John Hume, the visionary politician who received a Nobel Peace Prize for fashioning the settlement that ended violence in his native Northern Ireland, has died at 83, his household stated Monday.
The Catholic chief of the reasonable Social Democratic and Labour Party, Hume was seen because the principal architect of Northern Ireland’s 1998 peace settlement. He shared the prize later that yr with the Protestant chief of the Ulster Unionist Party, David Trimble, for his or her efforts to finish the sectarian violence that plagued the area for 3 a long time and left greater than 3,500 folks useless.
“I want to see Ireland as an example to men and women everywhere of what can be achieved by living for ideals, rather than fighting for them, and by viewing each and every person as worthy of respect and honor,” he stated in 1998. “I want to see an Ireland of partnership, where we wage war on want and poverty, where we reach out to the marginalized and dispossessed, where we build together a future that can be as great as our dreams allow.”
Hume died Monday morning after affected by ailing well being for a number of years, his household stated.
Born on Jan. 18, 1937, in Northern Ireland’s second metropolis — Londonderry to British Unionists, Derry to Irish nationalists — Hume skilled for the priesthood earlier than changing into a fixture on Northern Ireland’s political panorama. An advocate of nonviolence, he fought for equal rights in what was then a Protestant-ruled state, however he condemned the Irish Republican Army due to his certainty that no injustice was value a human life.
Although he advocated for a united Ireland, Hume believed change couldn’t come to Northern Ireland with out the consent of its Protestant majority. He additionally realized that higher relations wanted to be cast between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and between London and Dublin.
He championed the notion of extending self-government to Northern Ireland with energy divided among the many teams forming it.
“Ireland is not a romantic dream; it is not a flag; it is 4.5 million people divided into two powerful traditions,″ he said. “The solution will be found not on the basis of victory for either, but on the basis of agreement and a partnership between both. The real division of Ireland is not a line drawn on the map, but in the minds and hearts of its people.”
While each Hume and Trimble credited the folks of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic for approving a referendum that led to energy sharing, it was Hume’s diplomacy that supplied the impetus to the peace course of that led to the 1998 Good Friday accord.
Hume received the breakthrough in Belfast’s political panorama in 1993 by courting Gerry Adams, the top of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, in hopes of securing an IRA cease-fire. That dialogue burnished Adams’ worldwide credibility and led to 2 IRA cease-fires in 1994 and 1997.
Like most Protestant politicians at the time, Trimble had opposed efforts to share energy with Catholics as one thing that will jeopardize Northern Ireland’s union with Britain. He at first refused to talk immediately with Adams, insisting that IRA commanders wanted to show they had been prepared to desert violence.
He finally relented and have become pivotal in peacemaking efforts.
Hume had envisioned a broad agenda for the discussions, arguing they have to be pushed by shut cooperation between the British and Irish governments. The course of was overseen by impartial figures like U.S. mediator George Mitchell, with the selections overwhelmingly ratified by public referendums in each components of Ireland.
“Without John Hume, there would not have been a peace process,” Mitchell stated at the time the prize was introduced. ”Without David Trimble, there wouldn’t have been a peace settlement.”
Hume and Trimble had been stated to have had a frosty relationship. But Trimble on Monday described a thawing after the Nobel ceremony in Oslo, recalling that the resort at which they had been staying had steered the 2 males selected to loosen up away from one another.
“We didn’t do that. We relaxed and in some sense celebrated the occasion jointly, and that for me spelt out the principle for how we were going to proceed in the years after that,” he advised the BBC.
Tributes poured in after’s Hume’s loss of life was introduced, together with reward from Adams, who known as him a “giant in Irish politics.” Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was in workplace at the time the accord was signed, lauded Hume’s “epic” contribution to the peace course of.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued an announcement describing their unhappiness.
“Through his faith in principled compromise, and his ability to see his adversaries as human beings, John helped forge the peace that has held to this day,’’ they said.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Northern Ireland of today is Hume’s legacy.
“He stood proudly in the tradition that was totally opposed to violence and committed to pursuing his objectives by exclusively peaceful and democratic means,’’ Johnson said on Twitter. “His vision paved the way for the stability, positivity and dynamism of the Northern Ireland of today and his passing is a powerful reminder of how far Northern Ireland has come.’’
Hume’s family said his funeral would be in keeping with strict guidelines on attendees because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A memorial will be arranged later.
“We are grateful for your condolences and support, and we appreciate that you will respect the family’s right to privacy at this time of great loss,’’ the family said in a statement. “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.’”