Hotelier receives MBE

A local hotelier has received an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Mrs Joan Carmichael (nee Stockdale), whose family own the Ross Park Hotel, received the award for services to the hospitality industry and to the community in Northern Ireland.

Joan, of Helen’s Bay and originally from Clogher, trained as a nurse in Belfast before working for several years in Dungannon’s South Tyrone Hospital. In 1970 she joined her husband, Norman, in the licensed trade with two bars in Dungannon, The White Heather and Norman’s and The Glenavon House Hotel in Cookstown, which they sold in 1978 before moving to North Down.

Along with their three sons, they developed the successful chain of bars and restaurants under the name, The Carmichael Group, including Morrisons Bar, Belfast and the very popular Bryansburn Inn, situated between Crawfordsburn and Bangor.

In 2000 the family purchased the well-known Country House Hotel in Kells and after extensive renovations the name was changed to the Ross Park Hotel.

Joan, who was very much involved in the management and day-to-day running of the hotel, said she was proud and delighted to be Honoured with an MBE.

She added: “I would like to thank family, friends and all the customers who have supported me over the years, especially my husband, Norman”.