AN INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE who was defeated in last year’s general election has announced he will distribute the refund of his election expenses to a number of charities and good causes.
Dylan Haskins, who at 22 was one of the youngest candidates in last year’s election, ran unsuccessfully in Dublin South East – but was refunded €8,700 in election expenses after accruing just under 2,000 votes – over a quarter of the quota.
Having received the fund, and combined it with donations made to his election campaign, Haskins has decided to distribute €10,000 between ten charities and good causes which he said shared the goals of his own campaign.
“These charities and causes and causes have been suggested and selected collectively by eight of the full time campaign team and myself on behalf of all who worked on and contributed to the campaign,” Haskins said in a blog post on his website.
“None of these people were paid and so these donations are as much from them as from me.”
Among the donations being distributed are €1,500 to the Educate Together movement’s campaign to set up secondary schools, and €1,500 to the Free Legal Advice Centres.
€1,000 will be donated to organisations including data transparency website TheStory.ie, the young persons’ mental health charity Headstrong, and a local adult mental health service Cluain Mhuire.
Other recipients of funding will include Dublin Youth Theatre, Young Social Innovators, the Dublintellectual arts project, LGBT rights lobby MarriagEquality, and LGBT resource centre Outhouse.
Documents published by the Standards in Public Office Commission showed that Haskins had been disclosed election spending totalling €14,098 for his campaign in February 2011.
Four TDs – all from the government parties – were ultimately elected in Haskins’ constituency, including education minister Ruairí Quinn and EU affairs junior minister Lucinda Creighton.