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New SIPO documents highlight ‘difficulties’ with ‘incorrect’ Sinn Féin amended poll expenses return – Burke

21st January 2023 - Peter Burke TD

Sinn Féin forced to amend their SIPO returns three times

New documents from the country’s election spending watchdog show they queried “difficulties” in the returns Sinn Féin was forced to make after failing to declare €7,000 on a UK commissioned opinion poll.

The Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) directly told Sinn Féin last year “there are difficulties with the totals” it had furnished as part of an updated 2020 General Election return the party was enforced to make after a media query – and that some of its amended election returns were “incorrect”.

Minister Peter Burke said Sinn Féin now have to fully explain everything regarding the Sterling invoice from the London based poll company, Survation, and their failure to disclose it until the omission was exposed by a journalist.

“This is further proof Sinn Féin cannot be trusted with finances. During the week, their party representatives tried to actively deceive the public of how their incorrectly filed election returns came to light.

“Eoin Ó’Broin and others deliberately claimed the party amended the record itself when in fact it was forced to do so following queries from the Irish Times. Sinn Féin knew this for the last 13 months but still insisted this week that they uncovered it before eventually admitting it was the Irish Times when questioned by the same publisher.

“Today it emerges, following SIPO further examining Sinn Féin’s resubmitted returns filed last January, the party was forced, upon request by the watchdog, to resubmit the files a third time and make more detail available after the country’s election spending watchdog told them “the overall expenses total are incorrect”.

“Furthermore, the UK commissioned poll was invoiced to Sinn Féin on February 6th, 2020, is in pound sterling – £6,000. How was it paid?

“Let’s see the bank accounts that reconcile it? Was it paid by Sinn Féin’s Northern arm or their operation in this jursidiction? The border is the best financial weapon that Sinn Féin utilises. What date was the sterling invoice paid?

“Mary Lou McDonald and the party treasurer, Pearse Doherty, needs to come clean about all of this,” Minister Burke said.

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