Belfast Telegraph

106 Northern Ireland people recognised in New Year Honours

By Adrian Rutherford

Eamonn Holmes heads a list of more than 100 people from Northern Ireland recognised in the New Year Honours.

The 58-year-old Belfast-born TV presenter, best known for his long career on breakfast programmes, receives an OBE for services to broadcasting.

William Wright, the founder of Wrightbus, is knighted, as is Denis Desmond, Lord-Lieutenant of Co Londonderry.

Radio personality Linda McAuley and sports pundit Liam Beckett receive MBEs.

The honours also recognise many who have worked tirelessly out of the public spotlight.

They include recipients from the fields of healthcare, education, sport and charity.

In total, 106 people from Northern Ireland are included in today's list.

However, it is Holmes who is the standout name.

The star of GMTV and Sky News's Sunrise, as well as ITV's This Morning, is celebrating 38 years in television.

Eamonn told the Belfast Telegraph: "To me it's a fantastic recognition. It's like being called into the head teacher's office and being given a gold star for course work."

Another broadcaster, Radio Ulster presenter McAuley, is awarded an MBE for services to consumers in Northern Ireland.

She began her BBC broadcasting career in 1978, and for more than two decades has championed the cause of consumers through her radio show, On Your Behalf. She said: "I am overwhelmed to be given this.

"It has been an incredible year and this is just the icing on the cake.

"It's not only a tremendous honour for me personally, it's an acknowledgment of the trust that On Your Behalf has built up with the public over 22 years." Mr Wright, one of Northern Ireland's best known business figures, receives a knighthood.

The bus builder, who celebrated his 90th birthday in September, co-founded the Wrightbus manufacturer in Ballymena, Co Antrim, with his father Robert.

The company has made almost 1,000 of the distinctive double-decker Routemasters for Transport for London, and has exported to international markets including Singapore and Hong Kong.

Mr Desmond CBE becomes Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) - a personal award from the Queen.

Mr Desmond has served as Lord-Lieutenant of Co Londonderry since 2000

Mr Beckett receives an MBE in recognition of his services to sport and the voluntary sector, having served as mechanic and mentor to the late road-racing legend Robert Dunlop.

Three people in Northern Ireland receive a CBE, including Richard English, pro-vice chancellor and professor of politics at Queen's University Belfast.

The eight OBE recipients include Jack Dobson, group executive director at the Dunbia meat group, and Ellvena Graham, who chairs the Northern Ireland Economic Advisory Group.

Among 39 people to receive an MBE are George Black, the Northern Ireland district chairman of the Royal British Legion, and Sandra Moore, the chief executive of the Welcome Organisation, which deals with homelessness.

The 49 people awarded a British Empire Medal include Lucia Quinney Mee who, at 18, is the youngest person named on the entire UK honours list.

Lucia, from Ballycastle in Co Antrim, has been through three liver transplants and is honoured for her work to promote organ donation.

Belfast Telegraph

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