Freedom of Lisburn and Castlereagh for long-serving councillors

Signing the Burgess Book officially recording their new status as Freemen of the City of Lisburn and Castlereagh are Tommy Jeffers (second left), Alderman Jim Dillon MBE JP, and Geraldine Rice MBE, with the Mayor, councillor Alan Givan (left) and David Burns, chief executive (right)
Signing the Burgess Book officially recording their new status as Freemen of the City of Lisburn and Castlereagh are Tommy Jeffers (second left), Alderman Jim Dillon MBE JP, and Geraldine Rice MBE, with the Mayor, councillor Alan Givan (left) and David Burns, chief executive (right)

Three long-serving councillors – one of them elected in 1977 – have been awarded the freedom of Lisburn and Castlereagh.

The honour was bestowed on Alderman Jim Dillon MBE JP, Geraldine Rice MBE and Tommy Jeffers on Saturday in recognition of their contribution to public life within Lisburn Castlereagh and beyond for nearly a century collectively.

Alderman Dillon was first elected in 1977 and both Mrs Rice and Mr Jeffers were first elected in 1989.

Mayor Alan Givan officiated at the ceremony held in the council chamber at Lagan Valley Island.

Current Freemen – Lady Mary Peters CH DBE and Joan Christie CVO OBE – attended the ceremony along with elected members, family and invited guests.

Mr Givan said: “Each of you has embraced your duties as elected representatives with dedication and impartiality, which is commendable.

“Integrity is the one word that connects our three new Freemen. Their passion, faith and commitment to serving our community has been unfailing for many years, and they truly are an inspiration to their peers.

“On behalf of the council I would like to thank them for the difference they have made.”