Brendan Mullin, is Charged, but Innocent, until Proven Guilty; Dowdall the Gangland Thug, is in Jail and convicted. Mary Lou, Give the Blood Money, at least make a Donation to an Inner City Youth Project. Show the People, of Dublin City, Where you Stand, on Gangland Crime, and just Donate the Dowdall Money?

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Tánaiste Leo Varadkar says Simon Coveney does not have to give back €2,000 donation from ex-rugby star Brendan Mullin

 24th November 2022

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney does not have to give back a €2,000 donation from ex-rugby star Brendan Mullin.

Mr Mullin is accused of stealing over €500,000 from Bank of Ireland.

He is due to is due to stand trial on nine charges of theft, five charges of false accounting and one charge of deception, all relating to Bank of Ireland, Mespil Road, Dublin, on dates between July 2011 and March 2013. Mr Mullin has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Records show Mr Mullin donated €2,000 to Mr Coveney in 2010.

A spokesperson for Mr Coveney refused to say if he will give the money to charity.

Fine Gael has repeatedly called for Sinn Féin and Mary Lou McDonald to give a €1,000 donation she received from convicted criminal Jonathan Dowdall to either the Criminal Assets Bureau or a charity that helps victims of crime.

Mr Varadkar has said the difference between the two situations is that Mr Dowdall is convicted and served jail-time.

“I believe in the rule of law and I believe in people getting a fair trial and I believe in the assumption of innocence until somebody is convicted,” he said.

“But I think when somebody is convicted of a serious crime, particularly in a serious crime that results in jail time, that is significant. That is the reason why many people in my party have called on Mary Lou McDonald, to return that money.

“It was money that she received in the form of a personal donation from somebody who’s been convicted for involvement in serious organised crime.”

He said Ms McDonald should donate the money to group representing victims of organised crime or a charity tackling addiction issues.

“We believe it would be appropriate for her to make a donation to a victims’ group or perhaps donate that money to addiction service for example,” Mr Varadkar said.

“And of course we apply the same standards to our own reps, as we would expect of others.

“But there is a difference between somebody being actually convicted of a crime, given a prison sentence and somebody who is accused and is yet to stand trial.”

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