Northern Ireland

New Year Honours 2018: Knighthood for bus company founder

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Media captionSome well-known faces are honoured, while others not in the spotlight are also recognised

The founder of a multi-million pound bus company is among more than 100 people in Northern Ireland who feature on the Queen's New Year Honours list.

William Wright of bus-maker Wrightbus has been awarded a knighthood.

His County Antrim company is a major player on the international stage.

He also has strong links to Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption William Wright of bus-maker Wrightbus has been awarded a knighthood.

In 2015, he signed general election nomination papers for the successful DUP candidate in North Antrim, Ian Paisley.

The same year, the DUP used a Wrightbus-built double-decker at its manifesto launch as a backdrop to speeches and photo opportunities.

He has also publically backed Brexit. He was recognised for his services to the economy and the bus industry.

Senior civil servant Nick Perry was made a Companion of the Order of Bath. He has been recognised for his services to the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland.

Mr Perry came to media attention in 2014 when it became clear that he was aware of the On the Runs scheme but could not disclose it because of strict civil service rules.

Image caption Nick Perry is honoured for his services to Northern Ireland's criminal justice system

The On the Runs scheme was set up by the previous Labour government in the years following the Good Friday Agreement and was administered by the Northern Ireland Office.

The aim was to deal with cases of republicans who were suspected of IRA terrorism, but who were never charged or convicted of related offences.

Three people in Northern Ireland received CBEs.

They were Prof Norman Black for services to higher education, Prof Richard English, Queen's University Belfast, for services to the understanding of modern-day terrorism and Andrew Hamilton for services to government and to charity.

Among those celebrating an MBE is Michael Moss who was general manager of Portstewart Golf Club for over 30 years. He retired last year after taking on the role of Tournament Director of the Irish Open.

Image copyright Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Image caption Liam Beckett was awarded an MBE

Liam Beckett a sports pundit and sometime Santa sit-out star in Ballymoney also receives an MBE for his services to the voluntary sector and sport.

Haji Mohammad Yaqub Joya was recognised for services to the Army and the Muslim community in Northern Ireland whilst Ivy Agnes Lee received an MBE for her contribution to girl guiding.

Journalists are also honoured on the list.

BBC Radio Ulster presenter Linda McAuley received an MBE for her services to consumers.

It is the second award that the journalist who fronts Radio Ulster's On Your Behalf has received this year.

Image caption Linda McAuley said the honour was "the ultimate accolade"

She was inducted into the IMRO Radio Hall of Fame in September. She has hosted the programme for the past 22 years.

"I am so grateful to my producers and all the people I've worked with over the years, and to the listeners who've been a huge part of my radio career which has spanned over 40 years," she said.

"For the last 22 years I've presented On Your Behalf on BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio Foyle and meeting, helping and educating consumers has been an honour in itself. To be mentioned in the New Year Honours List is the ultimate accolade."

Presenter Eamonn Holmes who is originally from Belfast said that receiving his OBE was like "getting a gold star for your homework".

The 58-year-old "king of breakfast television" has been recognised for his services to broadcasting.

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Image caption Eamonn Holmes said it was like getting a gold star

It is a "wonderful accolade", he said.

A Samaritans volunteer in Belfast has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year honours list.

Dawn Parkinson, 53, said: "It was just as well that I was sitting down when I got the phone call!

"I feel really honoured and properly proud, not just for me but for my family, work colleagues and all the volunteers at the Belfast branch of Samaritans."

She is also involved in providing emotional support to prisoners in Belfast's Hydebank Wood prison, which houses both women and young offenders, including prisoners on remand.

"We let prisoners know about Samaritans and how we are non-judgmental. When you're cut off from your family and locked up, the myriad of problems we can all face are ten times worse. I feel a real empathy with that," she said.

Lucia Mee from Ballycastle in Country Antrim is the youngest person on the New Year honours list.

The 18-year-old has been awarded a BEM for her work in raising awareness of organ donation.

And John Madden, principal of, Roddensvale Special School has been awarded a BEM for services to the community in Larne, County Antrim.

Here is the full list of Northern Ireland recipients:


William Thompson Wright

Order of the Bath

Nicholas Proctor Perry

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

Prof Norman David Black

Prof Richard Ludlow English

Andrew Melvin Hamilton

Order of the British Empire (OBE)

David Alexander Canning

Robert John (Jack) Dobson

Ellvena Graham

Eamonn Holmes

Olive Mary Maybin

Grace Foster Nesbitt

William John Priestley

Rhona Mary Quinn

Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Elizabeth Rachel Atkinson

Philip Andrew Batt

William Alexander Beckett

Robert George Black

Jayne Brady

Cynthia Louise Hart Cherry

Mary Barbara Collen

George Edward Colligan

Christine Rosemary Collins

Michael John Doherty

Michael William Graham

Ruth Graham

Florence Harper

Jonathan Heggarty

Kenneth Malcolm Hewitt

John Martin Hughes

Elizabeth Anne Johnston

Haji Mohammad Yaqub Joya

Ivy Agnes Lee

Margaret Patricia Martin

Linda Jane McAuley

Thomas Adrian McAuley

Thomas Celestine McBride

Hazel Roberta McCready

Det Con Garry Millar

Henry Joseph Moore

Sandra Moore

Michael Cecil Moss

Alison Moth

Kenneth John Nelson

David George Openshaw

Prof Gerard Patrick Parr

Stephen Philip Prenter

Margaret Ann Shields

Jeffrey Douglas Reginald Smith

Anne Amelia Manson Wallace

Verena Lesley Wallace

William John Allen Watson

Jacqueline Frances Williamson

Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM)

Thomas Allen

Peter Baillie

Jack Alexander Erwin Beattie

James Bell

Margaret Cahoon

Gayle Luett Carson

Samuel Frederick Erskine (Ricky) Caruth

Stephen Chapman

Jonathan Victor Cooke

Dawn Ruth Davis

Elizabeth Gabrielle Deans

David Denvir

Theresa Mary Douglas

Hazel Valerie Drummond

Thomas Wallace Elder

James Andrew Emery

Robert Fisher

William James Keith Fleming

Mary Bernadette Glass

Philip Colin Kyle

John Madden

Norman Mawhinney

Margaret Patricia McDonald

Barbara McKinley

Selma Anne McMullan

Jeanette McMurray

Iris Phoebe McSwigin

Lucia Quinney Mee

William David Alexander Mitchell

Rachel Morrison

Peter Francis Mulligan

Elizabeth Mary (Elma) Nelson

Ernest O'Hara

Rebekah Mary Olphert

Hugh Raymond Phillips

Avril Pollock

Samuel Pollock

Patrick Joseph Prunty

Robert Ramsey

Mary Gertrude Robinson

Robert John Savage

Thomas Richard Scott

Daryl Jon Simpson

Amy Margaret Smyton

Susan Spence

Eileen Thelma Strange

Robert James Hamilton Thornberry

Lillian Thornton

John Samuel Wilson

Queen's Police Medal (QPM)

Supt Alywin John Barton

Det Insp Jeremy Thomas McFarland

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