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BBC Northern Ireland's Noreen Erskine
The honour was first offered in 1982
 real 56k

Saturday, 30 September, 2000, 17:42 GMT 18:42 UK
RUC accepts delayed honour

Mayor Iris Robinson presented the honour to the RUC
The freedom of a County Antrim borough has been conferred on the Royal Ulster Constabulary - 18 years after the honour was first offered to the force.

Castlereagh Borough Council initially offered the honour in 1982 but it was not taken up until now due to security and operational reasons.

Members of the force paraded to the council's offices on Saturday before being conferred with the freedom of the borough.

At the ceremony, the mayor of Castlereagh, Iris Robinson, presented specially commissioned medallions to the police officers.

Chief constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan had earlier spoken of the sacrifice made by murdered and injured police officers.

The force was presented with the George Cross in April by Her Majesty the Queen.

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