Freedom proposal for Superbike hero Rea

Jonathan Rea.
Jonathan Rea.

Elected members are to discuss giving the freedom of the borough on motorycling hero Jonathan Rea during a special council meeting next week.

Representatives of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council will discuss bestowing the honour on the three-time World Superbike Champion when they meet at Mossley Mill on Monday, April 30.

The motion has been proposed by Cllr David Arthurs and seconded by Cllr Timothy Girvan.

The Ballyclare councillors said: “To mark his achievements of putting Northern Ireland, Antrim and Newtownabbey and his home town of Ballyclare on the world stage, that this council gives three-time World Superbike Champion, Jonathan Rea, the Freedom of the Borough of Antrim and Newtownabbey for his services to sport.”

Speaking to the Times, Cllr Arthurs said: “Jonathan is a great ambassador for the borough and Northern Ireland as a whole.

“I am confident that the motion will have enough support on Monday night to go through.

“This is the highest honour that the council can bestow on anyone and after winning the title three years in a row, we felt he needed to be recognised.”

The UUP representative added: “I have followed Jonathan’s career from the start and he continues to excel, currently leading this year’s championship.

“I’m really proud of him and it is an honour for me to be able to bring this motion forward. He would be a very worthy recipient.”

It is understood that if the proposal passes, council is expected to hold a special presentation ceremony later this year.