FF Facing Financial Frailty

Fianna Fail are expected to lose anywhere up to €10 million in state funding over the course of the next Dáil after their crushing defeat in the last election.

The party's finances are believed to have haemorrhaged debts of around €3m already, and could incur further losses as Fianna Fail wrestles with diminished influences and an uncertain future.

Losing 53 TDs in the election has meant a huge chunk of its income has gone from party member subscriptions along with individual relationships with financial backers.

In their manifesto for this year, Michael Martin's embattled party made special provisions for a reduction to part donations, which are yet to be enforced.

The Fianna Fail manifesto said: "We support the introduction of a legal ban of all political donations except for persons entitled to vote in a general election. Elections should be funded and decided soley by those entitled to vote. We will also support the halving of the donation limit to political parties and a new independent system for auditing compliance with spending and donation controls contained in the electoral acts.

"We will introduce a bill to this effect within the period of the next Dáil."

Michael Martin is expected to undertake a "nationwide tour" aimed at rebuilding the party, but the parties financial problems could scupper Mr Martin's chances of rejuvenating the party's grassroots.

According to the Standards in Public Office Commission, Fianna Fail received €3.6m through the Party Leader's Allowance in 2009. For the first 10 TDs gone, Fianna Fail will lose €57,214 a year, while each of the next 43 will cost €28,616 in funding.


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