Friends of Sinn Féin raises a further $294,790 in the US

Party’s US arm received part loan repayment of $3,500 from 1916 commemorations firm

Sinn Féin’s US fundraising arm has raised a further $294,790 (€262,000) from donations and been repaid $3,500 from a company set up by the party to commemorate the 1916 Rising.

The latest filing by Friends of Sinn Féin with the US Department of Justice shows that it raised $270,000, mostly from trade unions and construction-related companies, in the New York area.

The Irish political organisation is required to submit biannual returns with the US government as it is a foreign political party under the US Foreign Agents Registration Act.

The bulk of the money raised for the party came from the annual fundraising diner held by Friends of Sinn Féin at the Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan last November.


More than €13 million has been raised by the organisation since it was established more than two decades ago as part of the peace process

The latest filing period covers the six months from November 2019 to April 2020.

During that time, the group organised a five-day visit to Capitol Hill in Washington DC and New York by newly elected Belfast North MP John Finucane last January.

The largest donation to Friends of Sinn Féin was made by Eurotech Construction, a building company founded by Tyrone businessman Fay Devlin, a long-time supporter of the party.

The second largest was made by technology advisory and accounting firm Withumsmith and Brown, based in Princeton, New Jersey, which gave $12,500 to the organisation.

Partial loan repayment

Great Lakes Regional Organising Committee, a part of the Labourers’ International Union of North America – a regular donor to the party – gave $10,000.

According to the filing, the partial loan repayment of $3,500 was made by Ireland 1916 Commemorations, the Dublin company that curated a centenary commemorative exhibition on the Easter Rising at the former Ambassador cinema on O’Connell Street during 2016.

The bulk of the funding for the exhibition came from Friends of Sinn Féin. Ireland 1916 Commemorations owed more than €100,000 to the US group at the end of 2018.

Friends of Sinn Féin received small donations totalling $5,500 through its website from across the United States, from Hawaii to Louisiana, during the six-month period.

The group's president, Kentucky-based lawyer Mark Guilfoyle said: "As shown in those publicly available reports, all donations, fundraising and other activities are fully compliant with Department of Justice regulations."

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is The Irish Times’s Public Affairs Editor and former Washington correspondent