Saturday 18 November 2017

Obamas to be awarded Freedom of Dublin city

Former US president Barack Obama. Photo: AP
Former US president Barack Obama. Photo: AP

Ian Begley

Former US Barack Obama and his wife Michelle will soon receive the honour of the freedom of Dublin city.

Dublin City Council has voted in favour of a motion awarding the Freedom of the City to the former US President and his wife.

Lord Mayor Brendan Carr put forward the proposal, which was passed by a margin of 30 votes in favour with 23 against.

The mayor said the conferral was important given recent events in the US following President Trump's election.

"In light of the recent draconian decisions being taken by his successor, I believe it is more important now than ever that I proceed with this proposal.

"While I'm aware some councillors may have reservations over failings of US foreign policy during the Obama Presidency, I believe awarding the Obamas - a couple who consistently spoke in support of these principles - the Freedom of the City would be the most powerful way we could make a statement on their importance at this time," he said.

Read more: Walk-out at council meeting after Lord Mayor of Dublin awards Freedom of the City to the Obamas

People-Before-Profit councillors John Lyons, Andrew Keegan, Tina MacVeigh and Hazel de Nortuin left the council chamber for a time after the vote in a "symbolic" walkout. They criticised honouring a president who "presided over growing inequality at home, mass incarceration and deportations and ongoing wars in the Middle East".

An official invitation will be sent out. It is almost six years since the couple addressed a crowd of about 60,000 people at College Green.

Irish Independent

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