Nobel Peace Prize Winner John Hume Dies At 83
Irish politician and Nobel peace prize winner John Hume has died at the age of 83. "It is with deep sadness that we announce that John died in the early hours of the morning after a short illness," the Sky News TV channel quotes a statement from the politician's relatives.
John Hume was born in 1937 in the city of Londonderry in Northern Ireland to a Catholic family. In 1970, he was one of the founders of the Social Democratic and Labor Party (SDLP), from 1979 to 2000; he was its leader. The SDLP held a moderate position and advocated the gradual creation of a United Ireland, refused to fight with the armed forces, and called for the cooperation of Catholics and Protestants. In 1998, Hume signed the Belfast peace agreement (the" good Friday Agreement"), which began to resolve the conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland. In the same year, he won the Nobel peace prize together with the head of the Ulster Unionist Party, David Trimble, "for his work in finding a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland."
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who led the government at the time of the Good Friday agreement, called Hume "a political Titan who refused to believe that the future should be the same as the past." "His contribution to achieving peace in Northern Ireland was epic, and he will be rightly remembered for it. He insisted that it was possible, was indefatigable in achieving it, and was endlessly inventive in finding ways to make it happen," Pia quoted Blair as saying.
Former Ulster Unionist party leader David Trimble, with whom Hume shared the Nobel prize in 1998, dismissed Hume's crucial role in Northern Ireland politics. "I will always remember a lot of things about John, things that we did together, the positions that he stood on, and we didn't always agree with each other on everything, there were also differences. He played a crucial role in Northern Ireland politics and especially in the process that produced the agreement that continues to serve us today. That was incredibly important, and this is what he will be remembered for in the future," the Agency quoted Trimble as saying.
Irish President Michael Higgins noted that Hume transformed politics in Ireland. "All those who sought and worked for peace on the island of Ireland will be deeply saddened by the death of John Hume, a Nobel prize winner, and statesman," Higgins said in a statement. He also noted that Hume's work contributed to a new era of civil rights and responsible governments.
Parliamentary activities and other awards
He was elected to the European Parliament in 1979, served as a member of the House of Commons of the British Parliament from 1983 to 2005, and as a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly (regional Parliament) from 1998 to 2000.
In 2004, John Hume left politics. In addition to the Nobel prize, he has received numerous awards in the field of public and peacemaking, including the Gandhi International peace prize (2001). In 2010, the Irish state broadcaster RTE conducted a survey that ranked him as the "Greatest Irishman."