Brian O’Driscoll is to be awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin early next year.
The Lord Mayor’s nominations for the Ireland rugby star, as well as for Fr. Peter McVerry, were both 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 the city, as well as honouring on important visitors to Dublin.
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.