Mary awarded the BEM

Mary McAlinden.
Mary McAlinden.

Community worker Mary McAlinden has said she is accepting her British Empire Medal on behalf of all at South Lough Neagh Regeneration Association.

Mrs McAlinden, who is based at Maghery Business Park, discovered this week that she is to be honoured with a BEM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

A former SDLP Councillor with the Craigavon Borough Council, Mrs McAlinden has been actively involved in community work for around 25 years.

Mary McAlinden is Development Manager for the South Lough Neagh Regeneration Association and has been actively involved on a voluntary and professional manner for many years.

Mary is also involved in the Lough Shore Care Partnership as a volunteer.

She also works closely with the Southern Health Trust and helps to set up Men’s Shed which local men can hook up and enjoy hobbies and activities such as boat building, gardening or just relaxing with the paper and some good friends to chat about issues or concerns.

It was the South Lough Neagh Regeneration Association who nominated Mrs McAlinden for the honour.

“I will be accepting the award for all at the South Lough Neagh Regeneration Association in recognition of all their work.

“I am so proud to be part of this group,” said Mrs McAlinden.

The group first started up at Lough Neagh Lodge 25 years ago, then moved to CIDO and are now in Maghery Business Park this past 14 years.

Married to Lurgan undertaker Francis McAlinden, the couple live on the Ardmore Road and have three children Louise, Neil and Nuala plus seven grandchildren.

Mary will be heading to Hillsborough in September to accept her award and next year goes to London to attend the Queen’s Garden Party.

South Lough Neagh Regeneration Association is a cross community organisation based in Maghery.

It was established in November 1993 by community representatives as a response to the social isolation and economic stagnation of the area.