Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Telegraph awards should inspire a Hall of Fame

THE Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards are a wonderful celebration of achievement and everything that is positive about Northern Ireland. These honours celebrate, specifically, our wonderful sportsmen and women, but, of course, we also have people achieving at the very highest level in business, the arts, entertainment, public service and the military as well.

Tony McCoy was a deserved winner of the Sports Star of the Year award and there are countless other sportspeople of whom we should all be very proud: Mickey Harte, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame, Martyn Irvine, our world-champion cyclist, the skier Kelly Gallagher, archer Patrick Huston, the Irish women's rugby team and, of course, the many uncelebrated people who put in so much time and effort behind the scenes.

It would be great if our politicians could work together to create a permanent Hall of Fame to mark Northern Irish achievement.

Not just sports stars, but also our world-famous actors and poets, like Liam Neeson and Seamus Heaney, our towering industrialists and inventors, like Harry Ferguson and Frank Pantridge, musicians, like Van Morrison, and soldiers, like Blair Mayne.

We should celebrate the positive impact that people from here have made on the world. Not only to tell a more hopeful story about our society to visitors, but also to inspire young people and prove just how much potential we have.

TREVOR RINGLAND

Co-chair, NI Conservatives