Belfast Telegraph

Ulster's Best honoured with freedom of Armagh council

Ulster and Ireland captain Rory Best has been handed the freedom of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council unanimously agreed to bestow the Freedom of the Borough to the rugby player in recognition of his outstanding sporting achievements at a meeting on Monday night.

Lord Mayor Alderman Gareth Wilson, said it was the highest civic honour the council could bestow on its favourite son.

"This represents our formal expression in recognition of his outstanding sporting achievements and acknowledges Rory as an excellent ambassador for his sport and our borough,” he added.

Rory Best was raised and educated in Poyntzpass and went to Tandragee Junior High and Portadown College. He played rugby for Banbridge and his wife Jodie teaches in Armstrong Primary School in Armagh.

UUP councillor, Alderman Jim Speers, added: “Captain of Ireland and Ulster Rugby as well as a British and Irish Lion, Rory brings great pride and honour to our area throughout his long and distinguished career and this is a fitting tribute to Rory who widely represents our borough.”

With Ireland Rory won an historic Grand Slam and Triple crowns and in November 2016 led Ireland to their first ever Test victory over New Zealand, ending the All Blacks record-winning streak of 18 games. Ireland's subsequent win over Australia in the same series resulted in Ireland achieving victories over the Southern Hemisphere big three in the same calendar year for the first time in their history.

A ceremony to bestow the honour to Rory Best will be held in 2018.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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