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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 13 December, 2019

Guess which #Áras11 candidate spent the most on their campaign?

Hint: It wasn’t the winner…

Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

ELECTION AGENTS for the seven presidential candidates spent over €2.8 million across the campaigns, according to new figures released by the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO).

The spending limit per candidate for the election was €750,000, and the commission says that it has not found any evidence of overspending.

Fine Gael’s presidential candidate Gay Mitchell, who was eliminated at the third count of the election results, was the highest-spending candidate with SIPO’s figures showing he disclosed expenditure of €527,152.

The last-placed candidate reported the second-highest spending: €414,041 was spent on Mary Davis’ campaign.

Meanwhile, €395,935 was spent on election winner Michael D Higgins’s campaign.

Overall, Seán Gallagher’s campaign spent €323,318, David Norris’s spent €331,974 and the Martin McGuinness campaign spent €302,563.

Dana Rosemary Scallon’s campaign spent the lowest amount of all seven, at €59,591.

David Norris’s campaign spent the highest amount on its workers, at €107,894. He also spent the most on publicity throughout the campaign (€109,654). The €27,263 Martin McGuinness’s campaign spent on transport and travel includes €2,869 to Morgan Fuels, the company owned by the man at the centre of the Frontline debate controversy.

Of the seven candidates, Gay Mitchell’s campaign spent the most on market research, at €51,320.


The commission says that the total donations disclosed for the October election amounted to €304,570.75.

Six of the seven candidates disclosed that they had received donations of over €634.87, and of those Higgins reported the highest level of donations at €121,421. Davis reported donations of €120,095.

Just three of the seven candidates – Higgins, Seán Gallagher and Martin McGuinness – qualified for the maximum reimbursement of expenses of €200,000.

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