Sinn Féin receives another €930,500 from the will of deceased English man

Sinn Féin receives another €930,500 from the will of deceased English man
Sinn Fein’s leader Mary Lou McDonald (left) with Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill, speaks at Stormont Parliament Buildings. (Niall Carson/PA)

Sinn Féin has received a further £800,000 (€930,552) from the will of an English man who died in Wales in 2018.

Billy Hampton has now left the party almost £3m (€3.5m).

The former mechanic, who was not married and had no children, left some money to friends and acquaintances, but the main beneficiary of the will was Sinn Féin.

The money came in instalments of £1.5m (€1.75m) announced in September 2019, followed by about £500,000 (€581,515) later that year.

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

In 2019, Sinn Féin president Mary-Lou McDonald paid tribute to Mr Hampton as a “rebel with a cause”.

His ashes were buried in west Belfast.

In the most recent round of figures on political party donations published by the Electoral Commission, the latest £800,000 in cash is recorded as having been accepted by Sinn Féin on February 10.

Memorial to William Edward Hampton, at Saint Joseph’s Church, Hannahstown Cemetery in West Belfast. Mr Hampton, known as Billy, has bequeathed almost £3 million to Sinn Fein.

In total, six political parties registered in Northern Ireland reported accepting £1,070,999 (€1,245,379.06) in donations and public funds in the first quarter of 2021.

Sinn Fein accepted £880,295 (€1,023,608) while the Alliance Party accepted £29,564 (€34,376) in donations, the DUP accepted £78,115 (€90,837), the Green Party accepted £12,173 (€14,156), the SDLP accepted £47,958 (€55,770) and the UUP accepted £22,894 (€26,623).

Cahir Hughes, Head of the Electoral Commission in Northern Ireland, said the data was published to give voters important information on how parties in Northern Ireland are being funded, in order to enhance public confidence and trust in democratic processes.

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