BOXING champion Paddy Barnes is among the Irish who were bestowed with honours in the Queen’s New Year list.
The Co. Antrim star, an Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallist, has been awarded an MBE for his services to boxing and the community in the North of Ireland.
The 27-year-old, from the New Lodge area in north Belfast won bronze for Ireland at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and won gold for Northern Ireland at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Barnes claimed he was “a proud Irishman” while revealing he was happy to receive the title.
Manchester-based Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy was also honoured in the New Year list.
The Scots-Irish woman received a damehood this month for her services to poetry.
In London, second-generation Irishman Charlie Mullins, founder of Pimlico Plumbers – Britain’s largest independent plumbing firm, received an OBE for his services to the industry.
“Every time I get a letter stamped HM Service, they want money off me. My daughter encouraged me to open it. I can honestly say it’s the first time in my life I was lost for words,” the entrepreneur said.
“And the nice thing is they’ve given it to me for services to plumbing. I can’t imagine many people have ever received an OBE for plumbing services,” he added.