Saturday 24 March 2018

A tribute to Hume, but don't tell him

'Prime Time' presenter Miriam O'Callaghan filming a tribute programme on John Hume in Derry
'Prime Time' presenter Miriam O'Callaghan filming a tribute programme on John Hume in Derry

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Reporter

'PRIME Time' presenter Miriam O'Callaghan has revealed how John Hume accidentally stumbled into the filming of a tribute programme she was making about him.

It happened when O'Callaghan was shooting a one-hour special on the Nobel Peace Prize-winner as part of RTE's 'Ireland's Greatest' series.

The shoot was taking place close to Mr Hume's home in Derry. "I was doing a piece to camera when all of a sudden I started to get these signals from the crew, pointing over my shoulder. I looked around and there was John Hume coming up the street," she said.

But because plans for the RTE series had not yet been announced, she couldn't tell the ex-SDLP leader why she was filming outside his house. O'Callaghan said she agreed to put forward the case for Mr Hume for the series, having dealt with him on several occasions.

She said that one of the most moving moments in her tribute was footage from a cemetery following the burial of victims of the 1993 Greysteel massacre.

"I remember seeing John Hume in the cemetery and he was crying," she said.

"He calls it his 'lowest point' because shortly after he was hospitalised for exhaustion and stress. Whatever his condition, and he sacrificed everything, he came back and went on to complete the peace process."

The show airs tonight and O'Callaghan said it deserved an audience. "Everyone down here owes Hume a debt of gratitude for what he achieved."

Irish Independent

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