James Reilly among 66 people referred to gardaí over election donations

The standards watchdog he has yet to prove he returned an excess donation

James Reilly among 66 people referred to gardaí over election donations

Former health minister - now Senator - James Reilly, pictued in 2011 | Image: RollingNews.ie

The deputy leader of Fine Gael has been referred to An Garda Síochana over donations he received during the 2016 general election.

The Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) has sent 66 files to the gardaí in relation to the possible breaching of laws around elections.

The standards watchdog says James Reilly has yet to prove he has returned an excess donation.

Mr Reilly is among 66 people referred to gardaí by SIPO, according to its general election report.

He accepted €1,000 in cash donations from a donor in his home town of Lusk during the campaign last February.

A Fine Gael spokesman said Mr Reilly will issue a statement later.

While personal donations of €1,000 are allowed, cash donations are limited to €200 - and Mr Reilly has so far been unable to show that the excess donation was returned.

The report also outlines the spending by major parties in the election.

Fine Gael topped the list spending €2.7m, with Fianna Fáil spending €1.7m and Labour spending nearly €1.1m.

Sinn Féin spent just over €650,000 on its campaign, while the Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit spent just over €5,000.