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Belfast city council set to honour nurses

Belfast is planning to confer the Freedom of the City on nurses who have worked or trained in the Northern Irish capital.

It is the highest honour a city can confer and nurses will be in company with previous recipients who include Belfast-born musician Van Morrison, Olympic athlete Dame Mary Peters and wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.

The city council is holding a gala event to honour nurses at the City Hall on May 25 where the award will be presented to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) on behalf of nurses.

There will be a civic ceremony in the council chamber at Belfast City Hall when the RCN will be presented with a silver casket containing a scroll.

The details of recipients of the freedom of Belfast are into a freedom book which is kept on display in a cabinet outside the council chamber.

Nurses are invited to attend the gala.

They need to send their applications in by Monday April 25 to be in with a chance of winning one of the places in the ballot.

The city's Lord Mayor Arder Carson will draw names out of the hat at the end of April.

Successful applicants will also be able to take a guest with them, who must also be a registered nurse who trained or worked in Belfast.

The move was jointly proposed by Sinn Fein councilor Jim McVeigh and alliance councillor Michael Long at a meeting of the city council last December and was voted for unanimously.

Nurses should complete application forms and send them to Lisa Holden at the RCN in Belfast.

The city wants to ensure that “a broad spectrum of nurses who have worked or trained within the boundary of Belfast City Council have a fair and equitable opportunity to attend.”

Nurses should fill in an application from and provide details of where they worked or trained and whether they were community or hospital nurses.

Completed application forms can be posted to Lisa Holden, RCN, 12 Windsor Avenue, Belfast, BT9 6EE or by email to marketingni@rcn.org.uk

To access an application form click here