Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: From sporting legends to healthcare heroes and more, we should take pride in our New Year Honours recipients

Harry Gregg, former Manchester United goalkeeping legend- OBE for services to Football. (Paul Faith/PA)
Harry Gregg, former Manchester United goalkeeping legend- OBE for services to Football. (Paul Faith/PA)
Willie John McBride- CBE for services to Rugby Union. Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy/BLL
Heather Smart, Northern Irelands first female Firefighter- MBE for services to the advancement of women in the fire and rescue service.
Gareth McAuley, Northern Ireland defender- MBE for services to Football in Northern Ireland. Nick Potts/PA Wire.
Crusaders Manager Stephen Baxter- BEM for services to Football in Northern Ireland. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
UUP MLA Andy Allen- MBE for services to veterans and their families in Northern Ireland. (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Professor Anne Carlisle, vice chancellor of Falmouth University, has been appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of her services to Higher Education and the regional economy.
Adrian McAllister, Deputy Chief Constable, Lancashire Constabulary. OBE for services to policing, criminal justice and child protection.
Finlay Spratt, chairman of the Prison Officers Association- MBE for public service and charity
PSNI Inspector Rosie Leech- MBE for services to Policing and the Community in Northern Ireland. Credit: PA
Brian Ingram, Director of the Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre near Bangor- OBE for services to vulnerable children and adults in custody. Niall Carson/PA.
PSNI Superintendent Brian Kee- Queen's Police Medal (QPM). Credit: PSNI

Editor's Viewpoint

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.

Belfast Telegraph

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