Fr. Joseph Mallin SJ to be awarded Freedom of the City of Dublin by Dublin City Council

Fr. Joseph Mallin SJ is to be awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin. The Lord Mayor’s nomination of Fr. Joseph was warmly welcomed by all Councillors and subsequently ratified at this evening’s Dublin City Council meeting. The award of Freedom of the City of Dublin acknowledges the contribution of recipients to the life of Ireland’s capital city. It also bestows honour on important visitors to Dublin. The Freedom of the City will be awarded to Fr. Joseph on 21st March in Hong Kong.

Fr. Joseph will join an illustrious list of Freemen and Freewomen including former US presidents John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, the four members of U2, Kevin Heffernan and Aung San Suu Kyi. Brother Kevin Crowley OFM Cap and John Giles were the last people to be awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin in 2015.

Ardmhéara Bhaile Átha Cliath Críona Ní Dhálaigh said, “I am honoured and privileged to propose Fr. Joseph Mallin for Dublin City’s highest award, the Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin.  He is the last surviving child of an executed leader of the Easter 1916 Rising and also has spent a life serving the people of Hong Kong and Macau through his ministry and teaching.  Is anois tá sé i measc daoine eile a bhfuil an gradam allmhór seo.”

Fr. Joseph is the last surviving child of an executed leader of the 1916 Rising.  His Father Michael Mallin was in command of the Garrisons at St. Stephen’s Green and Royal College of Surgeons and was executed in Kilmainham Gaol on 8th May 1916.  Fr Joseph joined the Jesuit Order and travelled to Hong Kong and Macau where he led a very varied apostolic life, successfully doing the job of minister in the community, Mission Bursar, Director of a Social Centre, Secondary School Teacher, Headmaster of Pun Yu Primary School in Hong Kong and Principal of Ricci College in Macao.   Fr. Mallin keeps in regular contact with his Irish relatives writing in a beautiful old Irish script and keeps up to date with Irish and Chinese current affairs.  He last visited Ireland to celebrate his 90th birthday but now considers Hong Kong his home.  He is a man of few words, but of many loving actions and has devoted his life to serving God and the people of Hong Kong and Macau.  The Freedom of the City acknowledges and celebrates this work and his family’s connection to the Easter 1916 Rising which we commemorate this year.

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.

Ends

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Notes to the Editor:

History of Freedom of the City of Dublin

Following the Norman Invasion of Ireland, any chartered town or city in Ireland was entitled to admit certain of its inhabitants to the Freedom.  Holders of this ancient Freedom were usually members of the Trade Guilds of the city or town in question, and their descendants. Holders of the ancient Freedom had the right to vote in municipal and parliamentary elections and the right to trade in the city or town in question.  The Trade Guilds were abolished in 1840, but descendants of original Freemen retained the right to vote in municipal elections until the ancient Freedom was abolished under the Representation of the People Act 1918.

The Honorary Freedom was instituted under the Municipal Privileges (Ireland) Act 1876 and each city in Ireland had the right to confer it.  This differed from the ancient Freedom in that it was purely honorary and there was no entitlement to vote.  Under the Local Government Act 1991, Section 48 (1) it was provided that: 'A local authority may confer a civic honour on a distinguished person in such manner as it may determine including the admission of the person to the honorary freedom of its functional area and may establish and maintain a roll in which to enter the names of persons so honoured.'  This had the effect of enabling any local authority in Ireland, including counties, to confer the Honorary Freedom. 

Ancient Privileges & Duties of a Freeman / Freewoman

Holders of the Freedom of Dublin have a number of ancient privileges and duties not applicable to ordinary citizens, some of which have little more than symbolic meaning in the modern world.

Ancient Privileges include:

  • 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. This includes modern-day College Green (formerly Hoggen Green) and St. Stephen’s Green.  This right was exercised by Freemen Bono and The Edge of U2 in 2000!
  • The right to vote in municipal and parliamentary elections.
  • Ancient Duties include:
  • Each Freeman / Freewoman has to be ready to defend the city from attack.
  • A Freeman / Freewoman can be called on to join a city militia at short notice.
  • According to a law passed in 1454, any merchant who becomes a Freeman / Freewoman must possess the following items:
  • A coat of mail
  • A bow
  • A light helmet
  • A sword of his/her own
  • Freemen from all the other trade guilds must have a bow, arrows and a sword. A law passed in 1465, states that each Freeman / Freewoman has to provide himself/herself with a longbow (of his own length) made of yew, witch-hazel or ash.  He/she must also have twelve arrows made of the same wood.

