Figures show TDs accepted more than €700k in political donations last year

MORE than €700,000 in political donations was accepted by TDs last year, it was revealed yesterday.

Another €100,000 went to senators, with nearly a third of that total — €32,030 — taken by Senator Rónán Mullen alone, according to figures released by the Standards Commission.

Wicklow Fianna Fáil TD Joe Behan topped the Oireachtas list by disclosing donations of €37,600, second was Carlow-Kilkenny FF TD John McGuinness with €32,500, followed by independent senator Mr Mullen in third place.

Kerry South’s Jackie Healy-Rae declared the biggest donation for an Independent TD at €24,900, while Micheál Martin was the highest ranked Cabinet minister, coming in at 8th place overall with €22,135 listed.

The donations to Oireachtas members included money, property, goods and services. However, only donations above €634.87 needed to be declared to the Standards in Public Office (SiPO).

A total of 297 donation statements were received for 2007, but 80 TDs, 40 Senators, 12 MEPs and 47 former members furnished a “nil” statement to SiPO.

A total of €1,343,818.62 in donations was declared by all successful and unsuccessful candidates at the Dáil and Seanad general elections of 2007.

Members of Fianna Fáil declared €517,871.16 (of which €8,960.52 was returned to donors and €18,039.48 had previously been disclosed)

Fine Gael listed €130,791.92 (of which €4,860 was returned to donors and €18,020 had previously been disclosed).

Labour Oireachtas members disclosed €54,810 (of which €10,850 had previously been disclosed).

The Green Party listed €24,942.50 (of which €10,742.50 had previously been disclosed).

Members of Sinn Féin disclosed €17,650 (of which €9,000 had previously been disclosed).

The PDs listed€7,800 and Independent members disclosed donations of €97,129.47 (of which €3,000 had previously been disclosed).

In all, TDs disclosed donations of €711,463.07 (of which €11,320.52 was returned to donors).

Senators disclosed donations of €102,581.98 (of which €2,500 was returned to a donor and €46,301.98 had previously been disclosed). Former Dáil members disclosed donations of €17,300 (of which €14,000 had previously been disclosed).

Top 10 disclosed donations

1. Joe Behan TD (FF Wicklow) €37,600. Picture: Garry O’Neill

2. John McGuinness TD (FF Carlow-Kilkenny) €32,500.

3. Senator Rónán Mullen (Ind) €32,030.

4. Darragh O’Brien TD (FF Dublin North) €28,266

5. Seán Connick TD (FF Wexford) €25,500.

6. Jackie Healy-Rae TD (Ind Kerry South) €24,900.

7. Christy O’Sullivan TD (FF Cork SW) €22,900.

8. Micheál Martin TD (FF Cork SC) €22,135.

9. Áine Brady TD (FF Kildare North) — €22,000.

10. Mattie McGrath TD (FF Tipperary South) €20,500.

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