Ulster Unionist representatives from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon District Council (ABC Council) and Ulster Unionist MLA for Upper Bann Doug Beattie MC MLA, have paid tribute to Dean Wright, the Managing Director of Ballylisk of Armagh, who passed away on Saturday.
Councillor Kyle Savage, who is the Deputy Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon District Council, said:
“I want to pass on my sympathy to Dean's Family. Dean was a passionate and proud advocate of his business, Ballylisk of Armagh and I had the pleasure of visiting them on many occasions.
“He was a beacon for the ABC Council area food heartland and won many awards for his fantastic cheese. He was passionate about local food and helping our local food industry.
“Dean was never slow in helping others out and his company supplied me with Christmas food hampers which in turn I gave out to local community groups. Dean contacted me at the start of lockdown about a cheese order that was cancelled and wanted me to help him deliver it to a local foodbank Via Wings as he didn't want it going to waste. The value of this was £2000 and he took that loss to help those in need. That was the measure of the man.
“Hardly a week went past that we didn't have at least a conversation when we spoke about many things, least of all putting the world to rights about farming, local food and opportunities for business. Dean was an inspiration to many people and helped many people involved within the local artisan food industry. Dean will be sadly missed by his family and by his many friends. My thoughts and prayers are with them all including Chloe and the rest of the staff at his business.”
Ulster Unionist MLA for Upper Bann, Doug Beattie MC MLA, said:
“Dean`s passing is terrible news. It was only Friday week ago that he joined a business meeting the Ulster Unionist Party were hosting to discuss the Protocol. He was a passionate and articulate advocate for his business, outlining both the difficulties and opportunities as he saw them.
“My thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.”
Alderman Jim Speers MBE said:
“Yesterday morning I received the devastating news regarding the death of local farmer and businessman Dean Wright. This is an absolute tragedy for the family, local community and the entire farming and food sector within Northern Ireland.
“Having known Dean, along with his mum and dad and the entire family circle for all my adult life, they are a very hardworking and respected family. I extend my deepest heartfelt sympathy to the entire family at this difficult time.”