Freemen and Freewomen of Dublin

Past recipients of the Keys to the City, in chronological order are:

  • Isaac Butt, 4 September 1876, 16 October 1876
  • W.E. Gladstone, 1 November 1877, 7 November 1877
  • U.S. Grant, 30 December 1878, 3 January 1879
  • Edward E. Potter,26 April 1880, 4 May 1880
  • Charles S. Parnell,3 January 1882, 16 August 1882
  • John Dillon, 3 January 1882, 16 August 1882
  • Kevin Izod O’Doherty,10 August 1885, 1 September 1885
  • Patrick A. Collins,22 July 1887, 2 August 1887
  • William O’Brien, 22 July 1887, 2 August 1887
  • [The Marquess of] Ripon,16 January 1888, 2 February 1888
  • John Morley, 16 January 1888, 2 February 1888
  • Patrick F. Cardinal Moran1 October 1888, 4 October 1888
  • Margaret Sandhurst,19 September 1889, 20 September 1889
  • James Stansfeld, 19 September 1889, 20 September 1889
  • George Salmon, 14 March 1892, 30 June 1892
  • Stuart Knill, 23 December 1892, 2 January 1893
  • Timothy Daniel Sullivan,10 December 1887, 24 October 1893
  • Thomas Sexton, 28 December 1887, Did not sign roll
  • J.E. Redmond, 18 December 1901, 3 April 1902
  • P. A. McHugh, 30 October 1901, 3 April 1902
  • An Craoibhín Aoibhín, 29 June 1906, 7 August 1906
  • Spencer Harty, 2 September 1907, No date given
  • Hugh P. Lane,10 February 1908, Did not sign roll,
  • Richard Croker, 1 July 1907, 24 August 1908
  • E. O’Meagher Condon, 28 September 1909, 4 October 1909
  • Charles A. Cameron, 30 September 1910, 20 February 1911
  • Kuno Meyer, 18 July 1911, 22 April 1912
  • Peadar Ua Laoghaire, 18 July 1911, 22 April 1912
  • Daniel Mannix, 5 August 1920, Did not sign roll
  • John McCormack, , 3 September 1923, 6 September 1923
  • Ehrenfried Gunther, 30 June 1928, 3 July 1928,
  • Baron von Hunefeld, Hermann Koehl, 30 June 1928, 3 July 1928
  • James C., Fitzmaurice, 30 June 1928, 3 July 1928
  • Frank B. Kellogg, 25 August 1928, 30 August 1928
  • Lorenzo Cardinal Lauri, 2 May 1932, 27 June 1932
  • John Lavery, 12 August 1935, 17 September 1935
  • John Purser Griffith, 4 May 1936, 8 June 1936
  • G. Bernard Shaw, 4 March 1946, 28 August 1946
  • Richard J. Cushing, 16 September 1949, 16 September 1949
  • Paul A. Dever, 16 September 1949, 16 September 1949
  • Sean T. O Ceallaigh, 4 May 1953, 2 June 1953
  • John Cardinal D’Alton, 4 May 1953, 2 June 1953
  • Gerald P. O’Hara,12 July 1954, 27 July 1954
  • Chester Beatty,7 November 1955, 26 July 1956
  • John F. Norton, 11 August 1958, 28 October 1958
  • G.P. Cardinal Agagianian1 May 1961, 22 June 1961
  • Michael Cardinal Browne 16 July 1962, 23 August 1962
  • John F. Kennedy, 27 May 1963, 28 June 1963,
  • Hilton R.H. Edwards,11 June 1973, 22 June 1973
  • Micheál Mac Liammóir,11 June 1973, 22 June 1973
  • Eamon de Valera, 3 February 1975, 7, March 1975
  • John A. Costello,3 February 1975, 7, March 1975
  • Joannes Paulus PP. II,24 September 1979, 29 September 1979
  • Noel Purcell, 22 June 1984, 28 June 1984
  • Maureen Potter (O’Leary)22 June 1984, 28 June 1984
  • Akihito, 20 February 1985, 4 March 1985
  • Michiko, 20 February 1985, 4 March 1985
  • Stephen Roche, 28 September 1987, 29 September 1987
  • Nelson Mandela, 18 July 1988, 21 September 1988
  • Pádraig Ua hIrighile,4 March 1991, 22 April 1991
  • M. Teresa M.C., 1 February 1993, 2 June 1993
  • John [Jack] Charlton,11 April 1994, 26 May 1994
  • William J. Clinton, 6 November 1995, 1 December 1995
  • Gabriel M. Byrne, 12 April 1999, 11 May 1999
  • [Aung San Suu Kyi], 1 November 1999, 18th June 2012
  • Paul McGuinness, 1 November 1999, 18 March 2000
  • The Edge, 1 November 1999, 18 March 2000
  • Larry Mullen Junior, 1 November 1999, 18 March 2000
  • Adam Clayton, 1 November 1999, 18 March 2000
  • Bono, 1 November 1999, 18 March 2000
  • Mikhail Gorbachev, 3 December 2001, 9 January 2002
  • Kevin Heffernan, 1 March 2004, 17 May 2004
  • Ronnie Delany, 5 September 2005,5 March 2006
  • Bob Geldof, 5 September 2005,5 March 2006
  • Thomas Kinsella, 5 February 2007, 24 May 2007
  • Louis Le Brocquy, 5 February 2007, 24 May 2007
  • Fr. Peter McVerry SJ, 4 November 2013, 22 March 2014
  • Brian O’Driscoll, 4 November 2013, 22 March 2014
  • Brother Kevin Crowley OFM Cap, 1st September 2014, 28th February 2015
  • John Giles, 1st September 2014, 28th February 2015

 

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