Friday 18 October 2019

Hampton's ashes interred in Belfast cemetery

William E Hampton
William E Hampton

Paul Sheridan

The Englishman who left £1.4m (€1.65m) to Sinn Fein had his ashes interred in west Belfast, it has emerged.

Sinn Fein received the windfall in the will of a party supporter living in Wales.

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The bequest was made by William E Hampton and paid in two instalments of £1m and £500,000 in April and May.

The contribution is the largest donation given to a political party in Northern Ireland.

Mr Hampton, who was not married and had no children, left some money to friends and acquaintances, but the main beneficiary of his will was the Irish republican party.

It is understood he spent some time living in Ireland and was a long-time supporter of the party before his death on January 11, 2018, at his home in Pembrokeshire, Wales, at the age of 82.

Mr Hampton's headstone is in Hannahstown Cemetery, as reported by The Irish News.

It reads: "True friend of Ireland. Remembered by his friends and comrades in Sinn Fein".

It is understood that an interment ceremony took place last year and was attended by senior members of the party.

The Traditional Unionist Voice leader Jim Allister has written to the National Crime Agency over the donation. He has asked for the agency to investigate the donation.

Last week, the Sunday Independent revealed that a neighbour of Mr Hampton believed that the reclusive millionaire was forced to leave Ireland over an incident which he believed involved criminal activity.

Don Joyce, a good friend of Mr Hampton, said that his pal, whom he knew as Billy, was vague on details, when he spoke to his neighbour, but had given the clear impression that he was "under threat" and had no choice but to leave Ireland.

"He was definitely threatened, he had to get out of Ireland quick," Mr Joyce said.

Sunday Independent

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