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Fianna Fáil hypocrisy on fundraising transparency a disgrace

16 October, 2008

Sinn Féin National Chairperson and Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has today slammed successive Fianna Fáil led governments for refusing to introduce the necessary legislation that would requite political parties to publish an annual set of audited accounts. Ms McDonald said “Fianna Fáil’s refusal to commit itself to transparency and openness when it comes to party funding is an absolute disgrace.”


Ms McDonald said:


“Each year Sinn Féin has published its financial statements for both the north and south. In the north political parties are required under law to provide a full income and expenditure annual financial statement to the electoral commission. We commend this requirement and believe a similar practice should be in place in the south.


“Like all organisations a political party needs an income in order to cover its expenditures. The general-public understand that fundraising and donations are part and parcel of generating that income. Where cynicism starts to creep in is when it is perceived that political parties are not open and transparent about their financial affairs.


“On publishing the party’s north and south accounts in August of this year we noted that the primary source of donations to Sinn Féin in the south came from each of the party’s TDs and MEP who each donated €6,000 and of the north’s twenty seven MLAs who donated €5,787.04. Our fundraising comes from the party’s annual National Draw and a big and widely supported annual fundraiser dinner ‘Le Cheile’. In addition the party hold other sports and social events throughout the year.


“It is Sinn Féin’s firm belief that all political parties in the state should be required to submit an annual set of accounts to the Standards in Public Office Commission. Sinn Féin is one of the only political parties in this state to produce an annual set of financial statements available to the general public. In the absence of legislation I believe all political parties should follow our lead.


“I also believe that Fianna Fáil’s refusal to put in place the necessary legislation to ensure such transparency in Irish politics is a disgrace, but considering their management of the states public purse over the last decade it comes as no surprise.” ENDS


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