John Hume, civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has died 2 years ago

John Hume, civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has died

John Hume, one of the most important figures in the Northern Ireland peace process, has died at the age of 83.

Founder of the SDLP and leader of the campaign to end violence in Northern Ireland, Hume was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998. Hume was named 'Ireland's Greatest' in a public poll conducted by RTÉ in 2010.

Advertisement

Hume's family confirmed the sad news in a statement published on Monday morning (3 August). The statement confirmed that Hume died following a short illness, and expressed thanks to the nursing staff of the Owen Mor nursing home in Derry. Sadly, Hume had been living with dementia for over 20 years at the time of his death.

The statement clarified that Hume's funeral will follow public health advice, which currently involves restrictions on numbers allowed at funerals. However, the statement also confirmed that a memorial service and celebration of Hume's life will be organised "in due course."

The family's statement concluded: "It seems particularly apt for these strange and fearful days to remember the phrase that gave hope to John and so many of us through dark times: we shall overcome."

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, paying tribute to Hume, called him "20th century Ireland's most significant and consequential political figure."

Advertisement

Taoiseach Micheál Martin honoured Hume in a statement published this morning, which read: "It is impossible to properly express the scale and significance of John Hume’s life.

"He was one of the towering figures of Irish public life of the last century. His vision and tenacity saved this country. We owe him and his wife Pat so much. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam."