I don't often have a kind word for Sinn Fein, but in fairness, their call yesterday for more transparency in political party funding was very welcome.
The Irish Times today tells us “SINN FÉIN yesterday called on the Government to introduce new transparency and disclosure rules for political party funding. The party published its annual financial statements for North and South yesterday, showing it had a combined income of over €2.5 million in 2007."
MEP Mary Lou McDonald hit the nail on the head with “The general public understand that fundraising and donations are part and parcel of generating that income. Where cynicism starts to creep in is when it is perceived that political parties are not open and transparent about their financial affairs.”
That is so true. But surprisingly, she didn’t go on to detail where the €2.5 million came from. Just an oversight, I'm sure. In any event, my contacts in the SF HQ have provided me with the following summary breakdown.
Financial Year ended Dec. 31, 2007
Auditors’ note: All figures in Euro, conversion rate £1 = €0.78. In line with our ‘one island, one country’ policy, revenues are not split between the Republic and the Occupied Six Counties.
Summary Breakdown and Sourcing of Revenues (2006 revenues in brackets)
Bank robberies €442, 611 (765, 321)
Extortion €683, 964 (477,989)
Security van hijacking €976,456 (2,333,658)
Oil and cigarette smuggling €314,223 (193,428)
Whereas Bank Robberies and Hijacking show a worrying decline we believe that the promising trends in the Smuggling and Extortion categories indicate the Party’s finances will remain in good order.
Ta go maith agus bord na mona.
Let's all hope so.Keep up the good work lads.