A North Belfast priest has been presented with a lifetime achievement award for his efforts to lead economic investment in the area. Mark O’Connell of the International Economic Development Council said Ardoyne cleric Father Myles Kavanagh had played a major role in improving economic opportunities in the area, particularly through the Flax Trust. Fr Kavanagh set up the Flax Trust in the 1970s, and in one of its first projects, transformed the former Brookfield linen mill into a business centre. The trust also developed close links with America in order to encourage Americans to invest in Northern Ireland – and a presentation to Fr Kavanagh yesterday included a satellite link-up to a celebration of his achievements in New York. Mr O’Connell said: “For over 38 years the Flax Trust – under the leadership of Fr Myles Kavanagh – has been committed to the reconciliation of a divided community through economic and social inclusion, aiming to bring peace to communities by providing opportunity to one person and one job at a time.” Fr Kavanagh was born in Dublin and moved to Ardoyne in 1962. He also holds an honorary degree from Ulster University for services to the social economy.