Northern Ireland

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to address Derry Nobel peace prize anniversary event

Nobel laureates John Hume and Lord David Trimble were presented with their award at Oslo Town Hall on December 10 1998. Picture by Bjoern Sigurdsoen
Nobel laureates John Hume and Lord David Trimble were presented with their award at Oslo Town Hall on December 10 1998. Picture by Bjoern Sigurdsoen Nobel laureates John Hume and Lord David Trimble were presented with their award at Oslo Town Hall on December 10 1998. Picture by Bjoern Sigurdsoen

An event to mark the 25th anniversary of the presentation of the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize to former SDLP leader, the late John Hume and Ulster Unionist leader, the late Lord David Trimble is to be held in Derry.

Former Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern and Lady Daphne Trimble, widow of Lord Trimble, are among the key speakers at the event at the Guildhall on Monday December 11. The event is being organised by the John and Pat Hume Foundation.

Mr Hume who died in August 2020 was recognised by the Nobel committee for his work towards the Good Friday Agreement and the Northern Ireland peace process.

He was jointly honoured with the award along with the late Lord Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party. Lord Trimble, who died in July 2022, also became the first First Minister of the Northern Ireland Executive.

In its record of the 1998 award, the Nobel Committee said it awarded the prize to the two people who were at the heart of the peace process in Northern Ireland.

The committee said: “One of the two was the Catholic leader of the moderate Social Democratic and Labour Party, John Hume, regarded by many as the principal architect behind the peace agreement.”

Following the award of the Nobel peace prize, the late Mr Hume went on to become the only person in the world to be awarded all three key global peace awards when he was presented with the Gandhi Peace Prize and the Martin Luther King Award. The three were presented to the people of Derry by Mr Hume’s family and are now on permanent display at the Guildhall.

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The anniversary event will involve a panel discussion on human rights, social justice and leadership for peaceful change. There will also be live music and video tributes.

Along with Mr Ahern and Lady Trimble, speakers will include unionist assembly member Dawn Purvis, former Northern Ireland SDLP minister, Bríd Rodgers and Derry writer, Séamus O’Reilly among others.

Anyone wishing to attend the event can do so at www.humefoundation.org or by booking a place at Eventbrite:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/leadership-for-peaceful-change-solutions-to-lasting-peace-tickets-763302507347?aff=oddtdtcreator.