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Dublin City Council ratifies decision to award freedom of the city to Jim Gavin

The move was proposed by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Paul McAuliffe.

The Dublin GAA manager is set to be awarded the freedom of the city.
The Dublin GAA manager is set to be awarded the freedom of the city.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Updated Sep 23rd 2019, 8:42 PM

THE HISTORY MAKING All-Ireland Senior Football team manager Jim Gavin is to be awarded the freedom of the city by Dublin City Council.

This year’s team beat Kerry to claim the historic five-in-a-row just over a week ago.

Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe’s nomination of Gavin was co-signed by the group leaders in the chamber and ratified at this evening’s Dublin City Council meeting. 

The nomination was welcomed by all councillors.

The award of 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.

The freedom of the city law dates back to 1454 and offers recipients a range of rights – most famously allowing them to graze sheep on St Stephen’s Green and College Green.

The 48-year-old manager and former player has been the manager of the Dublin senior team since 2012, where he has since become the county’s most successful manager in terms of major titles won.

“I am honoured and privileged to propose Jim Gavin for Dublin City’s highest award, the honorary freedom of the city of Dublin,” McAuliffe said. 

“He has led the Dublin team to an unprecedented 5-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,” he said.

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

Raised in Clondalkin, Gavin was introduced to Gaelic football by his father, a Clare native and former chairman of the local club team in Clondalkin. 

He developed his skills in the local street leagues before winning a record six Cumann na mBunscoil medals as a dual player with Clonburris National School. 

Gavin made his debut on the inter-county scene at the age of sixteen when he first linked up with the Dublin minor team.

He will join a long 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 of Dublin in 2016. 

With reporting by Sarah Slater

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