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Last Updated: Friday, 31 December, 2004, 00:12 GMT
Knighthood for Rea in honours
Professor Desmond Rea
Professor Desmond Rea is the Policing Board chairman
A wide range of people from Northern Ireland have been included in the Queen's New Year Honours List, from figures in public life to those whose work goes largely unnoticed.

There were 41 people included in the list, while three PSNI officers are to receive the Queen's Police Medal.

Out of the Northern Ireland-based recipients in this year's list, Professor Desmond Rea's knighthood was the highest honour.

Professor Rea is chairman of the Northern Ireland Policing Board which handles some of the most sensitive issues facing policing and holds PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde and his senior officers to account.

A successful businessman, Professor Rea's involvement in the public sector began 25 years ago when he was appointed to the board of the Fair Employment Agency.

He was professor of human resources management at the University of Ulster until 1995 and chairman of the Labour Relations Agency from 1996 until 2002.

Two senior police officers involved in the Omagh bombing investigation have also been honoured.

Assistant Chief Constable Sam Kinkaid, who is overseeing the investigation, received the OBE, while Detective Chief Superintendent Norman Baxter, who oversees the day-to-day inquiries, received the Queen's Police Medal.

Sam Kinkaid
ACC Sam Kinkaid is head of the 22m bank robbery probe
Mr Kinkaid joined the RUC in 1980 after graduating with first class honours in Law from Queen's University, Belfast.

He is also in charge of the investigation into the 22m bank robbery in Belfast earlier this month.

In the world of business, Michael Ryan of Shorts has received a CBE.

Mr Ryan is vice president and general manager of the Canadian-owned aerospace firm's Northern Ireland operation.

He also works to promote community business initiatives, including the West Belfast and Greater Shankill Employers' Forum.

Mr Ryan said the award was a "great honour for himself and his family, and reflects the achievement of the whole Bombardier team in Northern Ireland".


Veteran journalist John Devine has been honoured with an OBE upon his retirement after 50 years.

He was northern editor of the Irish Independent for the last 22 years and has recently been elected as the new chairman of Citizens Advice in Northern Ireland.

Honoured with an MBE for services to education, Dromore woman Margretta Campbell has worked as a lollipop lady for 34 years.

She is now escorting children and even grandchildren of some of the first pupils she helped across the road on their way to and from school.

Mary Hillis and Emily Johnston, who both work as cleaners for hygiene contractors Maybin, have also been honoured with MBEs for their services to the community in Belfast.

Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy congratulated the award recipients.

"Awards, such as these, are a very real and tangible way to acknowledge the efforts of people from different backgrounds, who in many cases work tirelessly in their communities, building a better future for everyone," he said.


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