A decision was taken by Dublin City Council to confer the Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin on Ailbhe Smyth, Professor Mary Aiken and Kellie Harrington following a recommendation by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Alison Gilliland.
They will join an illustrious list of Freemen and Freewomen including entertainer Maureen Potter, former Dublin Football Manager Kevin Heffernan, broadcaster Gay Byrne, poet Thomas Kinsella, former US presidents John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa. Jim Gavin and Dr. Tony Holohan were the last people to be awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin in 2020 and 2021.
The Lord Mayor of Dublin Alison Gilliland and Dublin City Council are paying tribute to Ailbhe, Mary and Kellie for their resilience and public service.
The Lord Mayor said, “I am honoured and privileged to propose these three women for Dublin City’s highest award, the Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin. They have made a significant contribution to our city and indeed our country. I have nominated Ailbhe Smyth for her work in the areas of human rights, social justice and academia, Professor Mary Aiken for her work in the areas of cyberpsychology, online safety and security, and Kellie Harrington for her unstinting work in the community, her caring exemplar and role modelling for young people and for her sporting achievements. They are three inspiring women and I’m delighted to be able to acknowledge their achievements and contribution to Irish public life.”
The conferral ceremony will take place in the Round Room at the Mansion House, on June 11th.
Ancient duties of a Freeman or Freewoman include being ready to defend the city from attack and joining the city militia at short notice. 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.
Source: Dublin City Council