{meta} Agenda for Special Council Meeting on Saturday 11th June, 2022, 8.00 pm

Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Round Room, Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin. View directions

No. Item


To present Ailbhe Smyth, Professor Mary Aiken and Kellie Harrington with the Certificate of Honorary Freedom of the City and to witness the affixing of their signatures to the Roll of Honorary Freedom of Dublin.


The MC for the occasion, Councillor Anne Feeney, welcomed the invited guests to
the Round Room at the Mansion House on this historic occasion. The ceremonial
procession, the Sword and Mace bearers, the Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland accompanied by her ADC, Ailbhe Smyth, Professor Mary Aiken and Kellie Harrington followed by the Chief Executive, Owen Keegan, then entered the Round room at 8pm and made their way to the stage.

The MC, Cllr Anne Feeney, read the resolution of the City Council that
approved the conferral of the Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin on Ailbhe Smyth, Professor Mary Aiken and Kellie Harrington. The resolution, adopted unanimously by Dublin City Council at its meeting held on 9th May 2022, was as follows:


“That Dublin City Council hereby resolves that the Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin be conferred on Ailbhe Smyth, Prof. Mary Aiken and Kellie Harrington and that their names be inscribed on the Roll of Honorary Freedom of Dublin, pursuant to the provisions of Section 74 of the Local Government Act, 2001, in recognition of their enormous contribution to the City of Dublin in relation to Cyberpsychology, Online Safety & Security, Human Rights, Social Justice & Academia and Community, Care & Sport”


The Lord Mayor gave a brief history of The Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin. The honour dates from the late 1800s and those conferred with the Honorary Freedom were required to own the following:


  • A coat of mail
  • A bow
  • A light helmet
  • A sword of his/her own
  • A longbow and twelve arrows made of yew


She explained that the reason for this attire was that their main duty was to be ready todefend the city from attack. Indeed it was this ability to defend the city that informed the choice of awardee. While the types of attacks may differ in modern times she sincerely hoped the city does not have to call on the three awardees too often into the future although she knows that if we do they won’t let us down.


To compensate for such an onerous duty the awardees can also benefit from some ancient privileges including:


·         The right to a trial by jury

·         The right to bring goods into Dublin without paying customs duties

·         The right to pasture sheep on common ground in the City – St. Stephen’s Green or Hoggen Green which is now known as College Green.


The Lord Mayor informed the gathering that The Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin is thehighest honour that can be given by the City of Dublin. It is conferred on people who have contributed significantly to the life of Dublin City or who have been important international visitors.  Since 1876 only 83 people have received this honour. The first recipient was Isaac Butt and the most recent were Jim Gavin in January 2020 and Dr. Tony Holohan in June 2021.


However she noted that of the 83 recipients of the Freedom of the City , only 4  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.