A judge has ordered the arrest of former TD Ivor Callely, who failed to turn up to court to face an action to have him jailed for non-payment of a debt.
The disgraced ex-Fianna Fáil TD and minister of state was jailed for five months in 2014 for using false invoices to claim expenses of €4,207.45 at Leinster House, Dublin, between November 2007 and December 2009 while he was a member of the Seanad.
In an unrelated case, Mr Callely, aged 57, of St Lawrence’s Road, Clontarf, was supposed to appear before Judge Michael Coghlan at Dublin District Court on Tuesday. However, he did not show up resulting in a bench warrant being issued for his arrest.
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 which has asked the judge to issue a committal order. Solicitor Mark Newman told the court yesterday that Mr Callely had not complied with another order made last month which required him to provide documentation outlining his income and expenditure.
Mr Callely was not present when the case was reached and it was put to “second calling”. After dealing with other matters, his case was called again but Judge Michael Coghlan was told Mr Callely was 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,” Judge Coghlan said.
Last month, Mr Callely, who says he needs €2,500 a month “for a reasonable living”, had told the court he had done his best to contact the creditor but Judge Michael Coghlan had told him he was in contempt of court orders. During that hearing, on April 19, Judge Coghlan had held off proceeding with a committal order.
However, threatening to jail him, the judge had said he was not impressed with his evidence and he wanted proof of Mr 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 yesterday hearing.
The court heard €1,755 was owed by him to the accountancy firm. There was also a successful application to increase the amount outstanding by another €150, a result of expenses from hiring a private investigator to establish the whereabouts of Mr Callely, who spends time in Northern Ireland and also has an address at Howth Rd, 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 in touch with accountants Gallagher & Company after the original judgment was given in the district court in June 2013. The ruling included an instalment order stating Mr Callely had to pay €100 a month to clear his debt. Last month, he provided the court with a statement of his means which he said had been vouched by an assets management agency.
However, Gallagher & Company lawyers said they had not been furnished with Mr Callely’s income and expenditure files.
The court heard he owes about €250,000 to the legal firm; he also said he owes €5m to AIB and €11m to another creditor.
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