Locals named in New Year Honours List

Former Mayor Fraser Agnew is to receive an MBE for services to local government and cross-border relations.
Former Mayor Fraser Agnew is to receive an MBE for services to local government and cross-border relations.
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Several prominent Newtownabbey locals and people with strong links to the area have been named in the New Year Honours List.

Among those to receive honours are Newtownabbey’s longest serving councillor, Fraser Agnew.

Cllr Agnew, who was awarded the Freedom of the Borough in 2007, was first elected to the council in 1980.

He receives the MBE for services to local government and cross-border relations.

Florence Mairs, who retired earlier this year after 15 years as principal of Straid Primary School, has been awarded the MBE for services to education and the community in Co Antrim.

Rev Ronnie McCracken, a former minister at Straid Congregational Church, receives the MBE for humanitarian services to children and young adults overseas.

The honour is in recognition of his aid work in eastern Europe and Africa over many years with the Eschol Trust (now Eschol Ministries).

Olympic boxer Paddy Barnes, who lives in Glengormley, receives the MBE for services to sport and the community.

The 27-year-old claimed gold for Northern Ireland at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games and has his sights set on winning a medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Civil servant Helen Lindsay, a member of Whitehouse Presbyterian Church, receives the MBE for services to freedom of information and voluntary service in Belfast and abroad.

Also named among the New Year Honours recipients is John Hughes, chairman of the Newtownabbey Police Voluntary Welfare Group.

Mr Hughes receives the British Empire Medal for services to police welfare.