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Saturday 21 October 2017

Prisioner 92995 wakes up to a brea kfast in Mountjoy

Prisoner 92995 was in Dublin's Mountjoy prison ahead of his first full day as an inmate after being sentenced to five months behind bars for expenses fraud.

Ivor Callely was expressionless in court when Judge Mary Ellen Ring handed down her judgement, but within hours the former Senator and junior Fianna Fail minister was brought to the committal unit of Mountjoy where he was processed and spent the night.

Sources say he arrived at the jail in a prison van but was not handcuffed as he was led inside.

Today, the prison's management will decide if Callely (56) will be transferred to the training unit of the jail or to the main prison where he would have to mix with hardened criminals.

The dilemma for the prison authorities is that they wont want to be accused of giving the former peace commissioner any sort of favourable treatment, but at the same time they have to be mindful of the fact that as a first-time prisoner Callely will probably find his incarceration a culture shock.

inmates

"He might also get a bit of slagging and verbal abuse from other inmates when they recognise him, so a decision will have to be taken on what sort of people he can mix with," said a source.

The training unit in Mountjoy was used to house other businessmen and politicians who have been given prison sentences in recent years, including Sean Quinn junior, garlic importer Paul Begley, and Liam Lawlor.

The training unit is also seen as less strict when compared to the prison regime in the main jail. Lockdown in the training unit is at around 10pm compared to 7.40pm for other inmates.

Also, in the training unit inmates are not locked up during the day but can enjoy more communal facilities.

It is also drug-free, and prisoners avail of courses and training opportunities during their terms there.

In sentencing Callely at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Ring said: "This is not a case of a simple mistake or indeed overstretching boundaries. Politicians are not expected to be superhuman; they are entitled to get it wrong.

"But politicians are not expected to cut corners and rely on entitlement for explaining misbehaviour or indeed criminal acts," she added.

Callely, of St Lawrence's Road, Clontarf, pleaded guilty to four counts of using invoices believing them to be false instruments between November 2007 and December 2009 at Leinster House, Kildare Street while he was a member of the Seanad.

expenses

The court heard he used invoices from defunct businesses to claim expenses under an Oireachtas scheme which 
allows members to claim €750 for mobile phones every 18 months.

After Callely became aware of the scheme in August 
2007, shortly after being appointed a Senator, he began submitting for expenses at 18-month intervals.

He also submitted retrospective invoices from his time as a TD.

He fraudulently claimed a total of €4,207.45 using six invoices.

hnews@herald.ie

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