Wednesday 26 October 2016

Sinn Fein raises €346k in US in just six months

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams

SINN FEIN is channelling tens of thousands of US dollars to the North to fund its party operations as it continues to build a massive financial war chest overseas.

The party took in over $390,000 (€346,000) in donations during a six-month period up until May of this year, documents with the US Department of Justice reveal.

Sinn Fein is unrivalled among Irish political parties in its capacity to generate huge sums of cash in the US, which it receives from wealthy donors, trade unions and major companies.

Sinn Fein received dozens of individual donations ranging from $10-$20,000.

In one instance, the party was left over $1,000 dollars as part of the estate of a deceased person. But the largest individual donation of $20,000 was provided by the New York based engineering firm United Structural Works. An $11,000 donation was made by the New Jersey-based McGuigan Tombs & Company, which specialises in tax consultancy.

Two donations of $10,000 were made by the Eurotech Construction Company and a Chicago-based individual listed in the documents as Tom Moran. The extraordinary cash pile lies in five bank accounts based in New York, which are operated by the Friends of Sinn Fein (FOSF) organisation.

FOSF is headed by Jim Cullen (inset) – a former US army general whose parents are Irish.

The party says the monies it accumulates are fully accounted for and that it is not used to fund Sinn Fein operations in the Republic.

The donations are detailed in accounts given to the US Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

The latest returns filed with US authorities show that more than $52,288 was used to pay for advertising, legal and printing expenses in the North.

In an interview earlier this year, James Cullen insisted that electoral rules preclude the party from using some

of its fundraising amounts to fund its operations in the Republic.

In a statement, a Sinn Fein spokesperson said the money raised was used to promote “the cause of Irish Unity and the peace process”.

“The role of Sinn Fein is to promote Irish unity, safeguard the peace process and deliver the type of republic envisaged in the proclamation; these aims are shared with those who support FOSF USA.”

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