Headstone erected on grave of John Hume

The family of the late John Hume say it’s fitting that his newly erected headstone at Derry’s City Cemetery should feature an oakleaf - a symbol of the town he loved so well.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 9:19 pm
The headstone erected this week on the grave of John Hume.

The headstone was sculpted by Redmond Herrity, from Co. Donegal, who says he was “honoured and proud” to be asked by the Hume family to carry out the work.

The stone - a piece of slate sourced in Inishowen - features Mr Hume’s name and the years in which he was born and died.

The stone is sculpted in such a way that the distinctive oakleaf - an historic emblem long associated with Derry - stands out in bold relief.

The grave also includes a kneeling stone imprinted with the word, ‘Síocháin’, which means ‘peace’ in Irish.

Mr Hume’s son, John Jnr., told the ‘Journal’ that the family was very pleased with the finished stonework.

“Redmond Herrity has done a really fine job with the stone, and we are all very grateful to him,” he said.

“Dad gave his life to serving the people of Derry so it is very fitting to have an Oakleaf on his gravestone.

“His final resting place, with its amazing view over the Brandywell Stadium, couldn’t be better. He won’t miss a thing from up there!”

Redmond Herrity said it was appropriate that the slate for the headstone had been sourced in Inishowen.

“I know John Hume loved Inishowen and spent so much time there so it seemed entirely right that the stone originated from the area,” he said.

Mr Herrity said he worked in tandem with the Hume family on the design of the headstone and, in particular, its standout oakleaf motif.

The sculptor described the finished work as “simple and unadorned” - “less is more, as the saying goes,” he added.

The Nobel laureate’s grave has already become a place of pilgrimage with many people visiting it to pay their respects.

The first anniversary of Mr. Hume’s passing takes place next month, on August 3.