Memorial written by Eamon McFadden after his death in April 2021.
Remembering the man
The community of Creeslough came to a standstill on Easter Sunday as they gathered to say a final farewell to Ben McFadden, late of Ards. Ben passed away peacefully on Holy Thursday after his recent illness that he bore with great dignity and courage. He was only 66.
He was remembered as a dedicated family man, musician, historian, and community activist who had a deep passion for enhancing his locality and lending a helping hand at every opportunity.
Requiem Mass in St Michael’s Church was celebrated by Fr. John Joe Duffy and concelebrated by Fr. Martin Doohan, Dunfanaghy, Fr. Pat McGarvey, Fanavolty, Fr. Philip Baxter, Guardian and Fr. Flann Lynch Ards Friary along Fr. Seamus Murphy, Creeslough
Family man and community Advocate
Fr Duffy stated Ben was “a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle. A loyal and faithful friend.” He added that Ben was a lifelong advocate of community development and that it was fitting that his death was announced on RTE’s Nationwide programme on Good Friday when they aired an episode featuring Ben and other members of the Creeslough Community Association that was recorded back in March 2021. The show featured all the great work that has been done by the community association that he spearheaded and local businesses in recent years to help make the area more vibrant for everyone, visitors and locals alike.
Family life was hugely important to Ben and he loved to make sure they were always in touch. He even spent extended visits to Australia to be close to his children and grandchildren, which he enjoyed very much.
His upbring in Ards
His love of music started at an early age and won 1st place at the Feis in the Creeslough Hall in 1968, organised by Sarah McCaffery and that gave him the confidence to continue on with it. As a teenager he played alongside Seamus Harkin.
He went to secondary school in the Tech in Gortahork and went on to serve an electrical apprenticeship with the late Dom Johnston and among his first role was to wire the newly built St Michael’s Church in Creeslough 50 years ago and like all the workers who took part his name is etched on the glass by the main church door, a fact of which he was very proud of.
He met and married wife Berndette, née Dorrian, from Fanad when she worked in the Portnablagh Hotel 49 years ago and had four children.
In 2020 Ben was award the Volunteer Appreciation Award by Creeslough Community as a gesture of thanks for his great work within the community. From Christmas lights to wiring the St. Michael’s GAA clubhouse. He also organised walk tours of Ards Friary which brought to life the history of the local area.
Ben could play both the guitar and Keyboard and wrote many songs. Listen to Ben’s songs. Local electrician Ben wrote several songs and launched his CD called A little piece of Heaven in 2012 . He wrote the Muckish song and A little piece of Heaven about Ards. He also wrote a song remembering those who perished on the Owencarrow Train disaster sung by Ailish McBride in 2021 at the unveiling of the Owencarrow Memorial.