Northern Ireland news

Family and friends mark one year since the death of John Hume

Flowers left by SDLP leader Colum Eastwood and family on the grave of John Hume. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

JOHN Hume's family and friends gathered in Derry last night to mark the first anniversary of the former SDLP's leader's death.

The one-time MEP and Nobel Laureate died at a nursing home in Derry in the early hours of August 3, 2020, aged 83.

He had had been living with dementia for many years.

The former Foyle MP, who led the SDLP from 1979-2001, is buried at Derry City Cemetery.

Members of the public yesterday gathered at his graveside to pay tribute to the late Mr Hume, while a Mass was last night held in his memory at St Eugene's Cathedral in his home city.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood yesterday paid tribute to his predecessor, who was also a key figure in the civil rights movement.

"John summed up his political philosophy by saying he never thought in terms of being a leader, just about how he could help people," the Foyle MP said.

"On his first anniversary, we should be grateful that all now live in the Ireland that Hume imagined - at peace and free to decide its own destiny but we should be relentlessly ambitious for our future."

Mr Eastwood said John Hume's generation created an opportunity to "forge a new path for people on this island".

"It is now our enduring responsibility to live up to our full potential, to listen to each other and work together to take on the new challenges our society faces," he said.

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