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Capital honour for Co Down-born priest

CO Down-born human rights campaigner Fr Peter McVerry and rugby star Brian O'Driscoll are to be awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin.

Fr McVerry, from Newry, has campaigned for the rights of Dublin's young homeless people for more than 40 years and has set up a trust to help them live independently.

O'Driscoll is one of Ireland's greatest rugby union players and captained his country between 2003 and 2012, including during its historic 2009 Grand Slam. He also captained Leinster and the British and Irish Lions.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisin Quinn said it was a great honour to propose two of the capital's most inspirational citizens for its highest accolade, to be awarded early next year.

"Brian and Fr Peter are from different generations but they share much in common," he said.

"They are both inspirational leaders. They set a remarkable example to us all by the way they apply themselves to their challenges."

The lord mayor's nomination was ratified at yesterday evening's Dublin City council meeting.

* CITIZENS: right, Fr Peter McVerry. Far right, Brian o'Driscoll

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