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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Sad news of the passing of Wrightbus founder Sir William Wright

Much respected Ballymena man Sir William Wright has passed away in the early hours of this morning, Sunday 24 July. It is understood Sir William had been unwell over the last few months.

The local businessman, aged in his 90’s, rose to prominence by transforming his family business (Robert Wright & Son), which was started in a tin shed in 1946 by William’s father, Robert, into one of the best-known bus manufacturers in the UK, Wrightbus.

Tributes have been paid this morning to Sir William, who many describe as ‘one of life’s gentlemen’.

MP for North Antrim, Ian Paisley said:

“With the passing of Sir William Wright, Ballymena has lost a giant.

“A Godly man of faith. A loyal Ulsterman. An entrepreneur without match. We will not see his like again.

“I wish to extend to Lady Wright and to all the family my and my families and our party’s sincerest condolences for their loss. Sir William was a giant character.

“He was one of the last true captains of industry and commerce and a man who has left his mark, not just locally but globally. Wherever there is engineering or manufacturing or sales of buses his genius will be remembered.

“I have had the honour of knowing him and his family for decades. He was both a political and business leader.

“He cared passionately about the employment and skills training of local people. He loved Northern Ireland and he was dedicated in everything that he did.

“When in his presence you knew you were with someone remarkable. He had that X factor that, so few possess. But those who have it make a difference to all around. Northern Ireland was so fortunate to have him as a son.

“To his immediate and extended family. They can take courage in his faith, which was strong. His witness purposeful. At their time of great loss, they know many people across the entire country will be praying for them.”

North Antrim MLA, Paul Frew commented:

“Sorry to hear news that Sir William Wright has passed away, my thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time.

“I value the times I worked with William, he was a respected member of the Economic Development Committee that I chaired and he gave so much to Northern Ireland.”


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