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Two TDs reported to gardaí after failing to disclose political donations on time

It was all cleared up a few days later…

TDS, SENATORS AND MEPs have disclosed donations totalling €25,500 for 2014.

The Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) referred files to the An Garda Síochána for possible prosecution in respect of the two TDs who failed to make a return by 19 February: Tom Hayes (Fine Gael) and Richard Boyd Barrett (People Before Profit/United Left Alliance).

Public representatives are required to make SIPO aware of donations – including money and the use of property or services – larger than €600.

Government helps Agriculture industry Enda Kenny and Tom Hayes Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Both deputies submitted the required documentation on 23 February and the gardaí were informed.

Calls For Abolition of Water Charges Richard Boyd Barrett Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

If the same donor makes more than one donation to the same TD, Senator or MEP during a calendar year, the values of the donations must be aggregated and disclosure made if the total is greater than €600.

A total of 239 Members or former Members were required to furnish donation statements relating to 2014 by 31 January 2015. This comprised 165 TDs, 60 Senators, 11 MEPs, two former MEPs and one former TD. Ten Members failed to adhere to the deadline.

Who got what

Independent Senator Rónán Mullen disclosed the most donations: €10,500.

File pics Senator Ronan Mullen has topped the list of disclosed donations received by TDs, Senators and MEPs last year with 12,000 euro. Rónán Mullen Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Socialist Party/Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy disclosed €10,000 – €1,000 of which came from party colleague Ruth Coppinger.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly disclosed €3,000, while his Labour colleague Communications Minister Alex White disclosed €1,000.

A further €1,000 was disclosed by Independent MEP for Midlands North West Marian Harkin.

donation amounts Source: SIPO

TDs, Senators and MEPs are prohibited from accepting foreign donations or from accepting anonymous donations exceeding a value of €100. They were also prohibited from accepting donations with a total value exceeding €1,000 from the same person in the same year. No donation disclosed exceeded the maximum prescribed limit.

The Irish National Teachers Union (INTO) made donations to local election candidates running for Fine Gael,  Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and a number of independents.

Trade union Siptu donated €22,990 to the Labour party, while Unite made donations to People Before Profit party and the Anti-Austerity Alliance.

Donor limits

A donor must provide a donation statement to SIPO, if she or he makes donations exceeding €1,500 in aggregate value to two or more members of the same political party – or to a political party, or to a party and to one or more of its members – within a 12 month period.

The document must give details of the donations and the people to whom they were made, and must be furnished by 31 January of the following year.

Seven such statements from individual donors were received in respect of 2014.

A full list of the disclosed donations is available here.

Full disclosure: Everything your TDs own and where they put their money

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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