Dermot O’Leary receives Freedom of the City of London


TV and radio presenter, Dermot O’Leary, has received the Freedom of the City of London today, in recognition of his charitable work and patronage of the London Irish Centre.

O’Leary, who currently presents his BBC Radio 2 show, Saturday Breakfast with Dermot O’Leary, and co-presents the Friday edition of ITV’s This Morning with Alison Hammond, attended his ceremony at The Mansion House.

He was joined at the Lord Mayor’s official residence by family members, friends, and representatives from the London Irish Centre.

Colchester-born O’Leary, whose parents Séan and Maria emigrated from Wexford to the UK, was nominated by Lord Mayor of the City of London, Vincent Keaveny, and member and Court Assistant of the Worshipful Company of Carmen, Vince Dignam.

Lord Mayor Vincent Keaveny said:

“Dermot is familiar to many millions of us, either, from watching him on TV or listening to his radio show but more than that, he is also a dedicated and much valued charity campaigner.

“As the City’s first Irish National Lord Mayor, I was particularly delighted to nominate Dermot for the Freedom of the City of London, which is one of our most ancient and proud traditions, and which he richly deserves.”

Vince Dignam said:

“Through my membership of The Worshipful Company of Carmen and my links with the London Irish Centre, I was very pleased to join Lord Mayor Vincent Keaveny in nominating Dermot for the Freedom.

“His sterling support for the LIC is being recognised today in a unique way by the City, and I feel sure that he will always remember this special occasion.”

Dermot O’Leary said:

I am genuinely honoured to receive the Freedom of the City of London. 

Anyone who knows me will know that two of my great loves are this wonderful city and my Irish heritage so, to receive the Freedom alongside my London Irish Centre friends makes it all the more special.

Countless Irish people, like my own parents, brought so much to this great city, so I would like to sincerely thank the Lord Mayor in honouring those experiences and contributions today, and I proudly and humbly accept this on their behalf.”

Chief Executive Officer of the London Irish Centre, Séamus MacCormaic, said: 

“We are very fortunate and grateful to have Dermot O’Leary as a patron of the London Irish Centre, because he embodies the very best of our organisation's values.

“His unwavering support highlights all the people that we help through our community programmes, and those we educate and entertain through cultural activities, right across London.

“We congratulate Dermot on receiving the Freedom of the City of London and thank him sincerely for his ongoing commitment to us and the work that we do.”

One of the City of London’s ancient traditions, the Freedom is believed to have begun in 1237 and enabled recipients, who were also required to join a Livery company, to carry out their trade.

As well as being nominated for, or applying for, the Freedom, it is also offered by the City of London Corporation to individuals as a way of paying tribute to their outstanding contribution to London or public life, or to celebrate a very significant achievement.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Andrew Buckingham, Media Officer (Arts, Culture, and Heritage), City of London Corporation email: / tel: 07795 333060

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. 

About the London Irish Centre:

London Irish Centre (LIC) is a Camden-based charity that empowers and enriches lives through Irish community and culture. The Centre's work covers advice, support, culture, and community services, all of which are advocated by LIC’s patrons, Dermot O’Leary and Ed Sheeran. As the Irish heart of London, LIC has offered a taste of home and a strong sense of community and culture for almost 70 years. The Centre continues to move forward with exciting plans for the future, including the redevelopment of the Centre, so that it can continue serving the community for generations to come. For media enquiries, contact

 About Dermot O’Leary

Dermot O’Leary’s extensive career across the television, radio and entertainment industries has established him as a household name. Dermot is most recently seen presenting ITV’s This Morning, alongside Alison Hammond every Friday. Dermot also presents his regular BBC Radio 2 show, Saturday Breakfast with Dermot O’Leary. He has enjoyed hosting events, such The National Television Awards for 10 years; Soccer Aid since 2010; and the British Academy of Film & Television Awards alongside Edith Bowman at The Earthshot Prize in 2021; which earned the show a BAFTA, which Dermot collected alongside co-host, Clara Amfo.  As Patron of the London Irish Centre, Dermot was awarded the prestigious Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad 2020 for his contribution to charity. Dermot is also an ambassador for both UNICEF and CAFOD, as well as championing several other charities close to his heart.