Sunday 18 August 2019

President Higgins spent more on presidential campaign than any other candidate

President Michael D Higgins
President Michael D Higgins
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins got more donations and spent more money on last year's campaign for Áras an Uachtaráin than any other candidate, newly released figures show.

Mr Higgins got donations totalling €41,300 and had election expenses of €367,338 during his successful campaign according to the Standards in Public Office Commission's (Sipo) report on the presidential election.

Independent candidate Senator Joan Freeman disclosed €24,000 in donations and spent €253,194.

Businessman and former Dragons' Den star Seán Gallagher got €9,000 in donations and spent €246,820.

The report does not record donations to any other candidates.

Controversial independent candidate Peter Casey - who came second in the race - spent the least out of any of the contenders disclosing costs of €119,911.

Mr Higgins and Mr Casey both had expenses reimbursed due to their respective shares of the vote.

The President had €200,000 reimbursed - the maximum available.

Mr Casey had his full expenditure of €119,911 reimbursed.

There was €209,716 spent on Sinn Féin candidate Liadh Ní Riada's disastrous campaign.

Meanwhile, another Dragons' Den star Gavin Duffy - who came last in the election - disclosed spending of €163,438.

The total spent by all the candidates was €1,360,417.

More to follow

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