SDLP need to come clean on Denis O’Brien donations in wake of Moriarty Tribunal
Sinn Féin Assembly member Daithi McKay has challenged the SDLP to come clean on the nature of their financial relationship with business tycoon Denis O’Brien. Mr McKay’s call comes after the publication today of the Moriarty Tribunal into political donations made by Mr O’Brien in return for political favours in the south.
Mr McKay said:
“Today the Moriarty Tribunal into payments made by businessmen including Denis O’Brien to politicians published its findings. While the relationship between O’Brien and Michael Lowry and indeed Fine Gael was well known it also emerged during the Tribunal hearings that Mr O’Brien was also a significant donor to the SDLP.
“Given the very disturbing nature of the Moriarty Report and the self proclaimed links between the SDLP and those political parties in the south implicated in its findings it is now vital that the secrecy which has surrounded the SDLP’s financial dealings is lifted.
“During her bid for the party leadership Margaret Ritchie promised to reveal the extent of the SDLP corporate donations by April 2010. She has repeatedly failed to honour this pledge. Indeed the SDLP recently supported the NIO in extending secrecy provisions around political donations in the north.
“The question needs to be asked, what have the SDLP to fear from openness and transparency in politics. Why have they consistently refused to reveal the extent of their relationship with big business? As a starting point and in the wake of the findings of the Moriarty Tribunal let the SDLP at least detail the full extent of their financial relationship with Denis O’Brien.” ENDS