Taoiseach Tells Callely 'Consider Position'

The Taoiseach has called on Senator Ivor Callely to "consider his position" over the ongoing expenses scandal he has become embroiled in.

The call comes despite the release of a long awaited statement from the Senator claiming he had received the contested receipts for mobile phone equipment, dated years after the supplier had folded, in "good faith and submitted these receipts in good faith".

However, speaking in Tullamore yesterday, Brian Cowen said he was glad the Seanad Committee on Members’ Interests was moving quickly to deal with the Senator’s phone claims and said he should consider his position in light of the latest controversy.

Mr Cowen said he was not in a position to force Mr Callely to resign from the Upper House but added, “It is a matter for him to consider now.” He also said that Senator Callely's statement raised more questions than it answered.

Meanwhile, Fine Gael Seanad Justice Spokesperson, Senator Eugene Regan said Senator Callely's statement was a "buying time exercise", which passed the buck to an unknown third party for his false expenses claim.

"Senator Callely has been found out again and has been forced to acknowledge that the expenses claims he submitted should not have been made His statement is simply not credible and offers no explanation for this latest abuse of the expenses regime. It confirms the view that the matter of Senator Callely's expenses should be investigated by the appropriate authorities, that is the Garda Siochana and the DPP," Senator Regan said.

Senator Callely's expense claims are to be discussed by the Seanad's Members' Interests Committee later today.

The Dublin senator said he submitted four receipts for mobile phone expenses 'in good fath', but acknowledged the claims shouldn't have been made, and said he had now refunded the monies to Leinster House.

The committee was originally due to later this month, but that has now been brought forward to consider more allegations surrounding his expenses.


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