Sadness across Donegal at passing of John Hume

Donegal mourns 'exceptional public representative'   

John Hume pictured with President Michael D Higgins.

Donegal mourns John Hume 'exceptional public representative'   

Donegal resident and Nobel Laureate, John Hume, has been remembered with warmth and  appreciation by his friends and neighbours in Inishowen, on the occasion of his sad passing.

Mr Hume's remains and cortège will leave Moville at 7.30pm on Tuesday (August 4), and return to St Eugene's Cathedral, Derry, after 8.30pm. His Funeral Mass will take place at 11.30am on Wednesday, August 5, 2020.

Fr Paul Farren, Administrator of the Cathedral, will be the celebrant for the Mass and he will preach the homily. Bishop Donal McKeown, Bishop of Derry, will preside at the Mass and say the final words.

Mr Hume's family have asked people to follow the current public health guidelines, so no-one is putting themselves or others at risk.

The family said: "Instead we would ask that people light a candle for peace at 9.00pm on Tuesday, in their homes or at their doors."

Speaking to Donegal Live, Councillor Albert Doherty (Sinn Féin), Cathaoirleach of the Inishowen Municipal Council extended his and the Council members sincere sympathy to John's wife, Pat, their immediate family members and the SDLP party.

Cllr Doherty added: "John and Pat were frequent and very welcome visitors to the Inishowen locality down through the years.

"John was a trojan worker and campaigner for equality and social justice. His efforts for his own people in Derry city, seeking improved and fair housing access; his promotion, support and involvement with the success and development of the Derry Credit Union is remembered and deeply appreciated.

"In the European Parliament, John supported and was a strong proponent of numerous cross border issues. This support, awareness and interest from Europe has served the North West area of Ireland well up to the present and will be keenly required in the immediate time ahead as Brexit negotions progress.

"John Hume was and instrumental and invaluable contributor to the Peace Process through his perservance with the Hume - Adam's dialogue, culminating in the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. This is an abiding legacy achievement, prized and cherished throughout the entire island. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam," concluded Cllr Doherty.

Moville Councillor Martin Farren (Labour) said he was "saddened" to hear about the passing of John Hume.

Cllr Farren said: "We all know that John Hume was an exceptional public representative. He was respected here in Ireland, in Europe, in the United States and all across the world. He was a man who wore his heart on his sleeve and represented the people of the North extremely well.

"He lived through difficult times but he did so much to bring peace to the island of Ireland. He did that through the Good Friday Agreement because he was so well respected internationally. 

"John also lived in our community here in Moville for the past 20 or 25 years and he always found time to speak to you. Although his passing is sad, he has left a tremendous legacy behind.

"I would like to offer my sympathy to John's wife, Pat, his family and his extended family. My thoughts and prayers are with them at this very sad time. May he rest in peace," concluded Cllr Farren.

Donegal Councillor Terry Crossan (Sinn Féin) recalled first meeting John Hume when the Crossan family moved to Beechwood Avenue in Derry in 1957.

Cllr Crossan said: "John Hume lived in Number 7, Beechwood Avenue, which was a very small bungalow. I was a child then. I knew John from playing about. Then when I went to school at the Christian Brothers and eventually went to St Columb's College, where John was a teacher, although he never actually taught me. Then the Hume Family moved to Westend Park and I really lost contact in that neighbourly way. 

"John Hume played a huge role in the whole Civil Rights Movement in the late 1960s. He became a very prominent politician. He was involved in the 1985 Anglo - Irish Agreement. He established very strong links with Irish America and eventually we had the Hume - Adams Talks, which were the fabric for the Peace Process and very much had the hand and the blessing of the late Martin McGuinness. 

"The Peace Process then brought forward the Good Friday Agreement. John Hume played a huge role in all of that. We have to have admiration for the intellect of the man and for his vision. It took a lot of courage to engage with the Republican Movement at that time. 

"I offer my sincere condolences to John's wife, Pat, and his family. Go nDeanaí Dia Tróchaire air a anam," said Cllr Crossan.

Enda Craig,  a Carnagarve neighbour of the Hume family said he was saddened that his "warm hearted, friendly and much loved neighbour had  taken his final leave from his beloved Derry and Carnagarve, Moville."

Mr Craig added: "During his time here, it was not unusual to meet him walking along the shore path at Glenburnie beach, beside where he lived, greeting and speaking to all  he met as he took time out from his busy political schedule.  

"We met many times and all he ever  wanted to know was, 'well, what are you up to these days?'  I know that both John and Pat referred to their visits as coming to an oasis when a break from the cauldron of pressure was required.

"It was well understood by the locals the massive pressure that he was under as he strove to find a solution to the historical impossible and going where very few of us had the courage to go, he achieved his dream for us all.

" John was a man of great warmth and humanity, whose feet never left the ground. He was a great neighbour. Our  heartfelt condolences go out to his wife Pat and family," said Mr Craig.

Well known Burt resident, Kathleen Grant, said she was saddened to hear of the passing of John Hume.

Ms Grant said: "John's sad death led me to recall my personal stories of a remarkable man. I once took his photograph at a function in Moville, during which he told me to 'hurry up'

"My sister Breige did a crossword with him while waiting on a plane and I well remember the time Breige and I attended a play by Stan McGowan in the Playhouse in Derry and when it was over, we proceeded to find a taxi. It was very dark and I heard these people talking behind us. It was the late John Hume with his lovely wife, Pat, also wishing to find a taxi. Pat asked us if they could share our taxi. Well, I felt honoured that we had a fellow passenger that had been honoured by the world and, more importantly, he had close Burt connections.

"When they arrived at their home, John asked the taxi driver how much they had to pay and he went in search of the fare and I said it was OK, we would pay it. Well John insisted on paying half the fare and found a five.

"God rest you, John, and thank you for your mammoth peace efforts and my condolences to Pat and his family," said Kathleen Grant.

John Hume's love of Moville was also remembered on social media. The 'Moville Green and Shore Walk' page offered "sincere condolences" to his wife, Pat, and his family.

"There was nothing John loved more than a walk on Moville shore to clear the head after  busy days of negotiating a better life for us all, North and South."


If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Live editorial team any time. To contact Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press, email To contact Donegal Post, email To contact Inish Times, email

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.