Sinn Féin TD can’t say where party stores voter info as it is an ‘IT question’
April 21 2021 09:46 PM
A senior frontbench Sinn Féin TD has said he cannot say where his party is storing the personal information of millions of voters because it is an “IT related question”.
Cavan-Monaghan TD Matt Carthy, 43, has refused to answer any questions about where Sinn Féin is storing the names, addresses and voting intentions of the country’s voters.
During an interview on LMFM, an emotional Mr Carthy continuously shouted “what are you accusing me of” when asked by Fine Gael Senator John Cummins where Sinn Féin is storing millions of citizens’ information on their secret voter database, the Abú system.
“These are all IT related questions that I don’t have the answers to,” Mr Carthy said before again saying it was “standard political” practice to set-up a national voter database to store the perceived voting intentions of the public.
Mr Carthy is the latest in a line of Sinn Féin TDs who are refusing to say where the party is keeping the personal data of millions of people.
Sinn Féin enterprise spokesperson Louise O’Reilly appeared on RTE Radio One where she was repeatedly asked where Sinn Féin is storing the information.
Despite being asked several times, Ms O’Reilly would only stay the names and addresses of voters were stored within the European Union.
Asked if Sinn Féin sought the consent of voters to store their data on the Abú system Ms Reilly said: “so this is the Electoral Register and the Electoral Register is freely available in every garda station and every library up and down the State.”
Sinn Féin’s Abú database is not available to be viewed by voters in garda stations or libraries.
It also records how Sinn Féin thinks someone has voted or will vote. The Electoral Register does not record how you are believed to have voted and details of its existence only emerged last week.
It comes after Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin confirmed he “consensually” elicits personal details from Facebook users but said he stores the information in his memory rather than using the Abú system. Mr Ó Broin also refused to reveal the location of the party’s voter database despite repeated questions this week.
Sinn Féin health spokesperson David Cullinane would also not say where his party was keeping the personal information of voters. Mr Cullinane also claimed Sinn Féin was forced to close down the password protected online portal for the Abú system because it had become “compromised” when details of its existence were reported.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told his parliamentary party said there were things Sinn Féin does with databases and social media that Fine Gael should be doing, but described some things the Opposition party was doing as “dodgy”
He said Fine Gael had looked at setting up a centralised database three years ago but believed it would fall foul of GDPR rules and that there would be issues with centralising information given to councillors or TDs by their constituents. He also raised questions about how the Abú system funded.