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Thursday 30 March 2017

FF did not declare €5,000 cheque as it was just below legal limit

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

Sean Gallagher claimed yesterday that "€5,000 was the legal limit" for donations to be made to a political party.

Not quite. The €5,000 corporate donations made by the businessmen who attended the 2008 fundraiser he helped to organise did not have to be made public by Fianna Fail because they were marginally under the legal threshold for declaration.

Under the law, a party has to declare a donation only if it exceeds €5,078.95, meaning it can take as many sums as it likes below that threshold and not reveal them.

For the year of 2008, Fianna Fail only declared €11,800 worth of corporate donations.

But the Fianna Fail fundraiser in Dundalk attracted up to 40 businessmen at €5,000 a head with the party understood to have had a target of €200,000 from the event.

Any amounts accepted from the same person in a year worth over €5,078.95 have to be declared to the Standards In Public Office Commission.

The actual legal limit is €6,348.69 from an individual in the same year.

Irish Independent

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