Mary had a little Lamb

20130428-134322.jpgTraffic in Belfast came to a temporary standstill this morning – as Dame Mary Peters herded sheep through the city centre!

Accompanied by the Lord Mayor Gavin Robinson, Dame Mary brought the four-legged woolly contingent out through the front gates of City Hall and along Donegall Place.

The fun photocall was arranged to highlight next month’s conferment of the Freedom of the City of Belfast on Dame Mary Peters.

“Sadly it is a myth that being given the Freedom of the City entitles me to graze sheep on the front lawn of City Hall, but that hasn’t stopped us today,” Dame Mary joked.

“These days the title is purely honorary but that doesn’t detract in any way from this being the highest possible civic honour. I am absolutely thrilled that this ceremony is being planned for the evening of 8 May and that the daytime will include a packed programme of activity for local young people”.

Lord Mayor, Alderman Gavin Robinson, paid tribute to Dame Mary and hailed her commitment and dedication as an example to all.

“This is a well deserved accolade for one of our best known Olympians who has a special place in the hearts of people across all parts of Belfast and beyond,” he said.

“Long since that iconic moment when she took Gold in the 1972 Munich Games, our very own ‘golden girl’ has immersed herself in the promotion of sport and, in particular, the mentoring of our young people and those from all walks of life in the wider community”.

While the Freedom Ceremony on the evening of 8 May will take place in the Great Hall of City Hall, earlier in the day the front lawns will be packed with 300 schoolchildren participating in Pentathlon style sports.

The young people will be drawn from schools and organisations across the city, and the programme of activities will reflect Dame Mary’s ethos of promoting youth involvement in sport.

The sheep involved in today’s photocall were provided by The Ark Open Farm.

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Post Author: Belfast Times

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