BELEAGUERED senator Ivor Callely has been asked to pay back more than €3,000 he received from a double mileage claim he made while a junior minister.
The double payment in 2005 saw Callely make two separate claims for a single month, each totalling €3,257, and resulted in a payout of €6,514.
The discrepancy only came to light following a Freedom of Information request by the Sunday Tribune to the Department of Transport, relating to the senator's time as a minister of state.
The department said that following the discovery, it had made contact with Callely and was now seeking reimbursement of the money.
It also said it had put in place new procedures to ensure such a double claim could not be repeated.
The new documents show Callely continued to claim the maximum allowable 5,000 miles each month when he moved from the Department of Health to his new job at Transport.
However, he was even more handsomely rewarded for this mileage and in some months was taking home in excess of €6,000, according to the records.
In his first month in office, claim forms submitted by Callely show he was paid €6,238.30 for mileage for October 2004 covering 5,000 miles. That covered the cost of attending "various meetings and functions in Dublin city and county on behalf of the department and constituency".
Callely declared that: "I also attended a meeting in Athlone during the month."
In total, during his brief 14 months at the department, Callely claimed €53,601.48 tax-free, just for mileage claims. He was also paid €1,014 every month in "fixed expenses".
The mileage claim includes the eight days he served in December before his resignation and for which he claimed just 1,250 miles.
The claims also include the double payment for April 2005 in which two separate claim forms were submitted by the minister for the same month.
The record shows Callely first put in a claim for April to cover 5,000 miles for "various functions in Dublin on behalf of the department and the constituency". For his troubles, he was paid a sum of €3,257.50.
However, a separate claim was submitted almost a year later covering a three-month period between April and June, claiming for a further 15,000 miles.
The letter sent from Callely's constituency office arrived in February 2006, two months after he had been forced to resign ignominiously amid controversy over work carried out by a contractor at his family home. A claim form, personally signed by Callely, was also submitted and a cheque of €9,772.50 issued for the three-month period.
The Department of Transport said: "In the course of compiling records for release in response to your request under the Freedom of Information Acts, it came to light that two separate claims for mileage were made relating to the month of April 2005… each of these claims was paid resulting in an overpayment of €3,257.
"The department has raised the issue of reimbursement with the senator. Meanwhile, the procedures relating to the processing of claims have been modified to prevent any possibility of a recurrence."