Nobel Peace Prize laureate John Hume has been voted 'Ireland's Greatest' in an RTÉ phone and text poll.

Mr Hume said the award was a great honour to his wife Pat and family who helped him work for peace in Northern Ireland.

‘I am very proud that people across Ireland took the time to vote for me and I appreciate it greatly,’ he said.

‘This award obviously recognises the contribution of my wife and family over many years as well as others who worked with me.’

‘I can only thank people in Derry and across the country for taking the time to vote for me.’

He said the tag of Ireland's Greatest could have been given to all men and women who had campaigned for peace throughout the island.

Mr Hume was the public's choice ahead of Michael Collins, Mary Robinson, James Connolly and Bono.

The results of the poll were revealed on The Late Late Show last night.

Journalist Miriam O'Callaghan, who presented the case for Mr Hume, said we were all reaping the benefits of his efforts to bring peace to Northern Ireland.

‘I am overjoyed for John Hume and his family - I truly am. He so deserves it. Here is a man who has done so much for this country and we are finally acknowledging his great achievements and sacrifice,’ she said.

Leader of the SDLP Margaret Ritchie said the result sets ‘us all a challenge to continue his work and bring change for the better for every person on this island’.