Former SDLP leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate John Hume died at the age of 83 after a long battle against dementia.
Mr. Hume was a founding member of the Northern Ireland political party Social Democratic and Labor Party (SDLP) and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for efforts to develop the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland.
According to the family, the former politician, who suffered from dementia and was cared for in the Owen Mor nursing home in Londonderry, died after a short illness.
Mr. Hume was the second leader of the nationalist group, which currently has two MPs in Westminster and 12 MLAs in the Northern Ireland Assembly, and held the position from 1979 to 2001.
During this time he also represented the group as a Member of Parliament in Westminster and was from 1983 to 2005 the seat of Foyle in Northern Ireland.
John Hume was a founding member of the Northern Irish political party Social Democratic and Labor Party (SDLP)
He was also a co-recipient of the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize with his Northern Irish political colleague David Trimble (left)
From 1979 to 2004 he was MEP in the European Parliament for the SDLP.
Mr. Hume was the co-recipient of the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize with his Northern Irish politician David Trimble.
"Ireland's Largest": John Hume: From Class to Nobel Peace Prize Winner
January 18, 1937: John Hume was born in Londonderry. He is educated at St. Columb & # 39; s College and St. Patrick & # 39; s College in Maynooth before becoming a teacher.
1968: Hume appears as one of the leading members of the civil rights movement, as the Derry Citizens & # 39; Action Committee (DCAC) organizes a series of marches that strongly support peaceful demonstrations.
1969: Hume's political career begins when he is elected as an independent nationalist in Stormont at the age of 32.
August 1970: Hume becomes a founding member of the Social Democratic and Labor Party (SDLP).
1979: Hume becomes leader of the SDLP.
1980s: Hume is directly involved in secret talks between the British government and Sinn Fein.
June 10, 1983: Hume is elected to the new constituency of Foyle in Westminster.
November 15, 1985: The Anglo-Irish Agreement is signed.
1988: Hume begins a series of contacts with Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams that should prove crucial to the development of the peace process.
1997: The IRA announces the renewal of its 1994 ceasefire. Multi-party talks begin, in which Hume and the SDLP, the second largest party behind the UUP, play an important role.
1998: The parties sign the Good Friday Agreement and a powersharing government is formed in Stormont. Hume wins the Nobel Peace Prize together with UUP boss David Trimble.
2004: Hume withdraws from politics for health reasons.
2010: Hume is voted "Ireland's Largest" in a public poll by RTE.
2012: Pope Benedict XVI Call him Knight Commander of the Pontifical Order of Saint Gregory the Great.
2018: Hume is too sick to attend a ceremony at Queen's University in Belfast to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.
2020: He dies at the age of 83.
He received the prestigious award for his efforts to forge the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland.
He had suffered from dementia for many years and was cared for in a nursing home until his death.
Since then, tribute has been paid to Mr. Humen, including former Northern Irish Secretary Julian Smith, who tweeted: “I am very sorry to hear this news.
& # 39; He was a key force behind the current peace and stability in Northern Ireland.
& # 39; A massive place in history. All thoughts and prayers with Pat and his family. & # 39;
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said that Mr. Hume was Ireland's most important and consistent political figure.
"It is no exaggeration to say that each of us now lives in Ireland as Hume envisioned it – an island at peace and free to choose your own destiny," he said.
Current union leader Keir Starmer said today that Hume's legacy was "to create a better world for the next generation," while former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who ranked 10th at the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, praised John Hume's "epic". Contribution to the peace process.
He said: & # 39; John Hume was a political titan; A visionary who refused to believe that the future had to be the same as the past.
& # 39; His contribution to peace in Northern Ireland was epic and he will rightly be remembered for it. He insisted that it was possible to strive tirelessly and to search endlessly creatively for ways to achieve this.
"In addition, it was a remarkable combination of cosmopolitanism and practical politics."
Louise Haigh, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said: “John Hume was a political giant. He endlessly gathered the strength and courage to create peace.
"In his Nobel Peace Prize speech, he dreamed of a time when our children could look to the future with a hopeful smile." This and the common future that he imagined and worked so hard to achieve will be his legacy.
"My thoughts are with Pat and the Hume family on this incredibly sad day."
In a statement, Mr. Hume's family said, “We are deeply sad that John died peacefully in the early morning after a short illness.
