Health and social care workers in Northern Ireland have been granted their local city’s highest honour in recognition of their historic work over the past seven decades, as well as their work over the pandemic.

Freedom of the City status was awarded by the Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council to the area’s health and social care workers on Saturday (21 May 2022).

A ceremony held at Lisburn’s Castle Gardens this weekend hosted hundreds of health and social care workers.

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The full list of attendees included nurses, porters, doctors, care home workers, corporate staff, dieticians, mid-wives, pharmacists, social workers and support workers.

A tree was also planted in honour of the occasion.

Fellow alderman Jim Dillon, who seconded the motion, said: “We pay our respects to the health consultants, doctors, nurses and most of all the care workers who are all worth their weight in gold.

“Without doubt, only for their efforts, many more deaths would have occurred in the pandemic over the last two years.

“We owe a great deal of gratitude to them all.”

Mayor Stephen Martin said: “This is the highest civic honour that the council can bestow on the health and social care service.”

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