SNOW PATROL singer Gary Lightbody has been made an OBE in the New Year Honours List.
The 43-year-old from Co. Down has been honoured for services to music and charity.
The news comes just days after Lightbody laid his father to rest on Christmas Eve.
In a moving tribute posted on Instagram on Friday, Lightbody described his father as a 'legend' and urged those who knew him to raise a glass to his memory.
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Just before Christmas my dad, Jack, passed away. We had his funeral on christmas eve with family and close friends. I’m not posting about it to make anyone sad and that’s why I waited until after Christmas to say anything at all I just wanted to pay tribute to the man that taught me and gave me so much. He was the funniest man I’ve ever known. Even in the depths of his dementia he could still be as sharp and hilarious as ever at times. He was also the most social person I ever knew. He could talk to anyone. I’m in introvert so I’m shy around strangers but he would walk into a room full of strangers and within ten mins know all their names and their stories and be having the craic with them all. It was a gift he never lost. We would walk into a restaurant and as we were being shown to our table he’d be talking to everyone at every other table we passed: “what are you having there, that looks good” and he’d be standing there chatting while we’d already be at our table waiting on him probably rolling our eyes. Ha. What a legend. All my friends that knew him loved him. The messages I got when they found out were of heartbreak but also each of my friends have been telling me stories of how my dad made them laugh and I’m so glad that all of people’s memories of him seem to be of happy times. My mum Lynne looked after him in his illness for years and her strength in all this has been a mighty thing to behold. She is a titan. Also my mum, my sister sarah (who is also a titan) and my awesome niece honey and myself would like to say a massive thank you to the staff at Oakmont Care Home for their wonderful care of him over the last eight months. If anyone met my dad at an SP gig or feels like they know him through the songs I wrote about him (Soon, I Think Of Home, Lifening) then, if you like, please raise a glass to him the next time you have a wee drink and say “cheers big jack”. He would‘ve liked that. I don’t know what life looks like without him, I can’t even comprehend it, but he’ll be in my heart and all my family’s hearts for the rest of our lives. I love you dad. There were none like you. Your son, gary.x
"He was the funniest man I've ever known. Even in the depths of his dementia he could still be as sharp and hilarious as ever at times," wrote Lightbody.
"He was also the most social person I ever knew. He could talk to anyone.
"I’m an introvert so I'm shy around strangers but he would walk into a room full of strangers and within ten mins know all their names and their stories and be having the craic with them all.
"It was a gift he never lost."
Snow patrol's 2006 album Eyes Open – which included the global hit single Chasing Cars – reached number one in both Britain and Ireland.
Meanwhile three Roman Catholic priests from Northern Ireland, who make up classical music group The Priests, have been made MBEs, also for services to music and charity.
— The Priests (@thepriests) December 28, 2019
Father David Delargy and brothers Fr Martin O'Hagan and Fr Eugene O'Hagan topped the Irish album charts in 2008 with their eponymous debut album.
The trio, from the Diocese of Down and Connor, have been performing together since the 1970s when they were students at St MacNissi's College in Co. Antrim.
Speaking on their recognition, they said: "Individually and collectively as The Priests we are privileged to be named among those whom HM The Queen has honoured in the New Year’s Honours list. “
Elsewhere, Dublin-born cricketer Eoin Morgan was one of five players from England's Cricket World Cup winning team to be honoured.
The team captain, who previously represented Ireland, was made a CBE.
The New Year Honours list recognises the achievements and service of people across the Britain.