Queen Elizabeth honours boxer Paddy Barnes with MBE

Matt Baggott and Mary Peters make New Year’s Honours List for achievements

Olympic medallist Paddy Barnes was among the Irish people recognised by Queen Elizabeth in her New Year’s Honours List. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

An Olympic boxing hero, a legendary pentathlon gold medallist and the man at the head of the football world's "men in black" are among the Irish people recognised by Queen Elizabeth in her New Year's Honours List.

Mary Peters, Paddy Barnes and Jim Boyce have all been honoured either for their roles in their sports of athletics, boxing and football respectively or for their positive engagement with the wider community.

Ms Peters won Olympic gold in the pentathlon in 1972 and is currently the Lord Lieutenant of Belfast, the queen's representative in the city.

Service to sport

She is no stranger to the queen’s list having been made a dame in 2000. She now adds membership of the Order of the Companions of Honour for her services to sport and the community in Northern




She is joined on this year's honour role by Britain's Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce, from Northern Ireland, who has been honoured with an OBE for services to football.

Mr Boyce, a former Irish Football Association president and current head of Fifa's referees' committee, was severely injured in a Belfast car bomb in 1972.

He steps down from the Fifa vice-presidency in May. “I would like to dedicate this honour to the people who kept football in Northern Ireland going through the many, many difficult years,” he said after news of his OBE was announced.

Irish boxer and Olympic medallist Paddy Barnes has been awarded an MBE after his gold-medal-winning heroics at the Commonwealth Games last summer.

It was the second time he won gold at the Commonwealth games representing Northern Ireland. He is also a double medal winner for Ireland at the Olympics winning a bronze medal in the light-flyweight division at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and bronze again in the 2012 Olympics in London

Police Medal

Several members of the

Police Service of Northern Ireland

were also honoured.

Recently retired chief constable Matt Baggott received a knighthood. Sir Matt (56) is married with two daughters and a son. In 2008 he was awarded a CBE; prior to that, in 2004, a Queen's Police Medal.

A further three Queen’s Police Medals were awarded to serving PSNI officers.

They go to Det Insp Stephen Wilson, Sgt Simon McNee who both work in Belfast, and Sgt Thomas Stevenson who works in North Down. All three were honoured for their services to policing in Northern Ireland.

Conor Pope

Conor Pope

Conor Pope is Consumer Affairs Correspondent, Pricewatch Editor