“Celebrating the community in all its diversity has been at the heart of John's political ethos and we are very grateful that our communities have supported, respected and protected John.
John was a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and brother.
“He was loved very much and his loss will be felt deeply by his whole extended family.
The family added, "It seems particularly fitting for these strange and anxious days to remember the sentence that gave John and so many of us hope in dark times:" We will overcome "."
Former Socialist leader of the Northern Ireland Labor Party, John Hume, and his wife Pat in 2005
In her statement, the family also paid tribute to those who looked after Hume, who was cared for at the Owen Mor nursing home in Derry before his death.
The family praised the care he received over the past few months as "exceptional" and said the family was "always inspired by the professionalism, compassion, and love that she and all those in her care, John have shown ".
His funeral will be organized according to the government's current Covid 19 regulations, which limit the number of people who can attend.
They said, "We know that this will mean that many will not be able to join us, and we will arrange a memorial service and celebration of his life in due course.
“Above all, we know that John would have given priority to public health and the safety and health of our communities.
"We are grateful for your condolences and support, and we are pleased that you will respect the family's right to privacy at this time of great loss."
John Hume: The man who is considered the chief architect of the Good Friday Agreement – for whom he received a Nobel Peace Prize
The Catholic leader of the moderate Social Democratic and Workers' Party, Hume, was regarded as the chief architect of the 1998 Northern Ireland peace agreement.
He shared the award with the Ulster Unionist Party Protestant leader David Trimble for their efforts to end the sectarian violence that plagued the region for three decades and killed more than 3,500 people.
"I want to see Ireland as an example of men and women everywhere, what can be achieved by living for ideals instead of fighting for them, and by considering each and every one to be respectful and honorable," he said in 1998.
"I want to see an Ireland of partnership, where we wage war against poverty and poverty, where we turn to the marginalized and the expropriated, and together we build a future that can be as big as our dreams allow."
Hume was born on January 18, 1937 in Northern Ireland's second largest city – Londonderry for British Unionists, Derry for Irish nationalists – and trained for the priesthood before becoming an integral part of the political landscape.
As an advocate of nonviolence, he fought for equality in what was then a Protestant state, but condemned the Irish Republican Army for its certainty that no injustice was worth human life.
Despite campaigning for a united Ireland, Hume believed that changes could not come to Northern Ireland without the consent of the Protestant majority.
He also recognized the need to build better relations between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and between London and Dublin.
He supported the idea of extending self-government to Northern Ireland, distributing power among the groups that made it up.
& # 39; Ireland is not a romantic dream; it is not a flag; There are 4.5 million people who are divided into two powerful traditions. he said.
& # 39; The solution is not found on the basis of victory for both, but on the basis of an agreement and a partnership between the two. The real division of Ireland is not a line drawn on the map, but in the minds and hearts of its people. & # 39;
While both Hume and Trimble attributed the approval of a referendum to the people of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland that led to the sharing of power, it was Hume's diplomacy that sparked the peace process that led to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
Hume made his breakthrough in Belfast's political landscape in 1993 by wooing Gerry Adams, chief of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, in hopes of reaching an IRA armistice.
This dialogue slowed Adam's international credibility and led to two IRA ceasefires in 1994 and 1997.
Like most Protestant politicians at the time, Trimble had resisted efforts to share power with the Catholics to endanger Northern Ireland's union with Britain. At first, he refused to speak directly to Adams, insisting that the IRA commanders have to prove that they were ready to give up the violence.
He eventually gave in and became central to peace efforts.
Hume had imagined a broad agenda for the discussions, arguing that they must be driven by close cooperation between the British and Irish governments.
The process was overseen by neutral figures such as US mediator George Mitchell, with decisions in both parts of Ireland largely confirmed by public referendums.
"Without John Hume, there would have been no peace process," Mitchell said at the time the award was announced. "Without David Trimble there would have been no peace agreement."
After Hume's death, honors were announced by former Prime Minister Tony Blair, chief negotiator for European Brexit Michel Barnier, and Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin.
"It is impossible to properly express the extent and importance of John Hume's life," Martin said in a tweet.
& # 39; He was one of the preeminent figures in Irish public life in the last century. His vision and tenacity saved this country. We owe him and his wife Pat so much. & # 39;
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