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O’Gara humbled by Freedom of the City

Thursday, 16th February, 2017 1:01am

Ronan O’Gara has scored another winner, but this time it’s away from the rugby pitch.

The Lord Mayor’s nomination for Freedom of the City got past the post this week with the former Munster and Irish rugby player chosen for the award.

O’Gara later tweeted his thanks to the people of Cork. He said he was “very humbled and honoured”.

He is set to receive the award after the Lord Mayor Cllr Des Cahill’s proposal received the support from most councillors present at Monday’s meeting of Cork City Council.

Cllr Cahill (Fine Gael) said Ronan O’Gara showed true leadership on the pitch. He said that it had been a long time since a sports person had received the Freedom of Cork.

“He is a very proud Cork man. It’s a good number of years since we’ve had a sports star awarded the Freedom of the City. We are a city that loves our sports and I think it’s fitting for someone who has broken all records in European rugby, who showed huge leadership on the pitch, so I will be hoping that I have support!”

And support he had, as the majority of councillors at the meeting were in agreement with the Lord Mayor’s nomination, but two Fianna Fáil councillors wanted to mark their opposition to it.

Terry Shannon said he opposed the nomination on the basis that the award is being given out too much and by giving it out every year it has “diminished the status of the award”. He said his objection was not a personal one towards Ronan O’Gara. His party colleague Sean Martin marked his objection too.

Cllr Thomas Gould (Sinn Féin) said, that while he understood Cllr Shannon’s stance, he did agree with the nomination. He said: “I do support the nomination though. He is an iconic figure and Cork person. He is the right person for the freedom of the city.”

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