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Tuesday 22 October 2019

FG in rough over donation from top NAMA developer

Ailish O'Hora

FINE Gael closed ranks last night after it emerged the party accepted money from one of the 'NAMA 10' at a golf fundraiser.

The party went on the defensive after details emerged about Michael O'Flynn's involvement at the event, which was attended by Enda Kenny.

Fine Gael insisted it did not break any rules as it put out a statement insisting it was "compliant with the legislation" on party funding.

The main opposition party has long criticised Fianna Fail's record of raising money from property tycoons, citing a "cosy relationship" between the government party and developers.

Mr O'Flynn is company chairman and managing director of Cork-based O'Flynn Construction, which recently transferred debts approaching €1bn to the National Asset Management Agency.

The party's finance spokesman Michael Noonan last night said the exclusive fundraiser at the K Club last week was above board, but would not comment further.


"Our fundraising is in compliance with the rules," he told the Irish Independent. "I was invited to the dinner after the event but had other plans. It was a very busy week for us in terms of economic events."

Mr O'Flynn sponsored a €1,500 fourball and was joined by a number of others, including estate agent Arthur French and Kerry GAA legend Mick O'Dwyer.

The O'Flynn Group was third off the tee at the Kildare club, behind Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and environment spokesman Phil Hogan.

O'Flynn Group also paid an undisclosed sum to sponsor the 18th hole at the K Club, which is 50pc owned by another NAMA developer, Gerry Gannon.

Fine Gael issued a statement confirming the event but did not reveal who attended.

"This event, and all other Fine Gael fundraising activities, are fully compliant with the legislation governing the funding of political parties."

Parties are obliged to publish details of party donations to the Standards in Public Office if they are above €5,079 while these gifts are capped at €6,300.

Donations to individual politicians are capped at €2,539 while there is a minimum disclosure figure of €635.

Irish Independent

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