Mrs Patricia Perry, newly appointed High Sheriff for County Antrim
A Ballymena woman has been appointed as the High Sheriff for County Antrim for 2024.
Mrs Patricia Perry’s appointment was officially announced in the Belfast edition of the London Gazette on Friday 5 January. The High Sheriff acts as the King’s ‘judicial representative’ in the County.
It is the oldest secular office under the crown and, in County Antrim, dates back to 1343. Although now primarily ceremonial in nature, there are still some formal duties attached to the role.
In Northern Ireland the honorary appointment is made by the Secretary of State on behalf of His Majesty the King.
Patricia is a native of Ballymena and lives between Gracehill and Ahoghill. 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.
After teaching in Carrickfergus for several years she was Sub Postmaster in Harryville and later owned Gloonan Gallery in her home village of Ahoghill.
Until recently Patricia was President of the Inner Wheel Club of Ballymena, a role which she has undertaken on a number of occasions. She was all Ireland District Chairman for Inner Wheel in 2020/21.
Inner Wheel is the largest women’s organisation in the world with a presence in over 100 countries. This year the organisation celebrates its Centenary. The new High Sheriff undertakes a number of other voluntary roles in the community.
Patricia is married to James who is a Deputy Lieutenant for County Antrim. They have two adult children.
Commenting on her appointment, Patricia told Love Ballymena:
"I am delighted to have been appointed as High Sheriff for County Antrim. I very much look forward to the year in Office, especially in this the Centenary year of Inner Wheel, an organisation of which I have been a member for many years."