This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 20 June, 2019
Advertisement

Donegal candidate reported to Gardaí over failure to disclose expenses

The Standards in Public Office commission says candidates in the Donegal South-West by-election will receive €38,795 in refunds.

The six Donegal South-West candidates pose with Pat Kenny in November. Ann Sweeney, third from right, has been referred to Gardaí over her failure to provide a statement of her election expenses.
The six Donegal South-West candidates pose with Pat Kenny in November. Ann Sweeney, third from right, has been referred to Gardaí over her failure to provide a statement of her election expenses.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

AN INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE in the Donegal South-West Dáil by-election of last November has been referred to an Garda Síochána over her failure to submit a statement outlining her election expenses.

Dunfanaghy-based businesswoman Ann Sweeney was one of six candidates in the by-election held last November to fill the seat made vacant by Pat the Cope Gallagher when he was elected to the European Parliament. The election was won by Sinn Féin’s then-senator Pearse Doherty.

The Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) today revealed that Sweeney had been the only candidate not to return a Donation Statement or an Election Expenses Statement, the latter being required under Irish election law.

With Sweeney still to issue a statement of her expenses, or to disclose any donations, the matter has therefore been referred to an Garda Síochána.

SIPO said it had not found evidence of any candidate spending more than the allowed amount, with no candidate exceeding the individual limit of €30,150.

The highest-spending candidate was Labour councillor Frank MacBrearty Jr, who spent €29,916, while Fine Gael’s Barry O’Neill spent €28,987. Fianna Fáil senator Brían Ó Domhnaill – returned to the Seanad earlier today – spent €27,203, of which €630 was met from public funds.

Independent candidate Thomas Pringle – who won a seat in the constituency in February’s general election – spent €3,995.87, while the winner Doherty spent €24,939.

Each of the four main party candidates will receive the maximum reimbursement of €8,700 each, while Pringle will receive the entirety of his expenses refunded.

Sweeney unofficially withdrew from the election in the days leading up to it, protesting that it had become a “farce” given close a general election had appeared.

Sweeney could not be contacted this afternoon.

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

Read next:

COMMENTS (4)