Carrick residents on New Year Honours list

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Four Carrickfergus residents have cause to celebrate after being recognised on the 2016 New Year Honours list.

Anthony Joseph McGeehan, Howard Atkinson Beckinsale, and Valerie Ann Barr will receive a British Empire Medal (BEM), while Dr Robert Leslie Caul will be given an OBE in the annual awards.

Mr McGeehan has been recognised for his services to the community in Greenisland dating back nearly 60 years.

In 1959, he formed the Greenisland Tenants’ Association.

He also spent over 50 years as a member of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, serving as President of the St Colman’s Conference for some years and President of the East Antrim region.

Valerie Barr, secretary of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Ulster University, will be awarded the BEM for services to Higher Education and to the community in Northern Ireland.

The Carrickfergus woman has worked in the Ulster University for 39 years and in 2013 was awarded a Distinguished Employee Recognition Award.

She is a member of a small voluntary and self-financed corps group within Soon Ministries, involving counting, wrapping, stamping and dispatching Bientot broadsheets, three to four times each year, to Francophone Africa.

Meanwhile, Harold Beckinsale has been recognised for voluntary service to education in Northern Ireland.

Mr Beckinsale, from Carrick, is vice-chairman on the Board of Governors at Fleming Fulton School. He has secured funding for various projects including a new schools sports field and the refurbishment and creation of a family room, which parents can use either as a waiting area for appointments or as a private space to meet with staff or other parents.

Greenisland man Dr Robert Leslie Caul will pick up an OBE for services to education and sport in Northern Ireland.

The Greenisland resident has prepared generations of teachers at Stranmillis College and as a Queen’s University Belfast Fellow.

At Stranmillis College, his achievements include the development of a new undergraduate degree programme in Early Childhood Studies - the first of its kind in Northern Ireland.

He has been chairman of the Irish Football Association since 2010 and was instrumental in the current redevelopment of Windsor Park.