2010 Donation Statements

Donation Statements furnished by Political Parties for 2010

Annual Donation Statements and Statutory Declarations, in respect of 2010, furnished to the Standards in Public Office Commission by political parties pursuant to section 24 of the Electoral Act 1997

Report to the Chairman of Dáil Éireann pursuant to section 4(1) of the Electoral Act 1997

Foreword

I am pleased to furnish this report to the Ceann Comhairle in accordance with section 4(1) of the Electoral Act 1997. The report relates to annual Donation Statements/Statutory Declarations, in respect of 2010, furnished to the Standards in Public Office Commission by political parties pursuant to section 24 of the Act.


Justice M. P. Smith
Chairman

Part 1 - Introduction

Not later than 31 March each year, political parties are required by section 24(1)(b) of the Electoral Act 1997, as amended, (the Act) to furnish a Donation Statement covering the previous calendar year to the Standards Commission. During 2010 there were 13 political parties registered to contest Dáil or European elections which were obliged to furnish a Donation Statement, in respect of 2010, to the Standards Commission. Section 4(1) of the Act requires the Standards Commission to consider every Donation Statement furnished to it and where it considers it appropriate to do so, to furnish a report in writing to the Chairman of Dáil Éireann (Ceann Comhairle) on any matter arising.

Part 2 - Donations disclosed by political parties

Donations received by a political party exceeding an aggregate value of €5,078.95 are required to be disclosed. The maximum value of donations which a political party can accept from the same person in the same calendar year is €6,348.69. Donations received from the same donor in the same calendar year must be aggregated for the purposes of observing the disclosure and maximum acceptance limits. The total value of donations disclosed by parties during 2010 was €67,907.55, the lowest amount disclosed since the introduction of the disclosure requirement 14 years ago. None of the three main political parties (Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael nor the Labour Party) disclosed any donations in 2010.

The preamble to the Electoral Act 1997 states that the Act is, among other things, "An Act to ... make provision for payments to political parties and candidates, to make provision for disclosure of donations for political purposes, to regulate expenditure at elections by political parties and candidates ...". While political parties have benefitted significantly from the provisions relating to funding from the Exchequer (see the separate Standards Commission reports on this), the Commission believe that the provisions aimed at ensuring transparency and openness in relation to disclosure of donations remain ineffective. Currently, it is difficult for any citizen to have a clear picture of election spending by each candidate and party or a clear indication of the sources for such funding.

Tables 1 and 2 of the Appendix show the donations disclosed by political parties for 2010.

Part 3 - Accounting Units

Section 23B(2) of the Act requires the appropriate officer of each political party to notify the Standards Commission of the name and address of each of its "accounting units" and the "responsible person" of each accounting unit. The "responsible person" is the treasurer or any other person responsible for dealing with donations to the unit.

An accounting unit, on receipt of a monetary donation in excess of €126.97, must open and maintain a political donations account in a financial institution in the State. The responsible person must, by 31 March each year, furnish a statement from the financial institution in which the account is held together with the Certificate of Monetary Donations, to the Standards Commission, stating that all monetary donations received during the preceding year were lodged to the account and that all amounts debited from the account were used for political purposes. The Certificate of Monetary Donations is accompanied by a Statutory Declaration. It is an offence for the responsible person of an accounting unit to fail to comply with this requirement.

Table 3 of the Appendix gives details of the number of accounting units of each party from which the Standards Commission received returns for 2010. Five political parties have accounting units and the position with regard to returns received from these accounting units is as set out in table 3. The Standards Commission is still pursuing accounting units which have not provided the relevant documentation.

Part 4 - Publication of Statutory Documentation

In accordance with section 24(7)(a) of the Act, the Standards Commission has today laid the Donation Statements/Statutory Declarations furnished by political parties before each House of the Oireachtas.

In accordance with section 73 of the Act, the Standards Commission has made the Donation Statements/Statutory Declarations available for public inspection and copying at its offices on 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2. The information is also available in summary form on this website.

In accordance with section 23(B)(8) of the Act, details of Certificates of Monetary Donations and bank statements furnished to the Standards Commission by political parties and their accounting units will not be laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas nor put on public display.

Appendices

Table 1: Summary of donations disclosed by Political Parties for 2010

Political PartyAppropriate OfficerTotal disclosed
Christian Democrats (the
National Party)
Mr. Daniel DesmondNil
Fianna FáilMr. Seán DorganNil
Fine GaelMr. Tom CurranNil
People Before Profit AllianceMs. Bríd Smith Nil 
Socialist Workers Party Ms. Bríd Smith Nil 
South Kerry Independent
Alliance 
Mr. Donie Doody Nil
Sinn FéinMr. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin €24,000.00 
The Christian Solidarity Party Mr. Paul O'Loughlin Nil 
The Communist Party of
Ireland 
Mr. Eugene McCartan Nil 
The Green Party Mr. Martin Nolan €38,088.00 
The Labour Party Ms. Ita McAuliffe Nil 
The Socialist Party Mr. Kevin McLoughlin €5,819.55 
The Workers Party Mr. John Lowry Nil 
Total  €67,907.55 

Table 2: Details of donations disclosed by political parties


Green Party

Value of Donation
Type of DonationDescription of DonorName & Address of
Donor
6,348Standing
Order/Cheque
Individual/TDCiarán Cuffe, TD, Dáil
Éireann, Kildare Street,
Dublin 2
6,348Standing
Order/Cheque
Individual/TDPaul Gogarty, TD, Dáil
Éireann, Kildare Street,
Dublin 2
6,348Standing
Order/Cheque
Individual/TDJohn Gormley, TD, Dáil
Éireann, Kildare Street,
Dublin 2
6,348Standing
Order/Cheque
Individual/TDEamon Ryan, TD, Dáil
Éireann, Kildare Street,
Dublin 2
6,348Standing
Order/Cheque
Individual/TDTrevor Sargent, TD, Dáil
Éireann, Kildare Street,
Dublin 2
6,348Standing
Order/Cheque
Individual/TDMary White, TD, Dáil
Éireann, Kildare Street,
Dublin 2
Total  €38,088

Sinn Féin

Value of Donation
Type of DonationDescription of DonorName & Address of
Donor
6,000ChequeIndividual/TDMartin Ferris, Leinster House,
Kildare Street,
Dublin 2
6,000Bank TransferIndividualMary Lou McDonald
44 Parnell Square
Dublin 1
6,000Standing OrderIndividual/TDAengus O'Snodaigh, Leinster House,
Kildare Street,
Dublin 2
6,000Standing OrderIndividual/TDArthur Morgan
44 Parnell Square
Dublin 1
Total  €24,000

Socialist Party

Value of Donation
Type of DonationDescription of DonorName & Address of
Donor
5,819.55Bank TransferIndividual/MEP/TDJoe Higgins, 155
Briarwood Close,
Mulhuddart, Dublin 15
Total  €5,819.55

Table 3: Accounting Units returns for 2010

Political PartyReturns Received
by 29 April 2011
Returns Not Received
by 29 April 2011
Fianna Fáil580
Fine Gael480
Labour Party353
Green Party2110
Sinn Féin104
Total16920