The value of the printer cartridges that Aengus Ó’Snodaigh TD of Sinn Féin is alleged to have taken from the Oireachtas is stated to be of the order of €50,000 and to have been sufficient to print 3 million pages.
The Labour Party and Fianna Fáil spent less than €52,000 between them on the 2011 campaign, so how could second tier TD manage to use so many cartridges?
There are 80,268 voters in Dublin South Central. This printer cartridge trawl had the capacity to produce 3 million pages. Is this delirious buffoon seriously alleging that each voter received 37 pages of text from him? Ó’Snodaigh’s ranks eighth among Sinn Féin TDs after Adams, Doherty, Ó’Caoláin, MacLochlainn, Ellis, Crowe and Ferris - when the votes won are expressed as a percentage of quota.
Ó’Snodaigh spent a total of €14,061 in the 2011 general election campaign, of which €8,700 was reimbursed by the State. He spent €23,500 in the 2007 campaign but he managed to win 2,000 more votes last year despite spending less money.
His spend in 2011 was equivalent to an average of €2.07 for each of the 6,804 first preference votes he won (80.2% of quota in Dublin S Central). The average expenditure by successful Sinn Féin candidates in that election was equivalent to €1.73 per vote won. McDonald spent €4.51, Tóibín €3.02 and Colreavy €2.69 per vote won.
The breakdown of his spending in the 2011 campaign was:
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All the political parties spent a total of €68,975 on general printing in the 2011 campaign, of which Sinn Féin accounted for just €3,793.
Apart from his TDs salary of €92,672 he also received, tax-free allowances and reimbursements amounting to €52,565 (election expenses reimbursed €8,700, Parliamentary Standard Allowance €31,865 and Travel and Accommodation expenses of €12,000). On top of that Sinn Féin received a Party Leader’s allowance last year of €893,432 as well as substantial funding under the Electoral Acts.
And he has the audacity to say that the Oireachtas is to blame for him taking so many cartridges because nobody cried ‘halt’! What a wimp!