NI golfer McDowell among New Year Honours recipients

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Graeme McDowell
Image caption,
Graeme McDowell has been made an MBE

Fifty-five people from Northern Ireland have been named in the Queen's New Year Honours list.

Portrush golfer Graeme McDowell is amongst those made an MBE, in his case for services to golf.

Bruce Robinson the head of the NI Civil Service has been made a knight, while Brian Ambrose, the chief executive of Belfast City Airport becomes an OBE.

The BBC's Mark Carruthers was also appointed an OBE for services to drama in Northern Ireland.

Also honoured was Dr Peter Fitzgerald, CBE, managing director of County Antrim-based Randox Laboratories, for services to business in Northern Ireland.

"I was very surprised I have to say when I opened the letter," said Mark Carruthers, who chairs the board of the Lyric Theatre, which is being rebuilt in south Belfast.

"We've had to raise a lot of money - over £18m from scratch, and design and build a new theatre which will open in May.

"It's a big team effort, but I think that's what gives me the greatest pleasure in all of this.

"This honour, I suppose, is recognition that what we've been doing at the Lyric is important and is going to make a difference to a lot of people."

Belfast City Airport's Brian Ambrose said: "I feel deeply privileged and wish to pay tribute to my family and colleagues.

"Over the last 35 years I've had the opportunity to work with some amazingly dedicated people within the aviation sector.

"This honour is a reflection on the achievements of those people, especially at Belfast City Airport."

Portglenone GP, Dr Brian Patterson, a former chairman of the British Medical Association in Northern Ireland, has been made an OBE for services to healthcare.

Dr Paul Darragh, the current chairman, said: "The contribution that Brian Patterson has made to the health service in Northern Ireland has been immense, through both his dedication as a GP for over 30 years and in his contribution to the British Medical Association.

"He has been instrumental in raising and campaigning for many issues on behalf of doctors and patients alike, working with no less than 18 health ministers."

Three police officers receive the Queen's Police Medal - Det Con Linda Baird, Det Ch Supt Tim Hanley and Insp Paul Hannigan.

The area commander of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, Brian McClintock, receives the Queen's Fire Service Medal.