SIPO need to examine use of Sinn Féin funds – Phelan

23rd November 2020 - John Paul Phelan, TD

A Fine Gael TD is requesting the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) examines Sinn Féin’s financial operations as it emerged the party coffers are being used on either side of the border to take out online advertisements on social media giant, Facebook.

 

Deputy John Paul Phelan said positive proof has now emerged, despite what they claim, that Sinn Féin are using finances and resources across both jurisdictions on this island.

 

It emerged today that Sinn Féin’s Dublin offices paid for online Facebook ads for an event in Belfast last month and to promote candidates for Westminster elections.

 

Deputy Phelan has also uncovered instances where finance from the party’s operation within the six counties has been used for online advertising where audiences in the Republic of Ireland were targeted.

 

“They are using cash from their Southern operation to finance and promote candidates for Westminster elections and for an online event for senior leader Michelle O’Neill and her Stormont colleagues. One of these Facebook advertisements was only taken last month at the same time as Sinn Féin people were preaching about transparency.

 

“Worryingly, resources from their Newry and Armagh organisation promoting a Stormont candidate in last December’s elections were also used in two separate online advertisements which were viewed in Monaghan and Louth.

 

“Why are Sinn Féin’s online ads for Northern elections being targeted in Southern counties? Sinn Féin have told SIPO they operate as two separate parties.

 

“These revelations completely discredit Deputy Mary Lou McDonald’s declaration to SIPO that they are a 26 and 6 county organisation when it comes to adhering to financial rules.

 

“This is clear proof Sinn Féin uses money and resources, no matter to what extent, across both jurisdictions on this island. It completely defeats the spirit of the law. I will be writing to SIPO to ask that this is all examined as matter of urgency.

 

“It’s been clear for a long time that Sinn Féin runs its party completely on a partitionist basis when it suits them to but it’s now also clearly shown they are hypocrites and use funds declared in the south on social media campaigns in the north and vice-versa. The funds may be small but the intent is clear. It also highlights Sinn Féin’s financial web that awaits investigators.

 

“The Republic has strict political fundraising rules, but Sinn Féin will stop at nothing to twist them and defy the spirit of those rules.

 

“For too long other political parties and main media outlets have not examined how Sinn Féin gathers its funds and how it spends it. They deserve the same scrutiny as the rest of us, and their blatant partitionism and hypocrisy needs to be called for exactly what it is,” Deputy Phelan said.

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