Tributes paid to ‘Mr Ballynahinch’ Vincent Fullam

Tributes paid to ‘Mr Ballynahinch’ Vincent Fullam

12 February 2020

GLOWING tributes have been paid to Ballynahinch man Mr Vincent Fullam who died at the weekend. He was 85.

Awarded the MBE in 2004 for services to the community, he was a man who had the interests of the market town and its people very much at heart.

A retired businessman, he was enthusiastic about every role he undertook to help people and various groups in the town.

Mr Fullam was chairman of Ballynahinch Regeneration Committee for many years and led the campaign for the town’s new bypass. 

He was instrumental in helping deliver Ballynahinch Market House and played a significant role in the drive to secure a permanent home for Drumlins Integrated Primary School.

In addition, Mr Fullam was one of the driving forces in setting up the Ballynahinch, Drumaness and Spa (BDS) Twinning Group which set up a formal link with Lamorlaye, a leafy French suburb just north of Paris.

Mr Fullam also launched the BDS magazine and helped launch Ballynahinch’s International Carriage Driving Festival. He was also a former chairman of the Ballynahinch Beautiful Committee.

A social media post by Drumlins Integrated Primary School said those who knew Mr Fullam will be aware of the great work he did supporting cross-community projects in Ballynahinch over several decades.

“It was a good match when Vincent took over the role of chair of Governors of Drumlins between 2008 and 2016, and he was very active in helping us achieve our new school,” the post continued.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family circle and as a mark of respect we intend on holding a non-uniform day this Friday as a fundraiser for Marie-Curie which is the charity Vincent’s family have nominated for donations in lieu of flowers.”

Francis Casement, a lifelong friend of Mr Fullam and who worked alongside him on various groups, in particular, Ballynahinch Regeneration, described him as “one of life’s gentlemen”.

He said his close friend of 60 years could be summed up in two words — Mr Ballynahinch.

Known to many as ‘Vincey’, Mr Fullam had a beaming smile that would light up any room and his infectious enthusiasm and will to succeed rubbed off on those around him.

“Ballynahinch was his life and the residents of the town where his people,” continued Mr Casement.

“He was a man of great integrity and someone who had time for everyone. If you needed help he would be there for you. Vincent and I go back a long way and over the years I never ceased to be amazed by his energy levels, enthusiasm, commitment to help others and his love for his family.”

Born and reared at the Red Row in Lisburn Street, Mr Fullam had Ballynahinch blood in his veins and was a proud husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather.

Mr Casement continued: ”It did not matter who or what you were, if Vincent Fullam could help you he would. He was very much a cross-community man and was a regular attender at the annual Service of Remembrance in Ballynahinch, laying a wreath at the town’s war memorial.

“He was unique; a one-off and someone who did a lot of work behind the scenes. For many years he was the head of the local branch of St Vincent De Paul, a role that took him across Ireland.”

Mr Casement said his close friend was always generous with his time and over many years spent countless hours at various meetings on a plethora of issues. 

He added: “There was simply nothing that he would not do for you. He was a one-off and his passing is sad loss for his family and Ballynahinch. He will be sadly missed but his legacy will live on.

“Ballynahinch is a poorer place as a result of his passing, but he will be fondly remembered by so many people. I was privileged to be able to call him my friend.”

Rowallane councillor Billy Walker also paid tribute to Mr Fullam and extended his sympathy to his wife Veronica and family circle.

“Vincent was a gentleman and passionate about Ballynahinch and its people. He had tremendous drive and his focus was on improving the town. He worked tirelessly along with others to deliver the Market House which will remain a standing testament to his commitment to Ballynahinch,” he said.

“The delivery of the town’s bypass was something he championed for many years, conscious of the impact it would have on helping kick-start the town’s economic regeneration. How fitting it would be if this scheme is finally delivered in the near future.”

Mr Fullam’s funeral mass takes place today at noon at St Patrick’s Church in Ballynahinch followed by interment in the adjoining cemetery. Donations can be made in lieu of flowers to Marie Curie, c/o Seamus Fitzsimons Funeral Directors, 028 4461 2563.