Updated: 17/01/17 : 05:24:58
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Election spends reveal costs of getting into Dáil

By Eugene McGloin
Political Editor

THE AVERAGE cost ''on the ground'' for each of our four successful TDs in last year's election was close on €18,000.

That was the money spent locally by each of the four elected TDs in the general election of February 2016.

But each candidate also assigned expenses to his party at national level for various items.

John Perry, the defeated outgoing Fine Gael TD, spent just €11,734 locally on his campaign.

His biggest local spend was on posters and cable ties, at just under €5,000.

Facebook Spender

Fine Gael's Tony McLoughlin showed the lowest ''local'' spend, through his office, of any elected TD, at €12,459.

But the outgoing Sligo TD -- and John Perry -- each assigned €22,885 of costs to Fine Gael at national level during the campaign.

The figures are contained in the recent release of data by the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) for the 2016 general election.

Tony McLoughlin also appeared to be the highest spender on Facebook.

His statutory return declared that over €3,000 of his advertising spend of €6,249 was allocated to Facebook advertising.

Slim Photography

In contrast, his declared spend on photography was slim during the election was just €37 -- the exact same sum spent by John Perry.

The declared ''local'' spends by each of the elected TDs in 2016 is as follows:-

Tony McLoughlin.               €12,459
Eamon Scanlon.                  €14,390
Martin Kenny.                      €14,111
Marc MacSharry.                €29,791.

Fianna Fáil spent heavily on locally advertising its two candidates, Marc MacSharry and Eamon Scanlon, in an area where it held NO seat.

Figures provided to SIPO show that MacSharry spent €12,392 on advertising with a further €8,167 on posters and promotion.

Scanlon spent €7,287 on adverts, €5,320 on posters and €1,537 on other promotions.

Fencing Posts

Sinn Fein's Martin Kenny spent €3,915 on adverts, with €4,626 allocated for posters and fencing posts.

He also declared spending of a further €4,827 on other adverts and promotions.

That latter figure is likely to have included canvass cards.

Election Workers

Fianna Fail's Marc MacSharry spent €4,169 on the cards used door to door and in shopping centres.

His party colleague Scanlon showed €100 charge for 'Fianna Fáil' canvass cards.

Tony McLoughlin showed expenditure of just €608 on his own canvass cards.

The MacSharry campaign was the only one to show a spend on food for election workers and volunteers, with €2,014 declared during the campaign.

Sticking with just ''local'' costs for each of the four successful candidates, it cost an average of €17,688 to make it to the Dail.

Details of spending by all candidates in both Dail and Seanad elections last year has now been published online on the SIPO website.