Councillor pay tribute to John hume
Councillors from across Mid Ulster have paid tribute to the former SDLP leader, John Hume, following his passing.
A Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mr Hume died in the early hours of Monday, August 3, following a long illness.
The SDLP’s group leader in Mid Ulster, Councillor Malachy Quinn, described Mr Hume as a “giant of Irish politics”.
“John Hume was a giant of Irish politics and will go down as the most influential Irish politician of the 20th century,” said Cllr Quinn.
“He dedicated his life to healing the divisions in our society. During the darkest days of the troubles, he never wavered from his non-violent principles, never faulted from his quest for peace and without him, we would not have the society we have today.
“The people of Ireland, unionist, nationalist, republican or neither, owe John Hume a debt that can never be repaid.
“Difference is an accident of birth and should never be a source of conflict. As true now as it was 40 years ago.”
The DUP’s group leader, Councillor Paul McLean paid his respects to a “fitting role model for present and future generations”.
“Regardless of our constitutional differences, John Hume was a man who dedicated his entire life to democratic politics,” said Cllr McLean.
“He rightly saw it as the only means to advance any political cause or issue.
“He symbolised the majority of nationalists who always abhorred and rejected crime, violence and murder. A fitting role model for present and future generations, as he was to past generations.”
Ulster Unionist group leader, councillor Trevor Wilson expressed his sympathy for Mr Hume’s family, especially his wife Pat.
“While we held different political points of view there is no doubt he was a man who dedicated his life to bringing the two communities together,” said Cllr Wilson.
“He never shied away from making the tough decisions and his well documented stance on acts of violence will always be remembered.
“My deepest sympathy go to his entire family, especially his wife Pat who was always by his side.”
Speaking as Mid Ulster District Council announced it has opened books of condolence in memory of Mr Hume, Council’s Chair, Councillor Cathal Mallaghan said Ireland has lost “a great man”.
“John Hume was a hugely significant figure,” said the Sinn Fein Councillor.
“From his unstinting work to improve the lives of those struggling socially and economically in the Derry of the 1960s, including the opening of the first Credit Union in the North, to his advocacy for civil rights, his political leadership and his absolutely pivotal role in the peace process and the delivery of the Good Friday Agreement.
“Ireland has lost a great man whose influence and impact will be with us for generations.
“His family have lost a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather and our thoughts are with them all.
“We have opened books of condolence, both physical and online, to allow people to express their sympathies and reflect on his life.”
Physical books of condolence have been opened in the Bridewell, Magherafelt, in Ranfurly House, Dungannon and in Cookstown Leisure Centre.
An online book of condolence can also be signed at www.midulsterdistrictcouncil.org/bookofcondolence
Mr Hume is survived by wife Pat, children, grand children and great-grandchildren and brothers, Patsy and Jim.
Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, his wake and funeral will be strictly private. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Malachy Quinn: SDLP group leader, Councillor Malachy Quinn.
Adam Morton , Local Democracy Reporting Service