The New Year and Birthday Honours Lists are always controversial because many people cannot work out why some individuals are honoured, while other apparently deserving folk are not.
It must be said, however, that the vast majority of the awards to people for their public service, charity work and individual achievements are well-deserved.
Nevertheless the current New Year honours are particularly controversial in Northern Ireland because they do not award a single athlete here despite the outstanding achievements of several individuals in the London Olympics and Paralympics.
The arguments for not doing so are unconvincing. It is said that an award should not go to anyone who fails to win Olympic gold, but there was an award for Louis Smith who won a gymnastics silver medal.
Surely if he can be awarded, why not our Coleraine oarsmen Richard and Peter Chambers who won a silver in one of the most gruelling contests of the entire Olympics? It would have made sense, if nothing else, to keep some parity with the awards to England, Scotland and Wales, in this sad saga of missed opportunities.
The other spurious argument is that awards are not given to our athletes because some people here decided to compete for Team Ireland. That argument fails to recognise that people from Northern Ireland who competed for Team GB were eligible for recognition in the Honours List.
Perhaps our Northern Ireland competitors were overlooked because we are the United Kingdom's second-class citizens and that people of influence in London and elsewhere could not care less about us.
Even our Stormont Executive failed to arrange a proper home-coming celebration for all our Olympic and Paralympic athletes in the form of a street parade or reception where the public could show its support. Not so the Dublin Government, which was quick to honour its athletes - including some from Northern Ireland - in this way.
Nevertheless, even if our local athletes deserve to have greater recognition from London and Stormont, their achievements will continue to be honoured by the ordinary people, where they matter most of all.