Callely should be expelled from FF - O'Rourke

 

SENATOR IVOR Callely has brought “shame and disgrace” on Fianna Fáil and should be expelled from the party, according to long-serving TD and former minister Mary O’Rourke.

Mr Callely claimed almost €3,000 from the Oireachtas for the purchase of mobile phones and related services from a company which the Companies Registration Office records show had ceased trading.

“I don’t know how you put a person out of the party, but all I know is he’s bringing shame on the party by his carry-on and the antics of him, and we don’t know what is next,” Ms O’Rourke said.

“He is bringing shame and disgrace on the party . . . he should be just expelled from the party.”

Ms O’Rourke added that she believed Mr Callely was “completely isolated”.

A senior Fianna Fáil source said Ms O’Rourke had said what everyone else in the party was thinking. A Fianna Fáil spokesman said the party had no comment.

Mr Callely, who resigned the Fianna Fáil whip in June, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Green Party chairman Dan Boyle, who is deputy leader of the Seanad and a member of the committee that ruled against Mr Callely in a recent travel expenses investigation, said he could not be removed from office. Mr Boyle called on Mr Callely to consider his position at the weekend.

“He can’t be removed from office. It’s either a choice for him or action being taken elsewhere by other agencies,” he said yesterday.

Denis O’Donovan, from Bantry, Co Cork, said there was a “strong possibility” the Committee on Members Interests of Seanad Éireann could be reconvened to investigate the matter. “I’m conscious of the fact if we were asked to reconvene, any comment might prejudice my position.”

However, another committee member, speaking on the basis of anonymity, said on Sunday: “What is alleged . . . should be a matter for the gardaí”.

A Garda spokesman said: “We do not wish to make any comment on named individuals.”

Oireachtas documents show Mr Callely was paid €2,879.64 in November 2007 under a mobile phone reimbursement scheme and a “direct purchase scheme”, to purchase telephone hardware and insurance, for which invoices relating to three separate 18- month periods in 2002, 2003 and 2005 were submitted together.

The invoices, referring to the purchase of Nokia mobile phones, car-kit installation and other costs, were on headed notepaper of Business Communications Ltd.

The Companies Registration Office records show this company, with an address in Fairview, Dublin, filed its last annual return in 1993, had a liquidator appointed in 1994 and was later officially dissolved.

Meanwhile, the Fianna Fáil mayor of Galway Michael Crowe said Mr Callely should resign from the Seanad immediately.

“He has brought our party to the forefront of the public mind for all the wrong reasons. Whilst he is no longer a member of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party, he’s still a member of Fianna Fáil and that’s an issue.”

Mr Callely was appointed to the Seanad by former taoiseach Bertie Ahern. He lost his Dáil seat in the 2007 general election, having resigned his minister of state position in 2005 over having had his house painted for free, in the 1990s, by a building company.

The Constitution states: “Every member of Seanad Éireann shall, unless he previously dies, resigns, or becomes disqualified, continue to hold office until the day before the polling day of the general election for Seanad Éireann next held after his election or nomination.”