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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland



22 May 2018

The Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Association for Northern Ireland bids a fond farewell to Sir Denis Desmond, KCVO CBE as he retires after 18 years as Lord Lieutenant for County Londonderry. Sir Denis was also the President of the Association for the past 5 years and his support and advice were hugely appreciated, both by the staff and the Association members.

In recognition of his dedicated and outstanding service as the Sovereign’s personal representative, The Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council recently conferred on Sir Denis The Freedom of the Borough. This is the highest civic honour that a Council can bestow and it was presented to him in a special ceremony held at the Coleraine Council Civic Headquarters. 

As Lord Lieutenant, Sir Denis sought to promote a spirit of co-operation throughout the County by encouraging and supporting  voluntary and community work, charitable organisations, business,  industry and commerce. The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens,  Councillor Joan Baird OBE, commented during the ceremony that,  ‘Sir  Denis served with great distinction and his generous public  service is an example to us all’. ‘Committed’, ‘hardworking’ and  ‘modest’ were words used to describe Sir Denis during the ceremony.  

Sir Denis's role in welcoming members of the Royal Family to the area was also recognised, particularly in 2016 when Sir Denis hosted HM The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh during their visit to the Borough which included the official opening of Bellarena Train Station when they alighted from the Royal Steam Train. Sir Denis’s diligence in encouraging nominations for personal Honours, The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and The Queen’s Award for Enterprise saw the County represented at the highest level.

Sir Denis is pictured above with Mayor Joan Baird and Chief Executive, David Jackson, of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. 

Following the retirement of Sir Denis, Her Majesty The Queen has been pleased to appoint Mrs Alison Millar as Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the County of Londonderry.  The Associations sends its heartfelt congratulations to Mrs Millar and welcomes her as Vice-President of RFCA NI.