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Videos, coffee mornings and make-up among €3M election costs by parties


€200,049: Maria Walsh election campaign

€200,049: Maria Walsh election campaign

€200,049: Maria Walsh election campaign

Slick campaign videos, coffee mornings, media training, make-up and even electric scooter hire was among more than €3m in spending during last year's European Election.

Political parties and independents disclosed the spending to the Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo).

Fine Gael spent just over €1m - a third of the overall amount - on what is viewed as a successful election for the party after it took five seats.

A total of €200,049 was spent on the campaign that saw the surprise Ireland North-West victory by media consultant Maria Walsh.


The work for her constituency running mate - established MEP and European Commissioner designate Mairead McGuinness - cost €60,653.

Ms Walsh's campaign featured professionally made videos shared on social media.

Fine Gael's return to Sipo shows the party splashed out more than €18,000 on videos for her strategy.

Elsewhere, Dublin candidate Frances Fitzgerald's successful bid saw €132,717 in spending, with €1,376 of this going on coffee mornings.

In Ireland South, Fine Gael MEP Seán Kelly spent almost €1,500 on stickers that allowed him to re-cycle old election posters.

There was €13,000 spent on "social media consultancy" for Dublin election hopeful Mark Durkan's unsuccessful campaign and €29.20 spent on make-up for the candidate.

Fianna Fáil spent €794,768 on its European Election battle where it won just two seats - Billy Kelleher in Ireland South and Barry Andrews in Dublin. Mr Andrews's strategy in the capital saw €158,742 in expenses incurred.

In Ireland North-West, €195,324 was spend on Brendan Smith's campaign and €106,649 was incurred on Anne Rabbitte's bid for a European Parliament seat but neither candidate was elected. Four of its candidates - Mr Smith, Ms Rabbitte, Malcolm Byrne and Barry Andrews got "media training" at a cost of €1,107 each.

Sinn Féin spent €308,667 and returned just one MEP, Matt Carthy.

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After his election to the Dáil this year, he has been replaced in Europe by former Sligo councillor Chris MacManus.

There were €89,163 in expenses reported for the unsuccessful campaign by Ireland South candidate Liadh Ní Riadh.

In Dublin, €61,691 was spend on Lynn Boylan's failed bid for a European Parliament seat.

The Green Party splashed out €154,832 and got two candidates elected - Ciarán Cuffe in Dublin and Grace O'Sullivan in Ireland South.

There was €1,000 spent with Dublin Bus for a 'Campaign Tour' for Mr Cuffe and his campaign spent €100 on electric scooter hire. The total spend for his campaign was €58,751.

The Labour Party spent €275,334 on strategies that saw none of its three candidates elected.


Independents4Change spent €76,782 and both Clare Daly and Mick Wallace were elected in Dublin and Ireland South respectively.

Ms Daly spent €21,212 with outdoor advertising company Exterion Media and forked out €38,205 overall.

Non-party candidates spent €251,408.

Ireland North-West Independent Luke 'Ming' Flanagan had election expenses of €37,004 and had the full sum reimbursed.

Independent and former Presidential Election candidate Peter Casey had €50,301 in expenses and was entitled to a reimbursement of €38,092, the maximum sum available.

Candidates are entitled to repayments of up to €38,092 if they are elected or win more than a quarter of the quota at any stage of the counting of votes.


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