Hosting a unique event at Queen’s University Law School recently was one of the last duties of out-going High Sheriff of County Antrim, James Perry.
Dating back centuries, the High Sheriff is historically known to be the Sovereign’s judicial representative in the County and Mr Perry officially took over the prestigious ceremonial role on January 1, 2016.
One of the roles of the Office is to assist in the administration of the County Antrim Grand Jury Bursary, a fund which helps to support selected postgraduate law students at Queen’s who are resident in County Antrim and who are planning additional aspects of study.
The Law School houses records of those who have fulfilled the Office of High Sheriff for County Antrim since 1343. The role is the oldest office under the Crown, dating back about 1000 years.
Mr Perry, who hails from Gracehill, as current High Sheriff therefore invited those whose names have been recently added to a small reception in the Law School which he hosted with his wife, Patricia.
The Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mrs Joan Christie OBE, was also in attendance and she outlined some of the responsibilities of the High Sheriff and emphasised the historic relevance of the role.
Mr Perry, referred to several of the highlights during his very busy year in office. As the year 2016 marked the Queen’s 90th birthday there were several additional events in which he had the opportunity to be involved.
Mr Perry also offered his best wishes to the incoming High Sheriff who would take up post from January 2017.
Dr Robin Hickey, Head of the Law School, thanked all those present for attending. As a former recipient of the Grand Jury Bursary himself, Dr Hickey emphasied the historic importance of the role of High Sheriff and the relationship with the Law School and he thanked the High Sheriff Panel for their ongoing support for postgraduate law students at Queen’s.