Tuesday 22 January 2019

Callely bows out with €158k payoff

IVOR'S engine has finally run out of steam.

Senator Ivor Callely has quietly bowed out of politics "for the time being" but is set to collect a pay-off of over €150,000, the Herald can reveal.

There had been some speculation that the controversial figure might be set for another comeback after recently engaging in a consultation period with constituents.

But the Herald has learned that the ex-Fianna Fail minister has decided to leave the limelight that he has hogged on several occasions during a chequered career.

He has blamed his decision on what he describes as a "hysterical and vitriolic campaign" against him by the media and others.

Mr Callely, who has spent the last two years embroiled in a variety of expenses scandals, is now set to receive a hefty retirement package.

He is entitled to €132,840 in respect of his career as a TD, €14,763 for his time as a senator, and a termination lump sum -- all tax tree -- upon his departure from politics, totalling to €158,539 in an instant tax-free payoff.

Beyond that he will be able to continue the high life with an annual ministerial pension of €6,637 for the rest of his life, as well as his Dail and Seanad pensions that come to over €55,000 per annum.

In a letter delivered to constituents in recent days, Mr Callely said: "I wish to let you know personally that after consultation with my family, I have made the very difficult decision to step away from public life for the time being.

"I have had an incredibly difficult 12 months fighting to clear my name in the High Court, the Seanad, and most importantly to you.

"I am satisfied that my recent success in the High Court has now cleared me of any such false allegations. Indeed, the High Court judgement is overwhelming robust in my favour."

The High Court awarded the retiring senator €17,000 after finding that a Seanad committee was wrong to ban him from the Oireachtas for 20 days.

The committee imposed the sanction after concluding that Callely wrongly claimed up to €80,000 in travel and subsistence expenses from a Cork holiday home.

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