CEO of Hospitality Ulster 'humbled' by New Year's Honour

The Larne-born chief executive of Hospitality Ulster has been awarded an MBE for his services to the industry.

Colin Neill.

Colin Neill said he was “humbled” to be named on the Queen’s 2022 New Year Honours list.

A past pupil of Greenland Secondary (now Larne High School) and Larne Technical College, Mr Neill served as an apprentice to become an electrician.

He worked in various roles in the public and private sector including LRG in Larne, Belfast City Centre Management and Ballymena Council.

After gaining an MBA from the University of Ulster in 2005, he joined the board of Hospitality Ulster in 2008.

Mr Neill was a retained Crew Commander in the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, with 27 years service in Larne. He is also a board member of Tourism NI, a trustee of Ashton Community Trust, and was previously involved in raising funds for the Fire Service Benevolent Fund, including climbing Kilimanjaro and cycling across New Zealand’s south island.

“I was surprised, honoured, and humbled to be awarded an MBE for services to hospitality,” Mr Neill said. “It has always been a huge team effort and especially over the past two years during the pandemic. I hope this award can shine a spotlight on the continued challenge faced by many local hospitality businesses as they struggle to survive during the most difficult period in our industry’s history.”