Irish teenager is youngest recipient in Queen Elizabeth’s birthday honours

Undertones frontman Feargal Sharkey is made an OBE in this year’s list

Queen Elizabeth  is seen in London, England, on Saturday. The queen’s birthday honours have been released. Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth is seen in London, England, on Saturday. The queen’s birthday honours have been released. Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images


Former frontman of The Undertones Feargal Sharkey (60) has been made an OBE in Queen Elizabeth’s birthday honours.

Sharkey is one of several musicians to receive an honour this year, including Elvis Costello (64), who was also made an OBE.

Sharkey is not the only Irish interest in this year’s birthday honours. The youngest person honoured is 17-year-old Richard Collins, who was given a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community in Cookstown, Co Tyrone.

As well as this, Richard Williams, boss of Northern Ireland Screen, which is best known for its involvement in the making of Game of Thrones, was made an OBE for services to the country’s screen industries.

He said: “I am delighted to accept this award, which I see as a celebration of the tremendous value to Northern Ireland from the growth of the screen industries here and also recognition of the part that all my colleagues at Northern Ireland Screen have played in that success story.”

The news followed the earlier announcements that Garda Commissioner and former PSNI deputy chief constable Drew Harris was to be awarded a Queen’s Police Medal for services to policing and the community in Northern Ireland, while Passionist priest Fr Brian Darcy was to receive an OBE for services to community relations.

Meanwhile, Oscar-winner Olivia Colman has been made a CBE, while stage actor Simon Russell Beale was knighted.

Colman (45), who won the best actress Oscar earlier this year for her role as Queen Anne in The Favourite and will play Queen Elizabeth II in the third series of The Crown, is honoured for services to drama under her real name Sarah Sinclair.

She told the Press Association: “I’m totally thrilled, delighted and humbled to be in the company of these incredible people, most of whom have been nowhere near as visible as I have, but should be – and hopefully now will be. It’s such an honour.”

Beale, one of the most acclaimed stars of British theatre, was knighted for services to drama after a career spanning four decades.

Actor Cush Jumbo (33), who is best known for starring in the US legal drama series The Good Wife and its spin-off The Good Fight, was made an OBE.

Archibald Boyd Tunnock (86), who created the Tunnock’s Teacake in 1956, was knighted. He said he was “deeply honoured” by this distinction, adding: “When you get to my age, very few things surprise you, but this certainly did and I am deeply honoured and grateful to Her Majesty the Queen.”

Literary honours

There are CBEs for author Joanna Trollope and Jack Reacher novelist Lee Child.

One of Britain’s most successful novelists, Sarah Waters, who is famed for her novels featuring lesbian protagonists, including Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith, said she was “delighted and a little bit dazed” at being made an OBE for services to literature.

Journalist and broadcaster Dan Snow (40) becomes an MBE, while adventurer and television star Bear Grylls (44) was made an OBE.

British-Sri Lankan rapper MIA (43), real name Mathangi Arulpragasam, and Andrew Roachford, the singer-songwriter behind the band Roachford, are made MBEs for services to music.

Comedian and actor Griff Rhys Jones receives an OBE for services to the National Civic Society Movement, charity and entertainment.

Rachel Whiteread, the first woman to win the Turner Prize, becomes a dame.

Along with the famous names, the list also celebrates the efforts of those working to improve people’s lives.

Nimco Ali and Dr Leyla Hussein, who have both campaigned against female genital mutilation after being subjected to the practice as children, were made OBEs.

Sonia Watson, the chief executive of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, was made an OBE for her work helping disadvantaged people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds to pursue careers in architecture – the chosen career of the murdered teenager.

Some 15 foster carers who have looked after more than 1,000 children between them were made MBEs, while seven Holocaust survivors receive BEMs.

Of the 1,073 people honoured across the UK in this year’s list, 47 per cent are women – slightly down on some previous lists – while 10.4 per cent come from a BAME background – the highest proportion ever, by a small margin, in the queen’s birthday honours, although the figure was 12 per cent in this year’s New Year honours list.

The oldest recipient is John Haymen (100), who receives a BEM for services to the community in Binsted and Alton, Hampshire. - PA