Northern Ireland news

Move to acknowledge John Hume and Martin McGuinness put back

Martin McGuinnes and John Hume pictured in 2012. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Seamus McKinney

A Sinn Féin proposal that Derry and Strabane council explore ways of recognising the work of Nobel laureate John Hume and former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness has been put back to a later date.

SDLP members of the council indicated they would be opposing the move on the grounds that it was premature to “prescribe” a memorial for Mr Hume so soon after his death last month.

Sinn Féin councillor Sandra Duffy proposed that the council explore all options, internally and with outside agencies, as to how Derry could “recognise and acknowledge" Mr Hume and Mr McGuinness.

She said: “In particular Derry City and Strabane District Council recognises their contribution to the peace process and commits to putting in place an appropriate recognition of their contribution.”

However, SDLP council leader Martin Reilly said the Sinn Féin proposal failed to demonstrate the sensitivity which such discussions deserved.

“And it’s fair to ask if any consultation has taken place with the Hume family before this motion was tabled,” Mr Reilly said.

In a separate development, a proposal that the Fine Gael parliamentary party support calls for a cross border university in the north west named after Mr Hume was adjourned on Wednesday night.

Cork Fine Gael TD Colm Burke proposed that Ulster University’s Magee campus along with the North West Regional College be combined with Letterkenny IT and IT Sligo to form the new university.

Mr Burke said discussions were adjourned on Wednesday to allow further work on the proposal.

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