Sad News

By Ballyclare High School on 20 April, 2020


The Ballyclare High School Community announces with sadness the passing of the former Head of Music Mr Roy McKay on the 9th April in Crewe, Cheshire. Mr McKay had relocated to England a short time ago to be close to his daughter Jennifer and son-in-law David.

Time of service in BHS to come on Monday.

Mr McKay was an extremely talented and accomplished pianist who was renowned for inspiring his pupils at all stages of the development of their musical abilities.  Instrumental music was his real passion and he led the school orchestra and instrumentalists through a period in which the school was renowned across the province for its operas, carol services, concerts and individual grade examinations.  Roy was also an organist of repute leading services of worship in St Enoch’s at Carlisle Circus Belfast, Whiteabbey Presbyterian and locally in Ballyeaston.

His colleagues remember him as an excellent teacher who possessed a great sense of humour. This made him very easy to work with unless you compromised his music practices!!! He was as meticulous in his planning as he was in his attire, which acquired him the sobriquet of ‘dapper’.  When playing snooker with his peers in school he was infamous for his knowledge of the rules which were often deployed to his advantage and caused great merriment amongst the staff.

He inspired many of his pupils to achieve great things in the world of music with one prodigy, former Head Boy Joe McKee, emerging as one of the leading lights in musical matters throughout Northern Ireland.

A family man, Roy and his wife Hannah were devoted to one another and shared a passion for serving music and others. They were extremely proud of their daughter Jennifer who also attended Ballyclare High. Roy continued to live in Rathmena after Hannah’s death before, in very recent times, moving to be closer to his daughter.

He will be remembered with affection by all who knew him and sadly missed.