McIlroy, Clarke among 55 NI people on Queen's honours list

Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke are receiving awards

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Golf stars Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke are among 55 people from Northern Ireland who have been named on the Queen's New Year's Honours List.

US Open champion McIlroy was celebrating on holiday after receiving an MBE for services to sport. It caps a spectacular year for the 22-year-old.

Open winner Darren Clarke joins him on the list with an OBE.

"It is quite humbling to be included in such a list of worthy recipients," said McIlroy.

"Many people on the honours list have made huge personal sacrifices and contributed significantly to society during their lives.

"I feel very fortunate to be in their company."

'Very privileged'

Thirty two men and 23 women from Northern Ireland were awarded honours. The youngest was McIlroy, the oldest Robina Parkes, 92, awarded an MBE for community fund raising.

Many of this year's honours - which come as the UK gears up for the Olympic Games - go to leading sporting figures.

Darren Clarke triumphed at this year's Open at the age of 42.

"It is a great honour and a fantastic way to end a great year. I am very proud for me and my family," he said.

"Unfortunately my golf since the Open hasn't been too special but at this time of the year when you go to awards dinners, it sinks in what you have managed to achieve.

Lily Kerr Retired trade unionist Lily Kerr was made an MBE for services to industrial relations

"The OBE is certainly a massive honour for me and I feel very privileged to have been given (it)."

Jeffrey Dudgeon was made an MBE for services to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

In 1981, the gay rights campaigner brought a successful legal challenge which forced the UK government to decriminalise gay sex in Northern Ireland.

Recognition

"I feel very warmed by it," Mr Dudgeon said.

The Honours System

Commonly awarded ranks.

  • Knight or Dame Grand Cross
  • Knights Bachelor/Dame Commander
  • CBE - Commander of the Order of the British Empire
  • OBE - Officer of the Order of the British Empire
  • MBE - Member of the Order of the British Empire

"It an award for me and my achievements but it's also an award for the community and a recognition of its equal status in society which has been 35 years in the making."

Also on the Northern Ireland honours list were Professor Judith Hill, who was made a dame for services to people receiving palliative care. She is chief executive of the Northern Ireland Hospice.

Professor Jack Crane, state pathologist for Northern Ireland, was awarded the CBE for services to forensic pathology.

He has played a key role in the development of national standards and a code of practice for the profession. He has lectured extensively on terrorist violence.

Dr Raman Kapur, consultant clinical psychologist and chief executive of mental health charity Threshold, was made an MBE.

David Best, director of finance at the Police Service of Northern Ireland, was awarded the OBE for services to policing. He manages the force's £1.2bn budget and helped implement change linked to the Patten report.

Joanne Stuart, former chair of the Institute of Directors, was made an OBE for services to business in the community. She advocated the cause of integrated education and was said to have worked tirelessly to promote the importance of business to the wider community.

Dr Raman Kapur Dr Raman Kapur was given an MBE for services to mental health

Samuel Burnside was made an MBE for services to the arts. He helped create the Verbal Arts Centre in Londonderry.

Retired trade unionist Lily Kerr was awarded an MBE for services to industrial relations.

Agnes Reilly, chair of the Belfast Titanic Society, was made an MBE for services to maritime and industrial heritage. Next year is the centenary of the liner's sinking in the North Atlantic.

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