Former chief constable Flanagan awarded second knighthood


Sir Ronnie Flanagan is to receive another knighthood. This time he will be honoured with the highest award within the British Empire. His name is among 75 from the North on Queen Elizabeth's Birthday Honours List, which was released this morning.

Sir Ronnie already holds Knight Bachelor and OBE (Officer of the British Empire) awards, but he is now to be conferred with an additional Knight Grand Cross of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for "services to Northern Ireland".

The Irish Times understands there are no other holders of this award from Northern Ireland.

Sir Ronnie left the PSNI at the end of March to take up a prestigious position with Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, the police watchdog in England and Wales. He now has oversight powers for the Metropolitan police in London, the same force that has provided Mr Hugh Orde, Sir Ronnie's successor.

Also honoured with a knighthood is the former North Belfast MP, Mr Cecil Walker, an Ulster Unionist. He lost his seat to the DUP's Mr Nigel Dodds in last June's Westminster election

The senior director of the Northern Ireland Office, Mr David Watkins, is honoured with the Companion of the most Honourable Order of the Bath. He is a former deputy chief executive to the Industrial Development Board, a principle private secretary to the Northern Secretary and was seconded to the European Commission in the 1970s.

Mr Sam Foster, an Ulster Unionist Assembly man for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, is among five recipients of a CBE (Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). Also honoured in this way is Mr Ted Hesketh, a former managing director of the company which ran bus services in the North.

Among 17 honoured with an OBE (Officer of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) are Dr Jonathan Bardon, a history teacher and author who became an adviser on school curriculum reform.

Playwright Marie Jones is honoured with an OBE. She wrote hit plays Stones in his Pockets and A Night in November, among many others.