Gerry Adams not John Hume deserved Ireland's greatest ever award

John Hume was voted Ireland's greatest person ever by hundreds of thousands of voters in an Irish television program on Friday night after a five week contest.

I believe that the award went to the wrong person. No, not Michael Collins or James Connolly or Mary Robinson or Bono who were also in the frame, but someone who was not considered

Gerry Adams did more to bring peace to Ireland than John Hume did in my opinion.

He had a far tougher role to play and while John did incredible work, he did not literally put his life on the line time and again as Adams did at critical times.

Adams, of course, did not make the final five, a man so controversial as to be a former IRA leader would not be considered by the good people of Ireland

(Except of course Michael Collins was in the final five as was revolutionary James Connolly who also embraced violence --but that was back then when violence was different you see)

Don't get me wrong, John Hume is a remarkable individual who richly deserved his Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the Northern Irish process.

But the reality is that John's incredible work on that process was going nowhere until Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness created the opening with the IRA.

Of the two , Adams and Hume, Adams had by far the tougher task, convincing the IRA that they must call a halt to their activities and fall short of their stated goal of a United Ireland.

It was the kind of position that got Michael Collins killed and it almost got Adams killed as well.

I am proud to say that I know both Adams and Hume reasonably well and can richly applaud the incredible accomplishments that they both helped bring to fruition along with Bill Clinton, George Mitchell Albert Reynolds, Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair to name a few.

But the first and most vital step in all of this great story was ending the IRA campaign, without which none of the rest would have made even a whiff of sense.

It was Gerry Adams who achieved that previously impossible task.

If the Irish peace process was the yardstick to produce Ireland's greatest ever then Adams deserved the accolade for doing the most.


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