The Irish Times has a major report on Sinn Féins fund-raising efforts in the US.
Over 20 years they received 15,000 donations with the Philanthropist Chuck Feeney being their biggest donor giving $780,000. The Irish Times Reports:
Almost $9.4 million of the $12 million donated were sums of $1,000 or more from individuals and companies ranging from plumbing firms to restaurants, from IT service providers to funeral homes, from air conditioning firms to fish suppliers.
Film actors Martin Sheen, Lord of the Rings star Viggo Mortensen, Dennis Hopper, Irish actor Fionnula Flanagan and Oscar-winner Anjelica Huston also donated money. The party counts judges, lawyers and doctors among its professional donors.
Friends of Sinn Féin’s US fundraising far outstrips that of any other Irish political party. The now defunct Friends of Fianna Fáil Inc raised $1.32 million in a 20-year period to 2003, a tenth of Sinn Féin’s American fundraising haul.
Friends of Fine Gael raised $140,000 in 1995 while a second group, Supporters of Fine Gael Inc, set up in 2007, raised $28,350 the following year.
A Friends of Sinn Féin dinner held last November at the Times Square Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan, the party’s biggest annual bash, will raise an estimated $350,000.
Sinn Féin it seems is awash with cash. This gives them a huge war chest going into the elections in the Republic. What is also clear is the establishment in the Republic is getting nervous about the rise of Sinn Féin and you are going to see a lot more attention on the party. But as we know from previous experience Gerry Adams & Sinn Féin have an amazing Teflon coating – any criticism bounces of them like bullets off Superman. In fact criticism only seems to fuel them and make them stronger.
Playing devils advocate fair play to Sinn Féin for taking the initiative and extracting such huge sums of cash from the yanks. The SDLP completely squandered the American goodwill towards John Hume and done zero to raise funds. Where is the John Hume Trust? The rest of our politicians slept giving Sinn Féin a free reign to hover up all that Irish American money. As the Yanks would say – ‘it’s like taking candy from a baby…’.