Freedom of the City


- History
- Roll of Freemen


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
2023 Keith Getty OBE & Kristyn Getty

Conferment of the Honorary Freedom of the City of Lisburn & Castlereagh on Keith Getty OBE and Kristyn GettyThursday 1st June 2023

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council conferred the Freedom of the City of Lisburn & Castlereagh upon two internationally-acclaimed hymn writers from Northern Ireland on Thursday 1st June.

Keith and Kristyn are GRAMMY®-nominated recording artists, best-known for the hymn, ‘In Christ Alone’, which is sung an estimated 100 million times around the world every year.  They are being given the ‘Freedom of the City’ in recognition of their achievements as internationally-acclaimed Christian singers and songwriters. 

Speaking about the formal ceremony, Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Scott Carson said: “It was such an honour for me to welcome the Getty family to Lagan Valley Island and to thank Keith and Kristyn for the contribution they have made to communities across the world.  They have inspired so many people globally through their music and I am proud to say they are from Northern Ireland.  

"The Freedom of the City event for Keith Getty OBE and Kristyn Getty was a wonderful day and we’d like to thank everyone who helped make it so memorable, including New Irish Arts.  It was made extra special by having pupils from Keith’s former schools with us to perform - the fabulous choir from Pond Park Primary School and flawless flautist Hannah Maclean from Friends’ School, Lisburn. 

"Here in Lisburn & Castlereagh, we are rightly proud of the Getty family. They have a special place in our hearts and we wish them every success in their future endeavours.”



A short video of Keith Getty OBE and Kristyn Getty performing 'In Christ Alone' with Dana Masters at the end of the Freedom of the City event on Thursday 1st June.




"That Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council does bestow the honour of the Freedom of the City of Lisburn & Castlereagh on Keith Getty OBE & Kristyn Getty in recognition of their achievements as internationally Christain singers and songwriters."


A Certificate of Grant of the Freedom of the City was presented by The Right Worshipful the Mayor Councillor Scott Carson to Keith Getty OBE & Kristyn Getty.