Ivor Callely withdraws appeal against sentence

Ivor Callely
Ivor Callely

An ex-Fianna Fail politician and Minster of State who admitted fraudulently claiming €4,207.45 in expenses from the Oireachtas on forged mobile phone invoices, has withdrawn his appeal against sentence.

Ivor Callely (57), of St Lawrence, Clontarf, had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to four counts of using invoices believing them to be false instruments at Leinster House, Kildare Street between November 2007 and December 2009 while he was a member of the Seanad.

He was sentenced to five months imprisonment by Judge Mary Ellen Ring on July 28, 2014

Callely had lodged an appeal against the severity of his sentence in person in 2014. However, the office of the Court of Appeal recently received a letter from Callely, again in person, notifying the court of his intention to withdraw his appeal.

He was notified that the matter would be listed on Friday, February 19.

During case management procedures in the Court of Appeal today/yesterday(Friday), lawyers for Callely confirmed to Mr Justice George Birmingham that their client wished to withdraw his appeal.

Callely was not present in court for the procedural matter.

He had successfully brought proceedings against the Justice Minister over refusals to grant him enhanced remission and temporary release from the five month sentence.

He claimed he was entitled to one third remission of his sentence, as opposed to the normal one quarter, because he had demonstrated good behaviour by participating in structured prison activities, and was unlikely to re-offend.

Callely argued that the Minister's refusal of temporary release or extra remission was unfair and he was not being treated the same as other prisoners who had committed more serious crimes. The State parties denied the claims and opposed the action.

The High Court quashed the Minister's refusal to grant him enhanced remission in July 2015 and his application for a one-third reduction in sentece was referred back for reconsideration which was successful. 

Mr Justice Anthony Barr subsequently ruled that Callely was entitled to have legal costs for his High Court action paid for by the State.