FG raffle earns €800,000 for 2014 elections war chest
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has put €800,000 into the Fine Gael war chest for next year's local and European elections.
Although the take from the party's annual raffle is down on last year, this is accounted for by the slashing of the cost of a ticket from €80 to €60.
The number of tickets sold for the 'Election Super Draw 2013' actually went up 1,800 this year.
Fine Gael has banked more than €790,000 from the raffle this year, where the top prize is €20,000.
The party's Election Super Draw remains the most lucrative fundraiser by any political party in the country.
Over the course of 12 draws, since Fine Gael's raffle was set up by Mr Kenny following the 2002 general election meltdown, the party has raised €13m from ticket sales.
The party has developed the most profitable fundraising operation in the country.
Since coming into power after the 2011 General Election, the party has actually failed to break into seven figures after a streak of million-euro takes from the draw for seven straight years.
This year, Fine Gael still sold about 13,000 tickets -- up 1,800 on last year.
Mr Kenny appealed directly to the party's grassroots members to support the raffle ahead of the 2014 elections.
The Taoiseach said the party will look to "reinforce" its position as the leading party in Europe and the local government.
"Due to the scale of economic mismanagement over the past decade, we still have a long way to go on the road to prosperity and full employment -- but I know we are on the right path.
"It is crucial that Fine Gael remains to the forefront in Europe and at local level," he said.
"This will help the party continue in its task of rebuilding Ireland.
"The Election Superdraw will help fund our campaigns," Mr Kenny added.
The first prize in Fine Gael's raffle was €20,000, with another 19 prizes worth from €10,000 down to €1,000, and a batch of smaller prizes.