A victims’ campaigner has dedicated his MBE to innocent survivors of terrorism in Northern Ireland.
Kenny Donaldson said he was shocked and deeply humbled when he was notified that he would be recognised in the New Year Honours list.
He has worked with victims of terrorism for years through his involvement with Innocent Victims United (IVU) and the South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF).
I feel deeply humbled that anyone would have thought to put forward my name in this way
He said: “I was shocked and a little embarrassed when I opened the letter and read its contents.
“I feel deeply humbled that anyone would have thought to put forward my name in this way.
“To those who did I would wish to say thank you very much.”
He added: “However, I am not accepting this MBE honour for Kenny Donaldson, I accept it for innocent victims and survivors of terrorism and other Troubles-related violence.
“Many of them I have had the privilege of knowing over the past 15 years and more through SEFF, IVU and beyond, and who have come from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds; unified in their opposition to violence being used as a means to pursue or defend a political objective.
“I never cease to be amazed by the dignity and grace of those who have been so grievously wronged and for which no justice, nor accountability has yet followed.”
Mr Donaldson continued: “I don’t view what I do as employment or as a job, for me it is a vocation and a cause.
“I am conscious that often people are acknowledged through Her Majesty’s Birthday and New Year’s Honours at the point of retirement or when a milestone achievement has been made.
“That is not the case with me, I am still very much part of the fight and there is much which remains to be done in ensuring that the integrity of victim and survivor experiences is preserved and that those impacted might experience a quality of life.
“We must get services right for such individuals particularly around the area of mental health.”