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FF senator says he made calls in support of Healy-Rae

Ned O’Sullivan says some of the calls may have been made from Oireachtas phones. Meanwhile the text of a letter sent by an Oireachtas official to Jackie Healy-Rae about the phone calls has been revealed.

Michael Healy Rae speaking to the media today
Michael Healy Rae speaking to the media today
Image: Photocall Ireland

FIANNA FÁIL SENATOR Ned O’ Sullivan has told RTÉ that he sent a number of text and made some calls to vote for Michael Healy-Rae when he appeared as a contestant on Celebrities Go Wild in 2007.

O’Sullivan has said this evening that he sent the texts from his mobile phone at his own expense, and that he made around a dozen phone calls, but that some of these may have been made from an Oireachtas phone.

Independent TD Michael Healy Rae is at the centre of a controversy after it emerged that over 3,600 calls were made from phones within the Houses of the Oireachtas to a premium phone line in order to record votes for Celebrities Go Wild.

O’Sullivan says a campaign group had been formed in Kerry in support of Healy Rae’s appearance on the programme, and that he had been asked by the group to vote.

Earlier Healy-Rae said that he would reimburse the cost of the calls, which came to €2,600.

Politics.ie carries a copy of a letter which was sent to Jackie Healy-Rae, Michael’s father on 12 March 2008 on behalf of the Secretary General of the Houses of the Oireachtas.

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The letter states:

The telephone costs records of the Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas show that a total sum of €2639.24 (including VAT) was incurred in costs in respect of over 3600 telephone calls from Leinster House to a premium rate number over a three day period on 22-25 October last year, (the number was 1513 717107 which is understood to have been the number on which votes were registered for Mr. Michael Healy Rae during the ‘Celebrities Go Wild’ television show last October (2007))

The letter also details that all of the calls were less than five seconds in duration. Politics.ie reports that no reply was ever received from Healy-Rae, that he denies the letter was received, and that no further action was taken.

More from RTÉ: Ned O’Sullivan admits to some Healy-Rae calls>

Politics.ie: Oireactas letter to Jackie Healy-Rae on March 12 2008 about premium calls>

About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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