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The tradition of awarding the Freedom of the City still lives on in cities around the world. Many of the rights or privileges associated with the award are symbolic but conferring the privilege remains the highest honour a city can bestow. In Cork, awarding the Freedom of the City, whereby persons distinguished for public service become Honorary Burgesses of the City, dates from the fourteenth century. There are four distinct periods covering the award in Cork city: 1. Fourteenth century to 1876: Honorary Burgesses - largely based on status or purchase of the honour. 2. 1877 to 1921: Nationalist Heroes - a legislative framework applied and the practice was to honour nationalists. 3. 1922 to 1989: Clergy and Statesmen - chief recipients were Roman Catholic clergy. 4. 1990 to present: High Achievers - the basis of award becomes outstanding achievement. Notable recipients include Charles Stewart Parnell, William Gladstone, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Eamon de Valera, Mary Robinson and Roy Keane. This book reveals and brings to life the rich history associated with the awarding of the Freedom of the City in Cork by describing the history of the honour and profiling notable recipients.