- 07 Jun 23
The 20-year-old climate activist was nominated alongside Irish environmentalist Duncan Stewart by the Lord Mayor of Dublin.
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has been nominated for Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin.
Thunberg's name was put forward by Lord Mayor Caroline Conroy, alongside Irish environmentalist Duncan Stewart. Conroy said in a statement made this morning, "I couldn’t think of any other Irish person who had done more over such a long period of time to spread the word about environmental issues than Duncan."
"Greta has been a significant presence on the international stage, particularly in rallying young people to the climate challenge. I am a huge admirer of both Duncan and Greta. They are absolutely passionate about raising awareness of this huge issue."
The Lord Mayor had asked Greta if she would agree to accept the honour and received a reply late last night to say she would be happy to, according to the Irish Times.
"Our city has never before used this award to celebrate the role of environmental activists. We must recognise the incredible work done across generations to protect our shared city and planet."
The Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin is the highest and most prestigious award Dublin City can bestow. Recipients of this award are referred to as "Freemen" or "Freewomen" of Dublin, and they become Honorary Citizens of the city. The honour is given by a local council, for example, to either a civilian or military unit, in recognition of their exceptional service to the city.
Ancient duties of a Freeman or Freewoman even include being ready to defend the city from attack and join the city militia at short notice.
Thunberg and Stewart are set to join an acclaimed list of Freemen and Freewomen that includes former US Presidents John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, entertainer Maureen Potter, former Dublin football managers Kevin Heffernan and Jim Gavin, broadcaster Gay Byrne and poet Thomas Kinsella.
Kellie Harrington, Ailbhe Smyth and Professor Mary Aiken were the last people to be awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin in 2022.
The nominations were made this morning at a meeting of Dublin City Council’s Protocol Committee and will now go forward for approval at the next monthly meeting of Dublin City Council on June 12.
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