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Pressure mounts for under fire Callely

ONE of under fire senator Ivor Callely’s former Fianna Fáil parliamentary party colleagues has called for him to be expelled from the party if fresh allegations about his expenses’ claims are validated.

Carlow Kilkenny TD John McGuinness said new details about claims for mobile phone equipment had put Mr Callely’s future in the Seanad and the party in doubt.

Mr McGuinness said the internal Seanad panel would most likely want to inquire again into Mr Callely’s affairs, after it suspended him for two months because he claimed mileage from his holiday home in Cork.

And Mr McGuinness said unless the senator provides a full explanation regarding his mobile phone purchases there would be a "summer of Ivor problems."

Mr McGuinness said if the contents of the article in the Irish Mail on Sunday were not disputed, Fianna Fáil would have to expel him and his continued status as a senator would also be in jeopardy.

"It will have to be revisited by them [the Seanad panel] and in the context of Fianna Fáil I think they will certainly have to, if he continues to remain a member of party, deal with it," he said.

Mr McGuinness told Newstalk there was a huge weakness in the Oireachtas expenses system before the new audited regime came into place.

The allegations made against Mr Callely said he sought expenses for new mobile phone equipment, which TDs and senators are entitled to, using documents from a liquidated company.

Mr Callely has been suspended from the Seanad for two months after a separate inquiry into why the Dublin-based politician was claiming his mileage allowance from a holiday home in west Cork.

He could not be reached by phone yesterday.

The new allegations relate to claims made to the Houses of the Oireachtas for mobile phone equipment from 2002 to 2006.