Gloria Hunniford honoured with Freedom of the Borough


Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council conferred the Freedom of the Borough to Mrs Gloria Hunniford OBE at an official ceremony held at its Civic Headquarters, The Palace Demesne, Armagh on Saturday 25 May 2024.

Along with family and friends, Gloria Hunniford, the first female recipient, was awarded the prestigious honour in recognition for her outstanding contributions to broadcasting and her tireless charitable work.

Known for her extensive career spanning over five decades in television and radio, Gloria has become a beloved figure in the British media landscape. Her work has touched the lives of millions, and her dedication to excellence and integrity in journalism has set a high standard for the industry.

In addition to her broadcasting achievements, Gloria is renowned for her significant charitable efforts. Following the tragic loss of her daughter, Caron Keating, to breast cancer, Gloria established the Caron Keating Foundation. This charity has raised millions of pounds to support cancer patients and their families. In Northern Ireland, the Foundation supports Action Cancer’s mobile breast screening service, ‘The Big Bus,’ which Gloria launched in 2006. This service has provided thousands of women with crucial early detection of breast cancer, making a profound impact and saving countless lives.

Gloria Hunniford OBE responded to the news with gratitude, saying:

“I am deeply honoured to receive the Freedom of the Borough, particularly as it comes from the area where I grew up.  County Armagh and Portadown my hometown has always held a very special place in my heart, and to be recognised in this way is incredibly humbling – it’s great to be home.

“I want to thank the council for considering me for this honour and arranging today’s very special event with family and friends. I look forward to continuing my work and supporting the causes close to my heart.”

The Freedom of the Borough is the highest accolade that Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council can bestow. It is awarded to individuals who have rendered eminent services to the borough or achieved distinction in their field.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough, Alderman Margaret Tinsley bestowed the honour to Gloria, stating:

“It is with great pride to confer the Freedom of the Borough to celebrate Gloria’s connection to our community, combined with her professional achievements and the profound impact from supporting cancer patients and their families through The Caron Keating Foundation.”

The conferment of the Freedom of the Borough was attended by elected members, distinguished guests and cancer charities along with Gloria’s family. During the ceremony, Gloria was presented with a scroll to commemorate the prestigious occasion.