Sinn Fein must provide clarity on their American millions
I read with interest in the Irish Times today, that Sinn Fein has raised $354,111 in America in the six months to the end of April, for political activities. This brings to over $12,000,000, the amount that the party has raised in the US since 1995.
By the way, this includes money donated by Donald Trump, the far-right populist US presidential candidate: http://www.irishcentral.com/news/politics/That-time-when-Donald-Trump-attended-a-Sinn-Fein-fundraiser-with-Gerry-Adams-VIDEO.html
Much of this money is raised at gold-plated events such as the annual Friends of Sinn Fein $500-a-plate dinner in New York, which gives Gerry Adams, Pearse Doherty and Mary Lou McDonald the opportunity to rub shoulders with hundreds of super-wealthy Americans.
There are genuine concerns about this that I believe Sinn Fein must address. Under Irish law, political parties can only accept donations from Irish citizens and I wonder how many of their donors qualify in that regard?
If Sinn Fein are in fact accepting donations from non-Irish citizens, what if any measures have they put in place to prevent the monies raised at events like this from leaking into the coffers of the party here.
Last year, they claimed that the money was spent ONLY in Northern Ireland, but today’s story says NONE of it was spent there. If that’s the case, where was it spent? We need clarity on this.
It is incumbent on Sinn Fein to give assurances that they are fully in compliance with political fundraising laws on both sides of the Atlantic.
We in the Labour Party publish our annual audited accounts on our website. I would urge Sinn Fein organisations in the various jurisdictions to do likewise, so we can be assured that their financial affairs are all in order.