Northern Ireland

Queen’s University Vice-Chancellor ‘humbled’ to be knighted in Birthday Honours

Sir Ian Greer, Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, has been knighted in the King’s Birthday Honours (QUB/PA)
Sir Ian Greer, Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, has been knighted in the King’s Birthday Honours (QUB/PA) Sir Ian Greer, Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, has been knighted in the King’s Birthday Honours (QUB/PA)

The Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, Ian Greer, has said he is “deeply humbled” to be knighted in the King’s first Birthday Honours.

Sir Ian said it was a proud day both for himself and for the university, which recently hosted a major conference to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

He has been recognised for services to education and the economy in Northern Ireland.

Jonny Evans
Jonny Evans Northern Ireland’s Jonny Evans was also honoured (Brian Lawless/PA)

The honours list also includes Peter Sheridan, the former senior PSNI officer who now heads up the peace-building organisation Co-operation Ireland, who is made a CBE.

Singer Peter Corry as well as Northern Ireland international footballer Jonny Evans are made MBEs.

Victims’ campaigner Margaret McGuckin also becomes an MBE.

The role that Hillsborough Castle played as the focal point of Northern Ireland commemorations following the death of the Queen last year is also recognised.

Laura McCorry, head of the castle, as well as head gardener Claire Woods, will become MBEs.

Sir Ian said he hoped his knighthood would be accepted by his colleagues as recognition of all their efforts in the university.

Earlier this year, the Vice-Chancellor hosted a number of world leaders, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and former US president Bill Clinton, at the university’s Agreement 25 event, marking a quarter of a century since Northern Ireland’s historic peace agreement.

Sir Ian Greer said he was deeply humbled to be knighted (QUB/PA)

Sir Ian said: “I am deeply humbled to receive the honour of Knight Bachelor in the King’s Honours list and I wish to thank everyone who sent me messages of best wishes and congratulations.

“While I am the personal recipient, I consider this to be an accolade that reflects on a much wider group of people.

“I have been fortunate to have been surrounded by great colleagues, family and friends, over many years and this is a recognition of all their efforts and support to me, I am very grateful to them all.

“Since 2018, I have had the privilege of being part of the team at Queen’s University Belfast, one of Northern Ireland’s most influential institutions, which is recognised internationally as a world class seat of learning and research.

“Being the Vice-Chancellor is the privilege of a lifetime. I am extremely proud of our staff and our students and their many achievements, which continue to make such a positive contribution to our economy, our people and our place.”

Sir Ian added: “Today is a proud day for me and my family, but it is also one that I hope will be accepted by my colleagues as recognition of their efforts.”

He was appointed Vice-Chancellor in August 2018 and in September last year he was confirmed for a second term.

As well as his role as Vice-Chancellor, he is regarded as a leading researcher in the field of obstetric medicine and as a clinician in managing thrombosis in pregnancy.

Co-operation Ireland chief Mr Sheridan said he was “surprised and honoured” to be made a CBE for services to peace-building.

He said: “I am proud in terms of the work of Co-operation Ireland since 1979 and all of the people who have been engaged in it and the people that we work with.

“I think this is an acknowledgement of all the work that has gone on.”

Mr Corry said being made an MBE is a testament to the power of music.

He said: “It is a tremendous honour to be recognised for my work in the entertainment industry, and it is a career that I have truly loved these last 30 years and one that I look forward to enjoying for many years to come.

“This recognition is not only a personal milestone but also a testament to the power of music and its ability to bring joy, inspiration, and unity to people’s lives.”

Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry – Northern Ireland
Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry – Northern Ireland Margaret McGuckin told of her shock at being made an MBE (Liam McBurney/PA)

Ms McGuckin, a leading campaigner for victims of historical institutional abuse, was shocked to be made an MBE.

She said: “I just laughed. I laughed, I was in shock, of course I was in shock,” she said.

“I wasn’t intending or wanting to be honoured in any way… and to see that I was, I was speechless, and I’m not often speechless.”

Ms McCorry, head of Hillsborough Castle, said becoming an MBE marked the part that the whole castle team had played in a number of historic occasions in the past year.

She said: “I’m very grateful to receive this honour, which reflects the hard work of everyone in my team.”