Sinn Féin's links to ‘cultural societies' probed several years ago

Sinn Féin's links to cultural societies were probed by the Assembly Commission. Picture by Paul Faith, Press Association

SINN Féin has come under the spotlight for its links to 'cultural societies' in recent years.

The party paid rent to three different cultural societies for offices - including for former deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness's office.

Sinn Féin members including Mr McGuinness and Mid-Ulster MP Francie Molloy had been accused of paying thousands of pounds in rent to societies that could not be shown to exist.

Concerns were first highlighted in 2014 when a BBC Spotlight programme could not establish what the societies were or who was behind them.

The Charity Commission investigated one of the societies - South Derry Cultural and Heritage Society. Following the probe, the commission said last year it was satisfied the society was a charity and complied with the law.

The Assembly Commission also investigated the claims.

It later cleared Sinn Féin of wrongdoing over claims for rent payments to three Co Tyrone cultural societies.


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