Embattled Senator Ivor Callely has been portrayed as a pariah who ripped off the state over controversial expenses claims, his lawyer has claimed.
As he moved to sue the Seanad Committee examining his travel costs, the High Court was told the politician has not had a day's peace since a group of cross-party senators found he made suspect claims.
Barrister Michael O'Higgins is challenging the Seanad Select Committee on Members' Interest findings and Mr Callely's subsequent 20-day suspension.
The court heard the senator, who had a constituency office in north Dublin, suffered enormous damage when a committee ruled he had deliberately misrepresented his normal place of residence as being his west Cork holiday home.
"The findings against Senator Callely portrayed him as a pariah, having ripped off the State of 80,000 euro, a chancer, a rogue, a thoroughly despicable person," said Mr O'Higgins.
"He has literally not had a day's peace since that finding."