Fine Gael takes most donations of all political parties in 2018, figures show

Donations to all parties total €160,000, with Sinn Féin taking second highest amount

From left, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Business Heather Humphreys, Minister for Arts Josepha Madigan and Tánaiste Simon Coveney, Fine Gael members. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

From left, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Business Heather Humphreys, Minister for Arts Josepha Madigan and Tánaiste Simon Coveney, Fine Gael members. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

The State’s political parties received donations of €159,819 between them last year, with Fine Gael taking more than half the total.

In its annual report, the Standards in Public Office Commission said there were 19 political parties registered during 2018 to contest Dáil or European elections.

Each of the parties were required to complete a donation statement to the Commission by the end of March this year, disclosing donations exceeding €1,500 in value received during 2018.

As of the March 31st deadline, 15 political parties had complied fully with the statutory requirements. The remaining four statements were received by April 15th.

The maximum value of donations which a political party may accept from the same donor in the same year is €2,500.

According to the figures, Fine Gael received the highest in donations at €81,899 euro.

Sinn Féin followed with €48,470, the Labour Party received €22,150, Workers and Unemployed Action accepted €4,800 and Fianna Fáil gained €2,500.

Fine Gael’s Josepha Madigan received the largest donation in her party of €2,296, ahead of Leo Varadkar’s €1,992.

A number of Labour Party TDs received €2,400 in donations, while Sinn Féin’s Denise Mitchell and Senator Paul Gavan received the highest donations with €2,665 each.

Workers and Unemployed Action councillor Pat English and TD Séamus Healy both received €2,400 in donations.

In accordance with the legislation, details of Certificates of Monetary Donations and bank statements furnished to the Commission by political parties and their accounting units are not laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas or put on public display.

The aggregate closing balance held by accounting units in relation to 2018 was €1,150,073. – PA