John Hume, who worked to end N. Ireland violence, dies at 83

Cheryl Sanders
August 4, 2020

Mr Eastwood compared Mr Hume to the famous U.S. civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

Tributes poured in after's Hume's death was announced Monday, including ones from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Chief European Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin. Hume was named "Ireland's Greatest" in a public poll conducted by RTÉ in 2010.

The former Foyle MP had dementia and was cared for in the Owen Mor nursing home in Derry.

But it was my generation - indeed all in the community, regardless of religion or politics - for whom Hume cared most; the opportunities, economic development and cultural strides Northern Ireland has made in the past two decades are owed to Hume and people like him.

Tributes have continued to pour in from presidents and prime ministers for the former SDLP leader and Nobel Peace Prize victor.

Together with David Trimble, John Hume won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998.


"The care they have shown John in the last months of his life has been exceptional". He sought the notion of extending self-government to Northern Ireland with power divided among the groups forming it.

"John was a husband, a father, a grandfather, a great-grandfather and a brother".

While both Hume and Trimble credited the people of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, it was Hume's diplomacy that offered the impetus to the peace process.

"The solution will be found not on the basis of victory for either, but on the basis of agreement and a partnership between both".

"It is no exaggeration to say that each and every one of us now lives in the Ireland Hume imagined - an island at peace and free to decide its own destiny", he said.

"His vision and tenacity saved this country".


Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said Ireland should "bow our heads in respect and thanks" after news of the passing.

Mr Eastwood compared his predecessor to the famous U.S. civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

"He was the greatest Irishman ever and he achieved something that no-one could ever achieve before him: he ended the Anglo-Irish conflict, the conflict that had gone on for 800 years, and he gave my generation the opportunity to achieve our political goals peacefully and democratically, and that is an enormous legacy".

Mr Hume's widow, Pat, and other family members have urged people to stay at home and instead light a candle for peace.

Social distancing rules will apply and the service will be livestreamed from the church's website. We can never adequately show them our thanks for looking after John at a time when we could not.

"We are grateful for your condolences and support, and we appreciate that you will respect the family's right to privacy at this time of great loss", the family said in a statement.


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