Howlin calls on McDonald to donate inappropriate SF contribution to charity

15 September 2019

The leader of the Labour Party, Brendan Howlin TD, has described the €1.6m donation to Sinn Féin as “entirely inappropriate” and suggested that the party should donate it to charity.

Mr Howlin said that there are potential issues with the donation which his party were raising with the Standards in Public Office Commission. 

Deputy Howlin said: 

“Mr Hampton’s will makes clear that this is a donation to the Sinn Féin party in the ‘Republic of Ireland’ but the maximum allowed donation by anyone to a political party in this state is €2,500 per year.

“We brought in strict political funding rules in order to end the era where big business could buy the support of politicians. 

“One of the problems of UK politics has been its ongoing corruption by large financial donations. In the Brexit referendum, the DUP received and spent over £400,000 to try to influence the result. That referendum is mired in controversy about funding issues.

“For all its rhetoric about standards in politics, Sinn Féin seems to think that it is good enough for them to receive this enormous donation. But no individual, whatever their motivation or interest, should be able to influence politics in this fashion. This donation is more than 600 times the maximum allowed donation in the Republic of Ireland. We have these laws for a reason.

“Mary Lou McDonald knows full well that private money of this kind has no place in politics. It is time for her to act. There are plenty of good causes that could use this money; using it to try to Influence election results is not one of them.

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