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11 Irish political parties disclose donations of only €33,606 for 2012

Parties are only required to disclose donations worth over €5,078.95 – but only three parties disclosed any donations at all.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh was the only person who made enough donations to SF to qualify for legal disclosure.
Aengus Ó Snodaigh was the only person who made enough donations to SF to qualify for legal disclosure.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

11 OF IRELAND’S political parties have disclosed donations totalling a meagre €33,606 for 2012, according to data published this morning.

Only three of the 19 parties officially registered in Ireland declared any donations to the Standards in Public Office Commission.

The Socialist Party disclosed donations totalling €24,600 – over half of which was donated by its sole remaining TD, Joe Higgins, and its MEP Paul Murphy. Sinn Féin disclosed €6,000, paid in a standing order by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD.

The Christian Solidarity Party disclosed donations of €3,006, donated by a total of nine people – an aggregate donation small enough that the party was not actually legally required to disclose it.

The country’s biggest parties, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour, all certified that they had not received donations over the legal threshold of €5,078.95 – though in those cases, the parties’ Oireachtas representation means they are entitled to significant Exchequer funding and make them less reliant on donations.

The regulations only apply to parties were are registered to contest Dáil and European elections, meaning four of the 19 parties officially registered in Ireland are exempt from disclosures.

Three of the 15 parties – the People Before Profit Alliance, the Socialist Workers Party and the Workers Party – had not yet submitted their legal disclosures for the year.

The Standards in Public Office Commission said it now intended to refer the matter to the Gardaí.

The latest figures continue a marked decline in political donations in Ireland – last year only three of Ireland’s 239 TDs, Senators or MEPs disclosed any donations above the legal threshold of €634.87.

The 2011 figures showed donations of just under €31,000 for the country’s political parties – in a year when they received over €12.6 million in State funding.

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Gavan Reilly

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