Republic of Ireland news

Seamus Coleman awarded freedom of Donegal

Everton and Republic of Ireland soccer star Seamus Coleman with young fan Dylan McCrory at the County House in Lifford, Co Donegal yesterday. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

SOCCER star Seamus Coleman spoke of his pride yesterday as he received the freedom of Co Donegal.

The 28-year-old, who captains the Republic of Ireland and plays his club football for Everton, was awarded the honour by Donegal County Council.

The Killybegs native attended the ceremony at the County House in Lifford along with family members including wife Rachel and baby daughter Lilly.

He happily chatted to fans and posed for pictures outside the venue.

Speaking before the ceremony, he said he was thrilled by the honour.

"It's massive and it's something that I'm very, very proud about," he told Ocean FM.

"I'm very proud of where I come from, first of all Killybegs and then Donegal. To get this means so much to me and my family and I'm very grateful and a bit shocked by it."

The player is recovering after suffering a double leg break when he was fouled during a match between the Republic of Ireland and Wales in March.

Coleman began his career with Sligo Rovers in 2006 and signed for Everton in 2009. He has played international football since 2011.

Other recipients of the freedom of Donegal award include fellow footballers Shay Given and Packie Bonner and musicians Phil Coulter and Daniel O'Donnell.

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