Belfast Telegraph

Callely suspended in expenses probe

Fianna Fail have suspended senator Ivor Callely from the party as it launched its own investigation into the politician's controversial expenses.

Although Mr Callely had already resigned from the senior coalition partner's parliamentary ranks, he remained a full member of the organisation.

But after fresh allegations that he had used forged documents to make expenses claims from the Oireachtas, Fianna Fail chiefs bowed to mounting pressure to take action against the former TD.

In a statement, the party said Mr Callely had been suspended from Fianna Fail, without prejudice, pending the completion of an internal investigation.

"The party today reviewed certain matters in the public domain concerning Senator Callely and agreed that this information establishes a possible prima facie case of conduct unbecoming a member of the Fianna Fail organisation," a spokesman said.

"Accordingly, the party will establish an internal investigation into this matter which will report to the next meeting of the Fianna Fail Ard Chomhairle, scheduled for September."

The party said it has written to Senator Callely and the Oscar Traynor cumann in his former Dublin North Central constituency to inform them of the developments.

The suspension followed growing calls for further probes into the senator's expenses, including Opposition demands for Justice Minister Dermot Ahern to order a Garda investigation.

The senator was suspended from the Seanad last month without pay for 20 days after an inquiry found he intentionally misrepresented where he lived for the purpose of claiming allowances, worth 81,000 euro.

He now also faces allegations he claimed around 3,000 euro for mobile phones from a company that had gone out of business.

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