SF’s foreign donations must be scrutinised

The DUP’s East Belfast MLA and spokesman on US engagement David Brooks has said that questions need to be asked about Sinn Fein finances on both sides of the border.

By David Brooks MLA

Belfast East

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The call follows filings with the Department of Justice in the United States showing that in advance of last year’s Assembly election, over $54,000 was sent to Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland by the Friends of Sinn Fein organisation in the United States.

Mr Brooks said,

“Sinn Fein is not a normal political party, not least because they are the richest party on either side of the border yet outsourced the management of social media accounts to people in Serbia.

Foreign donations are outlawed across all other parts of the United Kingdom and in the Republic of Ireland, yet at least $50,000 was funnelled to Sinn Fein in advance of last year’s Assembly election.

Sinn Fein happily trumpet how their organisation in Northern Ireland is entirely separate from the party in the Republic when it comes to money. Sinn Fein not only takes a conveniently partitionist attitude to such donations, but there are serious questions about its wider finances.

It is time that Sinn Fein’s finances were the subject of serious scrutiny on both sides of the border. There have been claims of financial irregularities amounting to “hundreds of thousands of euro” within the Republic, whilst foreign donations are being used to influence politics in Northern Ireland.

As a major property owner on the island of Ireland and the richest party, there needs to be transparency and openness about Sinn Fein finances.”

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