Prominent US peace builders to receive Freedom of the City of Belfast
29 Mar 2018
Former US President Bill Clinton and Senator George J. Mitchell will attend a special ceremony in the Ulster Hall on Tuesday 10 April to receive the honour of Freedom of the City of Belfast.
Members of Belfast City Council agreed this month to bestow the honour on the former President and former US Special Envoy in recognition of their services to peace in Northern Ireland.
The Ulster Hall ceremony will be held on the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement and members of the public will have the opportunity of being in the audience.
The application process opens today (Thursday 29 March) and will close on Wednesday 4 April at 5pm. You can apply online by visiting the council website at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/freedom
. Free tickets will be allocated to Belfast residents via a computerised draw. The ceremony starts at 5pm (doors open from 4pm).
Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Nuala McAllister, said: “I’m very much looking forward to conferring the Freedom of the City on President Bill Clinton and Senator George J. Mitchell to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
“While only nine at the time, it brought huge benefits for my generation and we want to see a sustained peace within a truly inclusive city.”
She added: “The contribution made by both President Bill Clinton and Senator George J. Mitchell to our peace process cannot be underestimated. Both have earned their place in our history as peacemakers, and both can be very proud of what they helped us to achieve.”
Earlier in the day, President Bill Clinton and Senator George J. Mitchell will also attend a peace conference at Queen’s University Belfast. The Building Peace conference hosted by the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen’s will gather all of the key influencers of the Good Friday Agreement to mark its signing 20 years ago.
Both men will be the 83rd and 84th recipients of the Freedom of the City of Belfast.
They follow in the footsteps of, most recently, Sir Kenneth Branagh, the Nurses of Belfast, Michael Longley, Van Morrison and Dame Mary Peters.