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CALLELY: PUBLIC QUIZ ON EUR80,000 EXPENSE CLAIM; Ivor's no hiding place.

Byline: AINE HEGARTY

IVOR Callely will face a public grilling over his EUR80,000 expenses claim for his holiday home, it emerged last night.

In an unusual move, the Seanad committee investigating his expenses has decided Mr Callely's evidence will not be heard behind closed doors.

The Select Committee on Members' Interests of Seanad Eireann usually sits in private but yesterday it revealed the change in format.

The public session means journalists can report the senator's explanations.

The showdown will take place next Friday.

An Oireachtas spokesman said: "The committee finalised their procedures for conducting an investigation in relation to complaints made against Senator Ivor Callely.

"In this regard it has decided to invite Mr Callely to a public meeting of the committee." Ivor Callely is facing an investigation into his expenses after the committee found there was "sufficient evidence" to launch a probe under ethics laws.

The committee launched a full probe and said there is "sufficient evidence to sustain a complaint under the Ethics in Public Office Acts 1995 and 2001".

They made the decision after receiving a written statement from the senator outlining why he used an address in West Cork to claim expenses for two years when he is Dublin-based.

It received two complaints from members of the public over the expenses and asked the Dail and Seanad's legal advisors to help with its investigation.

Senator Callely has come in for criticism from some of his own colleagues over the controversy.

Fianna Fail's Mary O'Rourke blasted it as "wrong, wrong, wrong".

She said she has "absolutely no faith in the so-called committee investigating his outrageous expenses".

Ms O'Rourke added: "I just think it's all quite nauseating and awfully bad for the body politic - and it's wrong, wrong, wrong."

CAPTION(S):

PROBE Callely, right, and his home in West Cork
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 18, 2010
Words:303
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