By Michelle Devane, PA
Four politicians declared donations totalling €3,000 last year, new figures show.
According to the Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo), two TDs and two senators received €3,800 in total donations last year, but after refunds were made the net total received was €3,000.
Labour leader Ivana Bacik declared a €1,000 donation, Fianna Fáil senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee recorded a €800 donation, while Fianna Fáil senator Shane Cassells listed a €1,000 donation.
Fianna Fáil TD Cathal Crowe received €1,000 in a cash donation, but returned €800 to the donor due to Sipo rules over cash donations.
The total figure of €3,000 was down significantly from the €64,875 donations received in 2020.
The independent organisation said the general election held in February 2020 was the likely reason for the relatively high value of donations disclosed for 2020.
A total of 233 public representatives — 160 TDs, 59 senators, 13 members of the European Parliament and one former TD – were required to return donation statements for the 12-month period.
Under the Electoral Act, public representatives are not allowed to accept donations in any year of more than €200 in cash and not more than €1,000 in total value from a single source.
They must disclose any donations valued at (or totalling) €600 or more from an individual source to Sipo.
Donations below this reporting threshold do not need to be disclosed to the independent body.
Consequently, the Sipo report reflects only those donations over the reporting threshold and does not account for all donations received by members.
The report also showed that two individual donors made payments totalling €3,570 last year to political parties and representatives.
The equivalent figure for 2020 was €39,189.
Jack O’Connor made four donations linked to the Labour Party last year. He donated €1,250 to the Labour Party, €750 to Kildare South Labour Party, €120 to the Newbridge branch of the Labour Party and €500 to Labour Party leader Ivana Bacik.
Trade union Siptu declared a €950 donation to former Labour TD for Sligo-Leitrim Declan Bree.
Individuals must return a donation statement to Sipo if they make donations of more than €1,500 in total to two or more persons who were members of the same political party when the donations were made or to a political party and to one of more of its members.