Keaveney seeks apology over donations claim

Labour Party rebel Deputy Colm Keaveney last night demanded a public apology from the Standards in Public Office (Sipo) Commission after claiming the watchdog wrongly named him as the only member of the Oireachtas not to provide any details of political donations last year.

Keaveney seeks apology over donations claim

The Galway East TD said Sipo had been “grossly unprofessional” to name him as not having provided the documentation when he instead said he had submitted it in January.

TDs, senators, and MEPs disclosed donations with a total value of €3,800 for 2012, according to figures published yesterday.

A total of 238 members or former members of the Oireachtas were required to furnish donation statements and only donations valued at more than €634.87 needed to be disclosed.

Of the €3,800 disclosed, €300 was disclosed by Fine Gael senator Fidelma Healy Eames, €2,500 by the Independent deputy Stephen Donnelly, and €1,000 by Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald.

However, in a statement, SIPO noted that while 16 members failed to adhere to the Jan 31 deadline, only one Oireachtas member, “Mr Colm Keaveney TD has failed to furnish donation statements”.

In the full report, Sipo revealed three Fine Gael members and four Labour members had missed the deadline, but all had lodged complete, or in some cases incomplete, documentation by Feb 13 at the latest, bar Mr Keaveney.

Last night Mr Keaveney said he had not received any donations last year, and had sent in his documentation on time.

In a letter to David Stone of Sipo, sent by Mr Keaveney yesterday, the TD said: “I posted my return to Sipo in January. I am fortunate that this was witnessed by a third party. I am alarmed that it is now through the media that I learn that my return was not received rather than from Sipo directly.

“This strikes me as being grossly unprofessional of Sipo as it may lead to the damage of my good name and character. If it transpires that my return was received by Sipo, and that an error has been made in not processing it, then I will be seeking a public apology both from Sipo and from you personally on this matter.”

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