Deceased dairy businessman Dean Wright was ‘a young man who was passionate and inspirational’

The death of a Co Armagh dairy businessman has deprived his industry of a “passionate and proud” man who served as an inspiration to others.

By Adam Kula
Sunday, 21st February 2021, 1:15 pm
Updated Sunday, 21st February 2021, 1:48 pm
Dean Wright
Dean Wright

That is the message from the Ulster Unionist Party today, upon learning of the passing of Dean Wright of Ballylisk foods, which produced milk, cream, and popular brie-type cheeses Triple Rose and Single Rose.

It is believed that Mr Wright was aged 48 when he met his untimely death, and that he was a father.

The firm is based in the Portadown area, and a message on Tandragee’s Mullavilly Church of Ireland Parish Facebook page said “our church and community were plunged into grief following the death of a young man... there were no words that could have brought comfort into that situation”.

It quoted Psalm 23: “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

And a statement within the last hour from UUP councillor Kyle Savage, the deputy lord mayor of the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon dirstrict, said: “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 £2,000 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.”

And Alderman Jim Speers MBE added: “Yesterday morning [Saturday] 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.”

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