Wesley Atchison, Omagh

BEM for services to Journalism and the Community

Former Fermanagh man honoured for services to journalism and the community

A former Fermanagh man and Old Portoran, who lived at the family home near Ederney for about 30 years, Wesley Atchison said he was “humbled but delighted and grateful” to have been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in Her Majesty The Queen's New Year Honours List 2022 for services to journalism and the community.

The 66-year old Omagh native joined Tyrone’s oldest newspaper – the Tyrone Constitution – as a junior reporter directly after completing his A-Level studies at the then Portora Royal School in Enniskillen.

He progressed to Deputy Editor and subsequently Editor in January, 1995, before retiring in August, 2020, having spent his entire journalistic career spanning 46 years with the newspaper.

Having received the letter from the Cabinet Office informing him of the honour a few weeks ago while recuperating from recent surgery, Wesley said it was a welcome boost, as well as a total surprise.

He also said he was sure there were many who were more deserving of such an accolade, but he was extremely grateful to have been nominated and recognised.

Born at Gillygooley on the outskirts of Omagh – and having attended the local primary school there – Wesley moved as a boy to Drumbarron, Ederney, where his parents, the late Thomas and Ethel Atchison, bought a general merchant’s business.

On his marriage, Wesley returned to live in Omagh with his ever supportive wife, Karen, nee Steele, from Kesh, who is Principal of Cooley Primary School, Sixmilecross.

He also has a brother, Alan, who still lives at Ederney with his wife, Oonagh.