A FORMER GOVERNMENT minister was unable to donate his ministerial severance pay to Fianna Fáil because of rules around political donations, it has emerged.
Éamon Ó Cuív had urged colleagues and former ministers who managed to be re-elected in February – Micheál Martin, Brian Lenihan and Brendan Smith – to donate their severance pay of a near total of €350,000 to Fianna Fáil.
However it later emerged that under parliamentary rules only €6,348 could be donated to the party by each.
Ó Cuív was speaking in the Dáil on Tuesday during the second reading of a political donations bill being put forward by Fianna Fáil this week.
I would have loved to give that kind of money to Fianna Fáil, which could badly do with it at present.
However, I was told that while I could take the money myself and pay tax on it, if I donated more than €6,350 a year, it was a political donation over the limit and I was not allowed to do it.
He had hoped to avail of a “magic formula” where TDs give a large chunk of their salary to their party organisation such as Sinn Féin Dáil members and Joe Higgins and the Socialist Party.
The TD for Galway West later told the Irish Examiner that he had managed to get his former ministerial colleagues on board with the idea.
But he added that in the end none of the money is now going to the party “because it’s just too complicated.”