Sinn Féin's US fundraising figures for 2004

Saturday’s Irish Times helpfully dissected the official accounts of Friends of Sinn Féin in the US – Friends of Sinn Féin raised almost $760,000 from US donors.. with $424,000 spent in the US, and just over $394,000 sent back to Northern Ireland. An interesting quote from a “SF spokesman” is noted – He said Sinn Féin did not “physically” receive the money from Friends of Sinn Féin... SF sent invoices for work carried out and FofSF paid the bills.. Hmm.. I’m not sure that’s much of a distinction.

Full report below –

$215,000 spent on SF leaders and officials in US last year – Seán O’Driscoll in New York and Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor

The US fundraising group Friends of Sinn Féin spent almost $215,000 in the US last year on transport and lodging for party leaders and officials, new figures have shown.

The figures, covering November 2003 to November 2004, show that the amount of money the organisation spent in the US was almost $30,000 more than the amount it sent back to the party in Northern Ireland.

An analysis of combined expenditure figures for November 2003 to April 2004 and from May 2004 to November 2004 shows that Friends of Sinn Féin raised almost $760,000 from US donors in that time.

It spent $29,000 more in the US than in Ireland, with $424,000 spent in the US, and just over $394,000 sent back to Northern Ireland. Under current legislation such money cannot be sent to the Republic of Ireland but can be used in the North.

These sums are included in figures Sinn Féin and all other foreign political parties operating in the US are obliged to lodge with the US department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

The US expenditure figures include $50,000 on payroll, $42,000 on advertising, almost $14,000 in miscellaneous costs, $11,000 on rent and $17,000 on postage and delivery.

The $214,578.31 the party spent on lodging and transport for Sinn Féin leaders and officials included a night at the Southgate Hotel in Manhattan for Kerry TD Martin Ferris last September.

The figure also included Gerry Adams’s trip to the US last November when he addressed the Friends of Sinn Féin annual dinner at the Sheraton Hotel before travelling to fundraising events in Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

The travel and lodging figure does not include more than $4,000 listed for transportation in the US, or almost $24,000 sent back to Ireland to be used for travel expenditure.

Of the $394,000 sent back to Ireland, the party spent $112,000 on construction and $111,000 on printing.

A Sinn Féin spokesman explained that the printing expenditure related to election expenses, while the construction work was for the development of a Sinn Féin office in south Derry.

He said Sinn Féin did not “physically” receive the money from Friends of Sinn Féin.

Instead Sinn Féin sent invoices for particular work to the US fundraising group which paid these bills.

“We believe this allows for greater transparency,” the spokesman added.

© The Irish Times

  • Jimmy Sands

    “He said Sinn Féin did not “physically” receive the money from Friends of Sinn Féin.”

    I hope these people aren’t giving out tax advice.

  • Levitas

    Big deal!- its just common sense to evade the ROI’s preventive ban on funds being transferred back to Ireland by sending invoices to be paid in the USA.
    I wonder if the Irish Times will be doing a subsequent analysis of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael fundraising and seeing if there is any connection between corporate donations to Fianna Fail, in particular,and government decision making…have’nt Fianna Fail just announced that with a substantial corporate donation you will be guranteed virtually unlimited access to the Cabinet Minister of your choice?
    The words “stones”, “glass houses”,and “throw” spring to mind.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Didn’t FG ban corporate donations some time ago? Whataboutery should at least have some basis to it.

  • Chris Gaskin

    Carefull now Levitas

    Best to avoid insulting the blue shirts when Jimmy’s around 😉

  • Davros

    That reminds me Chris – a lot of those original blue shirts were veterans of the War of Independence – are they too honoured in your centenary year ? 😉

  • Chris Gaskin

    I didn’t see your point Davros

    It is the Cead Bliain of Sinn Féin not the blue shirts

  • Davros

    I didn’t see your point

    Point is that all the modern parties have murky pasts, not just FF 🙂

  • Chris Gaskin

    Davros

    Blue shirts is a referance to Fine Gael, not Fianna Fail 😉

    I expected better knowledge from yourself

  • Davros

    Bugger – Typo…hangs head in shame!

  • Jimmy Sands

    One of life’s little ironies is the fact that nearly 70 years on, the term “blueshirt” is still bandied about by people who affect to find the term “SF/IRA” grossly insulting.

  • Chris Gaskin

    I have never found the term insulting Jimmy, just credit where it has not been earned.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Surely not in all cases?

  • Levitas

    Brendan Behan made the comment that the O’Duffy’s Blueshirts brigade who went to fight alongside Hitler’s and Mussolini’s soldiers supporting Franco in Spain,

    “had the notable distinction of being the only combatants in the Spanish Civil War who returned with a larger number than they had when they set out.”

  • kitty

    Blue shirts is a referance to Fine Gael, not Fianna Fail 😉

    I expected better knowledge from yourself

    Bugger – Typo…hangs head in shame!

    :):):)

  • Davros

    Mine was a typo Kitty – how do you explain someone supposedly from Ireland writing that Orangemen march to chapel on the 12th July or writing about her liking for Soda “Farrells” ? 😉

  • Davros

    That’s another urban legend levitas. Fact of the matter is that more than twice as many “IRA men/Irish Republicans” fought for Franco as fought against him.