Ballymena parishioner appointed High Sheriff

Wednesday January 10th 2024

Mr Peter Mackie DL presents Patricia Perry with the Badge of Office of the High Sheriff of the County of Antrim. Looking on are Lord-Lieutenant, Mr David McCorkell, and Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna.

Patricia Perry, a member of the Parish of Kilconriola and Ballyclug, has been appointed as the High Sheriff of the County of Antrim for 2024.  

As the Monarch’s ‘judicial representative’ in the County, the High Sheriff performs a range of ceremonial roles. The Office is the oldest secular office under the Crown. The first record for a Sheriff in County Antrim dates back to 1343 and the role has changed considerably over the years.

As well as a number of official functions, the office bearer is expected to attend a range of civic events during their year in office.

Patricia Perry, a parishioner in Kilconriola and Ballyclug, who has been appointed as the High Sheriff of the County of Antrim for 2024.

Patricia is a native of Ballymena and has been a member of St Patrick’s Parish Church all her life having previously been a member of the Parish Choir, a Bellringer and a Sunday School teacher.

A teacher by profession, she was educated at Ballymena Primary School and then Cambridge House Grammar School before completing her studies in Cardiff, Bristol and London.

The new High Sheriff taught for a number of years in Downshire High School in Carrickfergus before taking over her father’s role as Sub Postmaster in Harryville in Ballymena. She later established an award-winning art gallery and gift shop in her home village of Ahoghill.

Inner Wheel has played an important part in Patricia’s life over recent years. She has undertaken the role of Club President of the Ballymena Club on several occasions and was honoured to be appointed as District Chairman (all Ireland) for the organisation for the year 2020/2021.

Inner Wheel is the largest women’s service organisation in the world, and it is very appropriate that a member has been appointed as High Sheriff in the year which marks the Centenary of the founding of the organisation.

Patricia is involved in a number of other voluntary roles in the local area. She is married to Jim who is a Deputy Lieutenant for County Antrim. Like Patricia, he has been actively involved in the life of the parish all his life. They were both baptised, confirmed and married in St Patrick’s.

Jim has been a Diocesan Lay reader for almost 40 years. They have two adult children.

The High Sheriff for 2023, Mr Peter Mackie DL, formally presented Patricia with the Badge of Office on Monday January 8. The Lord-Lieutenant, Mr David McCorkell, was also present.

The event was hosted by The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, in the Mayor’s Parlour at the Braid in Ballymena.

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