When he received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1998, which was jointly awarded with Lord Trimble, John Hume reflected on the previous 30 years of his political involvement saying, ‘Amid shattered lives, a quiet heroism has borne silent rebuke to the evil that violence represents, to the carnage and waste of violence, to its ultimate futility.’ It is perhaps John Hume’s own personal courage, along with his consistent and outright rejection of violence, which we honour and remember today.
In pursuing a peaceful and just society, John Hume’s belief that past grievances and injustices could give way to what he called ‘a new generosity of spirit and action’ should not be forgotten.
On behalf of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, I would like to extend our deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to Mr Hume’s wife Pat, their family and friends, and his colleagues. We remember a man who selflessly committed himself to challenging the deep-seated problems of our society. He demonstrated a genuine desire to bring people together for the common good and to build a just and peaceful society. We give thanks for peacemakers, and on this sad day, John Hume in particular.