Broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan returns to his native Limerick, where, along with artist Dr Tom Ryan, they receive the freedom of the city the highest honour Limerick can bestow on a citizen.
Terry Wogan began his broadcasting career in RTÉ in the 1960s, before becoming one of the leading broadcasters on both BBC Radio and Television. His morning radio show attracts a listenership of over nine million people. Born and brought up in Limerick, where he lived until he was 15, he played rugby at Crescent College, where he was educated. He said he was humbled and hugely honoured, and with the usual Wogan wit, explained that he almost didn’t make the ceremony,
First of all, it feels great to be here, because I spent two hours sitting on the tarmac in Heathrow waiting for the plane to take off, and I think somebody in England doesn’t want me to have the Freedom of Limerick. But I’m going to take it anyway, unworthy as I am.
Dr Tom Ryan is a former President of the Royal Hibernian Academy, and has painted presidents, Taoisigh, and cardinals, as well as designing many of our coins in his long and varied career. He too was effusive in his thanks for this honour,
Amazement, astonishment, gratification, of course...And humility too, because I wouldn’t think that in any way that I, I won’t say not deserve it, but I’m not in the public eye. I’m a sort of aesthetic leprechaun, very small in scale.
The two men now join a long list of distinguished Freemen, including Sir Isaac Butt, Maud Gonne, John F Kennedy, and Pope John Paul II.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 15 June 2007. The reporter is Kathy Halloran.