Finance group and Ivor Callely in ‘running battle’ over legal papers

Former politician ‘too ill’ to attend court over alleged €2.9m debt held by Everyday Finance

Ivor Callely leaving the High Court in 2015. Photograph: Collins

Ivor Callely leaving the High Court in 2015. Photograph: Collins

 

Locating Ivor Callely’s second-hand car business enabled a summons server to meet him personally to give him legal papers over an alleged €2.9 million debt, the Commercial Court heard.

Mr Callely, who was described by a finance company’s counsel as being involved in a “running battle” over service on him of the court documents, claims he is in hospital five days a week recovering from a “horrific bicycle accident” last August.

Cian Ferriter, for Everyday Finance company, said that despite Mr Callely’s situation, it was quite clear he had resumed business and is now involved in second-hand car sales.

Summons server Liam Farrell, who was employed on behalf of Everyday’s solicitors to serve the papers on Mr Callely, said in an affidavit he arrived at a home address given by Mr Callely at Howth Road, Killester, Dublin, on October 18th.

There was a sign over one door at the premises, which comprises a number of buildings, reading “Car Match Ireland”. Making contact through a phone number on the sign with a man who called himself Oliver, they agreed to meet on Saturday, October 19th, in the Clare Hall shopping centre car park, where “Oliver” would show Mr Farrell a car he was selling.

Mr Farrell recognised the man who arrived in the car as Mr Callely. Mr Farrell said he put the papers on the lap of the former senator when he opened the door of the car.

When Mr Farrell returned to his own car, Mr Callely ran over and attached the envelope to Mr Farrell’s windscreen wiper, the summons server said. Mr Callely disputes this description and claims Mr Farrell “threw” the papers at him and walked off without saying a word, Mr Ferriter said.

Mr Callely said he would never accept something from a person he did not know in a public car park. Everyday Finance is seeking judgment for €2.9 million against Ivor and Jennifer Callely relating to €2.4 million in loans advanced to them by AIB to purchase investment properties.

Aware of proceedings

The loans were sold to Everyday Finance in 2018. Everyday is seeking to have the case admitted to the fast-track Commercial Court but Mr Ferriter said that although Mrs Callely had been served and was represented in court, there were difficulties in serving Mr Callely.

Following the Clare Hall incident, Mr Callely sent a letter to Everyday’s solicitors claiming he did not have a relationship with Everyday Finance, counsel said.

Mr Ferriter said it appeared he was well aware of the proceedings and was using his former family home address of St Lawrence Road, Clontarf, the address also given by Mr Callely’s wife, from whom he is apparently separated.

The papers were again served at the Lawrence Road address, and Mr Callely rang Everyday’s solicitor last Friday and said he was not in a position to attend court because of his medical situation.

Mr Callely, in correspondence, said the bicycle accident had necessitated spinal surgery, which meant he was very sick and an inpatient in hospital from Monday to Friday. He is allowed home at the weekend as part of his medical programme. Although there was medical evidence dated September 19th stating it was likely to be several weeks before he could resume his business practice, counsel said it was quite clear he had resumed business.

He was also physically able to run over to the summons server’s car, counsel said. Notwithstanding that his side had been “given the runaround”, counsel said they were not going to push the application to enter the matter to the list but wanted it adjourned for another two weeks.

In that time Mr Callely would again be served with the papers via email. Mr Justice David Barniville agreed to adjourn both Mr and Mrs Callely’s cases for two weeks. “I would be satisfied he has been properly served and the evidence does not paint a very pretty picture,” the judge said.

Mr Callely is a former Fianna Fáil minister of State and senator who was jailed for five months in 2014 after he admitted fraudulently claiming €4,207.45 in expenses from the Oireachtas on forged mobile phone invoices between November 2007 and December 2009.