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Friday 1 December 2023 Dublin: 3°C
Sam Boal Sinn Fein's Election Launch in the Royal Irish Academy, 2016.

Sinn Féin to amend 2016 election spending returns after 'oversight' on declaring outstanding bill

A party spokesperson told RTÉ that the party was within the spending limits laid down for the 2016 general election.

SINN FÉIN IS to amend its 2016 election spending returns after an “oversight” led to the party failing to pay a €600 bill for a room at the Royal Irish Academy (RIA).

The party says it has no record of receiving an invoice from the Dublin venue and it was not included in the party’s election returns to SIPO seven years ago. 

The Irish Independent reported this morning that Sinn Féin never paid €600 for the hire of the grand library on Dawson Street, and that the party did not list any expenditure relating to press conferences or media engagement during the 2016 election campaign.

The Journal sought a statement from Sinn Féin on the matter but did not receive one.

However in a statement to RTÉ, a party spokesperson said the party was “well within the spending limits laid down for the 2016 general election”. 

“Arising from this media query, we have identified one other invoice that should have been included,” they said. 

“This was an oversight on our part.

“Our election expenses return will be amended as appropriate.” 

The spending oversight revelation follows a week of criticism from the opposition party of Fine Gael minister Paschal Donohoe, who yesterday apologised again for the controversy around his postering in the 2016 and 2020 general elections. 

In a statement last week, Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty claimed that Minister Donohoe “had been caught and tried to cover this up when the allegations” were put to him in 2017.

He accused Donohoe of trying to “concoct a story that doesn’t stack up” and claimed that he tried to “dodge the issue over the past fives years”.

Party leader Mary Lou McDonald also accused Donohoe of “evasion” and a “refusal to answer straight questions”.

Additional reporting by Diarmuid Pepper. 

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