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James Nesbitt Snr, former principal of Lisnamurrican PS, and father of ‘Jimmy’ Nesbitt, has died

Father and son | James Nesbitt Snr with son ‘Jimmy’

James Nesbitt, father of well-known actor Jimmy Nesbitt, and an ex-principal of the former Lisnamurrican Primary School, has died.

In a statement obtained by PA, Jimmy Nesbitt said:

“Dad wasn’t only a wonderful parent, he was my inspirational teacher and a good friend. ‘Generations of primary school children in rural Northern Ireland were taught a love of literature, arts, music, science and sport thanks to dad. ‘As well as being a brilliant teacher he was a passionate Coleraine football fan.

“One of my most cherished memories is of being with him to watch Coleraine lift the Irish Cup two years ago at which dad was presented with Skinner Bradley’s winning medal.

Actor Jimmy Nesbitt

Jimmy continued: “He leaves behind a family who will miss him more than words can say and I speak for myself, and my sisters Margaret, Kathryn and Andrea, when I say that he was a truly great man, and a wonderful father, grandfather and great-grandfather.”

Mr Nesbitt has lived for many years in the Ballymena area with his wife May, and children Margaret, Kathryn, Andrea and James. In more recent years the family had moved home and settled on

the north coast.

Jim was a dedicated and passionate lifelong supporter of his beloved Coleraine FC. The club paid tribute to the popular figure on Friday.

Coleraine Chairman Colin McKendry with James Nesbitt Snr

Speaking about the sad news, Coleraine Chairman Colin McKendry said:

“James got to know the players personally and travelled on the team bus to many of our big matches, including the Irish Cup win in 2018.

“Unfortunately he wasn’t able to go to many matches recently due to ill health but I’m sure he would have been proud of our efforts last season.

“Not only was James a fantastic supporter, but he was also a great sponsor and we are indebted to him.

“We would like to extend our condolences to the family circle on behalf of everyone associated with Coleraine Football Club.”

The Funeral Times published details of Mr Nesbitt’s death this afternoon:

‘NESBITT – 14 August 2020, peacefully at Hospital, Jim, 18 Castle Walk, Castlerock. Dearly loved husband of the late May, dear father of Margaret, Kathryn, Andrea and James, father-in-law of Gordon, Chris and Sonia, grandfather of Michael, Andrew, Charlotte, Rachel, Catherine, Anna, Peggy, Lizzie and Mary and great-grandfather of Aila, Annie and Patrick.

‘Family prayers outside 18 Castle Walk on Monday at 11.30am (all welcome, please social distance). Those wishing to pay their respects along the route the cortege will proceed to Downhill Burying Ground.

‘Family flowers only please. Donations if wished by making cheques payable to Alzheimers Society or Diabetes NI c/o Ms Charlene Wade, 3 Upper Abbey Street, Coleraine, BT52 1BF. Lovingly remembered by all his family’.

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