Ivor Callely appears in court more than a week after arrest warrant issued

Ivor Callely appears in court more than a week after arrest warrant issued

After failing to turn up for a court action to have him jailed, former politician Ivor Callely has handed himself in, more than week after judge issued a warrant for his arrest.

Callely (aged 58) of St Lawrence's Road, Clontarf, was jailed for five months in 2014 for using false invoices to claim expenses €4,207.45 at Leinster House, Kildare Street between November 2007 and December 2009 while he was a member of the Seanad.

In an unrelated case, a bench warrant for his arrest was issued on May 17 by Dublin District Court.

The proceedings result from his failure to comply with terms of a 2013 district court judgement compelling him to pay a €1,755 debt, provide details of his means or else face jail.

Last week the court also heard he failed to provide the documentation.

He owes the money to Galway-based accountants Gallagher & Company who have asked the court to issue a committal order.

He appeared in custody this evening before Judge John Brennan at Dublin District Court.

Dressed in a dark blazer and grey trousers he remained silent during the proceedings.

Garda Patrick Watson told the court that at 4pm today he arrested Ivor Callely by appointment at the court on foot of the bench warrant. When cautioned he made “no reply”.

Gda Watson furnished him with a copy of the warrant and he told the court there was no objection to bail.

Defence solicitor Padraig Donovan handed in a medical certificate explaining that was the reason why his client did not appear in court last week.

He confirmed the civil proceedings related to a debt and he added that it was hoped that it would be resolved in two or three weeks.

Judge Brennan granted bail in Callely's own bond of €100 and ordered to him to appear again on June 8 next when the civil proceedings will resume.

After an hour in custody, he emerged from the court house.

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

During that hearing, on April 19, Judge Coghlan had held off on proceeding with a committal order.

However, threatening to jail him, the judge had said he was not impressed with his evidence and wanted to see proof of Callely's income and expenditure.

He had also given the former TD and Senator 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 May 17.

The court heard that €1,755 was owed by him to the accountancy firm.

There was also a successful additional application to increase the amount outstanding by another €150, a result of expenses from hiring a private investigator to establish the whereabouts of Callely who also spends time in Northern Ireland and also has an address at Howth Road, Killester, Dublin 3.

The court had also been told he had not notified lawyers for the accountancy firm of a change of address.

The court heard he did not keep touch with Gallagher & Company after the original judgement was given in the district court in June 2013.

The ruling included an instalment order stating Callely had to pay €100 a month to clear his debt.

The former politician has given evidence and provided a statement of his means which he said had been vouched by an assets management agency.

However lawyers for Gallagher & Company said they had not been furnished with Callely's income and expenditure documents.

In evidence he had said that he has 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.

Judge Coghlan has 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 had 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 €5m to AIB and €11m to another creditor.

It was put to him that in the three years since the district court judgement was made he never picked up the phone to contact Gallagher & Company and they were forced to make the court application.

“I try to be reasonable with everyone,” Mr Callely had said.

He had claimed he left numerous telephone messages but the court heard that the solicitors for the accountancy firm only received one message.

Judge Coghlan noted from his statement of means that Callely has €2,500 in living expenses.

The former politician had said it was €800 a week, which he claimed was an amount set out by an insolvency advisor for “reasonable living”.

Judge Coghlan had said that he was not satisfied with the documentation furnished by the ex-politician and told him that he was not interested in third party information which he described as estimates. He said he was interested in forensic evidence.

He has told him that an instalment order is in place and he has failed to make any repayments and this was nothing short of a contempt of at least two court orders, the judgement and the instalment order.

As he adjourned the case on April 19, he had said he was giving him a month to produce full explanations for “every penny of his income”.

The judge warned he was giving him a formal warning that he will require a “full root and branch” vouched statement of means setting out his income and a schedule of his expenditure.

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