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Voluntary sector prevails in New Year Honours List

Nearly half of Northern Ireland people honoured by the Queen in today’s New Year Honours List are recognised for their work in the voluntary and community sector.

A total of 51 people were on the list together with three awarded the Queen’s Police Medal and one the Queen’s Fire Service Medal.

Those from the voluntary and community sector — 22 — made up 43% of the list, and contrary to public perception that civil servants fill the honours list, only seven, 14%, were honoured.

Ten per cent came from the health sector and the same amount from the economic sector. Sport and the arts and media sector made up 6% each.

In a list largely devoid of household names, former rugby international Trevor Ringland is honoured with an MBE for his contribution to community relations.

Former police officer Brian McCargo is made an OBE for his services to sport and to the Special Olympics in Northern Ireland.

He has been a player and administrator to a variety of sports, including GAA, rugby, athletics, soccer and boxing and was the driving force behind the introduction of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympic Games to Northern Ireland made around Ireland by officers of the PSNI and Garda.

The chairman of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Ms Rosemary Kelly, is given an OBE, as is John Lockett who retired as principal of Grosvenor Grammar School in Belfast in the summer.

The only politician recognised is Ballymoney deputy mayor Alderman Cecil Cousley, the leader of the DUP on the council, who was made an MBE for his services to the Boys’ Brigade and his 27 years in local government.

Leading businesswoman Mrs Christine Boyle, managing director of Asphalt Roofing, was also made an MBE for services to women’s enterprises.

She was a founding member of the Women in Business NI Network in 2002 offering support to empower new and established female owned businesses, and has become an important role model for other women thinking of starting or developing a business.

Hong Kong born lay magistrate Ping-ka Andrew Wong is made an MBE for his services to the Chinese community in Northern Ireland.

Dr Robert Grindle — known throughout the UK as composer, author, teacher, conductor and organist — is also made an MBE.

The Permanent Secretary at the Northern Ireland Office, Jonathan Phillips, was given a knighthood in the London Honours List.

The highest honour given in Northern Ireland was the CBE which went to four people: Dr John Jenkins, consultant paediatrician at the Waveney and Antrim Hospitals; John MacQuarrie, who until recently was the Deputy Ombudsman at the Office of the Assembly Ombudsman; Leslie Murray, chairman of Tidy Northern Ireland; and Anthony Watson, chairman of the Strategic Investment Board.

First Minister Peter Robinson and Northern Ireland Secretary of State Shaun Woodward praised those included in the New Year’s list.

Mr Robinson said: “These honours reflect the dedication and service given to our society by so many individuals and are a fitting reward for their sterling efforts.

“I would like to take this opportunity to extend my congratulations to all those from Northern Ireland who have been included in Her Majesty’s New Year Honours list.”

Mr Woodward last night stated: “These awards recognise and publicly acknowledge the efforts and significant contributions made by so many people here in Northern Ireland in building a better future.

“Among those receiving awards today are people who have given remarkable service in many areas of our community.

“I extend my warmest congratulations to each and everyone who has received their well deserved honour today.”

Belfast Telegraph

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