Birthday honours for charity and cross-community work

Fr Brian D’Arcy’s cross community work has been recognised with an honour in the Queen’s birthday honours list. 
Formerly of the Graan just outside Enniskillen, the popular priest and broadcaster will receive the Order of the British Empire for his services to cross community relations. Fr Brian now resides at Tobar Mhuire retreat centre in Crossgar.
Speaking to the Herald, Fr D’Arcy said, “It is nice to get an honour from the Queen particularly as it was for crossing community boundaries and breaking down barriers. That is something I would be doing anyway, so it is good to see that it is encouraged by people in high places. I hope it is an encouragement to all of us as it shows people in authority do want us to cross boundaries and to work for a peaceful and prosperous living across the whole community.”
Fr D’Arcy received a lot of support on social media when the announcement was made and he said ‘was surprised by the support.’ 
“I was very encouraged by the number of very positive messages that have come through to me, and they are very much appreciated. I hope our communities can continue to get to know each other better, because the more you know about people, the more you appreciate them.”
Two other Fermanagh people, Cancer Connect NI founders Phil and Breda McGrenaghan were also on the list and were awarded a British Empire Medal for services to Cancer patients in Fermanagh. 
The award comes as the charity celebrates its 10th year, and follows the news that Cancer Connect NI Volunteers have been awarded Queen’s Award for voluntary service.
Breda McGrenaghan said ‘to be recognised for something we both feel passionate about and feel privileged to do is humbling.’
“One of the joys of my role is getting the opportunity to meet and speak with Cancer clients and their families within our community and as much as I am greatly inspired by those whom I meet I hear first hand about individual experiences and it is very gratifying and rewarding to be able to offer a varied support system in order to ease and/or make the journey less lonely. 
“The charity is blessed with an amazing team of volunteers and Cancer Connect NI has certainly enriched my life,” she added.

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