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Freemen of the Borough

The Freedom of the Borough is the highest award the Council can grant and is normally awarded to local people and organisations who have, in the opinion of the Council,  rendered eminent services to the Borough. 

The below video shows our Freemen of the Borough of Antrim and Newtownabbey. 


The Northern Ireland Hospice was recognised for their dedication to delivering end of life palliative care, specialist rehabilitation and respite care at a special ceremony at Theatre at The Mill on Tuesday 24 May 2022 were they were awarded Freedom of the Borough. During the event, a NI Hospice video was shown, showcasing the nurses, estates team, chaplain, volunteers, fundraisers and others who play an important role in enabling the organisation to continue providing specialist palliative care. Songs of Praise presenter Claire McCollum facilitated a Parents Panel, allowing families to  share uplifting and interesting stories of their times at the hospice. Music was also provided by the NI Hospice Ukulele Band, with local group Bello Duo performing the finale.

On 15 January 2019, the Honorary Freedom of the Borough of Antrim and Newtownabbey was conferred upon the then, four-time World Superbike Champion, Dr Jonathan Rea MBE. The prestigious award was bestowed to Jonathan at a public ceremony in the Theatre at The Mill in Newtownabbey. 

Over 200 Jonathan Rea fans as well as family and friends joined the Elected Members of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Freemen of the Borough and other invited guests for the momentous occasion. Following the official ceremony, BBC's Stephen Watson talked to Jonathan who shared some of his highlights over the last four years with the audience.