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Does Mary Lou McDonald need to amend her SIPO returns on Jonathan Dowdall’s €1,000 donation – Carroll MacNeill

18th January 2023 - Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, TD

Did gangland criminal donate to constituency colleague or Sinn Féin?

Why did Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald record a €1,000 donation from criminal Jonathan Dowdall on her SIPO returns if it was intended for the party as claimed this week, a Fine Gael Minister has asked.

“Mary Lou McDonald and Sinn Féin in Dublin Central obviously have some kind of issue – they need to work out who gave money to whom and check their own Standards in Public Office returns first before criticising others in the constituency.

“No one can agree who convicted criminal Dowdall gave money to – Mary Lou, Sinn Féin – who was it? Not even Sinn Féin seem to know, but no effort to correct the record either?

“The only thing that’s clear about Sinn Féin taking money from a gangland criminal is that they’ve no notion of giving it back

“Last Autumn, the Sinn Féin leader and her colleagues went missing from media for weeks when it emerged that she received a €1,000 cheque donation from Jonathan Dowdall who went onto to torture a man while serving as a Sinn Féin councillor. The following year, he helped facilitate a notorious gangland murder.

“The donation is there for all to see in handwriting on Deputy McDonald’s SIPO returns for 2011.

“However on Newstalk yesterday morning, Deputy Louise O’Reilly said: ‘The donation was made to the party but it was recorded by…uhhh Mary Lou McDonald’.

“On November 6th last on the same station, Deputy McDonald maintained that the donation was made to the Dublin Central constituency and spent on election expenses. Sinn Féin’s leader and her colleagues right up to this week still maintain this line despite it clearly being recorded on Deputy McDonald’s SIPO returns?

“This leads to the obvious questions, are the SIPO returns of Deputy McDonald accurate? Should Deputy McDonald correct them? Why not record it so on the party’s accounting books and include it in their financial statements for that year? Why did she record Dowdall’s cheque donation on her filings? It’s all very strange.

“How much more did Dowdall give to the party? He attended fundraising dinners with Deputy McDonald and Gerry Adams. He donated to these events? How much? In cash or a cheque? Where are they recorded? Where did the money originate from?

“Clear answers are also required on their €7,000 General Election poll in 2020 which they failed to return to SIPO for two years? What prompted them to make the amendments? Who brought it to their attention?

“The expensive poll was with a London based company. Was the invoice in sterling and euros? How was it paid? Which Sinn Féin paid for it? The six-county operation or the 26 county Sinn Féin?

“Those who are looking for answers on SIPO returns need to have a clear hard look at their own filings first on far more serious matters,” Minister Carroll MacNeill said.

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