Tuesday, 4 August 2020

RIP John Hume

Politicians come and go all the time. I must confess that I haven’t given much thought to John Hume in many years, so I was taken aback by how much his death, announced yesterday, moved and saddened me.

Hume was a towering figure in my youth, when I was just starting to become politically aware. He was a voice of reason, always calm, always compassionate and yet passionate. He was hugely brave in insisting that the paramilitaries needed to be brought into the fold while the violence was still going on.

More than anyone other than maybe Mo Mowlam, I associate Hume with the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement. The Agreement isn’t perfect, and hasn’t stopped all the violence, but even from my now-distant vantage point, it’s a hell of a lot better than when I was growing up. And that’s in no small part due to John Hume.

RIP sir. Your legacy lives on.

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