Annie Maguire today said she feels honoured to have been awarded a papal medal in recognition of her fight against the miscarriage of justice suffered by her and her family.
Mrs Maguire and six other family members spent years in jail after they were wrongly convicted of running an IRA bomb factory in her house in Britain in the 1970s.
Pope John Paul decided to award her the Bene Merenti medal just three days before he died.
Mrs Maguire said that she thinks he was rewarding her for being both brave and forgiving.
“I felt sad and happy – sad that my husband Paddy is not with me to receive it with me, because as far as I’m concerned it is for both of us. And for the late (Pope) John Paul to actually give it to me from his death bed is an honour, and I can’t believe it has come about,” she said after receiving her award.