News & Events
On 22nd March Fr Peter McVerry SJ became just the 77th person in the last 138 years to receive the Freedom of Dublin. Almost 500 people attended a ceremony in the Round Room, in the Mansion House which saw Brian O’Driscoll also awarded the Freedom of the City. Fr McVerry received the award because of his tireless campaign for and work with vulnerable young people in Dublin. Fr McVerry first began working in Dublin’s inner city in 1974. You can view video and photos from the event below as well as a statement from Peter McVerry Trust congratulating its founder on the award.
Fr McVerry’s acceptance speech
Photos from the Freedom of the City
The Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisin Quinn tonight announced the decision to award the Freedom of Dublin to Fr Peter McVerry SJ and Brian O’Driscoll.
Responding to the announcement Pat Doyle CEO of Peter McVerry Trust said “Peter McVerry Trust is delighted that our founder is set to receive the Freedom of Dublin. It is an honour that recognises the immense contribution that Peter has made to the lives of vulnerable young people over the last 40 years. For us at the charity we are extremely fortunate to have such a truly inspirational individual with whom to work with and learn from on a daily basis.”
“Since 1974 Fr McVerry has dedicated himself to tackling the issues of homelessness, drug misuse and social disadvantage. His work is driven by his compassion and his determination to create a just society, a society in which everyone has the chance to live with dignity.”
“We believe that the decision by Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn to award Peter the Freedom of Dublin is not only a recognition of Peter’s work but of the wider issue of homelessness and those experiencing homelessness in Ireland today.
“Without doubt the award is just recognition of his contribution to the citizens and residents of Dublin, a contribution he continues to make today, and we hope, long into the future.”
“We would also like to send our warmest congratulations to Brian O’Driscoll.”
About Fr Peter McVerry
Originally from Newry, Co. Down he studied at Clongowes Wood College SJ before entering the seminary.
He began working in Dublin North Inner City in 1974 when he moved to Summerhill and has since then been working tirelessly for Dublin’s homeless youths.
In 1979, Fr McVerry opened a hostel to address the urgent need for accommodation for young homeless people. Four years later he set up a charity called The Arrupe Society, to provide further housing and support. Renamed in 2005 as Peter McVerry Trust, the charity has progressed from providing a three bedroom flat in Ballymun to today’s wide range of services catering for the diverse needs of young homeless people. Some services include an open access service, supported accommodation, drug services, under 18s hostels and apartments across the city to offer longer-term housing for those ready to live independently .
Quotes from Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn
Announcing his decision Lord Mayor Quinn said “It is a great honour to be able to propose two of Dublin’s most inspirational citizens for our highest award, the Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin.”
“Brian and Fr. Peter are from different generations but they share much in common. They are both inspirational leaders. They set a remarkable example to us all by the way they apply themselves to their challenges.”
“They are people who lead by the example they set. In their own way and in their own fields, they are both individuals who walk the walk. I am delighted they have agreed to accept this great honour and I know that all Dubliners will be both proud of, and find inspiration into the future from, these two remarkable men.”
“They are and will continue to be great ambassadors for Dublin.”