Belfast Telegraph

McIlroy finds honour 'humbling'

Golf prodigy Rory McIlroy has said he was humbled after becoming an MBE aged just 22.

The youngest US Open champion for 88 years was celebrating on holiday after receiving the award for services to sport - capping a spectacular year for the Northern Ireland player.

Fellow countryman and golfer Darren Clarke joined him on the honours list with an OBE.

McIlroy said: "I am delighted to be named in the Queen's New Year Honours List. It is quite humbling to be included in such a list of worthy recipients. Many people on the honours list have made huge personal sacrifices and contributed significantly to society during their lives. I feel very fortunate to be in their company."

The golfer from Holywood, Co Down, recovered from a final round meltdown at the US Masters to win the US Open two months later. He is the son of barman Gerry and was given his first set of clubs aged two.

He joins Clarke, who triumphed at this year's British Open at the age of 42, on the list. Clarke, Dungannon in Co Tyrone, said: "It is a great honour and a fantastic way to end a great year. I am very proud for me and my family."

A total of 55 people from Northern Ireland were awarded honours. The youngest was McIlroy, the oldest Robina Parkes, 92, awarded an MBE for community fund raising. Also on the Northern Ireland honours list were Professor Judith Hill, DBE for services to people receiving palliative care. She is chief executive of the Northern Ireland Hospice.

Professor Jack Crane, state pathologist for Northern Ireland, was awarded the CBE for services to forensic pathology. He has played a key role in the development of national standards and a code of practice for the profession. He has lectured extensively on terrorist violence.

David Best, director of finance at the Police Service of Northern Ireland, was awarded the OBE for services to policing, along with Joanne Stuart, former chair of the Institute of Directors. Agnes Reilly, chair of the Belfast Titanic Society, was made an MBE.

Samuel Burnside was made an MBE for services to the arts while Jeffrey Dudgeon was made an MBE for services to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and retired trade unionist Lily Kerr was awarded an MBE for services to industrial relations.

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