James Reilly yet to prove he returned excess donations

Fine Gael's deputy leader has been referred to Gardaí over donations received during the 2016 general election.

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

The former health minister is among 66 people referred to Gardaí by the Standards in Public Office Commission, according to its general election report this morning.

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

While personal donations of this amount ARE allowed under donations laws, cash donations are limited to €200 - and Reilly has so far been unable to show that the excess donation was returned.

The Senator and former minister could not be contacted this morning.

The report also outlines the spending by major parties in the election - Fine Gael topped the list spending €€2.7 million, with Fianna Fáil spending €€1.7m, and Labour spending nearly €€1.1 million.

Sinn Féin spent just over €€650,000 on its campaign, while the Anti-Austerity Alliance People Before Profit spent around €267,000, and the Green Party spent €147,000.