Fianna Fáil Senator for Dublin Central, Mary Fitzpatrick, has said she is deeply concerned by reports in the Irish Independent this morning that Sinn Féin provided party members with fake ID badges and instructions on how to misrepresent themselves as pollsters to survey households before and during elections.

Senator Fitzpatrick commented, “I was astounded to read this morning that Sinn Féin activists were given detailed instructions on how to pose as researchers working for a polling company to covertly question voters.

“I am of the view that any other political party would quite rightly be held to account if they were found to be using a similar strategy and Sinn Féin should be no different.

“This of course is not the first time that Sinn Féin have deceived the public. I have previously expressed grave concern regarding Sinn Féin’s Abú system, a national voter database. This database is something no other political party holds, it is a database which the state does not hold and I find it troubling that Sinn Féin has created such an information source without the knowledge or permission of those voters.

“It has also transpired that this database was created without the existence of a data protection officer which is required under data protection regulation. They must be held to account for their actions, enough is enough.

“Furthermore, I have written to the Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee (JOC) on Housing, Local Government and Heritage, to request he ask the Committee of Procedure and Privileges (CPP) to review the testimony given by Deputy Eoin O’Broin on behalf of Sinn Féin in relation to Sinn Féin’s use of voters personal data, the electoral register, on-line political advertising and Sinn Féin’s database Abú.

“I believe that it was wrong of Deputy O’Broin to attempt to act as both a witness and member of the JOC and inappropriate that he sought to question other witnesses to the Committee.

“It appears to me that Deputy O’Broin acted in a manner unbecoming of the JOC, deliberately misled the Joint Oireachtas Committee and both undermined and disrespected the work of the JOC.

“I found his actions to be entirely unacceptable and I feel Deputy O’Broin should withdraw from the JOC until the CPP completes a review and issues findings in relation to his behaviour, ” concluded Senator Fitzpatrick.