Dame Irene Hays named High Sheriff of Tyne and Wear

By Harry Kemble
Home » Dame Irene Hays named High Sheriff of Tyne and Wear

Hays Travel owner Dame Irene Hays has become the High Sheriff of Tyne and Wear for 2023/24.

The chair of UK’s largest independent travel agency was declared into the role at a ceremony in South Shields last week.

She reportedly promised to ‘promote the peace, wellbeing and prosperity of our county and all its people’ during the ceremony.

Dame Irene said: “As a woman of the north east, it is a great honour to represent Tyne and Wear as High Sheriff.

“I am looking forward to a busy year meeting and supporting many of those who give their time, skills and commitment for the benefit of others.”

The Office of High Sheriff is a non-political Royal appointment for a single year.

It is the oldest secular office in the UK after the Crown and dates back to Saxon times.

There are 55 High Sheriffs serving the counties of England and Wales each year.

In the New Year Honours List in 2020, Irene (pictured) was awarded a damehood for services to training, education and young people shortly after the death of her husband John Hays, who was the founder of Hays Travel.

She was formally made a dame commander at Windsor Castle almost a year later.

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