SENATOR IVOR Callely resigned from Fianna Fáil last night after a party disciplinary committee found him guilty of “conduct unbecoming” following an investigation into his mobile phone expenses claims.
Mr Callely said in a statement he was “devastated” by the refusal of the committee to give him more time to prepare his case.
Fianna Fáil in a statement issued minutes after that of Mr Calley said the senator’s resignation from the organisation with immediate effect had been accepted.
The statement added that Mr Callely had yesterday met the committee established by the party to enquire into certain matters concerning him.
“Senator Callely attended and was represented by solicitor and senior counsel.
“After careful consideration, the committee refused an application made on Senator Callely’s behalf for a further adjournment of the proceedings of the committee.”
It went on to say that after a short adjournment, the committee was informed that Senator Callely had resigned from Fianna Fáil and that he intended to take no further part in the proceedings of the committee.
“The committee proceeded in the absence of Senator Callely to conclude its investigation and made a finding of conduct unbecoming a member of Fianna Fáil,” the statement concluded.
A statement issued by his solicitors said it was with deep regret that Senator Callely had resigned from Fianna Fáil with immediate effect.
“Senator Callely’s resignation arose following a refusal of the Fianna Fáil committee on inquiry to grant an adjournment on his legal counsel’s application for the purposes of refuting the allegations made against him and because of the refusal of the Committee to particularize alleged conduct ‘unbecoming a member’ of the Fianna Fáil party.”
It added that Mr Callely considered the committee’s findings as constituting a denial of fair procedures to allow him to vindicate his name and refute the allegations made against him.
“After Senator Callely’s dedication to the Fianna Fáil party in public life over a period of 25 years, he is devastated at the refusal to accord him fair procedures which makes his resignation inevitable because to have acted otherwise would have afforded legitimacy to an enquiry that denied him fair procedures.”
The statement added that the senator would now concentrate on clearing his name before the Seanad Select Committee and would be making no further statement at this time.
The Fianna Fáil disciplinary committee was composed of five members of the party’s national executive and the independent senior counsel Colm Ó hOisín, who chaired its deliberations.
The committee convened at 10am yesterday morning to consider the issues surrounding Mr Callely’s mobile phone expenses claims during his period as a junior minister.The meeting continued until 9pm last night when a finding of “conduct unbecoming” was made.