Friends of Sinn Féin in US raises ex­tra $294,790

The Irish Times - - Home News - SI­MON CAR­SWELL Pub­lic Af­fairs Ed­i­tor

Sinn Féin’s US fundrais­ing arm has raised a fur­ther $294,790 (¤262,000) from do­na­tions and been re­paid $3,500 from a com­pany set up by the party to com­mem­o­rate the 1916 Ris­ing.

The lat­est fil­ing by Friends of Sinn Féin with the US Depart­ment of Jus­tice shows that it raised $270,000, mostly from trade unions and con­struc­tion-re­lated com­pa­nies, in the New York area.

The Ir­ish po­lit­i­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion is re­quired to sub­mit bian­nual returns with the US gov­ern­ment as it is a for­eign po­lit­i­cal party un­der the US For­eign Agents Reg­is­tra­tion Act.

The bulk of the money raised for the party came from the an­nual fundrais­ing din­ner held by Friends of Sinn Féin at the Sher­a­ton Ho­tel in Man­hat­tan last Novem­ber. More than ¤13 mil­lion has been raised by the or­gan­i­sa­tion since it was es­tab­lished more than two decades ago as part of the peace process. The lat­est fil­ing pe­riod cov­ers the six months from Novem­ber 2019 to April 2020. Dur­ing that time, the group or­gan­ised a five-day visit to Capi­tol Hill in Wash­ing­ton DC and New York by newly elected Belfast North MP John Fin­u­cane last Jan­uary.

The largest do­na­tion to Friends of Sinn Féin was made by Eurotech Con­struc­tion, a build­ing com­pany founded by Tyrone busi­ness­man Fay Devlin, a long-time sup­porter of the party. The sec­ond largest was made by tech­nol­ogy ad­vi­sory and ac­count­ing firm Withum­smith and Brown, based in Prince­ton, New Jersey, which gave $12,500. Great Lakes Re­gional Or­gan­is­ing Com­mit­tee, a part of the Labour­ers’ In­ter­na­tional Union of North Amer­ica – a reg­u­lar donor to the party – gave $10,000. The par­tial loan re­pay­ment of $3,500 was made by Ire­land 1916 Com­mem­o­ra­tions, the Dublin com­pany that cu­rated a cen­te­nary com­mem­o­ra­tive ex­hi­bi­tion on the Easter Ris­ing at the for­mer Am­bas­sador cinema on O’Con­nell Street dur­ing 2016.

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