Far-right Síol na hÉireann registered as private company and may be breaching fundraising laws

A photo of Síol na hÉireann members and their leader, Niall McConnell, outside Cork city library.

Far-right group Síol na hÉireann may be in violation of rules governing acceptance of donations for political purposes. The Beacon has also discovered that although Síol na hÉireann is not registered as a political party, it is registered as a private company.

It’s also been learned that complaints have been made to the gardaí about the group’s fundraising efforts.

Share capital

In documents seen by The Beacon, the group officially registered as a private company in January of this year under the name Siol Na H’Eireann Limited with an address in Drumcondra. Its director, who is also the group’s leader, is Niall McConnell. Documents also state that the secretary of the company is Rose McElvanna. 

In his submission to the Companies Registration Office (CRO), McConnell describes Siol Na H’Eireann Limited as creating videos, petitions, and posting news articles. According to the incorporation application form, Siol Na H’Eireann Limited has authorised share capital of €100,000.

McConnell issued himself €100 worth of shares, thereby limiting any potential financial liability to that amount.

Violations

According to the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO), McConnell’s group may be in violation of its rules governing what’s known as third parties. A spokesperson for SIPO told The Beacon that they “cannot comment on individual compliance matters”. 

But they pointed out the Ethics in Public Office Acts, the Electoral Act, Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices)(Amendment) Act 2014, and the Regulation of Lobbying Act make it clear that 

any individual or organisation (other than a candidate, political party or elected official) who or which accepts a donation given for political purposes over the threshold of €100 must register as a third party, and must open a political donations account into which all donations must be lodged.

What’s more, if an entity is not registered as a political party but is accepting donations for political purposes, it “may have the obligation to register as a third party if the donation threshold is met”. And it’s “the acceptance [of donations] that triggers the requirement to register” as a third party. 

Official complaints

The spokesperson also divulged that failing to register as a third party “is an offence”. SIPO, they said, “oversees compliance” with the legislation, as well as carrying out “any necessary inquiries”. But where it believes there has been a violation of the regulations, “it may refer the matter to the Director for Public Prosecutions”.

McConnell and his group regularly solicit donations online and in person. He has also claimed that Síol na hÉireann is a political party.  

A number of complaints have already been made to the gardaí about Síol na hÉireann, The Beacon has learned. The complaints allege that the group has been illegally fundraising as it is not a registered charity or political party.

A request for comment from the gardaí about the complaints has so far gone unanswered.

Confrontation

Last week members of the Cork branch of the Connolly Youth Movement (CYM) confronted Síol na hÉireann supporters in Cork. In video uploaded to Facebook, a Síol na hÉireann defender could be heard threatening the CYM members.

McConnell and his group promote the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory and push an anti-immigration, pro-Christian agenda. Earlier in the year he told a meeting in the EU Parliament that the “Zionist elite” are importing “jihadi Islamists” into Europe as part of a war on nationalists like him.

Featured image via YouTube – Screenshot


Donate or Subscribe to The Beacon today!

Donate button with Credit Cards