The end for Ivor
Ivor Callely has done victimisation extraordinarily well in the past. What a pity that he has not excelled so much at learning from his lessons.
He learned this week the exact distance between success and failure.
To be precise, it is 370 kilometres, the distance between his holiday home in West Cork and Leinster House.
Evidence has emerged this week of this practice being more widespread in the past. Dublin-based senators used the address of their holiday home, or of their native parish in the country, as their ‘permanent residence for the time being’.
That allowed them to claim generous mileage allowances for journeys that they never made.
In truth, this is as close as we have come to the ‘flipping’ scandal that downed so many MPs in Britain.
A second senator, Larry Butler from Foxrock, has found himself in the soup this morning (see story here) though he insisted last night that he has moved to Co Kilkenny. But it looks like he too will not escape the wrath of Brian Cowen.
All told, it’s been a good week for Cowen. He’s had multiples of bad and abysmal weeks in the past year. But he has acted swiftly and decisively on this issue.
It is consistent with his character and one of his more admirable old-fashioned traits. He doesn’t like the notion of people getting involved in politics for personal gain or tearing the behind of the system.
I don’t think there’s much more to say. You live where you vote, not in the bolthole you escape to from the capital on the odd weekend.
It feels cruel when you have to walk the political plank. But Ivor Callely’s problems were of his own making.
I don’t think he can be excluded from the Seanad permanently. But as of now, his political career is over.