Brian O'Driscoll And Fr. Peter McVerry Granted Dublin Freedom

Brian O’Driscoll and Fr. Peter McVerry are to be awarded Freedom of the City of Dublin by Dublin City Council.

The Lord Mayor’s nomination of the two men was approved and subsequently ratified at a Dublin City Council meeting on 4 November.

Brian O’Driscoll is considered one of Ireland’s most successful rugby union players. His achievements as player and captain for Leinster, Ireland and the British and Irish Lions include Under 19 World Cup, League Cups, Heineken Cups, Triple Crowns and the Grand Slam in 2009.

Fr. Peter McVerry SJ has campaigned for the rights of Dublin’s young homeless people for more than 40 years. The Peter McVerry Trust provides services to young homeless people.

"He approaches each individual he encounters with immense respect and works tirelessly to help them overcome the often immense personal challenges they face," a statement from the Council said.

Brian O’Driscoll and Fr. Peter McVerry join a list that includes former US presidents John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, U2, Kevin Heffernan and Aung San Suu Kyi.

Louis Le Broquy and Thomas Kinsella were the last people to be awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin in 2007.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisín Quinn said: "It is a great honour to be able to propose two of Dublin’s most inspirational citizens for our highest award, the Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin. Brian and Fr. Peter are from different generations but they share much in common. They are both inspirational leaders. They set a remarkable example to us all by the way they apply themselves to their challenges. They are people who lead by the example they set. In their own way and in their own fields, they are both individuals who walk the walk.

"I am delighted they have agreed to accept this great honour and I know that all Dubliners will be both proud of, and find inspiration into the future from, these two remarkable men. They are and will continue to be great ambassadors for Dublin."

Amongst the ancient privileges afforded to a Freeman or Freewoman is the right to bring goods into Dublin through the city gates, without paying customs duties; the right to pasture sheep on common ground within the city boundaries; and the right to vote in municipal and parliamentary elections.


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