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Retired Newry man Jerome Mullen awarded Poland's highest civilian honour

Retired Newry businessman Jerome Mullen has been Poland's Honorary Consul in Northern Ireland since 2008. Picture by Peter Makem

A RETIRED businessman from Newry has been awarded Poland's highest civilian honour.

Jerome Mullen, who has been Honorary Consul of Poland in Northern Ireland since 2008, received the Gold Cross of Merit award from Dariusz Adler, the country's Consul General in Edinburgh.

Mr Adler made the presentation on behalf of the Polish President, Andrzej Duda, at a ceremony in Belfast at the weekend.

President Duda awarded the Gold Cross of Merit to Mr Mullen for his "outstanding service over the past eight years to Poland and the Polish community living in Northern Ireland."

It is the first time anyone from Northern Ireland has received the award, which was created in 1923 as Poland's highest recognition to those who "went beyond the call of duty in their work for the country and society as a whole."

The award ceremony took place as Poland marked its independence day celebrations, 98 years after it regained its sovereignty at the end of World War I following 123 years of partition by several empires.

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