Northern Ireland news

Pat Hume, the granny with the 'gentle smile and twinkling eyes'

Mrs Hume was carried from St Eugene's Cathedral by her children, Aiden, John, Therese, Aine and Mo. Picture by Colum Lenaghan/Pacemaker.
Seamus McKinney

Pat Hume's grandchildren paid their own special tribute to the granny with the "gentle smile and twinkling eyes".

In the prayers of the faithful at today's Requiem Mass, it was the loving matriarch who was recalled by her grandchildren.

"Granny touched the lives of everyone she met with her gentle smile and twinkling eyes. She was genuinely interested in people and loved nothing more than hearing their stories and offering newcomers a warm welcome," the grandchildren recalled.

There was sombre silence in the grounds of St Eugene's Cathedral as Pat's own children carried her wicker coffin from the church. And then mourners, who lined the streets outside, burst into applause as the hearse carrying her on her final journey passed.

Earlier, Pat's oldest son, Aiden paid an emotional and warm tribute to the mother who showed them all "unconditional love".

Mr Hume, who was unable to travel home from the US for his father’s funeral due to Covid-19 restrictions, said his father often said he was a "parcel" and his mother delivered him.

"But that only tells a very small part of the story. Mum was at his right hand throughout his entire life, his best friend, his closest confidant, his loving wife, his trusted adviser, his political antenna."

To a respectful ripple of laughter, he said: "I don’t think dad would mind me saying this, she was definitely the more glamorous side of the partnership."

However, to Mr Hume, his brother, John and sisters, Aine, Therese and Mo, his mother was "the calm at the centre of chaotic times".

"No matter how crazy or how difficult the situation, she was simply unflappable," he said.

The Derry man recalled a woman who always focused on the positive, always smiled and was always happy, a woman with deep spirituality and an "incredible faith". He recalled her days as a school teacher and her love of Irish and the west Donegal Gaeltacht.

Then, following Requiem Mass, Pat was laid to rest beside her husband at Derry city cemetery.

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