Callely avoids jail as he settles three-year-old debt

Disgraced former politician Ivor Callely has dodged another stint in jail after finally settling a long-running debt.

Callely avoids jail as he settles three-year-old debt

The former Fianna Fáil junior minister has paid €1,755 he owed for more than three years to an accountancy firm, but Judge Michael Coghlan said yesterday he led a “merry dance” over seven court appearances to resolve the debt.

He ordered him to pay an additional €1,750 in costs arising out the action which came close to seeing Callely being put behind bars again.

Finalising the case, the judge warned he would not wait another four years for Callely to pay the outstanding legal fees.

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

A bench warrant for his arrest was issued on May 17 by Dublin District Court in an unrelated case. These proceedings, which ended yesterday, resulted from his failure to comply with terms of a 2013 district court judgment compelling him to pay a €1,755 debt or face jail.

Callely owed the money to Galway-based accountants Gallagher & Company. Mr Callely had been warned by the judge he was facing jail and had been also ordered to give a “root and branch” account of his finances.

Yesterday, Karl Moran, for Callely, told the court the “substantive debt” of €1,755 had been discharged by his client to the accountants.

Solicitor for Gallagher & Company, Mark Newman said it had been “in part discharged” but an outstanding €150 had not been paid.

Judge Coghlan asked both sides to address the issue of costs, with a

figure of €1,750 agreed by both parties. The

judge made an order that the costs be paid within 30 days.

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