Councillors agreed to give Terence MacSwiney and Tomás MacCurtain the freedom of the city allocade to mark the centenary of their deaths.

Freedom of city for two mayors

Two prominent historic figures will be added to roll of honorary citizens of Cork city.

Terence MacSwiney and Tomás MacCurtain will be added the roll of honour which dates back over the centuries and is of historic significance on Leeside.

Councillors agreed unanimously to give them the freedom of the city as a way of marking the centenary of their deaths following a recommendation from Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Joe Kavanagh.

The Lord Mayor said: “Our patriot lord mayors hold a special place in the hearts of our citizens and in this Centenary year, it is important that we honour and respect them. Making both Tomás MacCurtain and Terence MacSwiney honorary citizens is historic and hugely significant.

“Therefore, it is wholly appropriate that in this year of commemorations, a year of events that has been enormously compromised by the pandemic, that we add these two hugely influential figures to our city’s roll of honour.”

Sinn Féin Cllr Ken Collins welcomed the news describing it as a fitting tribute. He added: “It will also draw the attention of younger people to the legacy of these iconic republican revolutionaries who shaped the course of the war for independence in Cork and beyond.

“The honour also recognises the incredible contribution of both men to the promotion of the Irish language and culture during their lives.”

He concluded: “I have spoken to members of both the MacCurtain and MacSwiney families and they are absolutely delighted that this honour is to be awarded to two men whose sacrifices have reverberated through our history. To us they are heroes without peer but to their families they were fathers, husbands and brothers - ordinary people doing extraordinary things for their people and the freedom of their country.”