By Diarmaid Doherty
ON his last visit home to Donegal back in August, Troy Gallagher was able to tell his mum and some close family members the news that he was to be honoured with the Freedom of the City of London later in the year.
The Letterkenny man wasn’t able to go public with the news until closer to the occasion, but he still remembers the joy on his mum’s face when they chatted about the honour.
“I showed her photographs of the footballer Harry Kane who was afforded the Freedom of the City a few months before that,” Troy said.
“The singer Ed Sheeran got the honour as well, and so did Morgan Freeman.
“When my mum saw what was involved and how special it was, she was thrilled.”
Troy’s mum Girlie passed away that week, just over a year after his father Hughie died in May 2012. And as Troy attended the ceremony in
London on Saturday, his parents were very much in his thoughts.
“It was a very proud day for me, but as you can imagine it was bittersweet,” he said.
“My mum lived for years in Holloway when she worked for London Zoo and daddy lived in Finsbury Park.
“So I was thinking of them on Saturday and I’m sure they would have been so, so proud.”
What Troy didn’t expect was that his parents would still be part of his big day.
As parents of Troy, their names and their home address at Muckish Avenue in Letterkenny are included in the official records in ‘The Annals’ which were officially signed by Troy during Saturday’s event.
“As far as I know, I’m the first person from Letterkenny to receive this honour and in years to come if any of our family members decide to look up the records to check on ancestry, the names of myself and my parents will be there for all to see.”
A member of Islington Council for a number of years, Troy completed a memorable term as council Mayor last year.
He first moved to the UK from Letterkenny in 1995 and has been living in London since 1999.
During his time in the city he has been involved in a host of community projects and charities and it was for this and his contribution to life among the Irish diaspora in London that he was nominated for the Freedom of the City of London.