Tuesday 17 September 2019

Sinn Fein leader praises donor who gave £1.5m as ‘rebel with a cause’

Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald said Billy Hampton ‘clearly shared our goals’.

By Aine McMahon PA

Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald says the English man who left £1.5 million to the party in his will was a “rebel with a cause.”

Billy Hampton who died last year in Wales aged 82, was living in a mobile home when he made a will leaving the substantial gift to Sinn Fein.

It is understood to be the largest ever known donation to a political party in Northern Ireland.

I can only say Billy was a rebel, a rebel with a cause. He clearly shared our goals Mary Lou McDonald

Ms McDonald said the money was bequeathed to Sinn Fein “within all of the rules and regulations and will be spent within the rules and regulations”.

“I did not know Billy Hampton but judging from people who did know him he considered this to be a very robust statement against the political establishment.

“He obviously saw in Sinn Fein an organisation that is full square for Irish unity, for progress and for peace and prosperity in Ireland but also a party that stands full square against the political establishment,” Ms McDonald added.

“I can only say Billy was a rebel, a rebel with a cause. He clearly shared our goals.”

Ms McDonald said it would be “inappropriate to comment” on whether Mr Hampton had mental health issues.

She was speaking at the party’s annual away-day in Dundalk, Co Louth.

PA Media

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