Northern Ireland news

Hume family tribute to their 'dear friend' Ivan Cooper

Ivan Cooper and former SDLP leader, John Hume were close friends. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Seamus McKinney

FORMER SDLP leader John Hume and his wife Pat have praised the courage of their “dear friend” Ivan Cooper whose qualities were the "embodiment" of the civil rights campaign.

A founding member of the SDLP with Mr Hume, Mr Cooper was a close confidant throughout the two men’s period in politics. The pair worked together for many years, particularly in helping to draw up the Sunningdale Agreement which led to the short-lived Northern Ireland power sharing executive in 1974.

Mr Hume’s wife, Pat said they were deeply saddened to learn of Mr Cooper’s death today.

“Ivan and John walked side by side, hand in hand, in their shared desire for equality, justice and peace in Ireland.

“Ivan was the embodiment of the non-violent and non-sectarian movement for change that was the campaign for civil rights” Mrs Hume said.

Mr Cooper’s commitment and courage and his desire and determination to fight for civil rights never waned.

Read more: James Nesbitt pays tribute to Ivan Cooper's 'courage'

Mrs Hume said: “Nor did his friendship and relationship with John and me. He was a loyal friend and constant visitor to John in recent years even as both battled ill-health.

“Ivan Cooper will forever hold a special place, not only in our hearts, but in the history of this island and in the continuing of the fight for civil rights and social justice.”

On her husband family’s behalf, Mrs Hume sent condolences to Mr Cooper’s wife, Frances, daughters, Sinead and Bronagh and wider family circle.

Read more: James Nesbitt pays tribute to Ivan Cooper's 'courage'

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