In the light of the purchase a front page ad on a national newspaper and the €32,030 in declared donations (that is simply those donations that were of an amount that they legally had to be declared) that Senator Ronan Mullen was able to secure to fight the last Seanad election in 2007 combined with the history of donations from financial insitutions and sectoral interests such as trade unions, I’m calling for an immediate full disclosure of donations and campaign spending by NUI/TCD Seanad candidates.
I am calling on all Seanad candidates for the NUI/TCD seats to declare by next Monday what their donations received or pledged are to date and thereafter accept no more donations. And I would ask that they should also publish at the same time what they have spent to date and what they expect to spend over the course of the campaign. The public should not have to wait until the declarations to SIPO next year to find out just how much and from whom candidates had received donations. There are no spending limits for the Seanad elections and there is a serious danger that a changed Oireacthas might become the preserve of the wealth and well connected. Only by being completely open and transparent can we even start restore politics in the eyes of the public.
Thus far Peter Mooney and Dr. Mick Molloy have come forward to declare their donations or lack of them, and I hope and indeed expect others will over the course of the day.