herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

Callely paints Fianna Fail out of his life, but he can't gloss over the expenses shame

SIGNING OUT: Disgraced senator rubs out ex-party at his offices

BRAZEN Senator Ivor Callely has attempted to paint Fianna Fail out of his life -- but he is still an FF favourite according to his infamous website.

The disgraced politician has taken the time to paint over his former party's logo outside his Killester constituency office but not to remove Fianna Fail from his website.

As our pictures show, Mr Callely has erased his links with FF from over the door of his own offices on the Howth Road.



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However, he has not been so proactive on his personal website which was cited by a Seanad committee that investigated whether Mr Callely was entitled to claim travel expenses from his Cork holiday home to Leinster House.

Fianna Fail was quick to delete the scandal-hit senator from their records after he quit the party.

He quit the Government party last month just before an internal inquiry found him guilty of "conduct unbecoming a member".

The Clontarf senator collected more than €80,000 in travel and subsistence allowances by stating that he was living in west Cork -- but he was caught out because his website continued to tell constituents that he lived in Dublin North Central.

The Seanad's Committee on Members' Interests considered this to be damning evidence when it ruled that he had "intentionally" misrepresented his place of residence.

He is also now the subject of two further investigations relating to mobile phone claims that were made using receipts from a defunct business, and to his property portfolio.

However, those Seanad inquiries are being hampered by a High Court case that Mr Callely has launched against his fellow senators in which he is seeking a payout for damage to his reputation.

Mr Callely's website makes absolutely no reference to the continuing scandals, High Court case or the fact that he temporarily moved to Cork. The website even states: "He was nominated to Seanad Eireann in 2007 and appointed Government Spokesman on Enterprise, Trade and Employment."

The senator felt left Fianna Fail midway through an inquiry because he felt that the party hierarchy were treating him unfairly. He had asked for more time to put up a defence for his actions but a special committee was unwilling to accommodate the request.



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Mr Callely lost his Dail seat in Dublin North Central at the last General Election in 2007, but was appointed to the Seanad as Taoiseach's nominee by Bertie Ahern.

He was previously forced to step down as a junior minister after revelations that a developer had carried out painting works at his house for free.

Earlier this week, he shocked fellow senators when he turned up at Leinster House for an Enterprise Committee meeting despite serving a 20-day ban from the Seanad.

kdoyle@herald.ie

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