Almost half of the money raised in donations by Irish politicians last year was donated to the former junior minister, Ivor Callely, who resigned on Budget Day, according to figures released yesterday by the Standards in Public Office Commission.
The total disclosed by all politicians came to €147,526, with Mr Callely receiving €69,600. Fianna Fáil politicians accounted for €136,962 of the total, with Fine Gael declaring €5,824, Labour €3,740 and one Independent TD getting €1,000.
The amount raised by Mr Callely in a non-election year is more than four times the amount he will be able to spend in the next general election. The spending limit for candidates in his three-seat constituency of Dublin North Central is €25,394.
Almost half of that allocation will be taken up by the Fianna Fáil national campaign, so Mr Callely will be allowed to spend only in the region of €15,000.
The former junior minister disclosed more than 40 donations in 2005 worth between €750 and €2,500, the bulk of them being individual donations made at a golf classic.
By law, individual donations valued at more than €634.87 in terms of money, property, goods or services have to be disclosed to the commission.
MARCH 30, 2007 was a fateful date in the life of Ivor Callely. It was the day he made a number of major financial decisions that would later come
back to haunt him.
Sitting in the offices of WB Gavin and Company Solicitors at the Crescent in Galway, he formally signed up to what he hoped would be the
investment to put him on easy street.
Along with three other investors -- Galway businessmen John O'Dolan, Daragh Sharkey and Denis Kenny -- the then TD put pen to paper on a €10m
mortgage loan from Investec Bank.
Mr Callely's wife Jennifer and solicitor Barry Gavin were also present when the deal was done.
On the mortgage documents, Mr Callely gave his address as O'Dolan International, Dock Road, Galway -- which in fact was the address of one of
John O'Dolan's companies.
The huge loan drawn down by the four investors was to be used to purchase and then demolish two houses on the seafront in Callely's native Dublin
suburb of Clontarf, before building 44 apartments and three shops in their stead.
The investors believed they would make a killing.
Located close to St Anthony's Church at 59 and 60 Clontarf Road, it was a prime site and, subject to planning, all involved could expect a nice return
on their investment.
But to get involved in the deal, Mr Callely needed to come up with substantial funds.
Although he and his wife owned a lot of property around Dublin's northside, they opted not to sell any of these.
Instead, they drew down a series of new mortgages.
So, on the same day as he joined the Clontarf site consortium, Mr Callely and his wife remortgaged several of their properties.
The sums being drawn down were not recorded in public filings, but all of the cash was borrowed from Allied Irish Bank.
The paperwork was also completed at WB Gavin and Company in the presence of solicitor Barry Gavin.
The mortgages were taken down against houses at St Brendan's Avenue, Coolock; Brookwood Road, Artane; Furry Park Road, Killester; Hawthorn
Terrace in the East Wall; Brookwood Grove in Artane; and Greenwood Walk on the Malahide Road.
On each of the mortgage documents, career politician Mr Callely listed his profession as "businessman", while his wife listed hers as "hairstylist".
Within months, however, Mr Callely suffered a major setback, losing the Dail seat he had held in Dublin North Central since 1989.
Although nominated to the Seanad that August by then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, he had to contend with a €30,000 drop in his salary.
It was around this time that he told the Oireachtas he had changed his principal residence from his family home in Clontarf to his holiday home in
west Cork, which he and his wife had owned since 1992.
The move would net him €81,000 in travel expenses over the next three years but when it was discovered following a shake-up of the Seanad's
expenses regime, it would cost him a 20-day suspension.
During 2008, Mr Callely's Clontarf development plans would take a turn for the worse and he would also lose one of his co-investors in tragic
Although planning was initially approved by Dublin City Council, local objections meant that An Bord Pleanala ended up taking a fresh look at the
The planning board decided to overturn the council's decision, placing the development in a precarious position.
To make matters a great deal worse, John O'Dolan, the driving force behind the plan, tragically took his own life. He was found hanged in a disused
shed on lands he owned on the Barna Road in Galway.
Mr O'Dolan had been seen as an up and coming businessman, with some of his projects, including the €28m Island of Ireland development off the
coast of Dubai, garnering international headlines.
But an inquest would later hear how the property crash had severely impacted on his businesses, with a receiver appointed to his hostel and
property sales company in Galway.
By December of last year, the same fate had befallen the Clontarf apartment project.
Seeking to protect its loans, Investec had Simon Coyle, a partner with accountancy firm Mazars, appointed as a receiver.
In the months that followed, Mr Callely would transfer the ownership of his controversial west Cork home into his wife's name. He has refused to
clarify the reason for doing so.
That property is now on the market with an asking price of €650,000, but it remains unclear whether the senator plans to sell any of his other
- Shane Phelan
Car Booth sale in Callelys Cork pad.
RARELY has a garage come under such close national scrutiny, and ‘garage’ it now shall remain — albeit one plumbed for bathrooms, a couple of bedrooms and clearly usable as living space.
If this €825,000 Kilcrohane, Sheep’s Head, home near Bantry in west Cork with a cracking location and space left over looks familiar, then it probably is.
It hit headlines earlier this year when it emerged that its owner, former Fianna Fáil junior transport minister Ivor Callely TD, had a garage suitable for residential guest use, without planning approval.
Discreditet Callely is selling his holiday home in County Cork after twisting many arms in the county council to "retain" a controversial and illegal "garage extension" of 1000sq ft which is conveniently wired and plumbed in the event that the next purchaser should "break the law" and build another few bedrooms-or even a second home- in the extra space.
He has also persuaded the council to grant planning permission for a substantial two storey extension to the main building.
.Henry O’Leary of Property Partners network guides it at €825,000. He calculates that there is over 3,000 sq ft of space at present, between the main dwelling and its two-storey garage/store built to residential standards: in addition, there’s a smaller detached store building, also fully dressed in stone, as part of the huge sweep of walled-in patios and terraces which set this place a bit apart.
Virtual tours and images of the house, which is built in the mid-1990s, are posted on the agent’s website (www.hol.ie) but "only a personal inspection will reveal this unique home’s special touches", says the auctioneer.
And you can put the granny in the garage..!