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Locals honoured on Queen's Birthday List

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Locals honoured on Queen's Birthday List thumbnailFergal O'Brien awarded an MBE

A NUMBER of people from the area are celebrating after being recognised in the latest Queen's Birthday Honours list.

A Locality Promoting Wellbeing Manager for the Southern Trust, Fergal O'Brien has been awarded with an MBE for his outstanding services to the community through Social Work.

Fergal, a qualified Social Worker started his career in the community sector and has managed a range of community development and health improvement services for the Southern Trust in the Newry and Mourne area.

He has also worked as a Training and Development Consultant for the Trust's Social Services Workforce Development and Training Team, taking a lead role in Community Development and Person Centred planning.

Congratulating Fergal on his MBE, Roberta Brownlee, Chair of the Southern Trust said:

"We are absolutely delighted that Fergal has received this recognition for his years of dedication to improving the wellbeing of our local communities.

Marie Rafferty, meanwhile, has received a BEM (British Empire Medal) for services to the community in Newry and Mourne.

Marie has some 29 years volunteering to her credit, starting off through Newry Volunteer Bureau. She was assigned to the VIP club (Visually Impaired Club), and has been with them ever since.

In addition to that Marie has also volunteered to assist in caring for children with special needs.

And it doesn't stop there. 15 years ago, she began volunteering with Macmillan Cancer Support, and 13 years ago, she volunteered to help with the Special Olympics.

"My sister put me forward and one of the Mothers from Special Olympics," explained Marie

"I'm very grateful. I just didn't expect it - not in my wildest dreams. I only knew six weeks ago and I am thrilled to bits."

Another local recipient of a BEM is Cornelius Peter O'Hare. He is a caretaker with the Southern Regional College, a role he has occupied for the last 12 years.

Con said he was "over the moon about it."

"I am delighted," he said.

"I have been doing a job that I enjoy doing, and I enjoy working with the people here. And it's really the icing on the cake to get an award for doing a job that I really like doing.

"It's very rewarding, you are helping everyone, you are helping the students as well and that makes life very worthwhile.

"I am only 12 years here, I'm a new kid on the block. That's short when you think some of them are here 30 or 40 years."

In the world of sport, there was also good news for Irish Rugby captain Rory Best, with the Acton man receiving an OBE.

Read more about Rory's award, as well his selection as captain for the Lions, on page 55.

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