'I was honoured' - Fr Brian D’Arcy awarded OBE at Buckingham Palace by Prince William
Fr Brian D’Arcy was awarded an OBE on Tuesday by Prince William in a prestigious ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
The priest was joined by two of his sisters and a brother in law at the private ceremony in London.
An OBE is the second highest ranking Order of the British Empire award. It acknowledges contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations and public service.
The priest was recognised for his services to cross-community relations in Northern Ireland.
He said that Prince William spoke to each recipient of the award for about two minutes about their work without notes to hand.
“He chatted about my work and he was anxious to know if the situation in Northern Ireland was changing and he had hope for the future,” Fr D’Arcy said.
“He was very nice and in good form, with all the difficulties going on.
“The ceremony had a good-feel factor and it wasn’t political, it was about recognising the good work of the recipients, all of which I felt were far more worthy than me to receive the OBE,” he added.
He said that he received a tour of the palace afterwards.
“The ceremony was about an hour and a half and there was a reception afterwards. We were shown around the palace and it was great to see it, it’s not something that you’ll see very often.
“I was very honoured to receive the award and it was a very pleasant, warm day. It was about all of the good work and the good deeds of others and not about politics, but about recognising the good work and the progression of the community,” he added.
Fr D’Arcy, who lives in Fermanagh and will soon be serving as a priest for half a century, added that he was going to celebrate with a fish and chip dinner this evening in London.
“I’m off for a meal with my family now, fish and chips will do me and if the craic is good, there might even be a small steak,” he laughed.