Freedom of the City


- History
- Roll of Freemen
- Health and Social Care Staff in Northern Ireland


It is understood that the tradition of conferring Freedom of the City dates back to the early thirteenth century.

This award originally bestowed many special privileges upon the recipients, however in recent times the conferment is purely honorary.

Receiving the Freedom of the City is the highest civic honour that can be awarded to an individual or organisation.

It is granted on behalf of the city in recognition of the recipients’ valuable service and commitment to the community.

Roll of Freemen

Freemen of the City of Lisburn
Year Recipient
1970 Alderman James Howard OBE, JP
1970 Alderman Mrs Sarah Crothers MBE, JP
1970 Alderman Arthur Bowman JP
1973 Councillor Hugh Gray Bass JP
1975 The Lord Grey of Naunton GCMG, GCVO, OBE
1990 Professor James Francis Pantridge CBE, MC, MD, FRCP, FACC
1990 The Ulster Defence Regiment
1997 The Royal British Legion Northern Ireland
1998 Dame Mary Elizabeth Peters, DBE, DSC, DipDomSc
2001 The Royal Ulster Constabulary GC
2003 Dr Samuel Semple MBE., JP., D.Univ., FRSA., MFTCom., MESP
2004 Northern Ireland Fire Brigade
2006 Northern Ireland Prison Service
2007 Northern Ireland Ambulance Service
2009 Dr Janet Gray MBE
2010 Alderman S A Close OBE
2010 Alderman I Davis OBE
2010 Mr C B Poots
2011 The Royal Irish Regiment
2014 Voluntary Uniformed Youth Organisations
Freemen of the Borough of Castlereagh
Year Recipient
1984 The Ulster Defence Regiment
1992 Ulster Special Constabulary Association
1994 Regimental Association of the Ulster Defence Regiment
1995 Royal Irish Regiment
1996 Royal British Legion
1998 204 Field Hospital (Northern Ireland) Royal Army Medical Corps (Volunteers)
2000 Royal Ulster Constabulary GC
2002 George Best
2003 Alderman Peter D Robinson
2004 Northern Ireland Prison Service
2008 Northern Ireland Housing Executive
2013 152 (Ulster) Transport Regiment Royal Logistic Corps (V) and Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers LAD (V)
2014 Police Service of Northern Ireland
Freemen of the City of Lisburn & Castlereagh
Year Recipient
2019 Mrs Joan Christie CVO OBE
2020 Alderman Jim Dillon MBE, JP
2020 Mrs Geraldine Rice MBE
2020 Mr Tommy Jeffers
2022 Health and Social Care Staff in Northern Ireland

Conferment of the Honorary Freedom of the City of Lisburn & Castlereagh on Health and Social Care Staff in Northern Ireland Saturday 21 May 2022

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council conferred the Freedom of the City of Lisburn & Castlereagh upon Health and Social Care (HSC) staff in Northern Ireland on Saturday 21st May.

Hundreds of HSC staff were celebrated at an award ceremony and garden party in Castle Gardens, Lisburn. The event was packed with staff from all aspects of HSC life including nurses, porters, doctors, care home workers, corporate staff, dieticians, mid-wives, pharmacists, social workers and support workers.

Speaking at the event, Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Alderman Stephen Martin, said: “Northern Ireland is privileged with such a fantastic health service - for all stages of life. It is my honour to recognise and thank everyone involved in health and social care for the enormous contribution to our community. As one team, as a HSC family, they have seen us through what has arguably been one of the most challenging times that any of us will ever face and we cannot thank them enough.

“I hope this award demonstrates just how much the people of Lisburn and Castlereagh appreciate and admire health and social care staff, who continue to work tirelessly to care for the sick and most vulnerable in our society.”


"That Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council does bestow the honour of the Freedom of the City of Lisburn & Castlereagh on Health and Social Care Staff in Northern Ireland in recognition of their valuable service to the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area and to Northern Ireland in general, since the formation of Health and Social Care in 1948."


A Certificate of Grant of the Freedom of the City was presented by The Right Worshipful the Mayor Alderman Stephen Martin to Ms Nicki Patterson, Deputy Chief Executive of the South Eastern Trust who accepted the award on behalf of Health and Social Care Staff in Northern Ireland.