Figures from sport, education, business and charity honoured in Queen Elizabeth's birthday honours list

Ireland's Rory Best is to receive an OBE for services to the sport. Picture by Brian Lawless/PA

FIGURES from the world of sport, education, business and charity in Northern Ireland have all been honoured in Queen Elizabeth's birthday honours list.

Ireland rugby captain Rory Best receives an OBE for services to the sport while Northern Ireland football captain Steven Davis was given an MBE.

The 32-year-old from Ballymena said he "totally honoured" to be recognised for services to football.

Pioneering cardiologist Professor Mahendra Varma has been awarded an OBE for his services to cardiology.

His many achievements include the pioneering use of clot-busting drugs in the community, which is vital in rural areas where getting to a hospital is difficult. He also played a pivotal role the restructuring of the health and social care system in the South West and the creation of an acute modern hospital in Enniskillen.

Other OBE recipients include Colm Davis, principal of Tor Bank School in east Belfast, for his services to children with special needs, as well as Elizabeth Mitchell of the Institute of Public Health for her services to public health.

Former chief electoral officer Graham Shields receives an OBE for his services to electoral democracy, while Michael Cecil will receive the same award for his services to community development on Rathlin Island.

Three CBE recipients include Professor Norma Dawson of Queen's University, Belfast for her services to legal education and the development of the legal profession in the north, John Cunningham of engineering company, Camlin Ltd for his services to the business community and Bernard McCaughey, director of rehabilitation at the Prison Service for public service.

Among those to receive an MBE are Pastor Jack McKee of New Life City Church in Belfast, who is being honoured for his services to the community in the Shankill and Falls area as well as a former Irish swimming international and retired special school teacher from Moira.

June Logan has been honoured in recognition of a lifetime of voluntary service to disability sport, dedicating her spare time to organising sports opportunities for children and adults with learning disabilities.

Four PSNI officers are to receive honours, including Sergeant Gwyneth Buchanan, who has been awarded the MBE for services to policing and the community.

A serving police officer for 28 years, she was one of the first officers to specialise in supporting victims of domestic abuse through the criminal justice process.


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