In July 1990 Nelson Mandela received the Freedom of Listowel, county Kerry and didn't even know about it.

Chairman of Listowel Urban District Council explains to Cathal MacCoille on 'Morning Ireland' why he had the casting vote which made Nelson Mandela a Freeman of the town, and probably the first Freeman of Listowel.  

Nelson Mandela had been in Ireland just days previously to receive the Freedom of Dublin and address Dáil Éireann. He was honoured with the Freedom of Dublin two years earlier while still in a South African prison cell. At the time he had vowed to come to Ireland to receive the honour in person, and to thank the Irish people for supporting the anti-Apartheid struggle. While in Dublin, Mandela also had the opportunity to meet with the Dunnes Stores strikers who had highlighted the plight of South Africans under the apartheid regime.

A Morning Ireland report broadcast on 5 July 1990.