Wednesday, 3 January 2018

MID-ULSTER HONOURS thumbnailMr Jack Dobson OBE

A DUNGANNON company director has been awarded an OBE in Her Majesty The Queen's New Year Honours.

Jack Dobson, a Group Executive Director with Dunbia (NI) Ltd and Consultant, Cranswick (Ballymena) Ltd, was awarded the OBE for services to Economic Development in Northern Ireland.

He is one of eight locals to be recognised in Her Majesty The Queen's New Year Honours.

Dunbia owners Jack and his brother Jim founded their meat processing company 40 years ago, Dunbia grew from a butcher's shop in Moygashel to a 10-site operation employing over 4,500 people and recording a turnover of 830 million.

In 1976 the brothers opened a butchers shop in Moygashel, Dungannon and seven years later opened a slaughter and boning hall facility in the town.

In 1990 they opened an extensive new boning hall in Dungannon and in 1993 built a retail packing factory in the town.

Other food and meat retail firms were added to the Dunbia portfolio in subsequent years.

These included Rose County Foods in Clitheroe, Lancashire; Excel Meats and Newgrange Meats in the Republic of Ireland; Oriel Jones and Sons in Wales and the acquisition of a new boning facility for Dunbia (Kilbeggan).

Twenty years ago the group was rebranded to Dunbia and in 2007 Dunbia acquired Rhinds of Elgin in Scotland and Kepak in Preston. They also took over Stevenson's & Co pork facility in Ballymena in 2009 and the following year extended Dunbia's Preston facility with a purpose-built sausage facility.

Five years ago Dunbia took over factory facilities in Felinfach, Wales, which is located 10 miles from its sister lamb plant Dunbia (Llanybydder) and in 2014 Dunbia acquired Lynch Quality Meats, a multi-species retail pack facility in Ayr, Scotland.

In October 2017 a strategic partnership and acquisition agreement between Dunbia and Dawn Meats was completed.

First announced in May of last year, Dawn agreed a strategic partnership with Dunbia to establish a joint venture in the United Kingdom comprising the UK operations of both organisations.

The new brand and logo for the joint venture was unveiled to staff and customers at the business's headquarters in Granville, Dungannon.

In the Republic of Ireland, Dawn has acquired Dunbia's operations, and now has nine facilities (including five abattoirs), following the addition of two complementary Dunbia facilities - one abattoir in Slane and one boning hall in Kilbeggan.

The combined businesses in the UK and Ireland will process approximately 900,000 cattle and 2.6 million sheep annually.

Jack and Jim Dobson were awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the prestigious UTV Business Eye Awards in Belfast a year ago in recognition of their contribution to the Northern Ireland Agri-Food industry and to the economy as a whole.

Accepting the award at the time Jack said: "Winning a Lifetime Achievement Award makes you look back and reflect on what you have done over the years.

"I am a farmer at heart and I am really proud of the relationships we have built with our suppliers, many of whom have been supplying us with livestock for generations.

"The relationships with our suppliers and customers are the cornerstone of our success.

"When you build a business from scratch, you appreciate every single sale made and customer gained and you work hard at ensuring they are given good product and service. Our customers include some of the largest retailers in Europe, some of whom have been with Dunbia for over 30 years which is something I take great pride in.

"Quality products and excellent customer service are the values which underpin every deal we have ever done and which we believe sets us apart from many of our competitors."


A BEM has been awarded to former Dungannon man Mr Jim Thornberry for Services to Young People through the Boys' Brigade in Northern Ireland.

A member of Dungannon Methodist Church and currently Treasurer of Dungannon Methodist Circuit, Jim, from Lomond Heights in Cookstown, has been involved in BB for a lifetime, both with the 1st Dungannon Company and the Mid-Ulster Battalion, where he has held and continues to hold many positions. Aged 68, he has been involved in the Boys' Brigade for over 60 years.

Born in Stangmore, Dungannon, Jim joined Dungannon Life Boys at the age of 7 and is a long-serving member and Officer of 1st Dungannon Boys' Brigade, holding the position of Captain for 36 years. He is now Honorary Captain of the Company.

This is his second term as President of the Mid-Ulster Battalion where he has also served as Secretary for 13 years as well as holding other posts including Camp Treasurer, and he has helped organise the Mid-Ulster Battalion annual camp for many years throughout the UK.

At Northern Ireland level he has been a member of the Northern Ireland District Executive since 1983 and has chaired the Northern Ireland District Administration Committee since 1995. He is also a representative on the NI Regional Committee and has served for 19 years on the Boys' Brigade National Executive Committee, covering the UK and Republic of Ireland.

In his 36 years as Captain, Jim has helped 68 members of 1st Dungannon Co. gain the Queen's Badge, the highest BB award and he says he is very privileged to have been able to do so. He is also proud of all those boys and young men who have passed through the Company.

A retired Insurance Broker in Dungannon for 47 years, Jim says he is both honoured and humbled to have received the BEM in Her Majesty's New Year Honours.

"The news came as a bit of a shock," Jim told the Courier, "but to be honest I am very humbled. I didn't get involved in the BB to receive recognition like this, but it is very pleasant."

"I could not have carried out my work and duties with the Boys' Brigade without the help and support of many others, and I wish to pay tribute to my family as well as many Company, Battalion and other Officers throughout Northern Ireland, so I accept this honour in recognition of the work of all those involved in the Boys' Brigade in Northern Ireland."

Jim is married to Beverley (nee Hutchinson) who is involved in the Guides movement, now with 1st Loy Guides and formerly 1st Moneymore Guides.

They have two of a family, Lynsey and Lee.



Mr Philip Kyle, from Ranfurly Road, Dungannon received the BEM for Services to Young People and the Community in Northern Ireland.

A member of Dungannon Presbyterian Church, Mr Kyle, has been involved in Youth Fellowship in the Church each Sunday for over 30 years.

A retired vet, the 78-year-old was well known in the Parklands practice in Dungannon.

Mr Kyle, who is married with two sons, one daughter, two grandsons and two grand-daughters, thanked his wife Rosetta and family for their support, adding: "I am delighted someone thought I was worthy of the award."


Police Superintendent Alywin Barton, who served for a period in Dungannon, was awrded the QPM in the New Year Honours.

Superintendent Barton has been a Police officer for 34 years and has served mainly in Counties Tyrone and Fermanagh.

He has established many collaborative partnerships with a diverse range of organisations helping to build community confidence in policing.

During his time in Fermanagh he played an integral part in planning the 2013 G8 Summit and was responsible for the operational engagement plan. He recently has worked on delivering a blueprint for the continued delivery of community policing in Northern Ireland.


Other New Year Honour recipients locally are:

Mrs Rhona Quinn, who is employed by Pomeroy construction company QMAC, received the OBE for Services to the Construction Industry and the Community in Northern Ireland.

Mrs Iris Phoebe McSwigin received the BEM for Services to Charity and Community Relations in Fivemiletown.

Mrs Margaret Cahoon, a Learning Support Assistant in Knockloughrim Primary School, received the BEM for services to Education in Northern Ireland.

And Mr Patrick Joseph Prunty received the BEM for Services to the Lough Neagh Rescue Service.


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