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The local council presented the Oscar-winning star with a statue created by a local artist to commemorate the his new status, which Daniel described as one of the most memorable moments of his life. He was awarded the freedom of Wicklow as a recognition of the honour he has brought to the Irish county
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"This is the place that sustains me, the place where I planted myself. When the work is done, it's to this place that I return to as a refuge," says the actor about the verdant Wicklow area where he's made his home

Daniel pays tribute to Wicklow home as he gets freedom honour

28 APRIL 2009
For 15 years London-born actor Daniel Day-Lewis has made his home in a beautiful Georgian mansion at the foot of the Wicklow Mountains on the east coast of Ireland. And this week as he was given the freedom of the county during a ceremony in Rathnew, Wicklow, the Hollywood star revealed how his idyllic Irish existence provides sanctuary from the limelight.

"This is the place that sustains me, the place where I planted myself. When the work is done, it's to this place that I return to as a refuge," said the star, who turns 52 this week. "It's a place where I feel the freedom to lie fallow if I need to for a period of time."

Oscar-winner Daniel – who became an Irish citizen in 1993 – said being made a freeman of Wicklow in recognition of the honour he has brought to the county was one of the most significant moments of his life.

"I have had many memorable days and great fortune in my life and this is one of the most memorable of them all," said Daniel, who was joined at the cermony by his wife Rebecca Miller and sons Gabriel, Ronan and Cashel. "I'm just astonished that this blessing has been honoured on me."

The immensely private star said his home has give him the freedom to breathe, grow, raise a family, and enjoy cycling and jogging.

"The truth is that I helped myself very cheekily to that freedom without really asking if anyone minded a long time ago," he admitted. "In making this eloquent gesture today you have given me the greatest possible symbol of that immeasurable liberty I took," he said.

Daniel rounded off his acceptance speech by reading a poem by his father, poet laurete Cecil Day Lewis titled Avoca, Co Wicklow.

Fellow Wicklow resident, Oscar-nominated Deliverance director John Boorman, sent a message to Daniel which was read at his investiture. "When they bestowed this well-earned honour did they realise how much Wicklow freedom you already possessed?" he pondered.

"Biking the ring of the Sally Gap, running in the hills of Glendalough, the woods, the streams, the sandy strands, the dreaming landscape of our spiritual home."


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