Paschal Donohoe Leah Farrell/
Paschal Donohoe

Opposition continues pressure on embattled Donohue

The Public Expenditure Minister is to make a further statement on his expenses on Tuesday.

PRESSURE IS MOUNTING on Paschal Donohoe to outline the full details around his election expenses.

The Public Expenditure Minister is to make a further statement involving his 2016 general election campaign and other matters raised by the opposition next Tuesday.

Labour’s finance spokesperson Ged Nash said the minister had several opportunities over recent years to clarify the situation but that the first attempt at this was a “hastily arranged press conference last Sunday where limited information was providued to the media”.

“The minister now is trying to make the case, and I think he’s failing to do so convincingly at least, that this is a donation that was made to the Fine Gael Dublin Central constituency organisation,” Nash told RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland programme.

“But in fact, in the context of an election, there really is no such thing and the only person who can incur expenditure on behalf of, or authorise expenditure, is the election agent on behalf of the candidate.”

Elsewhere, one of Donohoe’s own colleagues from the government parties has queried how he calculated the work carried out for his campaign.

Neasa Hourigan, who represents the same Dublin Central constituency as Donohoe, said the figures amounting to the duties provided “seem slightly low”. 

“It’s  six people and a van and that seems like a very good rate he got,” Hourigan said on RTÉ’s Late Debate last night.

“He’s not only my government colleague but he’s also my constituency colleague so I’m not trying to have a go at Paschal particularly.

“But it is actually a lot, it is a lot of support. and if you’re somebody who’s trying to get elected, we have to keep it a level field. ”

While answering parliamentary questions in the Dáil yesterday, Donohoe told the chamber that he would make a further statement on the matter at the earliest opportunity.

While the Dáil business committee had the view that it would have been preferable for the statement to have been made yesterday, Donohoe told the Dáil that he would be unable to make a statement until later.

He has since confirmed he will appear again for a further statement and questioning next Tuesday.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Prime Time last night, Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty questioned whether businessman Michael Stone paid for putting up Donohoe’s election posters in 2020.

Speaking on the same programme, Minister of State for European Affairs Peter Burke said the Fine Gael TD would come forward with all the details next week and called for a proportionate response.

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