Political parties report donations received totalling €160k

The latest report 'Donations to Political Parties 2018' from the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) details donations from persons exceeding €1,500.

Political parties report donations received totalling €160k

Donations totalling €160,000 to political parties from their own TDs and MEPs in 2018 have been disclosed.

The latest report 'Donations to Political Parties 2018' from the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) details donations from persons exceeding €1,500.

According to the report, Fine Gael TDs and MEPs donated €81,899 to their party with donations from every TD including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his Cabinet ministers ranging from €1,500 to €2,300. Mr Varadkar donated €1,992 while Josepha Madigan gave the most at €2,296.

Sinn Féin similarly received donations from its own Leinster House team members totalling €48,470 with President Mary Lou McDonald donating €2,500.

Donations from Sinn Féin members ranged from a low of €1,664 donated by now ex-MEP Lynn Boylan to a high of €2,750 from Dublin North-West TD Dessie Ellis.

Mr Ellis later received €250 back as his donation exceeded the maximum amount allowed while Denise Mitchell and Senator Paul Gavan were returned €150 to bring them back down to the €2,500 limit.

The Labour Party received €22,150 from its leader Brendan Howlin and his much-reduced Oireachtas team while Fianna Fáil received no donations from its TDs or Senators. Most of the Labour members donated €2,400 each but Senator Ivana Bacik donated €1,950 and Senator Kevin Humphries donated €1,800. Cork East TD Sean Sherlock donated €1,600, the lowest of any Labour Party donation.

It did receive just one donation totalling €2,500 from a non-elected supporter, Denis Mee.

A group calling itself the Workers and Unemployed Action received donations totalling €4,800, the records show. Two people, Seamus Healy TD and Cllr Pat English donated €2,400 each to the grouping.

The report shows that Fine Gael made 2 of its 38 returns after the deadline of March 31, while 12 of the Labour Party's returns were late. Both Sinn Féin and the Greens had five late returns.

Under the rules, the maximum value of donations that a political party may accept from the same person in the same calendar year is €2,500. A party may not accept a corporate or business donation in excess of €200 unless the donor is registered with the Commission as a Corporate Donor.

A political party is also precluded from accepting foreign donations from an individual (other than an Irish citizen) who resides outside the island of Ireland.

Similarly, no donation of any value may be accepted from a body corporate or an unincorporated body of persons which does not keep an office in the island of Ireland.

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