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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Special recognition for Tommy Nicholl MBE during APSE Annual Service Awards 2023

Mr Tommy Nicholl, an elderly gentleman wearing a suit and tie and glasses in front of a grand wooden staircase

Ballymena man Tommy Nicholl MBE, a former councillor and mayor of Mid and East Antrim, has been recognised for his many years of public service at a prestigious awards event hosted by the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE).


The APSE Annual Service Awards were held at Titanic Belfast on the evening of Thursday 14th September. Amongst the glitz and glamour of the evening, was the moment of fond reflection as the special guest was recognised for his lifetime contribution to both local government and to APSE.


Members of the audience were upstanding as Mr Tommy Nicholl MBE was awarded the APSE Lifetime Achievement Special Recognition Award 2023.

Following the surprise award, Mr Nicholl said:


“I am extremely honoured to have received this award and it’s a wonderful surprise. I’ve enjoyed every moment of my time in local government and working with APSE.


"My goal has always been to secure a prosperous and sustainable future for all citizens and I’m proud of the accomplishments made over the years by those I’ve worked alongside and know that the future of local government is in safe hands.”


Until his retirement in May of this year Mr Nicholl was Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s longest serving councillor, serving a grand total of 42 years in the chamber, and completing two terms as Mayor.

During his time as a highly respected councillor, Mr Nicholl pro-actively shared his expertise to ensure his constituents were represented to the highest standard.

Over the course of his career Mr Nicholl served APSE in many guises, first as a board member on APSE Northern Ireland, a member of APSE’s National Council and as APSE Northern Ireland Chair. In 2022 he was elected as APSE’s National Chair, unanimously nominated to that position by APSE Northern Ireland.


Speaking during the awards ceremony on Mr Nicholls contribution to APSE, Mo Baines, APSE Chief Executive stated:


“We very much regard APSE as a family, bound together by our shared values and commitment to local government. And some within our APSE family have quite literally given decades to local government and to their local communities, unapologetically making the case for local services and what they offer to local people. It is only fitting that we should recognise a lifetime contribution to both local government and to APSE.”



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