1. Bono - 2000
Bono is the lead singer for the Dublin-based rock band U2. The award carries the right to pasture sheep on St. Stephen’s Green, and Bono exercised this right on the day of his ceremony.
2. Jack Charlton - 1994
John 'Jack' Charleton, OBE, took charge of the Republic of Ireland national football team, and led them to their first ever World Cup in 1990, where they reached the quarter-finals.
3. Bill Clinton - 1995
In November 1995, President Clinton became the first sitting American president to visit Northern Ireland. The US president played a crucial role in the Northern Ireland Peace Process.
4. Ronnie Delany - 2006
Delany won a gold medal at the 1956 summer Olympics in Melbourne for the 1500 meter race. He broke the World Indoor Mile Record on three occasions. He remained the last Olympics champion of Ireland for 36 years, until Michael Carruth won the gold medal in boxing at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
5. Bob Geldof - 2006
Robert Frederick Zenon "Bob" Geldof, KBE, is the Irish singer-songwriter of rock band The Boomtown Rats, an author and political activist. Geldof has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, was granted an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II, and is a recipient of the Man of Peace title which recognises individuals who have made "an outstanding contribution to international social justice and peace", among numerous other awards and nominations.
6. Kevin Heffernan - 2004
Heffernan played Gaelic football with the Dublin senior inter-county team in the 1940s and 1950s. He later served as manager of the Dublin senior footballers in the 1970s and 1980s. Heffernan is regarded as one of the greatest players and managers of all-time - and has been credited with helping to save the GAA in the 1970s.
7. John F. Kennedy - 1963
Kennedy was the first Irish American and only Catholic president of America. On the occasion of his visit to the Republic of Ireland in 1963, President Kennedy joined with Irish President Éamon de Valera to form The American Irish Foundation. The mission of this organization was to foster connections between Americans of Irish descent and the country of their ancestry.
8. Thomas Kinsella - 2007
Thomas Kinsella born May 1928, is an Irish poet, translator, editor, and publisher. One of his most significant translations of early Irish texts was The Táin, a version of the Táin Bó Cúailnge illustrated by Louis le Brocquy who also received an Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin.
9. Nelson Mandela - 1988
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Mandela was honoured with the Freedom of Dublin city for his contribution to society and commitment to the study and promotion of Human Rights and also its work in the area of development and social inclusion, which has enhanced the lives of local communities in Ireland and fostered global links with institutions and organisations.
10. Mother Teresa - 1993
After training at the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Loreto Abbey in Rathfarnham, Dublin, Mother Teresa of Calcutta joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns with a mission in Calcutta. Mother Teresa met with Mary Robinson and pro-life campaigners two days before she was awarded the Freedom of Dublin.
The award of Freedom of the City of Dublin acknowledges the contribution of certain people to the life of Ireland’s capital city. It also bestows honour to important visitors to Dublin.
The Lord Mayor of Dublin nominates people for the Freedom of the City. Any nominations are then brought before a meeting of the City Council where it must be ratified by a majority vote.
To date, only 76 people have been given the Freedom of the City of Dublin.
Holders of the Freedom of Dublin have a number of ancient privileges and duties not applicable to ordinary citizens such as:
- 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 and St. Stephen’s Green. Bono exercised this right on the day of his ceremony.
- The right to vote in municipal and parliamentary elections.
Freeman and Freewoman 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.
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