Long And The Short Of It

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Senator Dr James Reilly

This morning.

The Standards in Public Office Commission published its report on the election expenses made by candidates and parties between February 3, 2016 and February 26, 2016.

It reported:

Election expenses of €8.39 million were disclosed by candidates and political parties at the 2016 general election, a decrease of almost 10% on the €11.08 million figure reported for the 2011 election.

…Donations with a total value of €112,320.38 were disclosed by 102 unsuccessful candidates (equivalent figure in 2011 was €285,618).

The Standards Commission has referred 66 files to the Gardaí in relation to possible contraventions of the Act at the Dáil election, including failures to return donation statements, certificates of monetary donations, statutory declarations, statements from a financial institution, or election expenses statements.

One of the 66 files concerned former Health Minister, Senator and deputy leader of Fine Gael Dr James Reilly – in relation to a €1,000 cash donation.

The donation Dr Reilly received was €800 over the cash limit, of €200, and SIPO found Dr Reilly failed to provide proof that he returned the €800 to the donor.

Further to this…

Dr Reilly told the Today with Sean O’Rourke show:

“Just for starters, I only found out about this about 20 minutes ago. Look, in fairness to SIPO, they have a job to do. They wrote to me. I declared everything honestly. I declared a €1,000 of a cash donation. When I realised that that was actually excess of what one is allowed, in terms of cash, without declaring the identity of the individual who, given to me, whose a personal friend of mine for many years and whose a neighbour and a farmer. I handed the money back to him.

“They subsequently wrote to me and asked me to give them a receipt for that and I fully intended to give it to them but, with everything else that was going on, in my own personal life in terms of, you know, and we moved out of our house in Moneygall, closed the sale on the Friday before Christmas, so there was a ferocious amount of activity.

“I’ve been back in my practice trying to reorganise that as well, I had a change of staff and somebody recently only joined so that person can’t possibly be held responsible for an oversight that happened in an interregnum while somebody else who was there had left and I was trying to fill space. So basically, I put my hand up, I forgot to give them a receipt. I can have that receipt to them, I certainly could have the receipt in my hand by lunchtime.

“I declared the €1,000. I did not try, at any point in time, to do anything dishonest. I declared the €1,000, realised the error and then, when it was pointed out to me, handed the money (€800) back to the gentleman concerned and I’m sure, I’m sorry for him that he would be brought into any public controversy over this. So, that’s the long and the short of it…”

Listen back to Dr Reilly’s interview in full here

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27 thoughts on “Long And The Short Of It

  1. Clampers Outside!

    Look see… like, well… “with everything else that was going on, in my own personal life in terms of, you know”

    I look forward to using that on Revenue.ie one of the days :)
    s/

  2. Mr. Camomile T

    The money was only resting in his account. Genuine misunderstanding. It’s all above board. Believe me.

  3. Anne

    Better than he won it at the horses I suppose.

    But what business has he taking a 1000 euro off anyone?

    1. DubLoony

      The money was a donation to his election campaign.
      People are allowed to donate up to 1,000 but only 200 in cash. Usually a cheque / electronic transfer for tracking purposes for any amount over that.

  4. Daisy Chainsaw

    SIPO reports are great reading! FG spent nearly €93,000 on campaign workers… Sher jaykers, that Fraperoom almost pays for itself!!

    1. Sheik Yahbouti

      I’d say it turns a profit, Daisy. A few pizzas and copious cups of bile are probably FG’S only outlay.

  5. perricrisptayto

    “I’ve been back in my practice trying to reorganise that as well, I had a change of staff and somebody recently only joined so that person can’t possibly be held responsible for an oversight that happened in an interregnum while somebody else who was there had left and I was trying to fill space.

    Keep digging ,good doctor, eventually you’ll remember exactly who to shift the blame onto.

  6. Murtles

    Do you give him a receipt for the €1,000 he gave you? Eh, forgot.
    Did you get a receipt for the €800 you gave back? Eh, forgot
    Teenage James O’Reilly trikes again

  7. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

    I don’t think people use the word ferocious enough. I’m going to introduce it into my lexicon: if I can find time, as I’m ferociously busy.

  8. pooter

    We had a trolley crisis when he was minister for health. And we still have a trolley crisis. Yet he walks away with his ministers pension, thats grand lads im off. No accountability.

    1. DubLoony

      Yeah, lot of non-party people there, including Ben Gilroy, mr land league himself.

      Either they didn’t know about SIPO legislation or didn’t think that the laws apply to them for some strange reason.

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