Vicky Phelan says she is 'deeply honoured' to receive the Freedom of Limerick, which she says is her adopted home.
The Kilkenny woman was recognised on Thursday for her work in uncovering the CervicalCheck scandal, as well as advocating for the rights of terminally ill people.
Vicky told Newstalk Breakfast she joins a short list of women who have also received the award.
"I am deeply honoured, to be quite honest, because I never realised there were so few women who went before me.
"So I'm only the fifth woman in Limerick to have this award bestowed upon them; and the women that have gone before me have been fairly serious contenders.
"So it's great to be another woman to add to that list - and please God there'll be more than that".
She says while she is not from Limerick, she considers it her 'adopted home'.
"I've lived in Limerick far longer than I lived in Kilkenny, so I suppose I could argue that point too.
"But it definitely means a huge lot to me and my family".
She says the accolade offers some unique perks.
"I think I can walk a herd of sheep up O'Connell Street or something like that.
"That's pretty much it, I don't get much else out of it".
'I'm good this week'
Vicky says the ceremony was due to take place in January, but was delayed because of a scroll holder.
"Apparently it's made from silver and they're kind of specially commissioned.
"So I'm very interested to see what that looks like."
And she says she is feeling good right now, after a tweak to her medications.
"I'm actually good at the moment, I'm good this week.
"We've made a few adjustments to my medications and I'm doing a lot better this week than I have been in the previous few weeks.
"So I think kind of the minor adjustments we've made have made a huge difference to me.
"I've a little bit more energy during the day and I have a bit more of an appetite, because my appetite was a huge problem.
"I just wasn't able to eat really and I was losing a lot of weight - and I really can't afford to lose any more weight than I already have".