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party returns

Mary Lou McDonald admits there was 'sloppiness' and 'inaccuracies' in party's financial returns

Questions have been raised in the Dáil recently regarding Sinn Féín’s finances.

SINN FÉIN LEADER Mary Lou McDonald has admitted there was “sloppiness” and “inaccuracies” previously in her party’s financial returns. 

Addressing questions about financial irregularities in Sinn Féin’s returns, McDonald told reporters in New York:

“In the case of our returns, yes, there was a sloppiness there, there was inaccuracies.

“To me that is not acceptable, by the way I have said that within the party.”

The Irish Times had previously reported that Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo) was investigating a series of “apparent mistakes, anomalies and contradictions in the Sinn Féin accounts and election spending declarations submitted by the party to the watchdog in recent years”.

McDonald had previously acknowledged that her party had been questioned by Sipo over its declarations, but said Sinn Féin’s money was fully accounted for.

McDonald told the media in New York that all political parties have to be compliant with the rules, and “where mistakes are made, they have to be corrected”.

She added that all of Sinn Féin’s money is accounted for.

“All of our all of our money is accounted for and any dealings that we have had with Sipo over the years, in each and every instance, the sloppiness or the mistakes have been remedied and Sipo has been fully happy with our actions,” she said. 

She said every single party, Sinn Féín included, has to cooperate with Sipo and must ensure that they are “well within those guidelines and regulations and that it is as it should be”.

McDonald said she did not regret Sinn Féin going hard against Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe over his poster expenses, stating that that controversy surrounded a corporate donation that was not disclosed.

“So they’re two different things,” she said.

Earlier this month, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it is “high time” the president and the treasurer of Sinn Féin made a statement in the house “to clear up” the matter regarding claims that Sipo are investigating a series of potential anomalies. 

“It is far too serious for the House to ignore,” Varadkar said. However, the Dáil Business Committee rejected the idea of holding statements in the Dáil on the issue.

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