John Hume receives guard of honour as Ireland lights candles in his memory

John Hume's widow, Pat, is embraced outside St Eugene's Cathedral in Derry. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

John Hume’s body has arrived at St Eugene’s Cathedral in his native Derry.

The former SDLP leader and Nobel laureate was brought home to the city from Moville, across the Border in Co Donegal, ahead of his funeral service on Wednesday morning.

Mr Hume died at the age of 83 on Monday. Tributes have been paid to him from around the world.

His family have urged that well-wishers prioritise public health and light a candle for peace at 9pm in their homes.

SDLP activists form a guard of honour at the entrance to St Eugene
SDLP activists form a guard of honour at the entrance to St Eugene's Cathedral in Derry. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Well-wishers stand at the gates to St Eugene
Well-wishers stand at the gates to St Eugene's Cathedral. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Former SDLP leader Mark Durkan with his wife, Jackie, at St Eugene
Former SDLP leader Mark Durkan with his wife, Jackie, at St Eugene's Cathedral. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

John Hume
John Hume's coffin is brought inside the Cathedral. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

A socially distanced guard of honour made up of SDLP party activists lined the path from the gate at St Eugene’s Cathedral for the arrival of the cortege.

They held candles in memory of the Nobel Laureate in line with the family’s wishes.

The funeral service will be broadcast on Wednesday morning by the BBC and RTÉ.

Many people across the island lit candles in tribute to Mr Hume on Tuesday night.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and President Michael D Higgins were among those who made the gesture, with images of their burning candles posted on Twitter.

Mr Martin wrote: “Tonight we join together to light a candle for peace and reflect on the huge contribution John Hume made to our society. He brought people together and secured peace on this island. He truly was “Ireland’s Greatest”. Thank you John.”

SDLP deputy leader Nichola Mallon, Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Alliance Party leader Naomi Long, former Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith and Ulster Unionist MLA Mike Nesbitt were among other high profile politicians to post pictures of lit candles at 9pm.