Northern Ireland

John Hume in running to be named 'Ireland's Greatest'

John Hume is in the running to be named 'Ireland's Greatest' person on RTE's Late Late Show this evening.

The former SDLP leader and Foyle MP is up against Michael Collins, Bono, James Connolly and Mary Robinson for the title.

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

Nobel Laureate Hume was championed as the greatest figure in Irish history by the RTE presenter Miriam O'Callaghan.

Hume's role in the peace process changed the lives of everybody on the island after centuries of division, she argued.

His successor as both leader of the SDLP and Foyle MP, Mark Durkan, said John Hume deserved the accolade because he had brought together all the different political strands that existed before and after the partition of Ireland.

"That was the vision of John Hume, it was the mission of John Hume and it is his big achievement," he added.

The five finalists were whittled down from a list of 40 whose names topped an Ipsos/MRBI survey.

Some historians criticised the competition for being skewed towards modern figures and leaving out names such as Charles Stewart Parnell, Daniel O'Connell and James Joyce.