NOBEL Laureate, peacemaker and former SDLP leader John Hume, who will be laid to rest in his beloved Derry this Wednesday, was honoured in Killarney in 2000 when the former town council marked his remarkable contribution to Ireland its people.
The civil rights champion and visionary was accorded a civic reception at a gathering in the Killarney Park Hotel where then council chairman Seán Counihan presented Mr Hume with a personalised leather writing set from Muckross House.
Mr Counihan said today it was a great honour and privilege to honour Mr Hume on behalf of the people of Killarney.
“We were standing in the company of one of Ireland’s greatest. My condolences to Pat and his family. The people of Ireland will and should be always indebted to John,” he added.
Mr Hume, who was 83, was a regular visitor to Kerry and he spent a significant amount of time in the company of fellow politician and peace broker Dick Spring.
One of the founder members of the credit movement, the former SDLP leader also attended the organisation’s landmark celebrations in Killarney.
MEP Seán Kelly said John Hume was a visionary and a man of conviction and integrity, who demonstrated an unwavering commitment to equality.
“The legacy of John Hume is shared not just amongst those on the island of Ireland, but also in Washington, Westminster, Brussels and across the world.
“His integrity and obvious abilities as an exceptional politician and orator were highly respected, allowing him to build many vital relationships across Europe, which played an important role in the peace process.
“His legacy will live on and we will always be grateful to him for his courage, vision and determination in securing peace for Northern Ireland”, Mr Kelly said.
Mr Hume’s remains were brought from his home near Moville, Co Donegal, to St Eugene’s Cathedral in Derry City last night ahead the funeral Mass this Wednesday.
The peacemaker who was one of the architects of the peace process and the 1998 Belfast Agreement and, in recognition of his work and contribution, homes all over Kerry light candles in his memory last night.
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