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New book examines Hume legacy and achievements

John Hume at the launch of a new book dedicated to his work, at the City Hotel in Derry. Pictured with authors Sean Farren and Denis Haughey with Mark Durkan MP. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin.
Seamus McKinney

ONE of former SDLP leader John Hume’s greatest achievements was his success in changing the language of Irish nationalism, guests at the launch of a new book about the Nobel laureate were told.

Mr Hume was special guest at the Derry launch of “John Hume Irish Peacemaker” last night. Edited by close colleagues, former Executive Minister, Seán Farren and Denis Haughey, the book is a collection of essays assessing Mr Hume’s role.

Among the many key figures from the SDLP at last night’s launch were party leader, Colum Eastwood as well as SDLP founding member, Ivan Cooper. They were joined by retired bishop of Derry, Edward Daly as well as current bishop, Donal McKeown.

Special tributes were paid to Mr Hume’s wife, Pat who was unable to be present. Contributor and academic, Paul Arthur was applauded when he said Mrs Hume never received the credit she deserved. Quoting from the book, Mr Arthur said the former SDLP leader had changed the language of Irish nationalism.

In his launch speech, former SDLP leader, Mark Durkan said Mr Hume had been single-minded throughout his career. An emotional Mr Durkan said the Nobel laureate focused on the bigger picture even during the “lost years” and at the time of “all the lost lives.”

Co-editor Mr Farren said the book was about sound, evidence based assessments of Mr Hume and said it was crowned by the foreword written by John’s long-standing friend, Bill Clinton.

“When anyone reads the foreword, they will agree that it is written as much from the heart as the head. It shows great affection for John but also very keen appreciation of what John did,” he said.

“John Hume Irish Peacemaker” is published by Four Courts Press.

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