As the final bars of The Town I Loved So Well drifted out of the cathedral door the first crackle of applause sounded.
Stuttering at first, the instigators perhaps hesitant whether it was an appropriate response to such a moment, it quickly swept among all those congregated outside the church grounds to say goodbye to John Hume.
Two of his grandchildren spun round to see where the spontaneous act of appreciation had emanated.
They were greeted by a gallery of faces, some sheltering beneath umbrellas, perched high behind wrought iron railings on a road behind St Eugene’s Cathedral.
One man called out “Thank you John”.
Minutes earlier, the same onlookers were listening on a tiny portable radio balanced precariously on a car roof as