Van Morrison to be awarded freedom of Belfast

City council expected to agree award for Belfast-born singer

The proposal to grant Van Morrison the freedom of Belfast is expected to receive the backing of Belfast City Council next month. Photograph: Reuters/Denis Balibouse

The proposal to grant Van Morrison the freedom of Belfast is expected to receive the backing of Belfast City Council next month. Photograph: Reuters/Denis Balibouse

Thu, Aug 22, 2013, 01:00

Van Morrison is to receive the Freedom of Belfast, the highest honour that Belfast City Council can bestow. It is expected that the council will agree the award when it meets next month.

The singer-songwriter (68) was born in the east of the city, and his music draws deeply on the names and places of this part of Belfast, reflected in songs such as Cyprus Avenue and On Hyndford Street.

Previous recipients of the Freedom of Belfast include poet John Hewitt, Belfast- born artist Sir John Lavery and Winston Churchill. The most recent recipient was Olympic gold medallist Mary Peters in May of this year.