Thursday 17 October 2019

Dublin City Council vote unanimously to award 'reluctant and honoured' Jim Gavin with Freedom of the City

Dublin manager Jim Gavin after victory over Kerry
Dublin manager Jim Gavin after victory over Kerry
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

Dublin manager Jim Gavin will be honoured with the Freedom of the City for leading the Boys in Blue to an All-Ireland five-in-a-row.

One week after their historic win against Kerry, Dublin City Council (DCC) voted unanimously to award the 48-year-old GAA boss with its highest honour.

The award of the Freedom of the City of Dublin acknowledges the contribution of recipients to the life of Ireland’s capital city. It also bestows honour on important visitors to Dublin.

Jim Gavin will join an illustrious list of Freemen and Freewomen including former US presidents John F Kennedy and Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and former Dublin Football Manager Kevin Heffernan.

Fr Joseph Mallin SJ was the last person to be conferred with the Freedom of the City in 2016.

Dublin Lord Major Paul McAuliffe told DCC’s chamber that Gavin was both "reluctant and honoured" with the nomination as he wanted to share the title  with the entire team.

"He has led the Dublin team to an unprecedented five-in-a-row senior Gaelic football titles and his leadership both on and off the field has led to a positive culture in Dublin GAA," said Mr McAuliffe.

"I know Jim is a modest man and even after all he’s given, I’m asking him to take one for the team.

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"I’m delighted to be able to acknowledge his contribution to public life and service to his county and country both on and off the pitch."

Amongst the ancient privileges afforded to a Freeman or Freewoman is the right to bring goods into Dublin through the city gates, without paying customs duties; the right to pasture sheep on common ground within the city boundaries; and the right to vote in municipal and parliamentary elections.

But while the majority of councillors talked favourably about the conferment, Labour Cllr Rebecca Moynihan accused DCC of favouring a gender imbalance.

"I’m very disappointed that another nomination put forward for the Freedom of the City doesn’t address the gender imbalance.

"When l ask why does it always have to be a man and why can't it be a woman, the reply would always be ‘well who would you recommend?’

"It is disgraceful but not surprising that a man or two always swings to mind,  but an unconscious bias is still a bias," she said.

Online Editors

The Throw-In: 'Jim Gavin has achieved what Mick O'Dwyer and Brian Cody couldn't do'

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