Belfast Telegraph

Paralympic star Bethany Firth collects MBE

By Cate McCurry

Northern Ireland's Paralympic gold medal winning swimmer Bethany Firth beams with pride as she displays her MBE at Buckingham Palace.

The swimming sensation was honoured with the MBE during a ceremony yesterday.

Four-time gold medal winner Bethany, from Co Down, has competed for both Great Britain and Ireland since 2012, taking part in the London Paralympic Games, Rio Paralympic Games and the Commonwealth Games.

Bethany, from Seaforde, was the most decorated Paralympian at the Rio games, winning three gold and one silver medal in swimming.

Her first gold was at the 2012 Games in London.

The 21-year-old was awarded her MBE by the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace in London.

Prince William and Bethany spoke briefly while she shook hands with him on being honoured.

Tweeting after the ceremony, she said: "Got my MBE today. Thank you to everyone's love and support."

She was among 105 people from Northern Ireland to have been recognised in the Queen's New Year Honours in January.

The Co Down girl joined former Spice Girl turned fashion designer Victoria Beckham and sporting star Jessica Ennis who were awarded an OBE and CBE respectively.

Others from Northern Ireland included football boss Michael O'Neill, who was also awarded an MBE and former Prison Service director Sue McAllister, who received Companions of the Order of the Bath.

Also included in the honours list are police officers, charity workers, teachers and people working within businesses.

Belfast Telegraph

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