Monday 18 December 2017

Dermot Smurfit ponies up over €15,000 to support the Tories

Packaging tycoon Dermot Smurfit and Aidan Brooks – John Magnier and JP McManus's favourite property speculator – are the latest big names to be tapped up for donations to David Cameron's Tory party as elections approach.

Dermot Smurfit coughed up the clunky sum of €15,622.17 to the Canterbury wing of the Conservative Party on March 12, with Aidan Brooks' Tribeca Holdings London chipping in with a cheque for around €12,267 to the Conservative Central Party on February 12. Smurfit had previously donated €3,700 to the Tories in 2009.

They have a long way to go before they match the largesse of the late great Eddie Haughey, who personally or through his Norbrook Laboratories handed over €1.85m. Tullow Oil boss Aidan Heavey is another big Irish backer of the Tories, donating around €75,500 largely over the last four years.

Corporate and private donations to British political parties are published on a quarterly basis. Here in Ireland, the Standards in Public Office (SIPO) last produced a list of donations to Irish parties over a year ago, covering 2012. The maximum any one party can receive from a single donor in a year is €6,348.69.

According to SIPO, the only parties who received donations in 2012 were Sinn Fein, the Christian Solidarity Party and the Socialist party. Fine Gael hasn't received any corporate support since Enda took charge. Not a penny. Seriously.

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