Judge issues bench warrant for arrest of Ivor Callely

Former Fianna Fáil TD and junior minister failed to show in court for case over €1,755 debt

A judge has ordered the arrest of former Fianna Fáil politician Ivor Callely who failed to turn up to court to face an action to have him jailed for non-payment of a debt. Photograph: Collins Courts.

A judge has ordered the arrest of former Fianna Fáil politician Ivor Callely who failed to turn up to court to face an action to have him jailed for non-payment of a debt. Photograph: Collins Courts.

 

A judge has ordered the arrest of former Fianna Fáil politician Ivor Callely who failed to turn up to court to face an action to have him jailed for non-payment of a debt.

Callely (57) of St Lawrence’s Road, Clontarf, was supposed to appear before Judge Michael Coghlan at Dublin District Court on Tuesday but a bench warrant was issued as he failed to turn up.

This set of proceedings results from his failure to comply with terms of a 2013 district court judgement compelling him to pay a €1,755 debt to Galway based accountants Gallagher & Company who have asked the judge to issue a committal order.

Solicitor Mark Newman told the court that Callely had not complied with another order made last month which required him to provide documentation outlining his income and expenditure.

The former minister of state was jailed for five months in 2014 for using false invoices to claim expenses at Leinster House between November 2007 and December 2009 while he was a senator.

Callely was not present when the case was reached and it was put to “second calling”. When Judge Michael Coghlan returned to the matter Callely was still not present.

“I had required documentation to be in court today, I had indicated there would be certain consequences if he failed to provide that documentation. Insofar as he is not here, I am simply issuing a warrant for his arrest,” the judge said.

‘Reasonable living’

Last month, Callely, who claims he has needs a €2,500 a month “for a reasonable living”, told the court he had done his best to contact the creditor but Judge Coghlan told him he was in contempt of court orders.

He also gave the former politician a “formal warning” that he would issue the committal order if he did not provide the court and the creditor with adequate information in advance of Tuesday’s hearing.

Callely told the court he had an income of €7,683 a month. He pays €4,800 a month on a lease for a commercial property in Dublin which he lets out but he explained it was difficult to find tenants able to afford the rent. At present a tenant is paying him €5,200 a month to use the premises.

Judge Coghlan said Callely’s vouched statement of means did not stand up to scrutiny and that the court needed to see the lease agreement.

Explaining why he has not paid the debt Callely said that his lawyers were also looking for a payment of legal fees arising out of his criminal charges and other proceedings which he was not in a position to pay.

The court heard he owes approximately €250,000 to the legal firm; he also said he owes €5 million to AIB and €11 million to another creditor.