The founder of the Foyle Hospice has been granted the freedom of the city of Derry.
Dr Tom McGinley becomes the first person to receive the honour since Nobel Laureate John Hume in 2000.
The decision to confer the Freedom of the City on Dr McGinley was taken at a special meeting of Derry City Council on Tuesday.
Derry’s Mayor Martin Reilly said he was delighted the important role played by Dr McGinley through the Foyle Hospice was acknowledged in this way.
“Dr Tom McGinley has over the years made a huge contribution to the lives of many people in this city across the wider North West area. The establishment of the Foyle Hospice and his contribution to patients with cancer and other illnesses and their families has been phenomenal and I think it is a fitting tribute to him that he has been honoured in this way.
“I would like to extend my congratulations to him on behalf of the people of the city.”
The Council intends to host a civic reception and dinner for Dr. McGinley at a future date.
The idea for a hospice began back in 1984 when New York born and Donegal raised Dr McGinley, a practicing GP in Derry, was treating an 18 year-old boy with terminal cancer.
Set in picturesque surroundings on the city’s Culmore Road, the Hospice has provided free care for countless patients since it opened back in 1991.
The Hospice plays a key role in the city’s health infrastructure and has helped countless families at a time when they need it most.
Dr. McGinley was awarded a papal knighthood by Pope John Paul II more than ten years ago.