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

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Brian O’Driscoll and Fr. Peter McVerry are to be awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin. The Lord Mayor’s nomination of the two men 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 both men in early 2014.
Brian O’Driscoll and Fr. Peter McVerry will join an illustrious list of Freemen and Freewomen including 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.”
Fr. Peter McVerry SJ has campaigned tirelessly for the rights of Dublin’s young homeless people for more than 40 years.  The Peter McVerry Trust provides a wide range of services to young homeless people and Fr. McVerry has always used his voice to speak on their behalf.  He approaches each individual he encounters with immense respect and works tirelessly to help them overcome the often immense personal challenges they face.
Brian O’Driscoll is one of Ireland’s best ever rugby union players and has frequently been named as the top player in the world during his playing career.  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 historic Grand Slam in 2009.  He is one of the most respected rugby players in the game today. Dublin City Council is proud to honour him as a player in the blue of Leinster and the green of Ireland.
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.
For further information contact:
Dublin City Council Media Relations Office T. (01) 222 2170,
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.
Recipients of Freedom of the City of Dublin
  No Name of Recipient Date of Resolution Date of Signature  
  1 Isaac Butt 4.9.1876 16.10.1876  
  2 W.E. Gladstone 1.11.1877 7.11.1877  
  3 U.S. Grant 30.12.1878 3.1.1879  
  4 Edward E. Potter 26.4.1880 4.5.1880  
  5 Charles S. Parnell 3. 1.1882 16.8.1882  
  6 John Dillon 3.1.1882 16.8.1882  
  7 Kevin Izod O’Doherty 10.8.1885 1.9.1885  
  8 Patrick A. Collins 22.7.1887 2.8.1887  
  9 William O’Brien 22.7.1887 2.8.1887  
  10 [The Marquess of] Ripon 16.1.1888 2.2.1888  
  11 John Morley 16.1.1888 2.2.1888  
  12 Patrick F. Cardinal Moran 1.10.1888 4.10.1888  
  13 Margaret Sandhurst 19.9.1889 20.9.1889  
  14 James Stansfeld 19.9.1889 20.9.1889  
  15 George Salmon 14.3.1892 30.6.1892  
  16 Stuart Knill 23.12.1892 2.1.1893  
  9a Timothy Daniel Sullivan 10.12.1887 24.10.1893  
  9b Thomas Sexton 28.12. 1887 Did not sign Roll  
  17 J.E. Redmond 18.12.1887 3.4.1902  
  18 P. A. McHugh 30.10.1901 3.4.1902  
  19 An Craoibhín Aoibhín 29.6.1906 7.8.1906  
  20 Spencer Harty 2.9.1907 No Date Given  
  20a Hugh P. Lane 10.2.1908 Did not sign Roll  
  21 Richard Croker 1.7. 1907 24.8.1908  
  22 E. O’Meagher Condon 28.9.1909 4.10.1909  
  23 Charles A. Cameron 30.9.1910 20.2.1911  
  24 Kuno Meyer 18.7.1911 22.4.1912  
  25 Peadar Ua Laoghaire 18.7.1911 22.4.1912  
  25a Daniel Mannix 5.8.1920 Did not sign Roll  
  26 John McCormack 3.9.1923 6.9.1923  
  27 Ehrenfried Gunther 30.6.1928 3.7.1928  
  28 Baron von Hunefeld, Hermann Koehl 30.6.1928 3.7..1928  
  29 James C. Fitzmaurice 30.6.1928 3.7.1928  
  30 Frank B. Kellogg 25.8.1928 30.8.1928  
  31 Lorenzo Cardinal Lauri 2.5.1932 27.6.1932  
  32 John Lavery 12.8.1935 17.9.1935  
  33 John Purser Griffith 4.5.1936 8.6.1936  
  34 G. Bernard Shaw 4.3.1946 28.8.1946  
  35 Richard J. Cushing 16.9.1949 16.9. 1949  
  36 Paul A. Dever 16.9.1949 16.9.1949  
  37 Sean T. O Ceallaigh 4.5.1953 2.6.1953  
  38 John Cardinal D’Alton 4.5.1953 2.6.1953  
  39 Gerald P. O’Hara 12.7.1954 27.7.1954  
  44* Chester Beatty 7.11.1955 26.7.1956  
  45 John F. Norton 11.8.1958 28.10.1958  
  46 G.P. Cardinal Agagianian 1.5.1961 22.6.1961  
  47 Michael Cardinal Browne 16.7.1962 23.8.1962  
  48 John F. Kennedy 27.5.1963 28.6.1963  
  49 Hilton R.H. Edwards 11.6.1973 22.6.1973  
  50 Micheál Mac Liammóir 11.6.1973 22.6.1973  
  51 Eamon de Valera 3.2.1975 7.3.1975  
  52 John A. Costello 3.2.1975 7.3.1975  
  53 Joannes Paulus PP. II 24.9.1979 29.9.1979  
  54 Noel Purcell 22.6.1984 28.6.1984  
  55 Maureen Potter (O’Leary) 22.6.1984 28.6.1984  
  56 Akihito 20.2.1985  4.3.1985  
  57 Michiko 20.2.1985  4.3.1985  
  58 Stephen Roche 28.9.1987 29.9.1987  
  59 Nelson Mandela 18.7.1988 21.9.1988  
  60 Pádraig Ua hIrighile 4.3.1991 22.4.1991  
  61 M. Teresa M.C. 1.2.1993 2.6.1993  
  62 John [Jack] Charlton 11.4.1994 26.5.1994  
  63 William J. Clinton 6.11.1995 1.12.1995  
  64 Gabriel M. Byrne 12.4.1999 1.5.1999  
  65 Aung San Suu Kyi 1.11.1999 18.6.2012  
  66 Paul McGuinness 1.11.1999 18.3.2000  
  67 The Edge 1.11.1999 18.3.2000  
  68 Larry Mullen Junior 1.11.1999 18.3.2000  
  69 Adam Clayton 1.11.1999 18.3.2000  
  70 Bono 1.11.1999 18.3.2000  
  71 Mikhail Gorbachev 3.12.2001  9.1.2002  
  72 Kevin Heffernan 1.3.2004 17.5.2004  
  73 Ronnie Delany 5.9.2005 5.3.2006  
  74 Bob Geldof 5.9.2005 5.3.2006  
  75 Thomas Kinsella 5.2.2007 24.5.2007  
  76 Louis Le Brocquy 5.2.2007 24.5.2007  
Thomas Sexton did not sign the Roll of Honorary Freedom. His name has been added in pencil by
      another hand.
2.  Sir Hugh Lane did not sign the Roll of Honorary Freedom. His name was added in pencil by a later hand.
3.  Inspired by a wave of anti-German sentiment prevalent during the First World War, Dublin City Council
     voted on 15 March 1915 to expunge the name of Kuno Meyer from the Roll of, Honorary Freedom. The
     expunging resolution was rescinded by Dublin City Council on 19 April 1920, after Dr. Meyer’s death.
4.  Archbishop Daniel Mannix did not sign the Roll. His name was added in pencil by a later hand.
5.  Aung San Suu Kyi was under house arrest in Burma when she received the Honorary Freedom of Dublin. She
Subsequently signed the Roll of Honour on 18th June 2012.
*  The numbering system, which had been disrupted by the insertion of nos. 9a, 9b, 20a and 25b, was
brought into correct sequence in 1955.   The next recipient, Alfred Chester Beatty, who was the 44th
person to receive the Honorary Freedom of Dublin was numbered accordingly as no. 44.