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Renua spent nearly €30k trying (and failing) to get this man elected

SIPO has released details of expenditure in the Carlow-Kilkenny by-election.

Patrick McKee
Patrick McKee
Image: Facebook

RENUA SPENT NEARLY €30,000 in its attempts to win a fourth Dáil seat in the Carlow-Kilkenny by-election last May.

Lucinda Creighton’s party spent €29,787 on councillor Patrick McKee’s campaign after his high-profile defection from Fianna Fáil.

The Kilkenny councillor finished fourth overall with just under 10 per cent of the vote in what was Renua’s first electoral test since its foundation in March.

The seat was won by Fianna Fáil’s Bobby Aylward who regained the Dáil seat he lost in the 2011 general election.

The by-election was triggered by Fine Gael TD Phil Hogan’s appointment as European Commissioner for Agriculture and was held on the same day as the referendum on same-sex marriage.

McKee’s spend was less than the €43,895 spent by Fianna Fáil on Aylward who also spent more than David Fitzgerald of Fine Gael whose total spend came in at €31,594.

The figures have been published by the Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo) this afternoon and record Aylward with the highest spend, just below the €45,200 limit.

After Fitzgerald and McKee, the next highest spenders were Sinn Féin who spent €23,776 on councillor Kathleen Funchion’s campaign. Labour spent €21,621 on Carlow councillor Willie Quinn’s campaign. They finished third and fifth respectively.

Independent candidate Elizabeth Hourihane disclosed two donations of €749.

SIPO also said that the exchequer has refunded a total of €61,855 to eight candidates who qualified for reimbursement of election expenses.

Read: How does this old-school fundraising chime with Renua’s new politics?

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Hugh O'Connell

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