How down in dumps FF still raised €550k
FIANNA FAIL has raked in a staggering €550,000 through a single fundraising event, the Herald can reveal.
The significant sum was today hailed as a "war chest" by senior party figures.
The funds raised means Fianna Fail can pay off a large chunk of the €2.2m debts it accumulated under previous Taoisigh Brian Cowen and Bertie Ahern.
And the Herald has learned that party headquarters intend to revive the practice of national collections -- where TDs and senators collect badly needed cash outside the likes of churches and supermarkets.
Well-placed party figures told the Herald today that the €550,000 - raised through the annual 'super draw' - has come as an "enormous morale boost" to the party faithful.
One senior TD said the money would be used as a "war chest" to fund Fianna Fail's "comeback into Irish politics".
"The fundraiser is the greatest thing to happen to the party since our performance in the Dublin West by-election in October. It will be used as a war chest to build up the party again after so many people wrote us off as toxic," the source said.
Another senior figure dubbed the money raised as "an enormous morale boost", adding that there were fears the party's finances were "teetering on the brink".
The source explained: "When you consider our annihilation in February's election, this (the fundraiser) is some turnaround. There is a great spring in the step of party members now."
The first and second place prizes were a Nissan Juke and a Hyundai i20. Other prizes included cash amounts of up to €5,000 as well as weekend breaks away and iPads.
A party spokesperson comfirmed to the Herald today that just over €550,000 was raised through the fundraising event.
Tickets cost for the 'super draw' cost €50.
Party leader Micheal Martin (pictured) was facing into enormous debts of €2.2m when he took over the reigns from predecessor Brian Cowen in January.
The Herald understands Micheal Martin issued a "rallying call" to party members prior to the draw.
"The party has been suffering from post traumatic stress for several months," one senator said.
"Micheal Martin knows that but he also knows that at the moment, we couldn't properly afford another election. That's why funds like these are vital to the party.