SIX people from Fermanagh are known to have been honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
MBEs went to Dinah Shortt, Ballinamallard for voluntary service through Diabetes UK and Teresa Murray, Lisnaskea, who is principal of the local St Ronan’s Primary School, for services to education.
Four British Empire Medals (BEMs) went to Bowden Espley, Enniskillen for her 45 years’ voluntary work in the (old) Erne hospital; Margaret Kells, Lisnaskea, formerly of Lisnaskea Library, for services to the community; Maureen Muldoon, Enniskillen for voluntary and charitable services in Fermanagh, and Mervyn Rowe, Kesh, for services to community.
Mr Rowe is chairman of The Forge Pettigo Family Resource Centre which was founded six years ago.
It employs two full-time workers, with funding from the south’s Department of Social Affairs, and other funders.
It is the centre for a hive of cross-community, cross-border events that are enjoyed by a dozen local groups.
Mr Rowe, a farmer, is married to Evelyn and is the father of five.
He still doesn’t know who nominated him.
“I am very pleased, and I’m very pleased for all of the leaders who gave me backing and I have to thank my wife and family.”
Mrs Murray, the principal of St Ronan’s PS, was delighted to have received her award. “It’s a great honour for the entire school. There was a special assembly with all the children and staff and some parents, and I felt deeply emotional.
“The vice principal, Mr (Eamonn) Shannon, arranged this (the assembly) and explained to the pupils what it was all about. I want to thank him and everyone who was involved.”
She has been teaching for 37 years and has had a great career.
“This has been the most important thing that has ever happened to me professionally. I find it difficult to take all in. I always tell the children to do your best at everything you do, and tell them that I always try to do my best.”
She went on: “We have a great school. We were deemed to be an outstanding in an ETI inspection report two years ago which was a significant event in this school, and this is another great moment.
“I have been exceptionally lucky throughout my teaching career. I have had the good fortune to work with many dedicated colleagues and now also enjoy seeing many of my past pupils returning as a parent of today’s pupils.”
Mrs Esley politely declined to speak about her achievement, and we were unable to contact Dinah Shortt.
Margaret Kells worked in Lisnaskea Library as a cleaner for 26 years. Now retired, she lives with her husband, Noel in Rossview on the outskirts of the town.
She is the mother of three, Andrea, Nicola and Trevor, and the grandmother of Tyler who was 10 months old yesterday, Tuesday.
Maureen Muldoon (87) is currently in hospital, and is arguably Fermanagh’s best-known voluntary/charity worker.
This fresh honour comes at the end of a queue of other awards and, according to her daughter, Orla (who is home from the US where she lives), ‘she is absolutely thrilled’.
“She has had so many incredible visitors to the hospital these last few days and everybody shares the opinion she should have got this award years and years ago, because she has been so involved.”
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