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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 December 2007, 17:24 GMT
O'Loan made dame in honours list
Nuala O'Loan
Nuala O'Loan has been made a Dame
Former Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan has been made a Dame by the Queen in the New Year Honours.

Mrs O'Loan stepped down as ombudsman in November after seven years.

She pioneered the role, aimed at providing an independent complaints service for the public about the conduct of the police.

Paying tribute to her staff, she said the honour was "like an affirmation of seven years very, very hard work".

"I think in a way too, it's a tribute to all those who helped me," she said.

"Particularly I want to thank my husband, Declan, our boys, and all my staff.

Dozens of people from across Northern Ireland society have been named in the new year's list.

Two Northern Ireland men have received knighthoods.

Dr Patrick Haren, the deputy chairman of the Viridian Group, has been awarded a Knights Bachelor for services to the electricity industry.

Sir Patrick became chief executive of Northern Ireland Electricity in 1992 and steered the company through its privatisation and a period of huge change.

Nigel Hamilton, the head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, has been made a Knights Commander of the Bath (KCB).

Eileen Bell
The Alliance Party's Eileen Bell received a CBE

Sir Nigel said: "This is the stuff of dreams.

"As well as giving me and my family a great deal of personal satisfaction, I see this as recognition of what the civil service has achieved in Northern Ireland."

Tony Blair's former spokesman Tom Kelly has been awarded a CB.

Mr Kelly, a former journalist for BBC Northern Ireland and director of communications at the Northern Ireland Office, worked at Downing Street from 2001 until Mr Blair stood down earlier this year.

"Working in government can be both difficult and tough but it is also an immense honour and privilege and that was certainly true of my time both working on the peace process in Northern Ireland and in Downing Street," Mr Kelly said.

The former assembly speaker of the assembly, Eileen Bell of the Alliance Party, has been awarded a CBE.

Ronnie McFall
Portadown manager Ronnie McFall is honoured

Another local politician named on the list is Ulster Unionist Fred Cobain.

The North Belfast assembly member has been made an MBE for public service in Northern Ireland.

Among the sporting figures to receive awards are Portadown FC manager Ronnie McFall and veteran boxing coach Gerry Storey.

Mr McFall receives an MBE for services to football and to the community in Northern Ireland and Mr Storey the same award for services to boxing.

Former Olympic athlete and hockey player Dr Maeve Kyle was awarded an OBE for more than 50 years of involvement in athletics.

Six current or former police officers were also rewarded.

Assistant Chief Constable Duncan McCausland received an OBE while MBEs go to Inspector Stevie Wilson and Stanley Booth who recently retired as an acting chief inspector.

Gerry Storey
Gerry Storey receives an MBE for services to boxing

Three PSNI officers received the Queen's Police Medal.

They are Acting Chief Inspector Milton Kerr, Chief Superintendent Richard Russell and Superintendent Terry Shevlin.

First Minister Ian Paisley congratulated those NI people who received awards.

Speaking on behalf of himself and the deputy first minister he said: "Those honoured have contributed greatly to our society across a diverse range of activities.

"Their dedication and service has made a major difference to the lives of many people and their inclusion in this year's honours list is a fitting reward for their sterling efforts."

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