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Lord Mayor proposes Freedom of Belfast for frontline workers

Daniel Baker said he has written to all party group leaders on Belfast City Council to canvass support for the idea.

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Lord Mayor of Belfast Daniel Baker has proposed that the Freedom of the City be bestowed on all frontline workers (Peter Morrison/PA)

Lord Mayor of Belfast Daniel Baker has proposed that the Freedom of the City be bestowed on all frontline workers (Peter Morrison/PA)

Lord Mayor of Belfast Daniel Baker has proposed that the Freedom of the City be bestowed on all frontline workers (Peter Morrison/PA)

The Lord Mayor has proposed that frontline workers should receive the Freedom of the City of Belfast.

Daniel Baker said he has written to all the party group leaders on Belfast City Council to canvass support for the move.

He said frontline workers should include all those providing essential services through the coronavirus pandemic, such as those working in food production, transport and refuse collection as well as health staff.

“These are truly unprecedented times for all in society as we continue to battle against Covid-19,” he said.

“Those on the front line of that battle; our healthcare workers, to those working in shops, food production, bin collection, transport and all other essential services, rightly deserve to be recognised.

“I have written to the party group leaders in Belfast City Council to request their support to award the Freedom of the City to all of these invaluable stalwarts.

Without the tireless and dedicated work of our frontline workers we would be in a much bleaker place than what we are todayDaniel Baker

“Without the tireless and dedicated work of our frontline workers we would be in a much bleaker place than what we are today.

“On behalf of all the citizens of Belfast, I want to say thank you for all that you’re doing. You’re all truly incredible.

“Let’s hope that we can mark the Freedom of the City being awarded in a way that is fitting post Covid-19.”

The Freedom of Belfast was bestowed on nurses in 2016.

Other previous recipients of the honour include actor Sir Kenneth Branagh, musician Van Morrison, poet Michael Longley and Olympic athlete Dame Mary Peters.

PA