Barry Macaulay Awarded Medal of the British Empire for Services to Disability Sports

Fri 27th December 2019

Barry Macaulay from Mallusk, County Antrim has been awarded The Medal of the Order of the British Empire 2020 on the Queen’s New Year Honours List for his services to disability sports.

The medal recognises the positive contribution that Barry has made to the disability sports sector in Northern Ireland over a period of 27 years thus far. Barry’s passion and dedication has made a significant impact within disability sports, providing lots of new opportunities for people with a disability to get involved in sports. In addition to this, Barry has provided strong strategic input for strengthening Disability Sport NI and other disability sports organisations and clubs as well as providing input into policy affecting the provision of disability sports in Northern Ireland.

Barry was overwhelmed to be named on the New Year Honours List commenting, “This truly is a great honour and one that I will be very proud to receive. I have always been deeply passionate about supporting people with a disability and creating opportunities for people with a disability and long term health conditions to get involved in sport and active recreation.

“I have met so many inspirational people through my experiences and I plan to continue playing an active role in the disability sports sector and supporting people with a disability for a long time to come.”

Barry has tirelessly supported charitable organisations through a number of voluntary roles, most significantly as Board Member of Disability Sport NI between 2009 and 2017 including undertaking the roles of Vice Chairperson and then Chairperson between 2012 and 2017. Through this role Barry poured heart and soul into the charity to ensure its sustainability and to help create a strong disability sports sector in Northern Ireland.

Kevin O’Neill, Chief Executive Officer of Disability Sport NI welcomes the news saying, “It is fantastic to see the great work that Barry has dedicated his life to recognised through this prestigious award. Barry played a vital role within Disability Sport NI and helped to make it the charity that it is today.
I would like to offer a sincere congratulations to Barry on behalf of everyone at Disability Sport NI.”

In addition to his role within Disability Sport NI, Barry championed inclusive participation in sport as a Board Member of Sport NI between 2008 and 2014.  He was a strong advocate of sport for blind people through his links with the Blind Centre for NI, NI Blind Sports, RNIB, Jordanstown Schools and set up the visually impaired football programme with the IFA. Not one to shy away from a challenge or an adventure, Barry has organised several trips for people with sight loss including a tandem cycle the length of Ireland from Mizen to Malin and a climb up Ben Nevis. Barry also regularly acted as sighted pilot for people with sight loss to enjoy tandem cycling across many clubs and as a sighted guide for runners with sight loss.

Having spent the earlier part of his career working as a social worker for children and adults with a disability, Barry went on to develop a strong career with RNIB NI. He is currently Director of The Stroke Association in NI where he continues to champion physical activity and the associated health benefits for people with a disability and long-term conditions.