GERRY ADAM HAS suggested that the jailed former Fianna Fáil minister Ivor Callely might have got a different sentence had he “been a kid from some disadvantaged area stealing €4,000 out of some downtown store”.
The Sinn Féin president said he was “reflecting philosophically” as he made the remarks outside Leinster House this afternoon.
Adams was speaking in the wake of Callely being sentenced to five months in prison yesterday for making false mobile phone expenses claims totalling €4,207.45 while serving as a senator.
“I did say to some of our folks had he been a kid from some disadvantaged area stealing €4,000 out of some downtown store he might have had a different sentence. But there aren’t any recommendations or regulations or guidelines for sentencing,” Adams said today.
Adams said that the Callely controversy is “symptomatic of the political culture which needs continuously to be subjected to a focus”.
He said that while there had been some progress on political reform politicians “can’t for a moment pretend that there aren’t issues that need to be tightened up on”.
Of Callely’s fate, Adams added: “He’s in prison now, he’ll do his time, but let’s keep the focus on the need to keep our politics and public life under continuous scrutiny.”
The Callely Controversies: From Fianna Fáil favourite to five months in prison