Professor Mike Mawhinney MBE TD has been appointed as Sheriff of the County of Down for 2023.

The office of High Sheriff is an ancient one that dates back nearly 1,000 years when the “Shire Reeve” reported to the king on matters of law.

It is the oldest secular office in the UK and is the Sovereign’s judicial representative in the County.

In his role, he will be invited to greet members of the Royal Family or Heads of State if they visit Co Down and will receive High Court Judges should they be presiding at a Court in the county.

Informally, the Sheriff will also receive a range of invitations to social and ceremonial functions in the area.

Professor Mawhinney (front row, 2nd from right) accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant, Vice Lord Lieutenant, High Sheriff of County Down for 2022 (Mr James Smyth) the Mayors and CEOs of County Down’s Councils, and former Sheriffs at the handover ceremony.
Photograph by Hannah Moore – In the Moment Photography

This role is the latest in a long line of awards that recognise his achievements and contributions to pharmacy and the community throughout his career.

  • 2021 Fellow of The Organisation for Professionals in Regulatory Affairs
  • 2020 Lifetime Outstanding Contribution to the Pharmacy Profession
  • 2020 Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)
  • 2019 Chartered Scientist
  • 2015 Fellow of the Faculty of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society
  • 2011 Honorary Professor at The Queen’s University of Belfast
  • 2009 Visiting Professor at Ulster University
  • 2004 Fellow of The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland
  • 2003 Territorial Decoration
  • 2002 Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal

Professor Mawhinney is currently Head of Regulatory Affairs for Community Pharmacy NI and, along with a number of other roles, he sits on the Pharmacy Forum Board and has been appointed as an Independent Community Observer for the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

Congratulations to Professor Mawhinney on this well-deserved appointment.