Willie John McBride awarded CBE in UK new year’s honours

Former Ulster and Ireland captain one of six from North awarded CBE in queen’s honours

Former Irish rugby player Willie John McBride has been recognised for his service to the sport in Queen Elizabeth’s New Year’s honours list.

Former Irish rugby player Willie John McBride has been recognised for his service to the sport in Queen Elizabeth’s New Year’s honours list.

 

Former Irish rugby player Willie John McBride has been recognised for his service to the sport in Queen Elizabeth’s new year’s honours list.

The 78-year-old former Ulster and Ireland captain was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire).

McBride, from Co Antrim, played 63 tests for Ireland and toured with the British and Irish Lions on five occasions between 1962 and 1974.

He was among the Lions players who recorded a series win over New Zealand in 1971, their only such victory. After Ireland’s 16-9 win over the All Blacks in Dublin last month, their first on home soil, McBride described it as a “tremendous” victory.

He was criticised by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre earlier this year for calling for the reinstatement of then Ireland and Ulster players Stuart Olding and Paddy Jackson after they were acquitted following a high-profile rape trial.

“These young people are going to regret this for the rest of their lives,” he said of the pair in April. “I think they’ve learned their lesson. They issued an apology. It’s time to get back to doing what they do best, which is play rugby.”

Willie John McBride leads the Lions out during the victorious tour of South Africa in 1974. Photograph: Inpho/Allsport
Willie John McBride leads the Lions out during the victorious tour of South Africa in 1974. Photograph: Inpho/Allsport

McBride was one of six people to receive a CBE. Others included Queen’s University Belfast academic Prof John Christopher McCrudden, who was recognised for his service to human rights law; and Nicholas David George Coburn, the group managing director and deputy chairman of Ulster Carpet Mills (Holdings) Limited, received the honour for services to the economy.

The new year honours list, overseen by a UK government cabinet office committee, names new members of British orders of chivalry and recipients of other official honours every January 1st.

OBE awards

Eleven people were awarded the title OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) including Patrick Joseph Doherty, chairman of Harcourt Developments, for services to the transformation of the Titanic Quarter site in Belfast. Former Northern Ireland and Manchester United player Harry Gregg received an OBE for services to football.

Carol Ann Graham, the head of the State Pathology Branch of the Northern Ireland Executive, received an OBE for services to justice.

Thirty-five people were give MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) titles, among them was Zoe Alexandra Boreland, former head of midwifery at the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, for services to midwifery, and Frances Hardy for services to the St John Ambulance Service.

Renowned storyteller and writer Elizabeth Ann (Liz) Weir also received an MBE for services to the arts and education. Forty-one people were awarded a BEM (Medallist of the Order of the British Empire), including: Sharon Patterson for voluntary services to mental health support; Maghaberry prison officer Ernest Carson Smyth for public service; and Sarah Renee Starbuck, a cleaner at the school of social sciences, education and social work at Queen’s University Belfast, for services to higher education.

Joanne Elizabeth Rock received a BEM for services to people with breast cancer, and Peter Wilson was also on the list for services to community cohesion in the North through music.

Queen’s Police Medals (QPM) have been awarded to three Police Service of Northern Ireland officers Det Insp Billy Cross, Supt Brian Thomas Kee and Det Con Kimberly Hegarty.