USE IT OR LOU-SE IT |
Ex-boxer Kenny Egan calls on Mary Lou McDonald to hand back Jonathan Dowdall’s €1k donation
The former Olympian is one of a number of Fine Gael politicians to call on the Sinn Fein leader to return a donation.
11th November 2022
A group of Fine Gael politicians have issued a statement calling on Mary Lou McDonald to “hand over” a donation from Jonathan Dowdall.
The Sinn Féin leader received €1,000 as a political donation from the disgraced former councillor in 2011.
It is a sum political rivals – including Fine Gael cllr and ex-Olympic boxer Kenneth Egan – are now claiming should be spent preventing crime.
Dowdall (44) has been imprisoned for four years for facilitating the Regency Hotel murder of David Byrne, housed in a special protection wing under 23-hour-lockdown.
He and his father Patrick – serving a two-year sentence for his own role in the gangland killing – are now behind bars in Limerick Prison.
A number of Fine Gael representatives have now said Mary Lou McDonald should further distance herself from Dowdall by donating €1,000 to the Community Safety Fund.
Councillor Kenneth Egan has called on the Sinn Fein leader to make a €1,000 donation to the community fund.
Egan, who won a silver medal in 2008 Olympics, is a Dublin City councillor for the Clondalkin area.
“Deputy McDonald knows well the devastating impact of gangland crime on inner city Dublin.
“She talks a big talk about protecting the younger generations but is happy to sit back and let communities in her own area be impacted by gangland crime when she has the means to help prevent this.
“Is Mary Lou on the side of communities, or is she only interested in keeping this money for her own coffers?” he said.
Dublin-Rathdown TD Neale Richmond said the money should not be kept by Sinn Fein.
“Gangland criminals like Jonathan Dowdall are a plague on local communities; their dirty and corrupt money has no place in our political system,” he said.
“That Sinn Féin’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,” he added.
Sinn Féin told Independent.ie this week that the donation from Dowdall was given over ten years ago and “Dublin Central Sinn Féin spent that money at the time.”
Fellow Fine Gael TD for Louth Fergus O’Dowd said his party is committed to “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 into the fun in 2022, with €3 million more allocated for 2023, the TD said.
He claimed the Sinn Féin leader should “do the decent thing and channel it back into our communities” since her own constituency of Dublin Central was given €253,546 through the fund.”
Mary Lou McDonald has previously welcomed “Jonathan Dowdall’s admission of guilt for what was a heinous and disgusting crime.”
In a statement to the Sunday World in September, she commended Gardaí for their work in convicting her former party colleague.
“This comes after a lengthy Garda investigation. I commend the Gardaí for their work and they have my ongoing and unwavering support in tackling the scourge of organised criminal gangs in my constituency.”
Dowdall and his father are under a 23-hour-lockdown regime in Limerick Prison, under serious threat to their lives as the former councillor is to testify against gang boss Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch who is currently standing trial for Byrne’s murder.
Sentencing the 44-year-old at the non-jury Special Criminal Court last month, presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt noted that Dowdall knew he was assisting a serious criminal organisation; he had received and followed instructions to obtain the hotel room at the Regency Hotel.
“He gave a key card to another member of the criminal organisation and made a room available to a leading member. The consequences of the assistance were particularly grave,” he added.
The court accepted that Patrick Dowdall would be “caught up” in the aftermath of his son’s decision to turn State witness.
Both men, especially Jonathan, are under the “severest threat level possible” because of his decision to give evidence against Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch in his ongoing trial.