Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein's McDonald refuses to say if party will give any of donor's money to charity

Controversy: William Hampton
Controversy: William Hampton

By Philip Ryan

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald will not commit to making a charity donation with any of the £4m her party received from a reclusive English millionaire who had mental health difficulties.

Ms McDonald refused to comment on William Hampton's mental wellbeing and got his name wrong when asked how her party would spend the biggest political donation in the island's history.

It emerged last night on RTE's Prime Time show that Mr Hampton, who was suffering from schizo-affective disorder at the time of his death, donated more than twice the originally estimated £2m to Sinn Fein. Asked if she thought it would be appropriate for her party to make a substantial donation to a mental health charity, Ms McDonald said: "Firstly, I don't think it's appropriate for you or anybody else to comment on Mr Hamilton's mental health.

"Secondly, I didn't actually see the documentary. I was up in North Belfast and was travelling back. We have an election, as you know, in the North.

"And thirdly, the donations received have been made in full compliance with the law and regulation and they will be expended in full compliance with the law and regulation."

Prime Time showed how Sinn Fein's lawyers were still discovering bank accounts owned by Mr Hampton which held substantial amounts of money, meaning that the final donation could in be in excess of the current estimate of £4m.

Mr Hampton's death certificate revealed the elderly English man had a condition which can cause delusions, hallucinations and depression before he died.

He also spent some time in a mental health facility and is thought to have mutilated himself.

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