The award was made for services to the disabled community in Northern Ireland and comes following extensive awareness raising by Michael, to the needs of people with disabilities.
Michael was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in December 2010. He overcame the shock of his diagnosis to set up a travel review site for disabled people, trip-ability.com. The user-lead website is dedicated to sharing experiences of travel, entertainment and products with the disabled community around the world and also provides employment for the disabled.
Michael said: “I received a letter about the MBE but my wife Jennifer told me about it over the phone when I wasn’t at home and I immediately began to tremble with excitement. My wife and I took our children to see the royal wedding of Prince William in London, which the children really enjoyed; my wife Jennifer and I cannot wait to see the look on their faces when we tell them we’re going to see the Queen!”
Michael was awarded a scholarship by FSDP to learn to fly in 2013. He said “I cannot express adequately enough in words my thanks to FSDP and everyone involved for the path I rolled during those three amazing weeks.”