Pat 'the Cope' Gallagher
By Declan Magee
Fianna Fáil TD Pat ‘the Cope’ Gallagher was the highest spender during in last year’s Dáil election in the Donegal constituency.
The Dungloe-based TD was the highest-spending of the 14 candidates in last February's election.
Figures released by the Standard’s in Public Office Committee (Sipo) show Deputy Gallagher spent €26,823.06 on his campaign.
He was followed by his party colleague and poll-topper in the constituency Deputy Charlie McConalogue who spent €25,44.07.
Independent candidate Tim Jackson spent €22,053.28 while Fine Gael Deputy Joe McHugh spent €21,753.32.
Independent deputy Thomas Pringle was the next-highest spender with €14,885.81 while
Outgoing Sinn Féin TD Padraig MacLochlainn, who failed to get re-elected, spent €12,825.34 while his party colleague, Deputy Pearse Doherty spent €11,428.68.
Sinn Féin councillor Gary Doherty spent €9,413.81 while independent county councillor Niamh Kennedy’s campaign cost €7,660.82.
Independent county councillor Frank McBrearty Jnr spent €5,512.65 while Cllr Ian McGarvey (Independent) spent €5,2081.81 on his campaign.
Fine Gael candidate Paddy Harte Jnr’s campaign cost €1,5157.94.
Paula Flanagan of the Green Party and independent candidate Cordelia Nic Fhearraigh both registered no costs for their campaigns.
No candidate in the constituency exceeded the statutory expenditure limit, which allowed expenditure of €45,200 for a five-seat constituency.
In the Sligo-Leitrim constituency, which includes part of south Donegal including Ballyshannon and Bundoran Fianna Fáil's Deputy Marc MacSharry was the biggest spender for the 2016 General Election in this constituency.
Deputy MacSharry spent a total of €29,791 on his campaign, almost €15,000 more than his running mate Deputy Eamon Scanlon who spent €14,390.
Leitrim TD Martin Kenny (Sinn Féin) spent €14,111while, Fine Gael's Deputy Tony McLoughlin spent €12,459.
Sinn Féin's Chris MacManus spent €20,009 while Gerry Reynolds (Fine Gael) spent €12,388. Fianna Fail's Paddy O'Rourke spent €15,554.
The spending limit of each candidate in the constituency was set at €30,150.
Candidates who ran for a political party may also have a portion of their expenses paid for by the party as agreed before the election.