Callely Given 'More Time To Respond'

Senator Ivor Callely has been granted an extra two weeks to respond to complaints over allegedly fraudulent expenses claims.

The Seanad Committee on Members' Interests, which had convened specially to discuss the Senator's expenses also granted a further month to respond to new complaints he failed to fully disclose his property interests to the Oireachtas authorities.

So far, the senator has paid back almost €3,000 to Leinster House for the mobile telephony receipts between 2002 and 2007 that were found to have been dated after the company's closure.

Senator Callely is believed to have requested additional time to allow a more detailed response to the accusations, which also include controversial travel claims and the non-declaration of some property interests.

Fine Gael Seanad Justice Spokesman Senator Eugene Regan yesterday called on the Taoiseach to seek Ivor Callely's resignation from the Seanad over the expenses revelations.

Senator Regan was speaking after the emergence of new reports that Senator Callely received €87,000 in mileage expenses over two years, while living centrally in Dublin. This is in addition to previous revelations about €81,000 claimed on misrepresentation of his normal place of residence as west Cork, and €3,000 of invoices for mobile phones, which the Committee of Members' Interests of the Seanad is currently examining.

"Up to this point in time Taoiseach Brian Cowen has not been willing to make the express call for Senator’s Callely's resignation. The time has come for the Taoiseach to do so publicly," Senator Regan said.

He added: "The Taoiseach should seek Ivor Callely's resignation from the Seanad. Brian Cowen has to date held back from expressly calling for Senator Callely's resignation, which no doubt has given encouragement to the Senator to hold on to his Seanad position to the bitter end."

Mr Regan went on to say that Fine Gael believed Senator Callely should not be in the Seanad and that as a Taoiseach's nominee, if Brian Cowen called for his resignation Senator Callely'S position in the Seanad would be "completely untenable".

The committee was also considering complaints regarding expenses claimed by Senator Larry Butler and Senator Ann Ormonde, however these were last night dismissed by the committee.


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