John Hume: Church leaders pay tribute to Northern Ireland peacemaker

Aug 5, 2020 by

from Premier:

Church leaders from across the island of Ireland have been paying tribute to John Hume, the Nobel peace prize-winning politician who spent decades advocating for an end to sectarian violence in Northern Ireland. Hume, who founded and led the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), died on Monday at the age of 83.

A champion for non-violent civil protest, Hume’s life work culminated in the signing of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which brought to an end decades of bloodshed perpetrated by the warring paramilitary forces of the IRA and the UDA/UVF. The 30-year-long conflict, commonly known as ‘The Troubles’, claimed the lives of some 3,500 people – the majority of whom were innocent civilians.

Hume has been fondly remembered as a man of nationalist persuasions — a Derry-born Catholic — who was stoic in his public rejection of violence as a legitimate means of protest, despite many of those in the Republican/Nationalist movement taking up arms. Over the years, Hume tirelessly volunteered himself as a bridge-builder between the embattled communities and was recognised as an impassioned advocate for peace, diplomacy and civil unity.

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