Northern Ireland news

SDLP to discuss Sinn Féin proposal to honour John Hume and Martin McGuinness with Hume family

John Hume and Martin McGuinness pictured in 2012 with Pat Hume and SDLP founder Ivan Cooper. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Seamus McKinney

THE SDLP says it will discuss a Sinn Féin proposal to commemorate both John Hume and Martin McGuinness in Derry with the Nobel Laureate's family.

Sinn Féin members of Derry City and Strabane District Council will bring a motion on Thursday asking it to "explore how the city can recognise and acknowledge the contributions" made by the men.

The party's leader on the council, Sandra Duffy, said: “The scale of their contribution can never be overestimated and again that is clear to see from the reverence that both men are held in across this city, so we are hopeful that other parties will join us in backing the motion to recognise and acknowledge these political giants or our time.”

The Sinn Féin councillor appealed to unionist members of the council to support the move.

Since John Hume's death last month, there have been growing calls for a permanent memorial to his memory.

Among suggestions have been renaming Derry's Guildhall Square or Foyle Bridge.

Irish government minister Simon Harris has also asked his officials to examine a proposal by Fine Gael TD Colm Burke that a cross-border university in the north west be established and named after Mr Hume.

Martin Reilly, leader of the SDLP group on Derry City and Strabane District Council, said the party was aware of the Sinn Féin call but had not yet seen the formal proposal.

“We have not met as a party to discuss this yet but before we decide anything, we'll discuss it with the Hume family and with the John and Pat Hume Foundation which has been handling other calls about memorials,” he said.

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