To mark the first anniversary of the appointment of Mr David McCorkell as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, we’ve done a socially distanced Q&A with him:
It’s been a year since your appointment, have you enjoyed it?
I can’t believe it’s been a year already, as the old saying goes: ‘time flies when you’re having fun’. It is such a pleasure, and a huge privilege, to serve as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of this wonderful County. It has been unfortunate that this unforeseen lockdown has fallen in my first year, I really look forward to being able to get out and about in the County more as restrictions ease.
What have been the highlights?
There have been many highlights and obviously the Royal Visits are particularly special. My first visit was for The Open Championship at Royal Portrush. Watching Shane Lowry lift the famed claret jug after his masterclass in links golf was incredible. I was so proud to see Portrush on the world stage.
Meeting HM The Queen, at Buckingham Palace, was also a day that my wife and I will always treasure.
More generally, I’ve really enjoyed just getting out and meeting so many interesting people and learning about the incredible initiatives going on across the County.
What have your focuses been for your first year in office?
I was keen to bring the Lieutenancy into the 21st Century and increase our presence online to raise awareness and reach out to a new generation, by following the excellent example set by the Royal Households. We’ve a website now, which I hope acts as a useful point of reference.
We’ve also got a growing Twitter following (@ALieutenancy), which has been a great success. Whilst we can’t always share everything that’s going on in the Lieutenancy, it’s an excellent way to raise awareness of local causes, promote the Armed Forces and communicate key messages. It has really come into its own during lockdown.
What could the Lieutenancy do better?
It is important that the Lieutenancy remains relevant and approachable so we must continue to adapt and move with the times.
As a retired businessman, I would also like to see more applicants for the Queen’s Award for Enterprise and the Lieutenancy, with the support of the Councils, have a key role to play in raising awareness about this prestigious award.
We couldn’t do this without mentioning COVID19, what have you learnt from the pandemic?
I’ve learnt that volunteering is most definitely alive and well. It has been so inspiring to read all the selfless stories of all the volunteers and key workers. I’m very proud of the way the people of County Antrim have come together to care for each other. The voluntary sector remains under huge financial strain and we must all work together to make sure it can continue its vital contribution to our communities.
I’ve also learnt of the importance of being adaptable: I’ve found social media a particularly important way to communicate and by embracing technology it is still possible to attend meetings and take part in events virtually, like the VE Day Commemorations. It was wonderful to see HM The Queen take part in a Zoom call recently.
Finally, tell us something that people might not know about you?
I become a grandfather for the first time at the end of last year. Due to lockdown, my wife and I have found it frustrating not being able to play a bigger part in our Granddaughter’s first year as she lives in England.
Honours and awards