Peace campaigner John Hume is knighted by Pope Benedict

John Hume with Mo Mowlam and Gerry Adams in 1997

Northern Ireland politician John Hume has been knighted by Pope Benedict in recognition of his work with the peace process.

The former SDLP leader and Nobel Laureate has been made a Knight of St Gregory for his peace work.

The Papal honor is due recognition for the 75-year-old, whose dialogue with Sinn Féin set the foundations for the 1998 Good Friday Agreementand helped bring about an end to violence.

His SDLP party has confirmed the honour for Derry-born Hume, one of the architects of the peace process as the second leader of the SDLP from 1979 to 2001.

A former Catholic civil rights leader, Hume also served as a member of the European Parliament and an MP for Foyle as well as a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

A recent poll by Irish state broadcaster RTE saw Hume voted as Ireland’s greatest person in the history of the country.