Queen’s Honours: High profile sports stars amongst over 100 NI names

Ulster and Ireland star Rory Best
Ulster and Ireland star Rory Best
  • Ulster an Ireland star Rory Best (OBE)
  • Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis MBE
  • World champion motorcyclist Jonathan Rea (MBE)

TV star Gloria Hunniford and rugby hero Rory Best are among more than 100 people from Northern Ireland to be recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Ms Hunniford has been awarded an OBE for her services to cancer charities through breast screening services and cancer support.

Northern Ireland skipper Steven Davis

Northern Ireland skipper Steven Davis

Ireland rugby captain Rory Best has also been awarded an OBE for his services to the sport, having racked up 104 caps for his country and playing 13 years with Ulster.

The 34-year-old dedicated his honour to the hundreds of people he believes have helped him carve out a distinguished international rugby career.

“I’m just so surprised and humbled; it’s such a massive honour,” he told Press Association Sport.

“To be recognised for contributing to a sport, for someone to feel I’m worthy of being nominated, and then to be deemed worthy, it’s quite incredible,” he added.

World champion motorcyclist Jonathan Rea receives an MBE

World champion motorcyclist Jonathan Rea receives an MBE

A member of the Prison Service was also recognised in the birthday honours. Prison governor Austin Treacy received an OBE for services to reducing re-offending and community safety.

Last year Mr Treacy, who has worked for the Northern Ireland Prison Service for more than 30 years, received the Inspirational Leadership Award at the UK Civil Service Awards held in London.

Among those awarded an MBE are Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis for services to football and motorcycle champion Jonathan Rea for services to the sport.

The principal of Belmont Nursery School in Londonderry, Jennifer Marshall, was also awarded an MBE for services to education.

Police Sergeant Gwyneth Buchanan, who was one of the first officers to specialise in supporting victims of domestic abuse, received an MBE for services to policing and the community.

Ms Buchanan has been a serving officer for 28 years, working closely with the community and voluntary organisations in the Armagh area.

PSNI Detective Chief Superintendent Nigel Forsythe was one of three officers in the region to be awarded a Queen’s Police Medal (QPM).

Mr Forsythe has been a police officer for 28 years and has been influential in enhancing relationships and building community confidence in policing through his work in the investigation of serious crime.