Van the freeman honoured
HOMETOWN hero Van Morrison was awarded the freedom of Belfast last night.
A specially invited audience of over 2,000, including his mother Violet, gave him a standing ovation as the Lord Mayor Mairtin O Muilleoir described the singer as the city's greatest son.
He declared: "He united us in the past, he's united us tonight and he will unite us in the future.
"This represents our love, respect and gratitude for Van Morrison from the 'dark side of the street to the bright side of the road'."
Morrison was presented with a special scroll and gold ceremonial key just before his opening set.
His daughter Shana was among his backing group on stage at the Waterfront Hall.
He opened with the instrumental Celtic Mist – Morrison played the saxophone – before playing two of his biggest hits, 'Moondance' and 'Brown-Eyed Girl'.