Ulster Unionist Leader, Mike Nesbitt MLA, has congratulated all local recipients of The Queen’s New Year’s Honours, saying:
“While media focus will, of course, highlight people in the public eye like Michael O’Neill and Bethany Firth whose magnificent achievements have enhanced Northern Ireland`s reputation on the world stage, it is important to remember and celebrate the achievements of all who have been honoured for their work in, and on behalf of Northern Ireland.
“We all have our own areas of special interest, and as a former Commissioner for Victims and Survivors, I am particularly pleased to congratulate Alex Bunting, who engaged with the Victims Forum from its inception, in a courageous and generous spirit that typifies his character and ensured the Forum's success.
“I also pay tribute to Leo O’Reilly, now Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities. In my experience, Leo is an outstanding civil servant, who probably single-handedly saved the devolved institutions from collapse when the Stormont House talks hit the rocks over Welfare Reform.
“On behalf of the Ulster Unionist Party, I offer profound congratulations to all local recipients who are honoured this New Year.”