John Hume, a giant of Irish history, is right
John Hume, the former leader of the SDLP who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, has died.
He was 83 years old.
Statesman of the Age. Video man, peace architect, former Stormont Deputy, former Member of Parliament, former MEP.
It would be difficult to exaggerate the legacy of the former SDLP leader on Irish life. It is no coincidence that he was the only recipient of the three major peace awards, the Nobel Prize, the Martin Luther King Prize and the Gandhi Prize. He was selected by the Irish people as a 20th century statesman in a survey and has had an impact at home and abroad.
He shared his vision for a united Ireland in the early sixties and worked hard to make the vision a reality.
Irish President Michael Higgins said John Hume had revolutionized Irish politics and stood up for the principles of democracy despite threats.
The President said that everyone should be grateful that John Hume was there to light the “light of hope” during the captivity.
“It is no exaggeration to say that John Hume radically changed and reshaped Irish politics, through his words, his wise diplomacy and his willingness to listen to the ‘Other’ view, which was sometimes difficult to accept and he sought peace with his personal courage and leadership as well as his firm belief in the principles and values of true democracy, ”said the President.
Micheál D Ó hUigínn said that everyone should be grateful that John Hume was there to give people hope during the captivity.
“As President of Ireland, I would like to say that we should be grateful to have the likes of John Hume to give us a lease of hope during a very difficult time.”
Higgins said John Hume was “comparable to Parnell and Daniel O’Connell”.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he was “a great hero and a man of peace”.
“It is impossible to accurately describe the scale and importance of John Hume’s life. He was one of the giants of public life in Ireland in the last century. His vision and dedication to save this country, ”said the Taoiseach.
John Hume was born in Derry in 1937, the eldest of seven children. The family was poor, like most Derry people. He was the first generation of the community to receive free third – level education. As a young teacher in the city he chose to tackle poverty; he was active in a housing campaign and was one of the founders of the Credit Union. He chaired the campaign to establish a new University in Derry and public dissatisfaction with the Unionist decision to relocate it to Coleraine led him to the civil rights movement.
He was one of the founders of the SDLP in 1970 and was the party’s second leader from 1979 to 2001. He always stood strong against violence and wanted to persuade the Republican movement to make the way of peace fairer. and more effective than the strong arm. He also believed that the British government’s view that the issue of security in Northern Ireland was a matter of security was a mistake. He ran an international campaign in America and the EU to gain support for the political approach. President Jimmy Carter in America was the first to influence him and he developed relations with America until the time of Clinton when he was very active in the peace process.
Gerry Adams told me years ago that there would be no peace process without John Hume, a great suggestion.
Adams said today that the former leader of the SDLP had the courage to take a chance for peace when others were stuck in the politics of “the affair”.
Hume was sharply criticized for his talks with Adams that led to the peace negotiations and the Good Friday Agreement. The attacks bothered Hume and his family but he was convinced that peace was worth the trouble.
His thoughts are traced to every settlement made from Sunningdale in 1973, to Hillsborough castle in 1985 and Stormont in 1998. He committed a giant crime on behalf of his people.
The constant work had an effect on his health. He retired from politics altogether in 2004. He suffered from dementia and died at the Owenmore care home in Derry last night with his wife, Pat, his cousin, and their children, Aine, Therese, John jnr, Aidan, and My, in his favor.