Marriage equality referendum groups register as third parties

About 20 organisations have registered with Sipo ahead of the vote

The registration of these organisations with Sipo suggests they are in receipt of individual donations exceeding €100 in value, for political purposes. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The registration of these organisations with Sipo suggests they are in receipt of individual donations exceeding €100 in value, for political purposes. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

 

Some 20 organisations taking a position in the forthcoming marriage equality referendum have registered as third parties with the Standards in Public Office (Sipo) Commission in recent weeks.

Any individual or group, other than a registered political party or election candidate, who receives a political donation of more than €100 must register with the commission.

The registration of these organisations with Sipo suggests they are in receipt of individual donations exceeding €100 in value, for political purposes.

Third parties must provide names and addresses of donors and bank statements at the end of the calendar year to the commission, though these are never made public. Third parties must also open and maintain their bank accounts in the State. They may not accept cash donations of more than €200 or donations from anyone who resides outside the State, unless an Irish citizen.

Seven groups advocating a No vote have registered since March 4th, while 13 organisations seeking a Yes vote have registered since March 2nd.

Among those advocating a No vote is the Iona Institute, which registered as a third party on Monday. David Quinn, founder of the institute, said it had decided to register “in order to play a fuller part” in the referendum.

“As part of this we will be distributing leaflets urging a No vote. We hope to be able to distribute a minimum of half a million leaflets. We will also be issuing a short video explaining why people should vote No,” he said.

Among other organisations seeking rejection of the marriage equality proposition, registering in recent weeks are ADFAM, the Mandate for Marriage, Mothers and Fathers Matter and StandUp4Marriage.

Organisations advocating a Yes vote registering recently are Glen Campaign for Marriage, Yes Equality, LGBT Noise and BeLonG To Youth.

Separately, Patricia Casey of the Iona Institute has condemned the removal of No posters from poles and lampposts. “What is happening to the posters being put up by the No side is both undemocratic and unlawful,” she said.