Derry women in New Year’s Honours list

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Two Derry women have been named on the New Year Honours List 2013.

Joanna Boyd, the Women’s Officer for Derry City Council, has been awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for services to Local Government in Northern Ireland.

Maureen Neely, an Administrator at Altnagelvin Hospital, has also been recognised, receiving a BEM (British Empire Medal) for services to healthcare and to the community in Northern Ireland.

Waterside Council employee Joanna said she was honoured and proud to be acknowledged for her work and was looking forward to travelling to Buckingham Palace later in the year to receive her award.

“I am absolutely over the moon. I just can’ take it in,” she said.

“I feel very honoured to be chosen in this way and I am deeply grateful to everyone for their support.

“This award is not only for me but for all the women I represent in the Derry City Council area, who work with me to create greater awareness of women’s issues in local government, without them this award would not be possible.”

The local women’s advocate went on to say:

“I would like to say a big thank you to the person who nominated me for the award and also to my family and friends for their support.

“Everyone is very proud and it’s been a fantastic Christmas present.”

Joanna has been working as women’s officer with Derry City Council since January 2004 where she is responsible for supporting women’s groups and organizations across the Council area.

A council spokesperson said: “A key element of Joanna’s job is working in partnership with cross community and cross border women’s groups and hosting an annual community relations conference in the city. Joanna is also responsible for organising the annual Women of the Year awards and providing a range of support services to assist women’s groups.

“She is also a member of the Foyle Women’s Information Network, Women Into Politics and Women into Public Life. On a personal capacity she is the current chairman of the Waterside branch of the Royal British Legion.”