Niall Carson/PA

Fr Brian D'Arcy receives OBE at Buckingham Palace

D’Arcy said he would celebrate by going for fish and chips with his family.

FR BRIAN D’ARCY has received an Order of the British Empire (OBE) today for his contribution to cross-community relations in Northern Ireland over the last 25 years.

Fr D’Arcy spoke to RTÉ’s Ray D’Arcy earlier today after receiving the OBE from Prince William at Buckingham Palace.

He said after the deaths of a number of his friends recently including Gay Byrne, Marian Finucane and Larry Gogan, it had been “nice to get something to celebrate about than be in grief about”.

“It was something that was offered some time ago and then they offered it again coming up to the end of last year. They were pretty keen that someone would step forward, because the political situation in the North was so bad and nothing was happening and they were just looking to increase some form of cross-community relations and some form of help towards a healing path,” he explained.

He said he had reservations initially about accepting the OBE because he did not feel he should be getting an award for something he “should be doing as a priest anyway”.

When asked about the current situation in Northern Ireland, Fr D’Arcy said “Brexit has not been very helpful to anyone in the North” and he added that political leadership has been “at an all time low” for some time.

He said Prince William was familiar with his work and told Fr D’Arcy that he underestimates his own work.

“It was very nice of him to say that, you know,” D’Arcy said.

The priest said he told  Prince William that he was praying for the royal family as it is going through a difficult period.

After the ceremony, he said he was celebrating the award by going out for fish and chip with his two sisters and his brother-in-law.

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