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Major Northern Ireland philanthropist dies

Major Northern Ireland philanthropist dies
McClay Foundation

Prominent Northern industrialist and philanthropist Sir Allen McClay, 80, has died in America where he had gone for medical treatment.

Last year Sir Allen set up the McClay Foundation to unite industry and academia. Over a number of years he supported a range of scientific and medial causes.

The forerunner of the McClay Foundation, the McClay Trust donated some £20 million to charitable causes, including £10 million to the new Queen’s University Library.

Queen’s received significant other support from Mr McClay, with a former Queens chancellor describing him as the most generous supporter of Queens in the university’s history.

The McClay Foundation and Sir Allen last year became sole shareholders of the Craigavon-based Almac Group, which has a turnover of £167 million.

He is survived by his wife Heather, whom he married in hospital the US in November last year.


Paul Artherton has a BA (Hons) Degree from Queen’s University and a MA Degree in Journalism from Pennsylvania State University. He has worked in PR and fundraising for over 27 years. Previously assistant director for fundraising and public relations at the Simon Community Northern Ireland for seven years, for the last 17 years he has run his own fundraising consultancy business specialising in fundraising, sponsorship, public relations and recruitment. His clients have included charities, private sector and public bodies. Examples include the Ulster Cancer Foundation, Simon Communities of Ireland, NI Hospice, North and West Belfast Health and Social Services Trust, Aiken Promotions, the Industrial Development Board and the Ulster Museum. He has lectured on voluntary sector management at Queens University Belfast Institute for Continuing Education. Since 2010 Paul has been a lay member of the NI Charity Tribunal.

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