Fine Gael Deputy leader referred to Gardai in relation to election donation

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Fine Gael’s deputy leader James Reilly has been referred to Gardaí by the Standards in Public Office Commission.

The Standards in Public Office Commission today published its report on the 2016 Dáil General Election in which it confirmed it has sent 66 general election candidates to Garda for failing to return the required statutory documentation.

The report provides information on election spending disclosed by candidates and political parties, including reported expenditure on property, goods or services used for election purposes during the election period, reimbursement of candidates’ election expenses, the disclosure of donations by unsuccessful candidates, and third party activity during the election period.

Former Minister for Children, and current Senator Mr Reilly, had his file referred because he failed to prove a donation in excess of the amount allowed was returned.

Under Sipo rules candidates can accept €1000 from a donor in a calendar year but only €200 in cash.

Responding to the announcement on RTE Radio earlier Mr Reilly said he had delegated some work when serving as a Minister and accepted responsibility saying he forgot to give the receipt but insisted he has paid the €800 back. “I apologise,” he said, “it is nobody else’s fault but myself.”

Sipo has also referred Carol Hunt to Gardai for failing to complete her election expenses statement appropriately.

She is an advisor to Minister for Transport Shane Ross but ran as a candidate for the Independent Alliance.

The full report can be read by clicking on this link.

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