Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan has been awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin on behalf of all healthcare workers.
It was conferred on Wednesday by Dublin Lord Mayor Hazel Chu, in agreement with all Dublin City councillors, at a ceremony in the Oak Room of the Mansion House.
The behind closed doors event took place with just Dr Holohan’s family present.
Ms Chu said: “In conferring on Dr Holohan, and through him our health care workers, the honorary freedom of the City of Dublin, we recognise the immense effort and tireless work carried out by all our health care staff and we want to, through this award, say a big thank you for their efforts and sacrifices.
“It has been an extremely difficult 16 months and we owe our public health workers and frontline staff an enormous debt.”
A decision to confer the honour on the CMO was made at a Dublin City Council meeting on July 6 last year.
A resolution was passed awarding the honorary freedom of the City to Dr Holohan in recognition of his work, and that of all health care workers in Ireland, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was agreed at that meeting that the conferral would be made in private.
Dr Holohan signed the Roll of Honorary Freedom and accepted the award on behalf of all health care workers, thanking the members of Dublin City Council for the recognition of the work done over this past year by the public health team.
Dr Holohan joins a varied list of past recipients including Charles Stewart Parnell, John F Kennedy, Eamon de Valera, Mikhail Gorbachev, rugby star Brian O’Driscoll and rockstars U2.
The Freedom has previously been conferred on 82 persons.
The first recipient of the Freedom of the City was Isaac Butt in 1876.
The most recent recipient was Jim Gavin, former manager of the Dublin men’s senior football team.