25/10/2010

John Hume Awarded 'Greatest' Honour

Former SDLP stalwart, John Hume has spoken of his "tremendous honour" at being awarded the prize of 'Ireland's Greatest'.

An RTÉ programme had whittled a top 40 contenders down to five this week, with viewers in the Irish Republic then voting the former SDLP leader to the top spot.

In a statement, Mr Hume (pictured) said: "It is a tremendous honour to have been voted into first place for the Ireland's Greatest award.

"My family and I were delighted that people had shortlisted me to the final five with such outstanding figures. . .This award obviously recognises the contribution of my wife and family over many years as well as others who worked with me."
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Foyle MP Mark Durkan said of Mr Hume: "People can write memoirs that put them at the centre of the peace process, at the centre of agreement and breakthrough, but it was John Hume who drew the map and wrote the plan and led the way.

"He provided the sat-nav that brought everyone from their different and hopeless positions to the place of peace, shared institutions and stability."

John Gormley, addressing the annual conference of the Green Party in Northern Ireland in Co Down, opened his address with congratulations for the former SDLP leader.

"I am moved to pay tribute to one of the individuals whose courageous efforts to build bridges and advance human rights was recognised," he said.

(BMcC)

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