FF wants members to cough up €150 ... each
CASH-strapped Fianna Fail is giving away a car as part of an effort to raise money for election posters and flyers.
The party is desperately seeking a last-minute injection of finances for its election war chest.
For the first time, Micheal Martin's candidates will have less to spend then their rivals in Fine Gael and Labour.
As a result, Fianna Fail is asking supporters to fork out up to €150 on raffle tickets for a draw that will take place on March 4.
In a letter to members, former minister Noel Dempsey explains that the money would be used for election flyers and posters.
He writes that the party is "fighting a defining General Election" and needs help.
"We need you to work with us in your constituency to ensure that Fianna Fail candidates are successful in this election.
"We also ask you please help us pay the costs of fighting this election. Every poster that will be put up, every flyer that is distributed and all costs associated with the campaign must be paid for from supporters' contributions," the letter says.
Before Christmas, Fianna Fail had to cancel its main annual fundraiser which was a €95-a-plate dinner. Party organisers were worried that holding the lavish event would not sit well with the public and could cause a further backlash against TDs.
Tickets for its new superdraw cost €50 each or can be bought four-at-time for €150. Buyers are advised that every €50 they contribute will pay for 1,500 election flyers, while €150 will pay for 30 election posters. The prize is a Hyundai i20 car.
Fine Gael is set to be the biggest spender during the three-week election campaign, with well in excess of €1m ready to be splashed.
Labour too has said that it has around €1m to spend, while Sinn Fein -- which has only four sitting TDs seeking re-election -- is set to spend a minimum of €250,000.
The Green Party said two weeks ago that it has only €30,000 to spend but is continuing to fundraise.