Callely To Seek Damages In Court

Senator Ivor Callely is to seek damages along from the High Court over his expulsion from the Fianna Fail party over his allegedly misleading expenses claims.

During yesterday's High Court hearing, Mr Callely, through his lawyers, insisted he was entitled to €81,000 in disputed travel expense claims and he also revealed he was seeking financial damages.

Mr Callely's lawyers said he was seeking damages as well as orders quashing his suspension from the Seanad for 20 days, a declaration that the Seanad Members' Interest Committee erred in law and acted outside its powers, and a halt to the Seanad taking further action against him until the legal action has ended.

His legal battle has drawn fierce criticism from former Fianna Fail colleagues, including Tourism Minister Mary Hanafin, who accused Mr Callely of crossing a line by dragging Oireachtas business through the courts.

The embattled Senator was also criticised by Bertie Ahern, who appointed him to the Seanad.

Senator Callely has effectively stalled a number of investigations into allegations of expense fraud against him by taking his accusers to the High Court.

The Senator has been on a 20-day suspension since just before the summer recess, after a cross-party committee found he had intentionally misrepresented his normal place of residence to claim €81,000 travelling expenses.

Another investigation was launched after it was reported Mr Callely had submitted receipts for telephony expenses from a company that had stopped trading for several years.

The Seanad committee investigating the issue had given Mr Callely until tomorrow to supply an explanation, but the legal proceedings started by the Senator today could jeopardise the Seanad probe.

Mr Callely is now seeking a judicial review of several of the committee’s decisions and is seeking to sue its seven members – Seanad chair Pat Moylan, Denis O’Donovan and Camillus Glynn (all FF), Frances Fitzgerald (FG), Alex White (Lab), Dan Boyle (GP) and Joe O’Toole (Ind).

If the judicial review is granted, proceedings are unlikely to be heard until near Christmas or the New Year.

Mr Callely resigned from Fianna Fail last month, under intense pressure from members of the opposition and his own party.


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24 August 2010
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.
23 August 2010
Committee To Decide Over Callely Case
The Seanad Committee on Members' Interests is expected to announce their decision on how to proceed with the expense fraud accusations against Senator Ivor Callely. 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.
10 August 2010
Callely Handed Two Week Deadline
The under-fire Senator, Ivor Callely, has been given 14 days to explain his controversial expense claims by two separate Government committees. The Seanad Committee on Members' Interests and a Fianna Fáil internal committee have announced two investigations into the latest allegations against Mr Callely.
19 November 2010
Callely's Return Slammed As Suspension 'Stands'
Fine Gael has slammed the return of controversial Senator Ivor Callely, who has retaken his seat in the Seanad following a 20 day suspension. Senator Eugene Regan said that Mr Callely's return was not in compliance with the "Ethics in Public Office Act 1995" as Mr Callely had not yet "regularised" his affairs.
05 October 2010
Callely Court Battle Resumes
The High Court proceedings brought by Senator Ivor Callely against his suspension from the Seanad earlier this year is to resume today. Mr Callely's law team will be petitioning the court for the disclosure of transcripts of the Seanad Committee's private hearings where his suspension was decided.