Donations to Fianna Fail dwarf those for Fine Gael
Published 26/03/2010 | 05:00
FIANNA Fail raked in the lion's share of political donations last year -- amassing five times more than rivals Fine Gael.
According to the Standards in Public Office Commission, Fianna Fail topped the league for disclosed donations, taking in €94,983, compared to Fine Gael's €17,663.
Former Fianna Fail MEP Eoin Ryan topped the league for hefty political donations -- but still managed to lose his seat in the European elections.
He amassed €22,300 of the total of €182,000 raked in by MEPs, TDs and senators.
Ten politicians failed to make the initial deadline for disclosing all donations and another three missed further deadlines.
Independent TD Michael Lowry was one of the three politicians referred to the gardai and DPP for missing the strict dates. The others were Fianna Fail's Mark Daly and John Ellis.
Mr Lowry claimed that there had been a "mistake" with the online applications.
The constituency colleague of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Cyprian Brady, declared the single biggest donation to any TD, listing €19,000 from the Fianna Fail organisation in Dublin Central for use of the constituency headquarters in Drumcondra.
In all, Fianna Fail took in more than 52pc of the total political donations disclosed last year.
The Labour Party came in ahead of Fine Gael, with donations of €43,816. Much of this was for MEPs who were vying for election last June.
MEPs, TDs and senators are only obliged to declare donations that are valued at €635 and over.
Therefore, the total of €182,437 is only a fraction of what the parties raised and spent last year.
Many politicians receive donations below the threshold for mandatory declaration.