Rónán Mullen tops local political donations list

Senator Rónán Mullen has topped the list of Galway politicians who received donations in 2016.

According to the new report from the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) – compiled annually under the Electoral Act – the Independent senator from Ahascragh received three individual donations of €1,000 each.

In his declaration, Senator Mullen said he had requested the three donations, which came from property developer Sean Davin, Raglan Lane in Ballsbridge, Dublin; Margaret Davin (same address) and Fr Brendan Purcell, Stillorgan Road, Dublin 4, a former director of the Iona Institute.

The cheques were all received between January and March 2016, the lead-up to the Seanad elections.

Senator Mullen topped the poll on the National University of Ireland panel.

Senator Alice-Mary Higgins – daughter of the President – declared requesting pro bono work on her election campaign to a total value of €1,700.

Artist Paul O’Dwyer from Upper Leeson Street in Dublin designed campaign materials to a value of €900, while John Higgins from Graiguenamanagh, Kilkenny, produced video clips for Facebook – a service which would have cost €800.

Independent senator Gerard Craughwell declared a €100 anonymous donation from a private individual which was to assist in running his election campaign.

Former Minister for State at the Office of Public Works, Sean Canney, declared a €1,000 donation from Frank Canavan, Belclare.

The Independent Alliance TD from Tuam received the cheque at the end of February 2016, coinciding with the General Election.

Independent Rocommon-Galway TD and Minister for Communications, Denis Naughten, declared two separate donations of €1,000 each.

In February of last year, he received a cheque for €1,000 from Cyril Regan, who runs Regan Heating in Illinois, USA, while he received a cheque for the same amount from Mary Naughten, Athlone in April of last year.

Under the Electoral Act, public representatives may not 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 received from an individual source.

Anonymous donations cannot be accepted if they exceed €100.