Hard working staff are praised as Mayor hands out congratulations to Ballymena’s high achievers

RECENT accolades won and achievements attained by people living and working in the Ballymena Borough have been highlighted and commended by the Mayor, Cllr Maurice Mills, in the chamber at Ardeevin.

At the outset of last Tuesday’s first full Council meeting of 2011, Mr Mills paid glowing tribute to the following on their successes...

* Blair Ritchie, a teenage single mum, on being crowned as one of NI’s top Young Carers of the Year.

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* Baroness Nuala O’Loan on taking a key role at County Kildare University.

* Ballykeel Primary School on winning the schools competition - Olympic Dreams - School Search.

* May Kirkpatrick from Broughshane on launching her book, Doon Carnlea’s Bank Brae.

* Ballymena photographer Roy McKeown and his daughter Dawn on being guest lecturers at the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers annual conference in London this month.

* Ballymena woman Delia Close on being appointed to the Parades Commission.

* Ballymena Borough Council officers and staff on ensuring the town centre stayed open for business by clearing pavements of snow and ice during last month’s cold snap.

* Staff at Ballymena showgrounds on being ‘praised for the excellent job they do’ at the Warden Street site.

* Ballymena man Jamie Johnston on being recognised for helping others to overcome the challenges of living with a brain injury.

* Area Catering Manager with the NEELB, Irene Paget on being joint winner of the NISCA Manager of the Year Award.

* Ballymena Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Support Staff, Wendy Shaw and Alfie Houston on being recognised for their long service and good conduct at the recent inaugural Long Service & Good Conduct Ceremony at the Fire and Rescue Training Centre.

* Local man Samuel McAuley, who has been blind from birth, on winning a William Keown Trust Achievement Award.

* Portglenone based Dr Brian George Patterson, General Medical Practitioner and lately Chairman of the British Medical Association NI on receiving an OBE in the New Year Honours for services to healthcare.

* Dr Brian William Hill, head of the School of Engineering and Science at the Northern Regional College, on achieving an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list for services to Further Education and training in Northern Ireland.