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Shoppers stunned as mystery man showers them with more than £1,000 in banknotes

By Donna Deeney

Speculation is rife over the identity of a man who showered money on shoppers from the top floor of Londonderry's Foyleside shopping centre.

Customers were stunned after around £400 fluttered to the ground on Tuesday.

The same man, who is believed to have given away more than £1,000, then began handing out £10 and £20 notes - all of which were legitimate - to people standing near him, but no one has any idea why.

A bundle of cash landed at the feet of a staff member from Costa Coffee on the ground floor of the centre.

The generous gentleman is also believed to have tried to give a passing young family a large amount of money.

As news of the benevolent stranger filtered across the city, shoppers at Foyleside were yesterday hoping for a repeat performance, while others expressed fears for the man's mental health.

Local woman Sarah Heaney said: "I did hear about that, and I wondered why anyone would do that. It's not like this town is full of millionaires.

"But if he is about today, I hope I run into him - I could pay off the Credit Union."

Another local, Mary McKinney, who was in Foyleside on Tuesday but missed the giveaway, added: "I left the centre around 4pm and I heard the man was here half-an-hour later.

"It is hard to believe someone sane would do that and I hope that the man, whoever he is, doesn't have mental health problems and it wasn't someone else's money he was giving away. I'm glad that I wasn't here at the time. My conscience wouldn't let me keep it anyway, but if it turns out he was just a generous guy, then I will be kicking myself that I missed him."

A spokeswoman for the PSNI confirmed the force was investigating, but added that no crime had been committed.

She said: "At approximately 4.50pm yesterday, Tuesday, July 5, police received a report of a man allegedly throwing money over the railings of a shopping centre in Foyle Street, Derry.

"Enquiries into this incident are ongoing."

No one from Foyleside management was available for comment when approached.

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