independent

Sunday 20 October 2019

€31,000 in donations given to candidates

David Looby

More than €31,000 was given to 34 candidates in May's Local elections from political parties, a GoFundMe page and a gift from a friend in some instances.

Candidates are obliged to declare donations exceeding €600 in a document outlining their election spend to Wexford County Council.

Although some declarations do not specify exactly where the donations came from, most are from the candidates' political party.

Cllr Pip Breen's €3,580 campaign was funded to the tune of €1,936 from 'other resources'.

Cinnamon Blackmore's €2,014 campaign was funded in part, (€500), from 'other resources', while Susan Breen's €737 campaign was funded with €220 from 'other resources'.

Fianna Fáil candidates Aidan Browne (who spent €3,746), Michael Sheehan (who spent €4,595), Keith Doyle (who spent €2,554), John Fleming (who spent €3,274), Garry Laffan (who spent €1,956, receiving €1,600 for his launch night and €500 from Wexford Fianna Fáil); Willie Kavanagh (who spent €4,214) and Michael Wallace (who spent 2,034) - all received €1,000 in funding from their local party branches.

Cllr Malcolm Byrne (who spent €3,343) fared better with €1,434.50 paid towards the cost of his posters. The Fianna Fáil political war chest was opened up even wider for Barbara Anne Murphy who received a donation of €1,935 towards the cost of her €3,457 campaign, while Donal Kenny received €1,943.50 for his €2,679 campaign. Lisa McDonald was given €500 towards the cost of her €3,994 campaign, along with a €50 donation from a friend.

Colin Murphy was funded to the tune of €500 from the party as he campaigned in his first election, spending €1,904 in total, while Joe Sullivan received €2,193.50 from 'other resources' for his €2,594 campaign.

Michael Whelan's €3,091.60 campaign was funded with €1,900 from 'other resources.'

The biggest spender in the election was Adamstown man Pat Barden.

The Independent candidate who topped the poll in the New Ross Municipal District with 1,980 first preference votes, spent €9,052 on his campaign including €110.57 on Facebook boosts and €4,785 on posters.

Fine Gael candidates also received support from their party, amounting to €1,210 for newcomer Cathal Byrne from Davidstown, who spent €6,017 on his campaign; Kathleen Codd Nolan spent €3,153 on her campaign, €1,360 of which came from her party.

The entire cost of Willie Fitzharris's posters was paid by the party. He spent a total of €7,468 on his campaign.

Paddy Kavanagh spent €4,124, €1,075 of which was donated by the Fine Gael party. Jim Moore spent €1,425 on his campaign, €500 of which was paid by his party; while Frank Staples received €450 towards his €2,897 election spend. New candidate Ger Walsh spent €2,580 on his campaign and received €397 from the local Fine Gael district organisation. Oliver Walsh spent €2,976 on his campaign, receiving €1,075 from the Enniscorthy District Fine Gael branch, €306.25 towards canvas cards and €768.75 for 100 posters.

Sinn Fein candidates were also supported by their party. Cllr Fionntáin O'Suilleabháin received €2,000. He spent €3,476 on his campaign.

Cllr Johnny Mythen received €310 and spent €2,310 on his campaign in total. Cllr Marie Doyle from New Ross did not receive any financial support from the party according to her declaration for her €1,950 campaign,

Successful first time candidate Jim Codd spent €2,463 on his campaign, €1,500 of which came from 'other resources'.

Cllr Anthony Connick spent €3,078 on his campaign, €1,154 of which came from other resources. Leonard Kelly spent €975 on his campaign. He received a €250 towards the cost from a friend.

Renua candidate Dorota Kulesza spent €969 on her campaign, €330 of which came from 'other resources'.

Mícheál O Drisceoil spent €444 on his campaign; €14 of which came out of his own pocket, the remaining €430 coming from a GoFundMe page.

Several local companies benefited from the local elections including photographers, as did Facebook, with several candidates paying to have campaign videos boosted online, while local your local newspaper was also on the receiving end of considerable sums for promoting candidates, most of whom were successful.

Wexford People

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