Home International News Nobel Peace Prize Winner John Hume Dies at 83

Nobel Peace Prize Winner John Hume Dies at 83

The Nobel Peace lottery winner and prominent Northern Ireland politician John Hume have died aged 83. He died at a Londonderry home following an extended period of illness.

One of the highest-profile politicians in Northern Ireland for about 30 years, he helped create the climate that brought an end to the Troubles. He was one of the founding members of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in 1970 and went on to steer the party from 1979 until 2001.

Mr. Hume played a serious role within the peace talks which led to the great Friday Agreement in 1998.
The former SDLP leader was widely admired for his steadfast commitment to peaceful, democratic politics during three decades of violence in Northern Ireland.

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Tributes are paid across the board by political leaders past and present, including former Prime Minister Blair, who was in office when the peace deal was signed.

“John Hume was a political titan; a visionary who refused to believe the longer-term had to be an equivalent because of the past,” Mr. Blair said.

“His contribution to peace in Northern Ireland was epic and he will rightly be remembered for it.”He was insistent it had been possible, tireless in pursuit of it and endlessly creative in seeking ways of creating it happen.”
In the late 1980s, Mr. Hume took considerable risks for peace by holding talks with the then leader of Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams.

The talks were controversial at the time because the IRA was still heavily involved in violence, but Mr. Hume’s aim was to influence republicans to plan to exclusively democratic means.

The Hume-Adams talks helped to get the foundations for the 1994 IRA ceasefire and therefore the later negotiations which resulted within the Good Friday Agreement.
On Monday, Mr Hume was hailed as a “great hero and a real peacemaker” by current Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Micheál Martin.

“During the darkest days of paramilitary terrorism and sectarian strife, he kept hope alive. And patiently, resilience, and unswerving commitment, he triumphed and delivered a victory for peace,” Mr. Martin said.

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster sent condolences to the Hume family and described the previous SDLP leader as a “giant in Irish nationalism”.

“In our darkest days he recognized that violence was the incorrect path and worked steadfastly to market democratic politics,” the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader added.

Following the 1998 peace deal, Mr. Hume was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, alongside the then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, David Trimble.



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