Belfast Telegraph

Lisburn's big salute to youth groups

By Cate McCurry

Lisburn has honoured the role youth organisations play by awarding them the city's highest honour.

X Factor finalists Rough Copy and Luke Friend celebrated with Cubs, Guides and others as the Freedom of the City was bestowed on the uniformed organisations.

The pop acts delighted their young fans as they took to the stage for an open air concert as part of the weekend's celebrations.

"Lisburn today was so wonderful," tweeted Luke Friend – who was celebrating his 18th birthday – afterwards.

"Until next time, all of you singing happy birthday gave me the biggest smile!"

A number of events were held for the city's voluntary uniformed youth organisations, including a civic ceremony, parade and the open air concert in Wallace Park.

Before the gig, the Girls' Brigade, the Boys' Brigade, Scouts, Girl Guides, Catholic Guides, Scouting Ireland, the Church Lads' Brigade, the Church Girls' Brigade, Every Boy's Rally and Every Girl's Rally were all conferred with the freedom of Lisburn city.

As young people from across Northern Ireland paraded through the streets of Lisburn they were cheered on by thousands of spectators and proud mums and dads.

Ahead of the parade, Lisburn mayor Margaret Tolerton said she had been looking forward to meeting all the young people along with their leaders.

"The youth of today play an important part in shaping our future," she added.

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