Tag Archives: election campaigns

On voting

I wasn’t at home for the divorce referendum in 1995, so I could only follow it from a distance online. It wasn’t until a few years later I got talking to my brother about the day of the vote. He was off work, or they finished a job early that day (I can’t remember which), and they ended up in the pub. And across the street from the pub is… Read Article →

SIPO must follow the money

Following yesterday’s report in the Irish Independent about Sinn Féin’s use of expenses to pay for party workers, both SIPO and the Oireachtas Commission are looking at the party’s finances. Readers will recall I probed the issue on several occasions last Autumn, starting with the Average Wage Question. SIPO didn’t see any reason to act at that time, although it appears they did act when the Mail on Sunday reported… Read Article →

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A Labour party delegation proposed the introduction of shorter US-style political advertisements in place of the staid party political broadcast format during a meeting with RTE Executives in the dying months of the last government. “We feel that there is merit in shorter more frequent broadcasts. This is something that would be worth examining in greater detail in the context of the next general election,” a party spokesperson said this… Read Article →

Below average

While I wait for Sinn Féin TDs and senators to get back to me, and consider my response to SIPO’s recent communications, a little something to tide you over if you’ve been following the “average wage” saga. Here’s a Sinn Féin press release about MPs’ expenses: “Sinn Féin MPs, like all party members who are paid a wage, receive exactly the same average industrial wage which is £356 per week,… Read Article →

Letter to Sinn Féin TDs and senators

A chara, I am a freelance journalist, and recently I’ve been spending some time looking at the practice of Sinn Féin TDs and Senators where they “draw down” an average industrial wage, and the balance (less taxes) is spent on constituency services, which I understand to mean constituency office workers, based on my inquiries to date. In the interest of transparency and full disclosure, may I ask the following questions… Read Article →

Irrational, unreasonable and perverse

During the lengthy wait between my first questions to Sinn Féin about the average wage and their reply, I wrote to SIPO. I asked the Standards Commission to look into inconsistencies between Sinn Féin statements and reporting requirements. “If a TD decides to spend part or all of his/her salary on the provision of constituency offices or employing staff for whatever reason, it is not a matter for the Standards… Read Article →

Sinn Féin replies

On Monday 18 September, I addressed some questions to Sinn Féin about their “average industrial wage” claims, and the amounts their TDs donated to their party. In the three weeks since then, I’ve posted several times on the issue, and Sinn Féin’s compliance with SIPO regulations. This evening, I received the reply below from the Sinn Féin press office. It’s been a long week, so I’ll post again on the… Read Article →

No records to display

Martin McGuinness published bank statements today, showing he only takes  £1605 from Sinn Féin each month. The accounts give some fascinating insights into his shopping behaviour. Who knew the deputy first minister was such a fan of Asda? And while his fondness for TK Maxx might be understandable, it’s difficult to picture him browsing through the wares on display in Vero Moda. McGuinness seems to have few domestic concerns. There’s… Read Article →

Opening the books

A chara, In light of the statement by Martin McGuinness on Newstalk this morning regarding his income, that he is “willing to allow my bank account to be opened and I’m sure Sinn Fein are willing to allow their bank accounts to be opened to show that that is the case“, could I bring to your attention once again this email which I originally sent to you on 19 September,… Read Article →

Difference

On Saturday, Sinn Féin senator David Cullinane was asked where any money above the €530 per week allowance he received from the party went. He replied “into the local constituency employing people who work for the party.” When I asked the senator David Cullinane where the legislation governing political donations made a distinction between money donated to Sinn Féin headquarters, which has to be declared to SIPO, the Standards in… Read Article →