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Rugby star O'Connell to get freedom of city

RUGBY star Paul O'Connell is to receive the freedom of his home city.

While it is often joked that Limerick's main thoroughfare -- O'Connell Street -- is named after the Munster captain, Limerick City Council has decided to formally honour the rugby player.

The Freedom of Limerick will be conferred on Mr O'Connell (32) at a ceremony in the city on April 22 and offers some consolation for the sportsman after his Munster side was knocked out of the Heineken Cup on Sunday.

Mr O'Connell said he was delighted with the "massive honour".

"I'm always conscious when I'm playing for either Munster or Ireland that I'm also representing Limerick," he said.

"I'm very proud of Limerick and where I come from.

"I'm lucky to have played for Munster for the last 11 years and my upbringing in Limerick and the influences that I've had in Limerick have played a massive part in my success in rugby," he added.

"I'd also like to thank Limerick City Council for bestowing this huge honour on me and I'm looking forward to it immensely."

Irish Independent