■ Bereaved family respond with Hume’s trademark humility.
When the news broke that so many had feared but had been expecting, that John Hume had passed away, it came in the form of a simple statement from his family which reflected the way he approached so much of his life — always thinking of others:
We are deeply saddened to announce that John passed away peacefully in the early hours of the morning after a short illness.
We would like to extend our deepest and heartfelt thanks to the care and nursing staff of Owen Mor nursing home in Derry. The care they have shown John in the last months of his life has been exceptional.
As a family, we are unfailingly inspired by the professionalism, compassion, and love they have shown to John and all those under their care.
We can never adequately show them our thanks for looking after John at a time when we could not. The family drew great comfort in being with John again in the last days of his life.
We would like also to extend our gratitude to the people of Derry and Moville/Greencastle, who have looked after John and shown us so much kindness as his dementia has progressed. Celebrating community in all its diversity went to the heart of John’s political ethos and we are very appreciative that our communities supported, respected and protected John.
John was a husband, a father, a grandfather, a great grandfather and a brother. He was very much loved, and his loss will be deeply felt by all his extended family.
John’s funeral will be arranged according to the current government regulations with very strict rules on numbers.
We realise this will mean that many will be unable to join us and we will arrange a memorial service and a celebration of his life in due course.
Above all, we know that John would have prioritised public health, and the safety and health of our communities. We are grateful for your condolences and support, and we appreciate that you will respect the family’s right to privacy at this time of great loss.
It seems particularly apt for these strange and fearful days to remember the phrase that gave hope to John and so many of us through dark times: We shall overcome.”
John Hume’s remains will be taken from Moville in Co Donegal today to the Cathedral of Saint Eugene in Derry for 5pm, with the funeral Mass taking place at 11.30am tomorrow.
Fr Paul Farren, administrator of the cathedral, will be the celebrant for the Mass and will preach the homily.
Bishop Donal McKeown, Bishop of Derry, will preside at the Mass and say the final words.
The ceremony will take place in accordance with public health guidance and social distancing, will be strictly observed within the cathedral and on its grounds.
The funeral Mass will be broadcast on RTÉ One at 11.30am, and on RTÉ News Now, and on the State broadcaster’s online and digital platforms.
It will also be livestreamed on the cathedral’s webcam at steugenescathedral.com/webcam.html
Meanwhile, an online book of condolence for Mr Hume will be opened in Cork at 12pm today at corkcity.ie.
Mr Hume was granted the freedom of Cork in 2004.
The late John Hume and his wife Pat when he was accorded a civic reception in Killarney in 2001.