Sinn Féin’s US arm raises €86,600 from supporters

Biggest donors to party come from construction industry in New York

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald was the guest speaker at a fundraising dinner in New York in November. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald was the guest speaker at a fundraising dinner in New York in November. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

 

Sinn Féin’s US fundraising arm raised a further $98,383 (€86,600) from supporters in the six months to the end of October, according to the group’s latest accounts.

Manhattan-based Friends of Sinn Féin Inc collected most of the donations in the six-month period from companies working in the construction industry in New York and New Jersey.

The group raises most of its money every year selling $500 tickets and tables to corporate supporters at its annual dinner, which was this year held at the Sheraton Hotel Times Square in New York on November 8th.

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald was the guest speaker at the event this year.

Last month Taoiseach Leo Varadkar accused Ms McDonald of “hobnobbing with the superrich in New York” on Armistice Day after Sinn Féin criticised the Government for favouring the wealthy while cutting expenses for low-paid workers.

Ms McDonald said that on November 14th she attended a remembrance day service at Sligo Grammar, an event all leaders were invited to, and paid her respects there.

Contributions

The largest sum raised by Friends of Sinn Féin came from United Structural Works, a steel manufacturer based in Congers, which provided two donations, $20,000 in May and a further $2,000 in October.

Other contributions came from long-time donors to the party’s US organisation, including Tyrone man Patrick Donaghy and Structure Tone, one of New York’s largest construction companies which he founded.

Friends of Sinn Féin must report financial expenditures and details of its activities in biannual filings to the Department of Justice in Washington under US law as a foreign agent of a political party.

The group spent $116,546 during the six months, including $33,097 on payroll expenses.

The second-largest expenditure was $31,873 on travel-related expenses followed by $29,775 for general administration.

No expenses were paid on behalf of Sinn Féin in Northern Ireland during the reporting period.

The official filings show travel itineraries for the visits of former Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams to New York in September and New York, Nashville and Atlanta in November.

Among the other itineraries for Sinn Féin representatives are a list of travel for the party’ Northern Ireland leader Michelle O’Neill who visited Philadelphia and New York in May.