Kelly seeks review of expense claims by council
The cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council has clarified that he attended all events for which he claimed expenses in 2017 and 2018, and has sought the local authority to conduct a review on the matter.
Clifford Kelly featured in a report by RTÉ in which it was claimed the Fianna Fáil councillor had two apparent conflicts in terms of his expenses, involving a training seminar in Tipperary in 2017, and separately, a Dungarvan conference in 2018.
RTÉ claimed that in both instances, Cllr Kelly told Cavan County Council he left home on a Thursday, returning Saturday. He also attended interview panels with Dundalk IT on the Fridays.
The national broadcaster say a statement provided to them by the Kingscourt councillor stated that he did travel to the events in Tipperary and Dungarvan on the dates in question for registration and stayed overnight.
RTE continue: "But due to two "diary management" oversights, he realised that he had to sit on interview panels and so he left the hotels at 5am on both mornings to go to Dundalk. He said he returned to the seminars when the interviews were over."
RTE published the details concerning Cllr Kelly as part of a bigger examination uundertaken by 'RTÉ Investigates' of expenses lodged by county councillors nationally.
Cllr Kelly was elected cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council earlier this year.
Clifford Kelly issued a statement to The Anglo-Celt:
“On Monday, 21st June, 2021, I received a query from RTE in relation to a programme which aired this evening concerning Councillor's payments for attendance at events and meetings of external bodies. I have replied directly to RTÉ.
"I have also been in contact with Cavan County Council and the other named bodies and have asked them to review the matter. For absolute clarity, I can confirm that I attended all events on all dates in question for which I claimed travel and subsistence payments.”
Asked about this issue, Cavan County Council responded:
"Further to the contents of an article published by RTÉ on Tuesday afternoon, Cavan County Council is reviewing a potential issue raised. If any discrepancies arise from this review, the local authority will address them as appropriate."