law, prisoners who remain on their best behaviour in prison are entitled to remission of 25pc of their sentences.

However, in certain cases prisoners have received remission of up to 33pc of their sentences.

While the former senior Fianna Fail figure's sentence was due to be completed by December 27, he has behaved as a model prisoner since he entered Wheatfield Prison.

Weeding

And it is understood that he could even be released from prison in the next number of days.

Callely is working in the grounds of the prison while there, doing jobs that included maintaining flower beds, weeding and tending to pigs.

He has been no trouble to prison guards and sources have said that he keeps to himself while locked up.

Shortly after he was jailed, the prisoner was moved to the medical unit, after fears were raised about his well-being.

He had become "withdrawn and quiet" and there was concern about the fact he was not adapting to prison life, sources said at the time.

For a time, he was observed around the clock by medical staff and was kept in a single cell away from the rest of the prison population.

Following his conviction, Callely's solicitor Noel O'Hanrahan claimed his client was the victim of a culture which promoted the claiming of expenses. He said that he suspected other politicians had improperly claimed sums which dwarfed the amounts involved in the Callely case.

"In a culture that has seen, even recently, the amount claimed by high-profile politicians come into question, is it not time to have a full investigation to examine every detail of the legitimacy of all expenses claimed by all politicians both past and present?" he asked.

Rotten

Mr O'Hanrahan suggested an inquiry into the claiming of political expenses and said a "rotten house of cards" would collapse.

Callely left politics in 2011 after a turbulent term as a senator.

hnews@herald.ie

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