Limerick City and County Council has unanimously agreed to award the Freedom of Limerick to An Uachtaráin, Michael D Higgins.
The announcement was made this morning, (Friday) by Cathaoirleach of Limerick City and County Council, Cllr Kevin Sheahan following a special meeting of the Council.
The Freedom of Limerick will be conferred on President Higgins on Monday, September 29th 2014 at a public event in the Milk Market Limerick. Further details on this event will be released shortly.
Cathaoirleach Kevin Sheahan said Limerick City and County Council is delighted to award the honour to President Higgins who was born and spent his early years growing up in Limerick.
“President Higgins is renowned for cherishing and promoting our national culture in all its diversity and richness,” said Cllr Sheahan. “We want to celebrate and recognise the President’s unique contribution to Irish life, particularly as he is the sole patron of Limerick City of Culture. President Higgins will be the first recipient to receive the Freedom of Limerick under our newly merged authority and we are very much looking forward to honouring him and showcasing our distinctive cultural heritage in Limerick at the conferring event next month.”
The Freedom of Limerick is the highest honour that can be bestowed upon an individual by Limerick City and County Council.
The honour is reserved for those who have made exceptional or unique contributions to the common good or to persons who have made outstanding contributions to the business, commercial, educational or cultural life of Limerick.
Previously Limerick City Council used to bestow the title ‘Freedom of Limerick City’ – the honour is now titled ‘The Freedom of Limerick’ since both Limerick City Council and Limerick County Council merged to become one authority last June.
Previous recipients of the Freedom of Limerick City include Eamon De Valera, John F Kennedy, John Hunt, Dr Ed Walsh, Bill Clinton, JP McManus, Sir Terry Wogan and Bill Whelan.