Described as 'a giant in Irish history and a man of uncompromising courage and integrity, who never yielded in his opposition to the terrible violence perpetrated during the Troubles', the late John Hume was bestowed with the Freedom of Longford Town during a Civic Reception hosted by Longford Town Council Mayor Paul Connell in 2008.
Commenting on news of the death of John Hume, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee TD, said Mr Hume's "legacy is the peace we enjoy on this island today, North and South. His achievements, with partners in the Northern Ireland peace process, have also given hope to many millions worldwide, suffering seemingly intractable conflicts in their own homeplaces.
"Despite well-deserved accolades including the Nobel Peace Prize, John Hume was a modest man who once said 'I never thought in terms of being a leader. I thought very simply in terms of helping people'. With this unassuming approach, he committed his life to exceptional public service, the pursuit of human rights for all, and peace and reconciliation in the place that he loved.
"One of John's many gifts was the ability to take the most complex problems and make them simple - he reminded us that difference is the essence of humanity and that respect for diversity is the fundamental principle of peace. All of us on this island owe him a deep debt of gratitude for his life’s work. We also owe it to him to ensure that the peace he pursued so resolutely is maintained and strengthened.
"As Minister for Justice, I offer my sincere sympathy and condolences to his wife Pat, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well their wider circle of family and friends."