Michael D. Higgins issues statement on the passing of John Hume
President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins has issued a heartfelt statement following the death of civil rights leader John Hume.
Hume passed away this morning at the age of 83. He was Nobel Peace Prize recipient and key architect of the Northern Ireland peace process.
Acknowledging Hume's passing, Higgins observed: "John Hume, through his words, his astute diplomacy and willingness to listen to what was often difficult to accept but was the view of the ‘Other’, transformed and remodelled politics in Ireland, and the search for peace, with a personal bravery and leadership, and with a steadfast informed by a steadfast belief in the principles and values of genuine democracy.
"John’s deep commitment to these values and his practical demonstration of tolerance and social justice, oftentimes in the face of strong opposition and tangible threats to his person and his family, asserted the fundamental principles of democracy.
"He and those others who helped usher in a discourse that enabled a new era of civil rights and responsive government that few would have thought possible, have placed generations in their debt, have been a source of hope.
"Mar Uachtarán na hÉireann, as President of Ireland, may I say how deeply grateful we all should be that we had such a person as John Hume to create a light of hope in the most difficult of times."
Higgins' statement can be read in full here.