Judith Gillespie leads Northern Ireland Queen's Birthday honours list

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Media captionJudith Gillespie served with the PSNI for more than 30 years

Former police deputy chief constable Judith Gillespie leads the list of Northern Ireland names on this year's Queen's Birthday honours list.

The former PSNI chief officer, who retired at the end of March, has been awarded a CBE for her services to policing and the community.

Bangor skier Kelly Gallagher, who won Britain's first ever Paralympic winter games gold medal, will receive an MBE.

In all, 95 people from NI have been awarded honours.

Image copyright Danny Lawson
Image caption Paralympic gold medallist Kelly Gallagher, and her guide Charlotte Evans, have both received MBEs

Ms Gillespie, who is originally from north Belfast, had been a police officer for more than 30 years.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be appointed a Chief Officer (Assistant Chief Constable) in the history of Northern Ireland policing.

She became Deputy Chief Constable in 2009.

'Honoured beyond honour'

Among those awarded OBEs are Howard Hastings, for services to tourism and hospitality, and Neil Morton, principal of Portora Royal School in Enniskillen.

Mr Hastings, chief executive of the Hastings Hotel group, said the award was a "great recognition for the tourism and hospitality sector".

Mr Morton said he was "honoured beyond honour".

"Coming to Portora has to be the highlight of my career, and that has extended for 12 years now.

"It's an absolutely outstanding school, it serves a wonderful community, the students are first rate and my colleagues, those who teach, many of them are much more deserving of any honour than I am because of their commitment to their subjects, their pupils and their communities."

'Surreal'

Visually impaired skier Gallagher said the honour was at the same level as winning gold last year.

Her guide, Charlotte Evans, will also receive an MBE.

The 29-year-old said: "It's absolutely surreal. It's the most beautiful honour that could be bestowed on Charlotte and I.

"It's something really special for the two of us to share and be awarded. I'm so delighted."

She added: "I'm so surprised nobody else has found out about it, because normally I can't keep a secret. The only people who knew were my mum and Charlotte."

Others to receive MBEs include Eveleigh Brownlow, president of Portaferry and District Lifeboat Guild, and Councillor Sammy Brush, for services to the community.

Cllr Brush has served on Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council for 21 years.

Joe Hyland, chief executive of Belfast's SOS Bus, and John Tully, chief executive of last year's World Police and Fire Games, have also received MBEs along with an air-traffic controller at City of Derry Airport, David Reeves, and Deirdre Breen, branch manager at Lurgan Library.

Chef and broadcaster Jenny Bristow has been awarded a British Empire Medal and said it was a "wonderful surprise".

"It's really special to me," she said. "Over the years what started as a career of just simply cooking and showing people how to cook simple good food, now in Northern Ireland is addressing so many issues, such as obesity and all the fabulous food that we have here.

"To have this endorsement on top of that work, that's just really very special and I'm just so excited."

Four PSNI officers have been awarded the Queen's Police Medal, while Robert Orr, the area manager for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, has received the Queens's Ambulance Medal.

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