A newly knighted Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said this week he was deeply humbled by the honour conferred by the Queen in this, her 90th birthday year.
Now in his fifth term at Westminster, the Lagan Valley MP received his knighthood - in recognition of his political service - in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Others among the honours include Ian McCullagh, Clerk of Session and Boys’ Brigade captain at First Dromara Presbyterian Church, awarded the British Empire Medal for services to young people through the BB; Sarah Elizabeth (Sadie) Beck, also awarded the BEM, for services to nursing and voluntary service to Cancer Research UK in Banbridge and Southern Regional College lecturer Ronald Ferris, awarded the MBE for services to skills development and the community in Co Down.
Mr Donaldson said: “I’m absolutely delighted and deeply humbled by this honour, coming as it does in the year of the Queen’s 90th birthday.
“It’s very special for me and for my family to receive this recognition. I want to thank the people of my Lagan Valley constituency, who have put their faith in me over the years and given me the greatest honour, which is to represent them in parliament.
“ I dedicate this honour as a tribute to them and also to my family and my party, who have stood with me throughout my years of public service.
“I’m particularly pleased that my wife Eleanor will share in this honour, as she has been a great support to me over the years, as have my two daughters, Claire and Laura.
“I would especially like to thank my staff in my constituency office, who have worked tirelessly to support me in my role as MP, including Thomas Beckett, Gillian Carson and Sarah Wilson.”
“Delighted” Dromara man Mr McCullagh said of his award: “It’s not just for me; it’s for the many people who have supported me and worked with me.
“I’m fortunate to have a lot of loyal officers;it’s a job you can’t do on your own. I have men and women who have had a lot of enthusiam for the work and that made it a lot easier.”
An “over-the-moon” Sadie Beck said: “The people of Banbridge, from both sides of the community, have been very good to me, as have the people of my church, Banbridge Church of Ireland. I enjoy my work and I’ve been very happy in nursing.”