Jim Nesbitt, ex-principal of the former Lisnamurrican Primary School and dad of actor James Nesbitt, has died

Mr Nesbitt was once principal of the former Lisnamurrican Primary School, pictured recently. Picture: Ballymena Daily.

AN ex-principal of the former Lisnamurrican Primary School near Broughshane Jim Nesbitt – father of well-known actor James Nesbitt – has died.

Mr Nesbitt (right) is pictured with Coleraine Chairman Colin McKendry.


Mr Nesbitt (91) was headmaster for a number of years at Lisnamurrican and his family once lived in a house at the school – in the shadows of Slemish – which has been closed for several years.

Mr Nesbitt later moved to the north coast area.

Actor James Nesbitt


On Friday, James 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.

“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.”

Ballymena Young Conquerors Concert Flute Band said: ‘It was with great sadness that band members learned this morning of the passing of James Nesbitt.

‘Jim joined the band over 70 years ago, and at one time 5 of the Nesbitt brothers were members.

‘He taught many beginners how to play the flute, and later acted as assistant conductor. He also arranged items for the band’s music library.

‘On retiring from playing he maintained his interest in the band, becoming an honorary member and Vice President.

‘He was the main sponsor for the band’s annual concert in 2018. He was a wonderful bandsman, and will be very much missed by all his friends in Ballymena. Sincere condolences to Margaret, Kathryn, Andrea, James and all the grandchildren and great grandchildren.’

Coleraine FC paid tribute to Mr Nesbitt who was a keen supporter of the Bannsiders.

Coleraine Chairman Colin McKendry said Mr Nesbitt “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.”

Mr McKendry said that not only was Mr Nesbitt “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 following notice appeared on the Funeral Times website:

‘NESBITT – 14th 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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