The junior health minister sent party members messages yesterday urging them to turn up to the special adviser’s south Dublin home this weekend or lodge money in a bank account.
Mr White’s appeal comes as candidates competing for the leadership prepare for the second round of party debates on Monday in Galway.
Department of Health special adviser Madeleine Mulrennan is hosting the fundraising event for Mr White at her Dublin home on Sunday, according to the letter to party members.
Ms Mulrennan is listed as one of the department’s three advisers.
Her appointment was signed off on by the Taoiseach last July, with a salary of €61,966. The Department of Health last night confirmed she was still employed as an adviser to Mr White — one of the few junior ministers allowed a special adviser.
In the fundraising appeal, Mr White explains: “In the past you have generously supported my campaigns and I hope you might consider making a donation again, however modest, to help defray costs associated with the leadership campaign.
“I am correctly precluded from using any Oireachtas funds for this election but I have to try to reach out to a nationally-based electorate of 5,000 people over a relatively short period of time. There are obvious costs involved.”
He adds: “Madeleine Mulrennan has very kindly agreed to host a fundraising event — drinks and finger food — at her home... I would be delighted if you could come along.”
Mr White tells supporters that, if they cannot attend the fundraiser, that they can send on cheques or lodge funds into a bank account.
He finishes: “You may be assured that all contributions will be used in the most effective way possible in the current campaign.”
He and Social Protection Minister Joan Burton, the other contender for the Labour leadership, will go head-to-head in a debate in front of trade unionists tomorrow at the Communications Workers’ Union offices in Dublin.
The four deputy leader candidates will also attend the event.
All six candidates will then attend the next round of the Labour hustings in Galway on Monday.