Page last updated at 00:02 GMT, Thursday, 31 December 2009

School principals in honours list

Marie Brown
Marie Brown from Foyle Women's Aid was awarded an MBE

Two primary school principals are among those from the north and west of Northern Ireland to be recognised in the New Year's Honours List.

Jennifer Boyd, of Enniskillen Nursery School and Valerie Adams, of Lisbellaw Primary School were both awarded MBEs for services to education.

The former director and chief executive of the South West College, Victor Refausse, was awarded an OBE.

The Omagh-born court reporter Ivan McMichael was also given an MBE.

Mr McMichael, 68, began his journalistic career with the Tyrone Herald, and became a freelance court reporter who covered many of the most high profile cases of the Troubles.

Marie Brown, from Foyle Women's Aid, was given an MBE for services to victims of domestic violence.

She said that the award was not just a personal honour, but a recognition of an entire team.


"We have pioneered and piloted a lot of things in Foyle Women's Aid, which have then been followed right across the board.

"We have kept it about the women, we have listened to their needs, and we haven't been afraid to speak out or be controversial when things aren't right," she said.

Also honoured in Londonderry were Samuel Adair, from the Waterside Credit Union, and Margaret Lee from the Cresco Trust.

"It's hard to put into words what I feel about it," said Mr Adair.

"I feel very humble.

It's hard to put into words... I feel very humble
Uel Adair MBE

"There are a lot of people in the Credit Union that deserve the credit more than I do," he said.

Margaret Lee said she was "excited" by the award, but "also a little bit overwhelmed".

"It's marvellous for the organisation, and of course my family here and back in New Zealand are delighted.

"We're a community regeneration company, and we do a lot of work preparing people for employment, and we run social enterprises in the city.

"The week before Christmas we succeeded in getting nine graduates into work.

"For us that's the headline news, because that's why we do what we do," she said.

Contribution recognised

In Coleraine, David Buchanan was awarded an MBE for voluntary service to the environment and heritage.

Ian Donaghey received the same award for services to regeneration in the town, and William Roulston was given an MBE for services to equestrian sport.

In Tyrone, Margaret Gilbert was received an MBE for services to older people in Cookstown.

Christopher Kerr, from Coagh, County Tyrone, who is the Area Commander with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service in Belfast, received the Queen's Fire Service Medal.

Professor David Chiddick, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln and an adviser to the lobby group University For Derry (U4D), was awarded a CBE.

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