The long-time editor of the Tyrone Constitution and its sister newspaper, the Strabane Weekly News, Wesley Atchison, said he was ‘humbled’ and ‘honoured’ to have been appointed 2019 Sheriff for Co Tyrone.
The Omagh native also said he was delighted, if somewhat surprised, to have been deemed worthy of the role.
That role includes being invited to greet members of the Royal Family or Heads of State if they visit Tyrone, and receiving a High Court judge should they be presiding at a court in the county. Informally, the Sheriff may also receive a range of invitations to social and ceremonial functions in the area.
The well-known journalist succeeds Omagh dentist, Barry McGonigle, in the position.
Wesley explained that having initially been nominated for the post – for which he is most grateful – on Thursday last he received a warrant of appointment signed by the Secretary of State on behalf of the Queen ratifying his appointment for one year. There was also a ‘Declaration of Sheriff’ to be sworn before a Commissioner of Oaths.
Wesley has been on the staff of the Tyrone Constitution for approaching 45 years, having joined Tyrone’s oldest newspaper directly after completing his A level studies at the then Portora Royal School in Enniskillen.
Having been appointed a junior reporter in 1974 at the height of the Troubles, he covered many heartbreaking and traumatic events in the area, progressing to deputy editor and subsequently editor in January 1995. Coincidentally the paper celebrates its 175th anniversary this year – so Wesley’s appointment is something of a double celebration for the ‘Con’, which is a member of the Alpha Media Group.
Full story in this week's Tyrone Constitution newspaper ...