Editor's Viewpoint: From sporting legends to healthcare heroes and more, we should take pride in our New Year Honours recipients
There is a strong representation from Northern Ireland sport in the New Year Honours list, in which several high-profile local figures are mentioned.
Significantly, there is also a long list of people perhaps less well-known but who are also greatly deserving of their recognition for outstanding contributions to institutions and the community at large.
The appointment of rugby union legend Dr William James McBride - better known as 'Willie John' - as CBE is a fitting award for one of the greats of Ulster, Irish and indeed world rugby.
Many people will also approve of the appointment of Harry Gregg, the outstanding Manchester United and Northern Ireland goalkeeper and hero of the Munich air disaster, as OBE, while Gareth McAuley, one of the stars of the Northern Ireland football team's remarkable success in the European Championships, becomes an MBE.
Rosemary Frances Leech has been appointed MBE for services to policing and the community, and the same award has been given to Heather Carolyn Smart for services to the advancement of women in the Fire and Rescue Service.
The range is further illustrated by the award of an MBE to Imelda Mary McGucken for services to nursing and palliative care in the Charis Cancer Care centre near Cookstown, and Zoe Alexandra Boreland becomes an MBE for her services to midwifery.
The award list covers people from all ages and backgrounds, and special praise is due to Robert Lingwood, a centenarian veteran from the Second World War who receives the BEM for services to the community in Co Tyrone.
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There are many others on the list of deserving recipients.
There has been a great deal of dispiriting news about here and places further afield and overseas in the past 12 months, so it is timely to recognise the people in the current Honours list for their achievements, and to wish them well. We should all feel very proud and grateful to have such people in our midst.