Belfast Telegraph

Who's Who: Great and good from Northern Ireland join ranks of esteemed in new book

 

By Dick Barton and Adrian Rutherford

It's the biographical bible of the great and the good, and profiles many of the world's most famous names.

From presidents to popes, the pages of Who's Who are an encyclopaedia of global influencers.

But among well-known personalities such as Donald Trump, Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama are some comparatively less-heralded names from Northern Ireland.

The 2018 edition of the famous almanac contains 750 new entries, including French President Emmanuel Macron, and 22 have connections to here.

Among them are recently elected MPs Emma Little Pengelly and Barry McElduff, and Professor Paddy Nixon, the vice-chancellor of Ulster University.

A source of biographical data on more than 30,000 influential people from around the world, Who's Who has been published annually since 1849.

Entries include politicians, judges and notable figures from fields such as academia, sport and the arts.

Inclusion in the volume, as its foreword states, does not confer merit, it recognises it. Inclusion is by invitation only.

Nine of the 22 new entries from Northern Ireland are based here, while the other 13 were born here but are living and working elsewhere.

Four newly-elected MPs are added to Who's Who, including Mrs Little Pengelly, who took the South Belfast seat for the DUP in June's General Election, and Mr McElduff, who replaced Pat Doherty as Sinn Fein MP for West Tyrone.

The others are Chris Hazzard and Elisha McCallion, who became Sinn Fein MPs for South Down and Foyle respectively.

At 73, Robert Barnett, the Belfast-based chairman of WR Barnett Ltd, is one of the oldest new entries.

Those from the world of academia include Professor Paddy Nixon, who was appointed UU's new vice-chancellor in July 2015, and Mark McCullough, the Ballymena-born principal of Rainey Endowed School in Magherafelt.

Leo O'Reilly, who is permanent secretary at the Department for Communities, and Howard Platt, the Belfast-based deputy chairman of the Council For Nature Conservation, are also included.

The 13 from Northern Ireland but living or working elsewhere include Lt Gen Richard Cripwell, the Newry-born deputy commander of Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.

The Rt Rev Paul McAleenan, the Belfast-born Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, is added, as is the Rev Dr Philip McCormack, the Bangor-born principal of Spurgeon's College in London.

Ciaran Martin, the Fermanagh-born chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre at GCHQ and Stephen Martin, the Belfast-born director general of the Institute of Directors, are also listed in the new edition.

Stephen Millar, who is from Ballymena and is managing partner of CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP - one of the largest law firms in the world - is named; so too Jonathan Moffett, a Belfast-born QC.

Three other QCs are named - Belfast-born Gerard Boyle, Gareth Patterson from Comber and Steven Snowden, who is originally from Lisburn.

The final three new entries are Belinda Oldfield, the Ballymena-born general manager for Scottish Water's Revenue and Corporate Risk department; Professor Roy Taylor from Carrickfergus, who is professor of Ultrafast Physics and Technology at Imperial College, London; and Jennifer Tolhurst, the Portadown-born Lord-Lieutenant of Essex.

They join the likes of Emmanuel Macron, who is making his first appearance in Who's Who after winning the French presidential election in May. Everyone in Who's Who is invited to compile his or her own entry, so biogs can be as long or as short as they wish.

Award-winning wine writer and TV personality Oz Clarke, who is also makes his debut, needs 41 lines to list his achievements.

The Dalai Lama sums up his life in 20 lines, Pope Francis takes 16 lines while Donald Trump's life is condensed into 22 lines.

All new entries remain in Who's Who until they die, when they will be automatically transferred to its sister publication, Who Was Who.

The 2018 edition of Who's Who is published by A and C Black on Monday, priced £310

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