Wednesday 17 October 2018

Farren height to reach new level as Bill drops by for bite to eat

Brian Farren and Linda O'Shea outside their home on Raglan Road where Bill Clinton will attend a Fundraiser for Hillary Clinton tonight
Brian Farren and Linda O'Shea outside their home on Raglan Road where Bill Clinton will attend a Fundraiser for Hillary Clinton tonight

Sam Smyth

MEET the Farrens -- the hosts with the most. The well-heeled couple happily posed for pictures outside their Dublin home yesterday in a moment of relative calm before over 160 guests drop in, including a former US president.

As hosts of a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, Brian Farren and his wife Linda's home is set to be the centre of attention tonight. A marquee was erected in the afternoon and Linda O'Shea-Farren spent time arranging catering and bar staff while seeing off curious onlookers.

Both Brian and Linda were ticking off to-do lists for the two-hour event where Bill Clinton is the star speaker.

Although the gardai have no plans to divert traffic, limo-lock, shorthand for a gridlock of limousines, is expected to halt the traffic on Raglan Road even before the official start of the bash at 5.45pm.

As social events go, an invite to the Hillary fundraiser is all the more attractive because it is so scarce.

Only US citizens and Green Card holders are allowed to contribute to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign fund. And that doesn't allow Irish people to reimburse US citizens who pay for a ticket and attend in their pace.

"We will be rigidly enforcing the rules," said New York hotelier John Fitzpatrick, a founder of Irish Americans for Hillary, who flew in to Dublin yesterday.


He said: "I could have sold 500 tickets to Irish people if we were not sticking so thoroughly to the spirit and the letter of the US election laws. And for that reason I believe the majority of the guests are US citizens and Green Card holders."

Another organiser said that while the fundraiser for Hillary was being held in a marquee on Raglan Road, Ballsbridge, it was not the same as a tent at the Galway Races.

He said: "The Federal Election Commission will be checking bank accounts to ensure that Irish people attending Hillary's function in Dublin do not reimburse a US citizen who donated to the fundraiser and gave their ticket to the Irish person."

No corporate donations are permitted and the information on the individual donors who contribute will be on public record at the Federal Election Commission in Washington.

Meanwhile, gardai from the Diplomatic Protection Unit and the armed Emergency Response Unit will work with US Secret Service agents to provide security for the former US president throughout his visit to Ireland.

President Clinton arrived in Dublin from London last night and checked in at the Clarence hotel on Dublin's Quays where he will stay before departing on Monday.

He is expected to meet Bono, who is an owner of the hotel, along with the other members of U2.

Hillary's campaign: Page 32

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