Callely in High Court challenge to Seanad committee

Callely in High Court challenge to Seanad committee

Senator Ivor Callely went to the High Court today to take on the Seanad’s Select Committee on Members’ Interests over his suspension and inquiries into his affairs.

He briefly met with his legal team in the Four Courts before Senior Counsel Michael O’Higgins told Mr Justice Sean Ryan he would tomorrow seek leave to legally challenge a number of the Committee’s decisions.

Callely is suing fellow Senators Pat Moylan, the Seanad Cathaoirleach (FF); Camilus Glynn (FF); Denis O’Donovan (FF); Joe O’Toole (Independent); Alex White (Labour) and Frances Fitzgerald (Fine Gael) and Dan Boyle (Greens).

He did not appear in the courtroom but was seen in the building during the morning as he gave final instructions to his legal team. His application for judicial review will be heard, ex parte (in the absence of the other parties) by Judge Ryan tomorrow.

The named senators constitute the committee that is currently conducting investigations into Senator Callely’s expenses history.

Mr O’Higgins today told Judge Ryan of Senator Callely’s intention to bring a case but during the brief hearing did not publicly disclose the senator’s identity nor the nature of any reliefs Senator Callely would be seeking tomorrow before the court.

The eminent criminal lawyer handed in papers bearing the senator’s name and those of the Committee and asked Judge Ryan if he would read the documentation, including an extensive sworn affidavit by Senator Callely, in preparation for tomorrow’s application.

Judge Ryan agreed to read the papers overnight to facilitate the planned half-hour application tomorrow. He then adjourned the application until 11am tomorrow morning.

The Committee of named senators in the proceedings previously found that Senator Callely was not entitled to claim more than €80,000 subsistence and travel expenses from a holiday home in Kilcrohane, west Cork, which he had claimed was his normal residence.

Senator Callely, who subsequently received a 20-day suspension, resigned from Fianna Fáil last month.

A former Junior Minister and TD from Clontarf, Dublin, he is also being investigated by the Committee regarding complaints made against him relating to a claim for more than €3,000 in expenses for mobile phone equipment and allegedly using receipts from a defunct company.

Another current complaint relates to his alleged failure to declare in a statutory parliamentary declaration all of the property owned by him.

Callely versus Moylan, Glynn, O’Donovan, O’Toole, White, Fitzgerald and Boyle will be heard at 11am tomorrow in High Court No 29.

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