`Architect of peace' is praised


The British Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair, has paid a warm tribute to Mr Hume's efforts in building peace in Northern Ireland.

"John Hume has played a huge role over many years in the Northern Ireland peace process and in helping to take the gun out of Irish politics," Mr Blair said on Monday.

The US special representative for Northern Ireland, Mr Richard Haass, described Mr Hume as an "architect of peace and a pioneer in the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland".

He said that Mr Hume's vision and tireless dedication to the cause of peace laid the groundwork for the Belfast Agreement.

For good reason he received the Nobel Peace Prize for these efforts.

He said he hoped Mr Hume would continue to make a contribution both to the peace process and to politics in general and the full range of European affairs.