IVOR CALLELY tried to claim expenses from his West Cork holiday home in 1994 but was rebuffed, a Seanad probe has heard.
The detail emerged yesterday as Mr Callely continued to insist the West Cork house was his principal residence but admitted he did not own it. A cross-party Seanad committee is investigating the fact that following his appointment as a senator in 2007, Mr Callely claimed €81,000 in travel-related expenses from the Kilcrohane house rather than his family home in Clontarf, Dublin.
Speaking at the committee’s latest hearing yesterday, Senator Joe O’Toole, said in 1994, when Mr Callely was a TD, he had similarly attempted to claim expenses from West Cork only to be refused by the relevant authorities. “It was rejected at that stage by the Department of Finance, and I think that’s important.”
Mr Callely did not respond to Mr O’Toole’s comments. However, he denied suggestions he stood to benefit financially by declaring the West Cork house, for sale for several years, as his principal residence.
Mr O’Toole suggested to Mr Callely he could avoid up to €250,000 in capital gains tax if the West Cork house were sold and Revenue accepted it as his principal residence.
But Mr Callely said he did not stand to benefit in this way, as he did not own the West Cork house. He appeared to suggest it had been transferred to his wife.
Meanwhile, Mr Callely said he was “insulted” by the issuance of a letter requesting he appear before the committee complete with a €50 cheque to cover travel costs.
It was his second and final time giving evidence to the committee and he reiterated his belief that he had broken no regulation.
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