Callely lashes out at FF ‘lust for judgment’

IVOR CALLELY has lashed out at the internal Fianna Fáil committee which investigated his expenses, accusing it of having a “lust for judgment”.

Mr Callely’s solicitors issued a statement on his behalf last night claiming the committee had refused him the chance to “vindicate his name”.

The committee was established to investigate the circumstances in which Mr Callely submitted mobile phone receipts to the Oireachtas in 2007 from a defunct company.

Mr Callely resigned on Tuesday after the committee denied his request for a further adjournment. The committee proceeded in his absence to conclude its investigation and make a finding of “conduct unbecoming” a party member.

The finding meant Mr Callely would have been expelled from the party had he not resigned. But he took issue last night with suggestions that he had jumped before he was pushed.

In the statement, his solicitors, O’Hanrahan & Co of Fairview in Dublin, said: “Contrary to recent publicity it is confirmed that Senator Callely’s resignation was prompted solely by the refusal of the committee to allow him the opportunity to vindicate his name by granting him an adjournment and by their decision to substantially rely on the various sensationalist claims made by particular print media who’s (sic) attention to accuracy, balance and fairness is subservient to the requirements of sensationalism at the expense of truth,” it said.

“The entire session dealt with procedural issues only meaning that the occasion for Senator Callely to give evidence did not arise.

“The fact that no evidence was given by Senator Callely emphasizes the Committies (sic) lust for judgment based substantially on the Mail on Sunday’s allegations rather than detailing any specific complaint. This vindicates Senator Callely’s requirement for the particularization of the unspecified complaints made against him,” it added.

Fianna Fáil does not contend the fact that Mr Callely never gave evidence. In fact, it’s understood the committee made its finding of conduct unbecoming on the basis that Mr Callely failed to provide any explanation to the party in the weeks since the story broke.

While the Fianna Fáil inquiry is now over, Mr Callely remains under investigation by a Seanad committee on the phone issue and another complaint concerning his property interests.

The same committee has already found he deliberately misrepresented his normal place of residence in order to claim expenses.

As a result, he has been suspended from the Seanad for 20 days.

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