The High Sheriff

Suzanne Wild has been appointed as High Sheriff for the County of Down for 2024.

Suzanne Wild was educated in Belfast and went on to complete a BA in Hotel Management and an MA in Marketing in Glasgow and London. A management career in Hospitality and Tourism in Scotland and England followed before taking the opportunity to develop and share her skills as a Senior Lecturer and later course Director on BA and MSc programmes in Marketing and Tourism. She was a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and a Member of the Institute of Marketing. She has been involved in curriculum development at universities in Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, and Slovakia. She has over 18 years of experience as a consultant in tourism and management development through the British Council and EU in, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

She returned to County Down in 2004 and accepted a part time teaching post in Newry delivering modules for Ulster University. She joined the fundraising committee for Mencap Northern Ireland.

Following her retirement from teaching and having always had an interest in her husband’s career as a Consultant Neurologist, who specialised in epilepsy, she became an accredited volunteer and fundraiser for Epilepsy Action NI delivering training courses and presentations in Northern Ireland on behalf of the charity.

High Sheriff of County Down - Prof Mike Mawhinney MBE TD

The Role

WHEREAS I have been pleased to nominate and appoint you for and to be Sheriff of the County of Down during His Majesty’s pleasure: These are therefore to require you to take the Custody and Charge of the said County, and duly to perform the duties of Sheriff thereof during His Majesty’s pleasure, and whereof you are duly to answer according to Law.

Letter of Appointment

The Duties

  • To uphold and enhance the dignity and standing of the ancient Office of High Sheriff.
  • To support the Lord Lieutenant by attending the arrival of Royalty or other guests in the county on official visits.
  • To ensure the welfare of visiting High Court Judges when they preside over a case in the county, to attend on them at Court and to offer them hospitality.
  • To deliver the Proclamation of Accession following the death of the Monarch.


Precedence in the county

The High Sheriff in any county is by right second only to the Lord Lieutenant (or deputy acting for the Lord Lieutenant) but gives precedence to Mayors at their own civic functions.

The Lord Lieutenant and the High Sheriff are both appointed by, and are representatives of, the Sovereign in the county. The Lord Lieutenant is the personal representative of the Monarch, whilst the High Sheriff is the judicial representative of the Monarch.

As a representative of the Sovereign, the High Sheriff should be received at any event with the same degree of etiquette and protocol as a member of the Royal Family when the High Sheriff is attending in an official capacity in their own county.

Addressing a High Sheriff?

Written: (title and name), High Sheriff of Down

Salutation: Dear High Sheriff

In a Speech: In the preamble the High Sheriff should be referred to as High Sheriff . For example, a speech might begin, “High Sheriff, Ladies and Gentlemen…”.

Conversation: On formal occasions High Sheriff