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Pride as two Co Armagh groups presented with Queen’s Voluntary Service Awards

The Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Garath Keating had the pleasure of hosting the presentation of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to North Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club and County Armagh Community Development, Markethill which was conducted by The Lord Lieutenant of County Armagh, The Right Hon. The Earl of Caledon KVCO.

The award ceremony was attended by a number of dignitaries including The Lord Lieutenant of County Armagh, The Right Honourable The Earl of Caledon, Deputy Lieutenants, councillors and representatives from the voluntary groups.

Press Release image  The Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Garath Keating had the pleasure of hosting the presentation of the QueenÕs Award for Voluntary Service to North Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club and County Armagh Community Development, Markethill which was conducted by The Lord Lieutenant of County Armagh, The Right Hon. The Earl of Caledon KVCO. Pictured left to right are Jill Armstrong, Deputy Lieutenant; William Moorcroft, Chairman of County Armagh Community Development; The Earl of Caledon; Lord Mayor Garath Keating; Ian Forsythe, President of North Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club and Deputy Lieutenant, William Beattie. Photo by Kelvin Boyes  / Press Eye

The Queen’s Award for voluntary service is the highest award presented to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their communities.

It was created in 2002 as part of the celebrations for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and was first known as the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award, now known as the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, it is the highest decoration granted to volunteer groups and as a national honour is the equivalent in rank to that of an MBE.

This year there are 194 winners from across the UK, representing a variety of inspiring organisations with two being obtained in County Armagh.

County Armagh Community Development, Markethill are being recognised for their work in the community in their achievement for upgrading 35 community halls so they can now be used for a wide range of community activities. These buildings have now been enhanced and restored preserving their rich built heritage for the local community to enjoy for many years.

North Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club, the first sporting organisation to receive a Queen’s Award in Northern Ireland are being recognised for the international sporting event The Tandragee 100 which is now in its 55th year.

“This unique two-day sporting event has become a highlight of the international motorcycle racing calendar which brings enormous economic and social benefits to the local community.  The club manage and voluntarily organise the annual event attracting thousands of visitors from across the world.

Press Release image  The Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Garath Keating had the pleasure of hosting the presentation of the QueenÕs Award for Voluntary Service to North Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club and County Armagh Community Development, Markethill which was conducted by The Lord Lieutenant of County Armagh, The Right Hon. The Earl of Caledon KVCO. The Earl of Caledon, Lord Mayor Garath Keating, Deputy Lieutenants William Beattie and Jill Armstrong are pictured with William Moorcroft, Chairman of County Armagh Community Development and other members of the Group. Photo by Kelvin Boyes  / Press Eye

Lord Caledon said: “These two outstanding groups represent the very highest standards in voluntary work, dedication to others, and selfless commitment to the community.  Volunteers and Voluntary Services form the backbone of our province – and I should like to express my gratitude to them for their considerable achievements and for the valuable work they continue to carry out”.

Lord Mayor Garath Keating added: “Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is delighted to be associated with this celebration, I would like to thank Lord Caledon for allowing us to be part of such an auspicious occasion.

“We are very proud to have two groups from County Armagh being recognised for their amazing work at the highest possible level and I am delighted to congratulate the groups on behalf of all of our citizens.”

Main picture: The Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Garath Keating had the pleasure of hosting the presentation of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to North Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club and County Armagh Community Development, Markethill which was conducted by The Lord Lieutenant of County Armagh, The Right Hon. The Earl of Caledon KVCO. The Earl of Caledon, Lord Mayor Garath Keating and Deputy Lieutenant, William Beattie are pictured with Ian Forsythe, President of North Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club and members of the group.
Photo by Kelvin Boyes  / Press Eye

Inset 1: Pictured left to right are Jill Armstrong, Deputy Lieutenant; William Moorcroft, Chairman of County Armagh Community Development; The Earl of Caledon; Lord Mayor Garath Keating; Ian Forsythe, President of North Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club and Deputy Lieutenant, William Beattie.
Photo by Kelvin Boyes  / Press Eye

Inset 2: Earl of Caledon, Lord Mayor Garath Keating, Deputy Lieutenants William Beattie and Jill Armstrong are pictured with William Moorcroft, Chairman of County Armagh Community Development and other members of the Group.
Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

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