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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: June 4, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

    The end for Ivor

    Harry McGee

    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.

    • Michael says:

      Surely Ivor (and Larry) will still be senators at the end of all this, unless they choose to resign. I understand that the most Cowen can do is remove the party whip from them. Hardly much of a punishment given the number of FF TDs who did that to themselves.

      You would have to hope this is the end of Callely’s career, but this is far from his first scandal and FF keep tolerating them. I haven’t been watching this closely, but I have yet to see firm decisive action from Cowen on this issue yet.

    • Kynos says:

      Wasn’t he involved in a maritime incident there lately? When are ye going to start electing politicians on the basis of their characters not their personalities? That said I ain’t one to pee on the man’s grave so that’s pretty much all I’ll say on this.

    • Liam says:

      Have to laugh, when even FF are beginning to tut tut about Ivor’s behaviour , one can sense that the rats are beginning to leave the sinking ship. Iver is even beginning to make P Flynn look grounded. It reminds me of the recent hearings in the US with the head of Goldman Sachs where he didnt appear to understand why he was being questioned about his firms behaviour.
      Its great watching the entitlement culture in politics being exposed for what it is

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      Ivor’s crime is not to have milked the system – it is that he was caught and as a result unwanted attention has been focued on other politcians doing the same as Ivor – and from all parties and none.

      Think of the Dublin TDs claiming over €2500 per month for ‘subsistence’ – how on earth can that be justified and then factor in all the long term TDs who are claiming accommodation costs when they can’t possible have mortgages or rent to pay…
      Not one single TD or Senator publishes actual receipts for their claims and therefore every single one of them must be proven guilty until they prove their innocence and the indignity from them if you question them, is a well used tactic to deflect away from the crux issue back onto the person asking the question – it’s worked for them long enough they’ll revert to it now.

      Also, why doesn’t Ireland have patriotic people like there were in Westminster, who were so sick of the double standards that they handed all the data over to the media and quite rightly destroyed the undeserved ‘good’ names of a host of politicians.

    • Harry, so long as both remain members of FF even with the whip removed then this idea that “All told, it’s been a good week for Cowen… he has acted swiftly and decisively on this issue.” will be pure nonsense. Sure removing the whip will only mean that they are free to decide to not bother doing any work in the Oireachtas and still get paid and claim their allowances with no fear of any further consequences.

      Who was the last person to have their membership of the party revoked and why?

    • Kynos says:

      Next time I’ll just buy cans of red blue orange and yellow spray paint and cover it up. Easier than tryin to clean it off. But still, with politicians and churchmen and a State such as we have, who can blame the children?

    • Kynos says:

      Ah. Thanks for reinstating my post there Harry. Rather wondered why you felt impelled to take it down to begin with. Was there some inaccuracy or unfair slur in it?

    • Steve Rawson says:

      It seems odd that you would claim that it is a good week for Cowen. What has he acted swiftly on? So Callely resigns before being pushed ‘without prejudice’ pending the outcome of the Members Interests Committee. In any other walk of life, should Callely be found by the Committee to have played hard and fast with the rules he should be sacked and ordered to return the money.

      Interestingly, Callely’s initial appointment was another Ahern (I won it on a horse) legacy). On losing his Dáil seat, Ivor looked for support from his FF colleagues which was not forthcoming. Ahern, as usual, hedged his Dublin North Central bets and appointed Ivor but also did a deal (it still remains a secret) with McGrath. This unwritten deal seemed to have contained everything from solving world peace to curing HIV. In other words, it allowed McGrath to make all sorts of announcements about deliverables in the constituency which have gone unchallenged. No surprise then that McGrath recently voted in support the Government’s NAMA bill – FF by proxy looking for disaffected FF votes. Ivor’s anyone?

    • Ray D says:

      If the truth be told virtually all our politicians are the same when it comes to expenses. A simple examination of claims over recent years would attest to that in no time.

    • robespierre says:

      And still and still the wonder grew that Ivor’s head held all he knew

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