Belfast Telegraph

Callely cleared on property claims

Suspended senator Ivor Callely has been cleared of failing to declare an interest in several properties to Oireachtas authorities.

A Seanad Committee ruled the embattled politician did not have a stake in the buildings and accepted they were owned by members of Mr Callely's family.

The politician is currently suing the same members of the Seanad Select Committee on Members' Interests who suspended him for 20 days over an expenses scandal.

Senator Pat Moylan, chairman, said members duly considered the complaint and the response from Senator Callely.

"Having reviewed the materials received from Senator Callely the committee accepted that the properties referred to in the complaint were not owned by Senator Callely but rather were owned by family members of the Senator," he added in a statement.

"Consequently no action will be taken against the Senator."

The complaint, lodged on August 6 from an Emmet Doyle, was based on a newspaper article that claimed the Senator failed to declare his interest in at least seven properties.

Senator Moylan said the committee was of the opinion that the complaint was not frivolous or vexatious and that there were no reasonable grounds for Mr Doyle's complaint.

In June Mr Callely was suspended for 20 days without pay over his 81,015 euro travel expenses and claims for the 370km journey between Leinster House and his home in Kilcrohane, west Cork, despite him having a home in north Dublin and a constituency office in Clontarf.

He was found to have deliberately misrepresented his normal place of residence as being the holiday home, rather than his house in the capital, to make the claims.

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