Jerry McCabe, left, pictured with Ben O'Sullivan, who are to be honoured with the Freedom of Limerick
THE Freedom of Limerick is to be afforded to the late detective garda Jerry McCabe, and his partner, the retired detective garda Ben O’Sullivan.
At a special meeting of Limerick City and County Council this Wednesday, there was unanimous agreement to bestow the area’s highest civic honour on the pair.
It is an honour reserved for those who have made exceptional or unique contributions to the common good or to persons who have made outstanding contributions to the business, commercial, educational or cultural life of Limerick.
Mr McCabe, who was killed in 1996 in Adare, and Mr O’Sullivan become only the second and third people to be given the title since the two councils merged in 2014.
They are being honoured for their bravery in the carrying out of the duties on behalf of the people of Limerick and Ireland and as a token of the high esteem and affection in which they are held by the people of Limerick.
They follow in the footsteps of President Michael D Higgins who was conferred with the honour in 2014.
Prior the amalgamation 64 people received the Freedom of Limerick City, the last being Munster legend Paul O’Connell in 2012, as well as JP McManus, Pope John Paul II, and former US Presidents John F Kennedy and Bill Clinton.
The motion to afford the Freedom was proposed by Cllr Michael Hourigan, and seconded by Cllr Michael Collins.
Deputy mayor, Cllr Marian Hurley, who chaired the meeting in the absence of Mayor Stephen Keary, said: “We felt very strongly about this cause, and what these men did for not alone Limerick and Ireland, serving as they did.”
Former detective garda Sean Lynch, who served alongside the pair, said: “Both on and off duty, we would have had a very good, friendly relationship. We would have known each other very well. I’m delighted as mayor of the metropolitan district and chairman of the Joint Policing Committee that Mayor Stephen Keary wants to give this fabulous freedom of Limerick to these great, brave men.”
The ceremony will take place at Limerick council’s headquarters, on Thursday, June 28 from 6pm.