Dublin City Council is to honour history making Dublin Football Manager Jim Gavin with the Freedom of the City.
The Award is given to people who have made a significant contribution to the life of the city, as well as to special visitors who the council as a whole believe are worthy of the honour.
Gavin wil become the 82nd person to be bestowed the honour, joining a list that includes George Bernard Shaw, Nelson Mandela, John F Kennedy, Barack and Michelle Obama.
Two people Aang San Suu Kyi and Bob Geldof had the Freedom previously granted removed in December 2017, the latter at his own request.
All four members of U2 and their manager Paul McGuinness were granted the Freedom in 2000.
Gavin is the seventh person from the realm of sport to be granted the award. The relative importance granted to sport has clearly grown in recent tinmes though as all seven are among the most recent 25.
The seven Freemen of Dublin from Sport are:
Stephen Roche, 1987
Jack Charlton, 1994
Kevin Heffernan, 2004
Ronnie Delaney, 2006
Brian O’Driscoll, 2014
John Giles, 2015
Jim Gavin, 2019
The role is one of prestige and does not bear any financial remuneration. It comes with a number of rights but also duties.
The former include the right to graze sheep on common land within the City boundaries and the right to bring goods into the city without paying duty.
Among the duties are that they must be ready to defend the city from attack and also, according to a law of 1465, provide themselves with a longbow of their own height made of yew, witch-hazel or ash and twelve arrows of the same wood.
It is not known whether this formed part of the conversation when Lord Mayor of Dublin Paul McAuliffe sat beside Jim Gavin at the Dublin GAA banquet in the Gibson Hotel on the night of the five-in-a-row but is was probably not a deal breaker.
Both the Dublin Men’s and Women’s teams will be honoured at a special ‘homecoming’ to be staged on Sunday afternoon in Merrion Square in Dublin.
It has been moved there to accomodate larger crowds than would have been able to get into Smithfield where previous events have been held.
A total of 15,000 free tickets are being made available with 3,500 public ones having been snapped up yesterday and the balance being made available this week through GAA clubs across the city.
Last year a crowd estimated at 6,000 gathered to celebrate with the team at Smithfield, pictured above
The event will bring the curtain down on the second Annual Dublin SportsFest which continues throughout the City each day this week.
Image Credit: Bryan Keane, Inpho.ie