Local politicians spend €200,000 on elections

THE general election candidates from Carlow Kilkenny spent nearly €200,000 between them in order to get elected.

THE general election candidates from Carlow Kilkenny spent nearly €200,000 between them in order to get elected.

The biggest spender in the general election was Fianna Fail’s John McGuinness who spent €28,999.85 and in return received over 9,000 first preference votes. Fine Gael Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan, was the second biggest spender in Carlow Kilkenny. Minister Hogan and his election team spent €25,930 during the election campaign and received over 10,000 first preference votes.

Of all the political parties Fine Gael spent the most money in the election locally. In Carlow Kilkenny Fine Gael spent over €70,000 and successfully got three of their candidates elected. Fianna Fail spent €59,000 on their three candidates in Carlow Kilkenny, but of the three only John McGuinness was elected.

The Labour party spent a total of €36,000 on its two candidates. Ann Phelan's campaign which saw her become the first Labour party TD elected from Carlow Kilkenny since Seamus Pattison cost just over €20,000.

Mary White, who had been the Green Party TD for Carlow Kilkenny and a junior minister spent €11,657 on her unsuccessful re-election campaign. Despite the expenditure Mary White only received 2,000 first preference votes.

The most cost effective campaign was run by Sinn Fein's Kathleen Funchion who received over 7,000 votes despite only spending only €7,270.

The independent candidates spent a combined €11,700 in their election campaigns. There were seven independent candidates, John Coachman, John Dalton, Stephen Kelly, Ramie Leahy, David Murphy, John O'Hara and Noel Walsh. Noel walsh spent the most of the independents, he spent €6,735, John Coachman spent €3,129 while Ramie Leahy spent €1550.

Figures released by the Standards in public office also included the donations received by unsuccessful candidates. Bobby Aylward was amongst the highest recipient of donations not to get elected. He received €5,250 in political donations but failed to secure a seat.

John Paul Phelan, Phil Hogan, Ann Phelan, John McGuinness, Jennifer Murnane O’Connor, Bobby Aylward, Des Hurley and Pat Deering were all reimbursed for expenses to the value of €8,700. Kathleen Funchion, and John Cassin received €7,620 and €7,439 respectively which covered both of their total expenses.