The council approved the motion on Monday with a formal ceremony to follow in 2018.
Lord Mayor Gareth Wilson said: “The freedom of the borough is the highest civic honour we can bestow on any person or organisation and it represents our formal expression in recognition of his outstanding sporting achievements and acknowledges Rory as an excellent ambassador for his sport and our borough.”
Rory was raised and educated in Poyntzpass, he went to Tandragee Junior High and Portadown College and has played rugby for Banbridge.
UUP group leader Alderman Jim Speers seconded the motion. “Captain of Ireland and Ulster Rugby as well as a British and Irish Lion, Rory brings great pride and honour to our area throughout his long and distinguished career and this is a fitting tribute to Rory who widely represents our borough,” he said.
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Rory is the most capped Irish hooker with over 100 international appearances.
He can boast a Grand Slam and Triple Crowns, and in 2016 led Ireland to their first victory over New Zealand.
Ireland’s subsequent win over Australia resulted in Ireland achieving victories over the southern hemisphere ‘big three’ in the same calendar year for the first time in its history.