Northern Ireland news

John Hume cathedral tribute attracting huge interest

Visitors have been paying tribute to Nobel peace laureate John Hume at St Eugene's Cathedral in Derry.
Seamus McKinney

PEOPLE from across Ireland have been travelling to Derry to pay tribute to Nobel peace laureate and former SDLP leader John Hume who died last week.

Regarded as a key architect of the Good Friday Agreement St Eugene's Cathedral has become a focus for people wishing to pay their respects to Mr Hume who died last Monday.

A cathedral spokesman said the appreciation and affection in which he was held was evident in the numbers visiting the church where his Requiem Mass took place.

Attendance at Mr Hume’s funeral was restricted because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A floral tribute from Derry actress Roma Downey has been placed below the picture which has been placed at the side of the main altar at St Eugene’s.

A floral tribute has been left by Hollywood actress Roma Downey.

Visitors have also been taking copies of the Order of Service for Mr Hume’s Requiem Mass and a card with the Prayer of St Francis which have been left nearby.

Mr Hume’s family urged people to light a candle for peace and recite the prayer rather than attend his funeral because of coronavirus restrictions. The card also includes a 1998 quotation from Mr Hume.

In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, the former SDLP leader said: “The basis of peace and stability in any society, has to be the fullest respect for the human rights of all its people.”

The cathedral spokesman said around 1,000 copies of the Order of Service have been taken by visitors since the funeral on Wednesday August 5.

John Hume's Requiem Mass took place at St Eugene's Cathedral.

“There has been a very noticeable increase in footfall at the cathedral in the last week. We’ve had visitors from all over Ireland paying tribute to John Hume. There has been people from Kilkenny, Armagh, Down, Belfast and Dublin in recent days,” the spokesman said.

A memorial service for Mr Hume will be organised at a later date when coronavirus restrictions have been lifted.

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