Northern Ireland

John Hume 'humbled' by RTE 'Ireland's Greatest' TV vote

John Hume
Image caption John Hume said he was proud to have won the award

The former SDLP leader and Nobel peace laureate John Hume has said he is 'humbled' to have been voted 'Ireland's Greatest' in an RTE poll.

Over the past five weeks, the finalists have been profiled in a series of television documentaries on RTE

The results of the public vote were revealed on The Late Late Show on RTE1 on Friday night.

Mr Hume's case was put forward in a documentary presented by Primetime anchor, Miriam O'Callaghan.

The 73-year-old Nobel laureate beat other historical and contemporary figures such as Michael Collins, James Connolly, Mary Robinson and Bono.

"I wish to thank all those people who voted for me and express my deepest gratitude to Miriam O'Callaghan for her eloquent representations on my behalf," Mr Hume said.

"I also wish to thank my colleagues and friends in the SDLP without whose support and encouragement down the years we would not have achieved so much.

"But all in all, the tag of Ireland's Greatest could be given to all those men and women on this island who endorsed and campaigned for peace over many, many years."

The SDLP MP for Foyle Mark Durkan said he was delighted for both Mr Hume and his wife, Pat.

"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," Mr Durkan said.

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

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