Mary Lou McDonald urged to give €1,000 donation from Jonathan Dowdall to fund aimed at preventing crime
- 17:31, 11 Nov 2022
- Updated: 17:31, 11 Nov 2022
MARY Lou McDonald has been urged to hand over a €1,000 donation from criminal Jonathan Dowdall so it can be used to prevent crime.
Fine Gael TDs, Neale Richmond and Fergus O’Dowd, alongside Councillor Kenneth Egan, have called on the Sinn Fein President to donate the €1,000 she received from disgraced Johnathan Dowdall to the Community Safety Innovation Fund.
McDonald landed a donation in 2011 from former Sinn Fein councillor Dowdall, who has since been jailed for four years for facilitating the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in Dublin in 2016.
Speaking today, Dublin Rathdown TD Richmond insisted the SF supremo should hand the €1,000 over.
He said: “Gangland criminals like Jonathan Dowdall are a plague on local communities; their dirty and corrupt money has no place in our political system.
“That Sinn Fein’s leader accepted a €1,000 donation from Jonathan Dowdall, the man who facilitated the most brutal gangland murder Ireland has seen and as she herself admitted, probably used it towards election expenses is appalling.
“The fact that she has not made a more legitimate use of this donation such as to make our communities safer is staggering. She must put this wrong to right.”
McDonald says she was ‘profoundly shocked’ to learn that former Sinn Fein Cllr Dowdall was involved in criminality.
She said: “Had we known that he was involved in any form of criminality, and I have to say I was profoundly shocked, as were many, many others, to discover his criminal activity, he wouldn’t have been anywhere near Sinn Fein.
“He wouldn’t have been anywhere near me or anybody else.”
But the SF leader faced fresh fire this week after claiming that Dubliner Dowdall and members of the Provisional IRA were not comparable.
The TD for Dublin Central was blasted by families of IRA victims after telling Newstalk’s On The Record show on Sunday that “there is absolutely no comparison” between crimes committed during the Troubles and the “gangland crime epidemic”.
Deputy Fergus O’Dowd believes McDonald should cough-up the Dowdall donation to the Community Safety Innovation Fund which was introduced by Justice Minister Helen McEntee.
O’Dowd said: “Fine Gael are committed to building stronger, safer communities across Ireland, removing the stain of gangland crime from our neighbourhoods.
“Minister McEntee’s new Community Safety Innovation Fund takes dirty money earned through gangland crime and puts it back into our communities.
“€2 million was put back in communities in 2022, with a further €3 million allocated in 2023.
“Projects in Deputy McDonald’s constituency have benefitted from this funding, but she did not even turn up to an event marking an investment of €253,546 in the community she represents in the Dail.
“Deputy McDonald should now do the decent thing and channel it back into her local community through this Fund.