SF figures show US is key source of funds


DONATIONS RECEIVED from fundraising in the United States continue to be a major source of income for Sinn Féin, according to annual financial statements to be published today.

The party's annual statements show its income in Northern Ireland was £1,068,535 (€1,348,199) in 2007, with income in the South amounting to €1,235,659.

This represented significant increases on the income generated in 2006 in both jurisdictions - an increase of some £186,000 (€234,000) in the North and €139,000 in the South.

While much of the party's income is from state funding and from contributions made by its elected representatives, a note on the finances from the North refers to a significant increase in funds from donors in the United States.

It says there were two main elements to the increase in income in the North in 2007.

The first, it states, was that "donations increased by an impressive £195,000 (€245,000) due almost entirely to the magnificent work of Friends of Sinn Féin USA.

"The contribution from all our elected representatives continues to be a major source of income. This contribution rose by £49,000 (€61,000). A major impact on this was the decision of all our Ministers to donate their ministerial salaries to the party," it continued.

While a surplus was recorded in the North, the southern statement shows a deficit of €156,966 during a general election year. This, in fact, is smaller than the deficit of €201,694 recorded for 2006.

The bulk of the party's €209,367 in donations in the South came from its own elected representatives, including TDs and Senators.

The party raised €177,936 through fundraisers, none of which were above the declaration threshold required by ethics legislation.

In a statement issued ahead of today's publication, Sinn Féin also disclosed that it intends to publish a breakdown of its Lisbon referendum spending next week.

The party said it would like to see the stricter requirements for disclosure that now pertain in the North to become standard in both jurisdictions.