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Dublin: 12 °C Saturday 7 December, 2019

See how much Fianna Fáil fundraised last year

Plus, some of the motions the party will vote on at this weekend’s Ard Fhéis.

General Secretary of Fianna Fail, Sean Dorgan (left) and Honorary Secretary Dara Calleary
General Secretary of Fianna Fail, Sean Dorgan (left) and Honorary Secretary Dara Calleary
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

AHEAD OF ITS first Ard Fhéis since its dismal General Election performance, Fianna Fáil has noted that fundraising for the party is never an easy activity and is particularly hard in these challenging times.

Between its superdraw, church collections, election draw, direct contributions, registration fees and other fundraising events, Fianna Fáil raised more than €1.02 million in 2011.

As the party faced the public’s anger and were held politically accountable for the economic problems facing Ireland, its church collection dropped significantly from €320,000 to €185,000.

The party’s fundraising committee has urged members to take every opportunity at the church gate over the next 21 months. It noted that the fundraising model has changed and the focus has been taken away from corporate donations.

We are committed to raising the necessary resources through smaller contributions from members and supporters.

The number of cumainn registered for 2011 also fell drastically to just 1,010. That is about half the number registered in 2010 and about a third of the number which the party claims is active across the country.

Despite the drop in the church collections and registration fees, its superdraw did raise more money than in the previous year. A total of €530,000 was raised, about €66k more than in 2010.

One of the motions that will be raised at this weekend’s Ard Fhéis calls for an extra national draw in 2012 with tickets priced at €20 or less. Another resolution urges the party to reduce the price of its superdraw tickets from €50 to €10.

Fianna Fáil is currently €1.7 million in debt in its fundraising account. The party has been in debt in this account since the early 1980s. It has reduced the amount over the past two years and hopes to get rid of it completely by 2014.

As part of morale-boosting and fundraising efforts, the party hopes to sell merchandise at a stand at its upcoming Ard Fheis on 1 and 2 March.

On Friday and Saturday, about 3,000 delegates are expected to travel to the RDS in Ballsbridge, Dublin for the party’s Ard Fhéis. A record number of motions have been put forward. has taken a look at the various resolutions that will be tabled:

Party recommendations

  • A number of cumainn (local branches) have called on the Ard Fhéis to recommend a financial levy to be placed on all paid public-elected representatives. Half of this levy could be given to the party’s HQ, while the remainder could be used by the constituency of the representative.
  • Others wish to roll out a social media strategy that would make Fianna Fáil the strongest Irish party in the social media space “well ahead of the 2014 local elections”.
  • Clare Ógra has asked the Ard Fhéis to mandate the Ard Chomhairle to ratify at least 30 per cent of candidates nationally to be 35-years-old or younger for the 2014 local elections.
  • Clare Ógra has also called on the party to voluntarily publish its end of year accounts publicly.


  • Kilkenny Ógra wants the national anthem sung in all Irish schools first thing on a Monday morning and last thing on a Friday evening. Every student should be given a free copy of the Constitution and a copy of the Proclamation should be hung in every classroom, according to the youth branch.
  • The Dublin South East branch wants the party to seek a ban on retired teachers returning to work as substitute teachers to ensure newly-qualified teachers get the opportunities and experience they need.
  • The Ard Fheis has been called on to commit to retaining Irish as a compulsory language for the Leaving Certificate.

Foreign Affairs

  • A motion has been tabled to wish all Scottish Nationalists “best wishes” in the lead up to the Scottish independence referendum. The Clonkeen cumann in Dun Laoghaire has also called on the party to build links with the Scottish National Party.
  • Another resolution has been put forward to condemn the government’s decision to close Ireland’s embassy to the Holy See.


  • More than one local branch has called on the party’s leaders to reconsider their policy on the Croke Park Agreement.
  • The Dublin West CDC has asked for the Ard Fhéis to confirm that it believes the terms of the agreements with bondholders of banking debt should be renegotiated.

Local Government

  • Another resolution will call on a vote on whether delegates agree that the voting age should be reduced to 16.
  • A number of branches have called for objections to be put forth in relation to 30 per cent gender requirements for elections.
  • Offaly CDC has asked the Ard Fhéis to agree that monies collected from Motor Taxation should be retained by the local authority for maintaining county roads.
  • Sligo-North Leitrim Cumann calls for the installation of Carbon Monoxide alarms in all households.


  • Two related motions on the extension of full adoption rights to same-sex couples will be discussed.

Public Expenditure

  • A Galway cumann has asked the Ard Fhéis to agree that TDs and Senators should not receive any expenses as they already receive wages.
  • The Waterford city branch has called for cuts to salaries of top RTÉ presenters for reasons of “fairness” and as an “act of solidarity”.

Votes on each resolution will be taken by a show of hands.

This weekend’s meeting is being looked at as a pivotal moment in the party’s history given its poor showing during the 2011 General Election. The performance of Micheál Martin will be scrutinised as he acknowledges the public’s anger at the party, while trying to move on and prove that the party has learnt from its mistakes.

Fianna Fáil said the 73rd Ard Fhéis offers a “major milestone in the reform and renewal process currently being undertaken at all levels of the organisation”. It has promised that the event will be run differently from all previous Ard Fheiseanna, being more member focused and engaging. will be following all the action and will liveblog Micheál Martin’s leader speech on Saturday evening from 8.30pm.

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