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Council Chief Executive Anne Donaghy awarded OBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours

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Anne Donaghy, Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, has been awarded an OBE in The Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List for Services to Local Government and the community during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Councillor Peter Johnston, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, commended Ms Donaghy for what he described as “an exceptionally well-deserved honour”.

“As a Council, we are extremely proud to see Anne’s unparalleled commitment to delivering excellent public services recognised and rewarded with an OBE from Her Majesty the Queen,” he said.

“Working closely in partnership with our Elected Members, Anne has guided our Council – and indeed the wider Borough of Mid and East Antrim – through many significant challenges in recent years, and none have been larger than Covid-19.

“Anne has led from the front throughout this crisis, providing the full support and backing for our community and businesses from the very beginning, ensuring the delivery of crucial frontline services, and putting measures in place so our residents have access to the very essentials many of us had taken for granted before the pandemic hit.

“Through her vision, ambition and leadership, the Borough has also benefited from many tremendous opportunities and will continue to do so in the years to come.

“We are proud to have a Chief Executive who is so highly regarded as a role model for public service and women in leadership throughout the UK. On behalf of all of my Elected Member colleagues, I offer Anne my sincerest congratulations and every good wish for her continued success in her role at Mid and East Antrim.”

According to the Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Andrew Wilson, the OBE is testament to Ms Donaghy’s commitment and resilience as a leader.

“No one ever meeting Anne could fail to acknowledge her sheer passion for this Borough and the unfaltering determination she demonstrates, day in and day out, in fighting for its economy and its people,” he said.

“She is strongly committed to developing and nurturing long-lasting partnerships across the local community, and with government at both Stormont and Westminster, for the benefit of the citizens and businesses across our Borough and beyond.”

A mother of two – John (12) and Andrea (8) – Anne Donaghy said she was “extremely honoured” to be appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

“Whilst I am extremely taken aback and honoured to have received this award, this is not about individual recognition – it’s about recognising the outstanding combined efforts of the entire Elected Member and officer team at Mid and East Antrim,” she said.

“In particular, I would pay tribute to our Elected Members across all political parties who, together, strive to deliver excellence across everything we do for the citizens and communities, businesses and tourists in Mid and East Antrim.”

Reflecting on her career, Ms Donaghy said she would encourage others to pursue opportunities in the local government sector in Northern Ireland.

“Working in local government is a truly rewarding career and one which affords many opportunities for professional development and progression,” she said.

“Stemming from a very humble background, I have been able to enjoy continued success and progression throughout my career thanks to sheer hard work, ambition and determination – together with the support I have received throughout my career.”

Ms Donaghy said her greatest “source of strength and inspiration” throughout her career has been her sisters, Kathleen and Geraldine, who passed away aged 45 in March 2017 following a fight with ovarian cancer.

“I owe any success I have achieved in my career to my sisters, who have always been strong and steadfast in their support and encouragement of everything I do. Whilst Geraldine is very sadly no longer with us, her spirit lives on and both she and Kathleen continue to be a great source of strength and inspiration to me in everything I do.”

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