Electoral Act, 1997


Donations and Election Expenses at Presidential Election

Interpretation (Part VI).

46.—(1) In this Part—

“person” shall include an individual, a body corporate and an unincorporated body of persons (including a political party) and a body corporate and any subsidiary thereof shall be deemed to be one person;

“political party” means a political party registered in the Register of Political Parties in accordance with section 25 of the Act of 1992 as a party organised to contest a Dáil election or a European election or a local election or all or any combination of such elections.

(2) For the purposes of this Part—

(a) “donation” means any contribution given by any person to a candidate at a presidential election for the purpose of promoting the election of the candidate at the presidential election, and includes all or any of the following, namely—

(i) a donation of money,

(ii) a donation of property or goods,

(iii) conferring the right to use, without payment or other consideration, indefinitely or for a specified period of time, any property or goods,

(iv) the supply of services without payment or other consideration therefor,

(v) the difference between the commercial price and the price charged for the purchase, acquisition or use of property or goods, or the supply of any service where the price, fee or other consideration is less than the commercial price, or

(vi) in the case of a contribution made by a person in connection with an event organised for the purpose of raising funds for a candidate at a presidential election, the proportion attributable to that contribution of the net profit, if any, deriving from the event;

(b) each of the following shall be deemed not to be a donation—

(i) free postage provided for a candidate under section 32 of the Act of 1993,

(ii) any payment, service or facility provided to a candidate out of public funds or moneys provided by an institution of the European Communities or other intergovernmental organisation to which the State is a party (whether pursuant to this Act, the Presidential Establishment Acts, 1938 to 1991, the Oireachtas (Allowances to Members) Acts, 1938 to 1996, the Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices Acts, 1938 to 1996, the European Assembly (Irish Representatives) Act, 1979 , or otherwise) by virtue of being a former or the retiring President, a member of either House of the Oireachtas, the holder of a qualifying office (within the meaning of the Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices Acts, 1938 to 1996), the holder of a position referred to in the Oireachtas (Allowances to Members) (Amendment) Act, 1994, a representative in the European Parliament, the holder of an elective or other public office or a member of, delegate to or representative in a body established by or under an agreement or arrangement to which the State is a party,

(iii) benefits derived from services rendered by an individual on behalf of a candidate at a presidential election, including the use of the individual's motor vehicle, where the said service is gratuitous and is not part of that individual's work carried out under a contract of employment or, where the person is self employed, in the course of the person's business or the practice of the person's profession,

(iv) the publication in a newspaper, magazine or other periodical publication or the broadcast on radio or television of news, reports, articles, features, editorial or other comments, including the publication of letters to the editor, where such publication or broadcast is effected in the same manner as that of other material relating to issues of public interest or concern, and the newspaper, magazine or other periodical publication is not published for the purpose of promoting the interests of a candidate at a presidential election,

(v) the transmission on radio or television free of charge of a broadcast on behalf of a candidate;

(c) a donation, whether made directly or through any intermediary, shall be deemed to be made to a candidate at a presidential election if it is made to the candidate concerned or to any agent or other person acting for the said candidate and any reference to a donation or the acceptance thereof shall be construed accordingly;

(d) where a person makes more than one donation to the same candidate in relation to the same presidential election, all such donations shall, for the purposes of section 48 , be aggregated and treated as a single donation.