Seanad Eireann: An elaborate cash-dispensing machine

It is now seven days since the Sunday Independent exposed Senator Ivor Callely’s dodgy expenses claims. Seven days and not a policeman in sight to investigate what are, in effect, serious allegations of fraud.

Liam Fay writes a hard hitting and accurate analysis of the scandal in today’s Sunday Times. Some quotes from is article.

The notion that Callely has “duties” in the sense that he provides a service or function is absurd. As one of the taoiseach’s appointees, he’s a professional placeman, a chair warmer.

Unelected and therefore unaccountable, he represents nobody but himself and has nothing to offer but his trademark self-importance.

Similarly, Callely is more emblematic of the culture of the Seanad than most senators will admit.

After all, the whole expenses system is a joke, an elaborate cash-dispensing machine that rewards senators for simply turning up to perform a part-time job of no discernible usefulness for which they are already overpaid in the first place.

As we are discovering, Callely isn’t the only senator to claim travel expenses from a distant address that is not officially listed as his home.

If the Callely affair proves anything, it’s the case for the abolition of the Seanad, a talking shop designed solely for the aggrandisement of a political elite.